Resilience, Issue 42 – Reflections on Resilience in Uncertain Times

December, 2020

Welcome to the relaunch of Resilience. It’s been five years since our last issue appeared,
in August of 2015, commemorating the life and work of our good friend and riparian restoration-guru, Bill Zeedyk.

In his editor’s letter from Issue 40, subtitled “Beyond Resilience,” Quivira cofounder Courtney White observed that “the definition of ‘normal’ is changing. Hotter and drier conditions, for example, are becoming the ‘new normal’ in the Southwest and are projected to increase over time. If resilience means bounce back, the question becomes: bounce back to what?”

These days, it seems “normal” has shifted yet again. Returning to Courtney’s words in the midst of a global pandemic, after a delayed monsoon season, more ravaging fires, and years of worsening drought, the question presents itself with a new gravity. This gravity is only compounded by the ongoing battles for racial and political justice taking place across the country with renewed fervor. As I write this, producers the world over are struggling to bring their food to market. In the United States, we’ve seen a surge in hunger, and the recent enrollment of more than six million new people for food stamps. As we begin to reckon with the status quo that permitted these circumstances — systemic racism, ineffective economies, broken supply chains — many are likewise asking: a bounceback or a new bounce forward?

For the writers assembled herein — ranchers, farmers, gardeners, stewards of varying stripes — the pandemic and its widening ripples have been a source of grief, reflection, determination, and renewal. “No one necessarily wants to be resilient; it’s a condition that often arises when there is no other option but to persist,” cautions Carmen Taylor. “In the moments of uncertainty and darkness,” writes Sarah King, “resilience has meant letting go of what was supposed to be.” And for Leeanna Torres, “the undercurrent of our resiliencia also lies in that subtle unspoken of our traditional lives, the deep querencia of our daily living.” 

Quivira's annual print newsletter, Resilience, has served as a source for producer-driven rangeland science, a place for stories and reflections from our community, and resource on implementation of regenerative agriculture on arid lands since the start of Quivira. When you click on the individual issues, you will be able to read the complete publication or download the pdf. Sort the issues by topic if you'd like. If you would like to submit an article or story for Resilienceplease email