Items by Adam Burke

Radio: Spice for the ears
Hearing Voices, a collective of independent radio producers, is working to add spice to public broadcasting
The Public Lands' Big Cash Crop
Elaborate marijuana gardens, created and managed by Mexican drug lords, are turning California’s public lands into a dangerous, illegal, industrial-style landscape
Keepers of the Flame
Black Range District Fire Manager Toby Richards is returning fire to its natural place on New Mexico’s Gila National Forest – and leading the charge for Fire Use in the West.
As fire season ignites, Smokey Bear's legacy lingers
Land managers have been talking about letting more wildfires burn, but the recent blowup of the Peppin Fire near Capitan, N.M. – home of Smokey Bear – leads to renewed talk of aggressive fire suppression
A native son of Oregon writes of heartbreak, determination
Writer David James Duncan talks about his "insane passion for rivers" and the broken hearts of Westerners
The Northwest’s diehard diplomat
Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber talks about resolving political conflict in the West – and in the world
'Horse Whisperer' wins a round in natural gas fight
Montana rancher Buck Brannaman talks about the fight he and his wife, Mary, have been waging to protect their land from exploitation by an energy company
Fish farms challenge our commitment to the wild
The spread of farmed Atlantic salmon along the coast of British Columbia may impact more than native salmon and local communities; it could also harm our commitment to saving endangered species and their habitat
Author says we'll 'match the scenery' whether we like it or not
In Soul of Nowhere, writer Craig Childs explores the rugged canyons of the southwest and the ruins left behind by past civilizations that did their best to "match the scenery" yet still perished.
Wind power in the West gains speed
Colorado writer Alex Merkels talks about the revolution in wind power now sweeping over the West.
Sherman Alexie in his own words
Writer Sherman Alexie talks about Hollywood, tokenism and being an Indian.
The big show with braids
Not surprisingly, Alexie's new release, The Business of Fancydancing, explodes our preconceptions about race, sexuality and artistry.
Land board says, 'Look before you lease'
The rush to develop methane on Wyoming's public lands hits a speed bump as the Department of Interior Board of Land Appeals agrees with environmental groups that the BLM used inadequate studies when issuing leases for coalbed-methane drilling.
Energy boom's forward guard stalls out in Utah ... for now
Developing energy at any cost appears to be the Bush administration's strategy as they send "thumper trucks" into southern Utah to carry out seismic detection of oil deposits.
Lessons for the Colorado
On river trips, Richard Ingebretsen of the Glen Canyon Institute talks about Lake Powell and introduces people to the idea of removing Glen Canyon Dam and resurrecting the Colorado River's drowned canyons.
'Hydro(power) had no friends'
In his own words, Orville Campbell, who spent 30 years working for the companies that own the Elwha dams, talks about the movement to take down those dams.
The revival of a river people
Robert Lundahl's new film, "Unconquering the Last Frontier," explores the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe's history with Washington's Elwha River and its salmon.
River of dreams
For 30 years, activists have been working to remove two dams and restore salmon runs on Washington's Elwha River, and now the goal is in sight - if the money comes through from Congress.
Dear Friends
"Divided waters" lead story; Sandy Tolan's radio advice; reader feedback; HCN business folk; congratulations to Chip Giller and correction.
One dam, two rallies
While anti-dam activists hold lively rallies calling for the demolition of Glen Canyon Dam, the pro-dam group Friends of Lake Powell stages rallies of its own, defending the reservoir and the local economy based on it.
Babbitt's wish list grows
On a recent Colorado visit, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt discusses possible land-protection measures for Black Ridge, outside of Grand Junction, and for 150,000 acres of archaeologically rich land near Cortez, Colo.
Cattlemen make use of a conservation tool
The Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust is helping ranchers such as Brett Redden of Gunnison use conservation easements to save their land from developers.
Mountain to get a facelift
Pressured by a Sierra Club lawsuit, the city of Colorado Springs has agreed to clean up streams and wetlands degraded by the city-operated toll road up Pikes Peak.
Does a wilderness bill include a driveway?
Critics say that Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard's Spanish Peaks wilderness bill leaves a road unprotected - a "cherry stem" - that will benefit developer Tom Chapman, who owns a mining claim at the end of it.
Counties put a bounty on coyotes
In southeast Colorado, Baca and Prowers counties put a bounty on coyotes - $7.50 for each pair of coyote ears.
High Country News Classifieds
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Western Colorado Alliance for Community Action is seeking two full time community organizers to join our team. Positions can be based in Garfield County, Montrose...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Join our team as the Association's Executive Director. Working closely with the Board of Directors, take ANWS to the next level of professionalism by managing...
  • FRIENDS OF CEDAR MESA DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Friends of Cedar Mesa is hiring a Development Director who will have the overall responsibilities of leading our fundraising programs and reports directly to our...
  • WATER RIGHTS/ADJUDICATION BUREAU CHIEF
    Job Overview: Working to support and implement the Department's mission to help ensure that Montana's land and water resources provide benefits for present and future...
  • CLIMATE CHANGE COORDINATOR
    The Greater Yellowstone Coalition is seeking a Climate Change Coordinator to play a lead role in shaping our programs to make the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Executive Director Position Announcement POSITION TITLE: Executive Director ORGANIZATION: Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument REPORTING TO: Board of Directors EMPLOYMENT TYPE: Part-time - Full-time, based...
  • HEALTHY CITIES PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Healthy Cities Program Director leads and manages the Healthy Cities Program for the Arizona Chapter and is responsible for developing and implementing innovative, high...
  • CONSERVATION PROGRAM MANAGER
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Conservation Programs Manager Job Opening Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Associate Director Job Posting Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through science,...
  • UNIQUE, ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOME ON ACREAGE NEAR MOSCOW, IDAHO
    Custom-built energy-efficient 3000 sqft two-story 3BR home, 900 sqft 1 BR accessory cottage above 2-car garage and large shop. Large horse barn. $1,200,000. See online...
  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURE BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures (MOLA) - established and profitable outdoor adventure & education business in Missoula, Montana. Summer camp, raft & climb guide, teen travel,...
  • OJO SARCO FARM/HOME
    A wonderful country setting for a farm/work 1350s.f. frame home plus 1000 studio/workshop. 5 acres w fruit trees, an irrigation well, pasture and a small...
  • STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    Join Skagit Land Trust (the Trust), a not-for-profit conservation organization based in Mount Vernon, Washington, and help protect land for people and wildlife. Skagit Land...
  • 2022 SEASONAL SCIENCE EDUCATOR
    The Mount St. Helens Institute Science Educator supports our science education and rental programs including day and overnight programs for youth ages 6-18, their families...
  • POLICY DIRECTOR
    Heart of the Rockies Initiative is seeking a Policy Director to lead and define policy efforts to advance our mission to keep working lands and...
  • CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
    Self-Help Enterprises seeks an experienced and strategic CFO
  • CONSERVATION SPECIALIST - LAND PROTECTION FOCUS
    View full job description and how to apply at
  • RIVER EDUCATOR & GUIDE
    River Educator & Guide River Educator & Guide (Trip Leader) Non-exempt, Seasonal Position: Full-time OR part-time (early April through October; may be flexible with start/end...
  • LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    The Land and Water Conservation Director is a full-time salaried position with the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, CO. The successful candidate will have...
  • FOOD SYSTEMS ENVIRONMENTAL FELLOWSHIP
    If you were to design a sustainable society from the ground up, it would look nothing like the contemporary United States. But what would it...