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High Country News November 28, 2011

Feature

Farm incubators help would-be farmers succeed on their own

Viva Farms is a "farm incubator" in Washington's Skagit Valley that helps aspiring cash-poor farmers like Nelida Martinez start and successfully operate their own businesses.

A citizen activist forces New Mexico's dairies to clean up their act

When a giant dairy proposed building near Jerry Nivens' beloved New Mexico home, the chain-smoking Texas hermit became an activist who organized other locals to fight the industry.

Can an old mine become a work of art?

The old Ute-Ule mine site outside Lake City, Colo., is under scrutiny by the Hardrock Revision Team, which wants to clean up the mine and yet preserve it as a living and historic work of art.

Current

The Southwest's population and housing booms bite the dust

As the West's population and real estate boom stumble to a halt, the once fast-growing Southwest is filled with foreclosed homes and undeveloped lots.

Western game wardens go after poachers

Overstretched game wardens like Colorado's Tom Knowles rely on tips from hotline informants to catch elusive poachers.

California's high-speed rail is slow to gain speed

The U.S. continues to trail the rest of the world in high-speed rail development, as California's long-planned bullet train is delayed yet again.

Editor's Note

Aspiring farmers find creative ways to succeed

Sarahlee Lawrence and Amy Ridout are part of a wave of young farmers determined to remake the American food system.

Dear Friends

And now, a message from our sponsors ...

High Country News publishes Green Gift Guide; HCN has some delivery problems, but Becca Clarren's baby delivery goes perfectly; late fall visitors; "Possessing the Wild" missed some lines; and corrections.

Uncommon Westerners

Hersh Saunders' transformation from prosthodontist to kosher slaughterer

Frustrated by the difficulty of finding kosher meat from humanely raised animals, Rabbi Hersh Saunders began raising livestock and learned to butcher in the ritual way as a shochet.

Book Reviews

Dealt a bad hand: A review of Doc

Mary Doria Russell brings the real-life historical character Doc Holliday to imaginative life in her novel, Doc, which focuses on the time he spent working as a tubercular dentist in Dodge City, Kan., long before the OK Corral.

An unexpected L.A. story: A review of The Barbarian Nurseries

Héctor Tobar's ferocious new novel, The Barbarian Nurseries, stars a Mexican housekeeper who works for a dysfunctional family and accidentally gets caught up in the national fury over illegal immigration.

Essays

Fighting the wind on a Montana camping trip

If you want to be driven crazy by the wind, try canoeing and camping on Montana's Marias River.

Perspective

The burial of Elouise Cobell

A woman warrior for the Blackfeet Nation, Elouise Cobell is laid to rest just as the landmark class-action lawsuit she led on behalf of Indian trust funds is finally settled.

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