Items by Emily Benson

In the Southwest, ‘drought’ doesn’t tell the whole story
In the Southwest, ‘drought’ doesn’t tell the whole story
Why ‘aridification’ is a better term for our new, more parched reality.
Tribal nations hold some of the best water rights in the West
Tribal nations hold some of the best water rights in the West
But to use them, tribes often must negotiate settlements that need federal approval.
All (climate) politics is local
All (climate) politics is local
During a dry spring, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet visits rural Colorado to talk economics and agriculture.
A flurry of research illuminates snow’s foes
A flurry of research illuminates snow’s foes
New studies detail how hotter temperatures, humid air and wind-blown dust can pummel the Western snowpack.
HCN welcomes a few new faces
HCN welcomes a few new faces
Winter interns have arrived, as well as a new office mate.
Fight over household wells highlights rural growing pains
Fight over household wells highlights rural growing pains
Can Washington balance development with the needs of rivers, fish and water users?
The cyclone in the Great Salt Lake
The cyclone in the Great Salt Lake
An encyclopedia encapsulates a lasting earthwork of the 70s Land Movement.
A new venue and a bittersweet goodbye
A new venue and a bittersweet goodbye
A satellite office to open in Gunnison, and a staffer moves on.
What went wrong at Oroville?
What went wrong at Oroville?
Dam experts release a report on the California dam’s spillway vulnerabilities.
Ringing in the new year with an avalanche of mail
Ringing in the new year with an avalanche of mail
The holidays and a new year bring more subscriptions and visitors.
The ski resorts of the West
The ski resorts of the West
From Alaska to New Mexico, a new map offers a comprehensive look at where to shred.
‘Atmospheric rivers’ aid the West — and imperil it
‘Atmospheric rivers’ aid the West — and imperil it
Improved storm forecasts could help reservoir managers store more water while avoiding floods.
The tiny power plant that shapes the Colorado River — merely by existing
The tiny power plant that shapes the Colorado River — merely by existing
The Shoshone power plant is the cornerstone for water rights in the upper river.
2017 in natural disasters
2017 in natural disasters
From massive wildfires to melting ice, the calamities that affected the West this year.
Celebrating the season and ‘neighboring’ one another
Celebrating the season and ‘neighboring’ one another
Still no snow, but good times and a bittersweet farewell.
It’s not only trees — wildfires imperil water too
It’s not only trees — wildfires imperil water too
Sediment-choked watersheds and erosion could become more frequent as wildfire activity grows.
The geography of the Southwest, painted and illuminated
The geography of the Southwest, painted and illuminated
An artist of Kiowa and Caddo descent blends traditional and modern styles.
After Oroville, officials across the West review dam safety
After Oroville, officials across the West review dam safety
The California dam’s spillways are ready for rain as safety officials prepare for future catastrophes.
Comment period ending for sage grouse review
Comment period ending for sage grouse review
An Interior Department overhaul of collaborative protection plans could sacrifice birds for development.
High Country News visits Bears Ears
High Country News visits Bears Ears
Editorial takes a trip, our holiday party gets closer and welcome new staffers!
In Utah, public access to state lands comes at a cost
In Utah, public access to state lands comes at a cost
Public access to trust lands varies widely from state to state.
Watercolor habitats: An observation of light and color
Watercolor habitats: An observation of light and color
An artist portrays the greens of mountain lakes and oranges of sandstone arches.
California Westlands water settlement in limbo
California Westlands water settlement in limbo
The deal addresses toxic drainage but could fall apart without congressional action.
Portraits of the protectors of Yellowstone
Portraits of the protectors of Yellowstone
A collection of rangers, scientists and artists pose in a landscape they love.
Leaf-peepers aplenty, and welcome to a new staffer
Leaf-peepers aplenty, and welcome to a new staffer
Congratulations to staff members, old and new.
Interior sends mixed signals on California water project
Interior sends mixed signals on California water project
Without agency approval, the Delta tunnels deal can’t proceed — but conflicting statements make next steps uncertain.
A flood of drought news can reduce water use
A flood of drought news can reduce water use
Drought-stricken California conserved more when media coverage spiked.
As sediment builds, one dam faces its comeuppance
As sediment builds, one dam faces its comeuppance
Officials at a Colorado reservoir are reckoning with decades of accumulation.
One in 30 wells in the West failed in recent years
One in 30 wells in the West failed in recent years
New research shows just how many wells ran dry between 2013 and 2015.
Why a Colorado River reunion with the sea isn’t a guarantee
Why a Colorado River reunion with the sea isn’t a guarantee
To revive a desiccated ecosystem, a U.S.-Mexico agreement looks past ‘pulse flows.’
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