NONFICTION

FICTION

PHOTOGRAPHY

ACTIVISM

IDEAS

Courtney White

In 1960, when I was born, the world was largely intact and healthy. All that has changed. During my lifetime, humans went from having a small impact on the planet to a force on a geological scale. This transition will be my generation’s legacy. My life is a prism. At an early age, I was drawn to the interactions between land and people. I was both captivated and concerned about what I saw and learned. In response, I sought creative answers to anguished questions ranging over the fields of archaeology, conservation, regenerative agriculture, and climate change. This site is my autobiography as well as a time capsule. I’ve been blessed with family, hard work, and travel. It’s been a wonderful adventure.

                     CREATIVE ANSWERS TO ANGUISHED QUESTIONS

Author and historian Wallace Stegner once said every book should try to answer an anguished question. I took his advice to heart in all my work and endeavors over the years, trying to answer an array of ‘left-brain’ questions with creative ‘right brain’ answers, as explained in MY STORY.

Core questions emerged quickly: What is land for? How can we use it to sustain us without using it up? How should we live? How do we heal degraded land and repair damaged relationships? Over time, as the scale of the accelerating impact of humans on the planet increased, new anguished questions arose: Can we restrain ourselves? How do we build resilience? What are regenerative solutions to climate change?

My creative answers to these questions are found in MY WORK. They fall into two phases. A West That Works focused on the American West, archaeology, activism, collaborative conservation, and progressive ranching. The Age of Consequences tackles resilience, carbon, and climate change. I am perhaps most proud of my role as a pioneering advocate for what today is called Regenerative Agriculture.

I didn’t follow a prepared path in seeking answers to my anguished questions. Instead, I purposefully produced creative work in diverse formats:

William Faulkner – A Family Connection and Inspiration

In 1986, I learned I was related to William Faulkner on my father’s side of the family. I had dropped out of graduate school and was very unclear about next steps in my life. When I learned that Faulkner was a relative, I reacquainted myself with his work. The geographical unity of his vision in combination with his focus on the intersections of land, culture, people, and history struck a huge chord. I particularly loved his map of Yoknapatawpha County. I decided to try to do something similar for my home – the American West – though in my own way. In 2006, a visit to Faulkner’s home in Mississippi inspired me to set a goal of writing books full-time.

BOOKS

The Age Of Consequences

A collection of personal essays about our uncertain times coupled with hopeful, practical solutions involving land, livestock, and people in the American West.

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Grass, Soil, Hope

A book about ways to sequester CO2 in plants and soils, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and produce economic and ecological resilience.

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Two Percent Solutions

Innovative low-cost, low-tech, nature-based practices that increase soil carbon, including organic no-till farming, grassfed food, and ecological restoration.

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The Sun

A murder mystery set on a working ranch in northern New Mexico. Something is amiss in the New West… It is the first volume of the Sun Ranch Saga.

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Consilience

A contemporary love story about time-travel, an uncertain future, and resistance.

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Grassroots

Three columns about the rise of the radical center from the perspective of a front-line participant; and thoughts about the broken promise of the New West.

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IMAGES

THE INDELIBLE WEST

Photographs 1988-1998

THIS MOMENT IN TIME

Photographs 2007-2017

THE DELIGHT-MAKERS

Photodocumentary with text

SOCIAL CHANGE

THE QUIVIRA COALITION

I cofounded the Quivira Coalition in 1997 to expand the radical center among ranchers, conservationists, federal land managers, and scientists around practices that improve economic and ecological resilience in working landscapes.

ESSAYS

This is a collection of essays written during my years at the Quivira Coalition. Topics include: the radical center, collaborative conservation, grassbanks, ecological restoration, The New Ranch, carbon farming, land health, and local food.

REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

I was a pioneering advocate for regenerative agriculture, a term I first heard in 2014. It incorporates progressive ranching, soil health, ecological restoration, carbon storage, and more, detailed here.