Our Mission


Prairie Fire Newspaper went on hiatus after the publication of the September 2015 issue. It may return one of these days but until then we will continue to host all of our archived content for your reading pleasure. Many of the articles have held up well over the years. Please contact us if you have any questions, thoughts, or an interest in helping return Prairie Fire to production. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you to all our readers, contributors, and supporters - the quality of Prairie Fire was a reflection of how many people it touched (touches).

Praire Fire Newspaper. From left:  Aaron Vacin, Cris Trautner, and Rod Hutt.

We are Prairie Fire newspaper. We are the progressive voice of the Great Plains. Our goal is to engage our readership with thoughtful, bipartisan discourse on public policy matters complemented by compelling analyses and critiques of the arts and humanities.

Our newspaper will be neither reactionary nor radical, nor will it ascribe to a particular political philosophy or creed. Instead, we will provide our readers with thoughtful discussion and civilized dialogue, in hopes of bringing forth the products of progressive thought, which have the potential to enrich our daily lives. Progressive thought has brought us unicameralism, public power, natural resources districts, progressive taxation, center pivot irrigation, public broadcasting, jazz, the Nebraska State Capitol, free public education and universal suffrage. It has the power to continue to enhance our lives today.

The current state of our system of governance cries out for rejuvenation, and we hope to play a major role in stimulating such an effort. Rather than being focused on day-to-day legislative and congressional activities, Prairie Fire will explore governments in their broadest sense with a much greater emphasis on executive and judicial branch functions. It was, after all, the genius of our founding ancestors that brought together concepts such as federalism, separation of powers and checks and balances. Sadly, those concepts seemed to have slipped into quiet repose and are in great need of reexamination and discussion. Civility in politics seems to have become a distant concept, and even today the two continue to drift apart. We will attempt to bring them into closer proximity.

Rather than being a chronicle of daily events, Prairie Fire will seek to inspire thoughts that cause daily events to make more sense in the context of an improving society. With such an orientation, we will print essays, opinions, analyses and other works by contributing writers and artists who are experts in their fields, covering public policy, the environment, social issues, the arts and humanities. Editorial license will be retained only to correct linguistic errors, establish contexts or allow use of a pseudonym to protect a writer’s safety or economic well-being. Ghostwritten material will not be published.

Although Prairie Fire will initially be published monthly, we hope wide acceptance and enthusiasm will allow us to publish with increased frequency and extend our readership beyond Nebraska into neighboring states and provinces of the Great Plains.

We are looking to those who, over the years, have repeatedly expressed a hunger for thoughtful public discourse on matters of societal importance. Prairie Fire will provide the structure for a forum through which that hunger can be sated.

Will the cries for civilized discourse translate into journalistic action? Only time will tell.We challenge our readers to contribute to the published ideas and discussions, to join us in a great experiment, and to raise the temperature of their keyboards with a virtual tsunami of civilized conversation.

Photograph by Joel Sartore


Submitted by Sue (not verified) on

I have been picking up Prairie Fire whenever I see a new copy and I have been enjoying it. It is well-crafted and obviously prepared with competence and care. Thanks for it.

Submitted by Lanny Cotler (not verified) on

Elegance, competence, and relevance! You are working for the good of us all: the land, its creatures, and we often unconscious humans. Do you remember the great publication out of Montana a decade back? Northern Lights. Wonderful put together regional publication with many of the same themes and missions. Besides its fine writers, it also knew how to use graphics, photographs, and white space. The latter is very important. I shall subscribe to Prairie Fire now. I found you by researching a novel with that same name. I recommend it highly. Which brings me to my last point: The Grange and the Grange Movement. Founded 143 years ago to fight on behalf of the family farmer against big corporations and railroad monopolies, while in still in decline now, it may be making a come-back. I hope so. And I hope you and your publication can help that turn-around. The heritage of the Grange Movement can infuse again our need to take responsibility to feed ourselves, a divine joy and right, and to hold the land and its virtues in higher love and respect. If everyone joined the nearest Grange, and brought their young people to it, there would be a renaissance in the country from the grassroots up. Corporations are not people, have no feelings, and cannot connect to the Land. Fight "corporate personhood" and relocalize the economy. Set this kind of prairie fires all across the land and it will return to us its blessings. Vive Prairie Fire! lcotlerATgmail.com

Submitted by Dean Olson (not verified) on

Hello, Lanny Cotler—Corporations ARE people. Go to any corporate headquarters and see who runs them. Those people have values and feelings. I know because I represented corporations when I was a practicing trial lawyer. And, just like people, they are not perfect. And, by the way, corporate personhood is an essential component of our society. Corporations are considered to be legal entities and our courts have recognized them as "persons" under the law for over 200 years—for a good reason. Without corporate personhood, there would be no way to hold such organizations accountable for their mistakes. Try enforcing a claim for damages against all of the employees and managers of General Electric.

Immigration in Nebraska