Feature stories

Browse High Country News feature stories

  • Mobile Nation

    Mobile Nation

    Every winter in Quartzsite, Ariz., tens of thousands of RVers form an impromptu community in the desert.

  • Inspired by nature

    Inspired by nature

    Three pioneering Western scientists and inventors use biomimicry to tackle environmental problems.

  • East to the West

    East to the West

    A writer contemplates where the West begins, both in the landscape and in his life.

  • Reefer politics

    Reefer politics

    The West leads the way on medical marijuana.

  • Failed State

    Failed State

    Photojournalist Julian Cardona on living and working in Mexico's war zone.

  • The smoke police

    The smoke police

    Simon Winer patrols the San Francisco Bay Area, sniffing out violators when poor air quality requires a ban on wood-smoke fires.

  • Charles Bowden on The War Next Door

    Charles Bowden on The War Next Door

    On the U.S.-Mexico border, the corrupt and futile War on Drugs takes a violent toll on the poorest people.

  • Down the wormhole

    Down the wormhole

    An obscure cave near Steamboat Springs, Colo., contains rare hydrogen sulfide-consuming worms that might hold a key to extraterrestrial life forms.

  • Water fallout

    Water fallout

    A nuclear power plant proposed for Green River, Utah, needs more water than might be available in this dry part of the world.

  • Skeletons in the closet

    Skeletons in the closet

    When the media reported that Everett Ruess' bones had been discovered, solving a 70-year-old mystery, Utah State Archaeologist Kevin Jones had his doubts.

  • The other Big One

    The other Big One

    What would happen if a killer storm like the one that walloped the West in 1862 hit California today?

  • Cross(border) winds

    Cross(border) winds

    Facing tough opposition in the Southern California desert, companies look to build renewable energy plants in Mexico.

  • Prodigal Dogs

    Prodigal Dogs

    Evidence suggests that wolves may have returned to Colorado, and they are here to stay.

  • Feinstein's Water Bomb

    Feinstein's Water Bomb

    A rider to the jobs bill could free up water for California farms—and blow up hope for balance in the future of the state’s water politics

  • The squeal of silence

    The squeal of silence

    Time spent alone in a cabin in the wild reminds a writer that silence is more than the absence of noise.

  • Supreme beings

    Supreme beings

    The Supreme Court's precedent-overturning ruling allowing more corporate money in politics raises the possibility that it plans to tackle the Commerce Clause next.

  • The Forgotten Mesa

    The Forgotten Mesa

    Without basic services, life on Pajarito Mesa is all about surviving.

  • Dangerous game

    Dangerous game

    Western game wardens are hampered by huge territories, increased responsibilities and continuing budget cuts.

  • The Shot Heard Round the West

    The Shot Heard Round the West

    Twenty years after the SouthWest Organizing Project accused conservation groups of ignoring environmental justice, diversity in the movement remains elusive.

  • The easy way to purify our geography

    The easy way to purify our geography

    We can't change the names of places that were named for scoundrels, but we can change their namesakes.