Stephen Trimble tells stories—in words and photographs—about the land and people of the West.
Trimble teaches writing in the Honors College and Environmental Humanities program at the University of Utah and spent a year as a Wallace Stegner Centennial Fellow at the University of Utah's Tanner Humanities Center. His distinctive voice as a humanities-based naturalist leads visitors through the new (2011) Natural History Museum of Utah; Steve wrote many of the exhibit labels.
Steve was born in Denver, his family's base for roaming the West with his geologist father. After a liberal arts education at Colorado College, he worked as a park ranger in Colorado and Utah, earned a master’s degree in ecology at the University of Arizona, served as director of the Museum of Northern Arizona Press, and for five years lived near San Ildefonso Pueblo in northern New Mexico. He has been a full-time free-lance writer and photographer since 1981. In 2014, Steve donated his professional archive to the University of Utah's Marriott Library.
Steve often serves as a consultant and writer for the conservation community, including a year with The Nature Conservancy’s Colorado Plateau Conservation Initiative and a collaboration with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance as editor of a white paper to support the protection of Greater Canyonlands. His community involvement includes longtime service on the boards of the Wild Utah Project and Utah Interfaith Power & Light. He now serves on the board of Grand Staircase Escalante Partners, to join in defending the integrity of this extraordinary national monument.
In a landmark effort by writers hoping to sway public policy, Trimble co-compiled (with Terry Tempest Williams) the essay collection, Testimony: Writers of the West Speak on Behalf of Utah Wilderness. On March 27, 1996, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) read Trimble’s essay from Testimony on the floor of the United States Senate during his plea to protect Utah wilderness. Feingold concluded with, “That short piece of writing is so powerful…because it is a timeless statement about how people feel about natural places.”
Steve edited Red Rock Stories: Three Generations of Writers Speak on Behalf of Utah's Public Lands in 2016, at a similar moment of crisis for Utah wildlands.
Salt Lake City's Catalyst Magazine recognized Steve in 2013 as one of 100 "catalysts, inspirators—those who have made our Wasatch Front community a more sustainable, compassionate and vibrant place to live."
Steve and his wife have launched their two children into adulthood and make their home in Salt Lake City and in the redrock country of Torrey, Utah. From his city home on Capitol Hill, in Utah's oldest neighborhood, Steve revels in looking into the tantalizing space of the Great Basin. The family retreat in Torrey lies just two miles from Capitol Reef National Park, Steve's "home park," where he worked as a park ranger/naturalist when he was 25.
Two existing blogs gather Steve's musings from recent years. He named his 2010 blog The Bright Edge for a quote from Willa Cather. No words better capture the exhilaration of wild country. We, too, live on the bright edge of history.
In 2008-2009, as a Wallace Stegner Fellow at the Tanner Humanities Center and under the auspices of the Utah Humanities Council’s Public Square Program, Steve took Stegner on the road. In community gatherings from Logan to Bluff, from Moab to St. George, Steve celebrated Stegner's writing about Utah. His blog, stegner @ 100, collects stories from this fellowship year.