James Ogden Stiles, Jr December 11, 1949 ~ March 11, 2024

James Ogden Stiles, Jr. died at his home in Coldwater, Kansas, on March 11, 2024.
Jim was born on December 11, 1949 to Sue Montfort Stiles and James Ogden Stiles, Sr. of Louisville, KY.
He was raised in Louisville, graduated from the University of Louisville, and then moved to Southeast Utah in the early 1970s, after a friend of his father’s gave him a copy of Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire.
He was hired as a seasonal ranger at Arches National Park and fell in love with the history and landscape of the canyon country. He quickly became an integral member of the Moab community and a passionate voice for wilderness. 
In 1989, Jim founded his newspaper The Canyon Country Zephyr, which covered both local news in Moab and also the broader environmental and societal questions of the time.
He published one of Edward Abbey’s last pieces in the Zephyr’s inaugural issue and he continued to chronicle the story of the changing American West for the next 35 years, both in print and then finally online.
In 2007 Jim published the book Brave New West: Morphing Moab at the Speed of Greed and that same year he was the focus of a documentary, also titled Brave New West.
The Zephyr’s tagline is “Clinging Hopelessly to the Past”, and over the years the Zephyr published innumerable essays, photos, reminiscences, and lamentations about what had been lost of the past and what had developed in its place.
Jim published work from a wide variety of voices. He highlighted great western photographers like Herb Ringer and Edna Fridley, and he maintained a spirited community around the Zephyr which continues even now. 
Jim moved to Kansas in 2011 where he continued to write and publish until his death. He leaves behind family, many friends, and countless readers, all of whom are shocked and saddened by his passing.

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