Items by Jonathan Thompson

Hummer Syndrome
A Wyoming boomtown shows the Old West economy speeding along as the new West stalls out
When the locals don't want your coal, sell it overseas
When the locals don't want your coal, sell it overseas
Global markets could keep Powder River Basin coal flowing overseas for decades to come.
Global Players in the West's Extraction Economy
Global Players in the West's Extraction Economy
An interactive map of global influence in Western energy plays
The Global West: how foreign investment fuels resource extraction in western states
The Global West: how foreign investment fuels resource extraction in western states
China's insatiable energy appetite is fueling a natural resource boom in the West.
Western elections wrap-up
Western elections wrap-up
High Country News examines the results of what everyone agrees was a "very weird election."
Washington: Tea Party limbo #2
A Tea Party loss ironically helps Republican Dino Rossi's effort to unseat Sen. Patty Murray, while conflicting ballot measures seek to raise taxes on wealthy people or choke off all potential tax hikes.
Oregon: Tea Party limbo
Oregon: Tea Party limbo
John Kitzhaber, champion of land-use planning, is running for governor again -- and the Tea Party has failed to draw much attention.
New Mexico: Wolves, wilderness, drilling and Latinos
Ultra-conservative anti-wolf Steve Pearce wants his old House seat back from Democratic oilman Harry Teague, and the next governor of New Mexico will be a woman.
Nevada: A hairy ride for Harry
Nevada: A hairy ride for Harry
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tries gun-play in his battle with Sharron Angle, and former poli-sci prof Dina Titus tries to keep her Nevada House seat out of Joe Heck's reach.
Colorado: The West's true swing state
Colorado: The West's true swing state
Colorado voters are almost evenly split between Republicans, Democrats and the nonaffiliated, including the Tea Party -- and a Salazar looks vulnerable.
California: Dope, eBay, pollution and moonbeams
California: Dope, eBay, pollution and moonbeams
California flashes back to the 1970s with campaigns to legalize marijuana and re-elect Jerry Brown as governor, while other key races are also sizzling hot.
Arizona: Obama's curse?
Arizona: Obama's curse?
When Obama plucked Janet Napolitano out of the governor's seat to run Homeland Security, he surrendered Arizona to the ultra-conservatives.
Lynch-mob politics
Lynch-mob politics
It's not the Old West -- it's our guide to this year's Western elections.
Some of the key players
Leonard Burch, Sam Maynes, Bob Zahradnik and John Jurrius have all helped the Southern Utes build their energy empire.
The Southern Utes' empire
Maps reveal the amount of land the tribe lost over the years -- and show how huge its current business empire had become.
The Ute Paradox
The Ute Paradox
The Southern Utes overcame poverty and oppression to become a wealthy and powerful tribe with nationwide energy holdings.
So long, Paonia
So long, Paonia
Jonathan Thompson, High Country News's former editor-in-chief, is moving to Germany with his family.
Culture of the Canyon
When the author ventures down the Colorado on a raft, he discovers a world of wonders -- and a little bit of himself.
Wilderness by committee
Wilderness by committee
Complicated deals are being made over wilderness protection in Colorado and in San Juan County, Utah.
High Country ...
Bandits?
On the river
A water battle, of the inflatable sort
The cyber-gasfield
"Pump It Up" on this social network!
More grousing
More grousing
The federal government says sage grouse deserve protection, but delays listing the birds under the Endangered Species Act.
Wheatpastin' the Rez
Turn up the volume and watch the street artist Jetsonorama at work.
When you carry your home with you, when are you home?
When you carry your home with you, when are you home?
The thousands of RVers who gather in Quartzsite, Ariz., every winter create in an impromptu community that might as well be in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
See you in Spring
See you in Spring
Skipped issue; Paonia's "Miracle of the Market"; Sam Hamilton's obituary
No ESA for sage grouse
Feds say iconic bird needs protection, but won't give it because of higher priorities
It's the population, stupid?
It's the population, stupid?
Some Westerners want to blame our environmental woes on overpopulation, but the problem is not that simple.
The trouble with monuments
An internally conflicted rant on Obama's "secret list." In two parts.
Thumbs up for Wyo's wind tax
It could put wind on par with fossil fuels in the nation's energy colony