Items by Jonathan Thompson

Primer 6: Immigration
Our policies are schizophrenic.
Unlikely alliance?
In most of the West’s complicated environmental problems, so-called “unlikely alliances” between greens and their opposite numbers are really not that unlikely after all.
Uber Recycling
Garry and Diann Fulks have been recycling large metal objects for 35 years at their scrap yard in Montrose, Colo.
Uranium: It’s worse than you think
Westerners in towns like Durango, Colo., and Monticello, Utah, have been exposed to mine tailings for years, unaware that uranium might be even more dangerous than scientists used to believe.
The West’s wacky weather
The West’s weather is full of surprises this spring, with snowstorms, windstorms, rain and wildfires all happening at the same time.
CRASH?
Just as western Colorado towns like Rifle have begun a new life as thriving “amenity” economies, an energy boom of unprecedented proportions has taken over the landscape.
Leave it alone
Archaeology is, or at least ought to be, about more than just picking up artifacts to gather dust on the shelves of crowded museum storerooms.
Breaking the silence of suicide
It may seem like a considerable departure for High Country News to write about mental illness and suicide, but as Ray Ring’s deeply personal lead story shows, both tragedies are rooted in the West.
The elephant that was left out of the room …
Indian tribes were left out of the negotiations that divvied up the Colorado River in 1922, but it’s no longer possible to ignore them – particularly in the case of the Navajo Nation.
Two weeks in the West
Quagga mussels hit the jackpot in Nevada; Lakes Mead and Powell are in trouble; lots and lots and lots of snow – and a few ambitious ski resorts; and Colorado is building a vegetated overpass for wildlife on I-70.
Lakeside City
Fiction: A child's road trip to the Salton Sea
Men with boots
The transformation of once-scrappy mining towns like Silverton, Colo., and Superior, Ariz., into trendy tourist havens is bound to leave the locals with mixed feelings and some nostalgia.
Reluctant Boomtown
A copper-mining company is courting Superior, Ariz., but the former mining town – now re-inventing itself as a modest tourist haven – is unsure whether it really wants a new marriage with extractive industry.
Primer 1: Politics
Something deeper than party lines is at work in Western politics.
An energy oasis in the political desert
The Interior West’s growing political voice – and its status as the nation’s energy supplier – mean presidential candidates need to see the region as more than campaign flyover country.
Two weeks in the West
Greater sage grouse gets another shot at protection; Colorado River water users ratify new plan; news from around the West; a high-tech “virtual fence” on the U.S.-Mexico border runs into problems.
Canis fiasco
A chaotic effort to restore Mexican wolves in New Mexico and a problem with too many elk in Colorado are two facets of the same problem: Our propensity to manage nature in very unnatural ways.
Two weeks in the West
Two weeks in the very arid West means dry ski slopes, destructive wildfires, unending drought and unhappy bears; timber mills are victims of housing collapse; costs of carbon dioxide and its removal.
Coal’s other mess
Even as the air over power plants clears, the coal combustion waste on the ground gets worse – and the EPA seems disinclined to deal with the problem.
Ashes to houses
One of coal's big messes is transformed into building blocks
Coming to a farm near you: Los Angeles
In this issue of High Country News, Matt Jenkins dives into the murky world of L.A.’s water system
Exploring the shrinking marvel of Lake Powell
Jonathan Thompson kayaks Lake Powell and finds it drastically changed – and shrunken – from the “Lake Foul” he first visited 20 years ago.
Two weeks in the West
California’s continuing water troubles; saving water for the Delta smelt; New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici to retire; Idaho grizzly shot; polygamous community in the spotlight; Vegas goes a glitzy shade of green.
Two weeks in the West
Wilderness bills are coming back to life, especially one that would protect Arizona’s Tumacacori Highlands; a lot of things besides windmills are killing birds.
Two weeks in the West
Health insurance – and the lack of it – in the West; Larry Craig, Burning Man, and parts of Montana go up in flames; Wyoming booms and house prices are up, but the kids are still leaving in droves; new Border Patrol duds debut.
Red Mountain miracle
In southern Colorado, conservation groups find a way to save 9,000 high-altitude acres from second-home development.
Two weeks in the West
Coal-mining is always a dangerous business; wild horse problems in Nevada; biofuel boondoggle?; and biofuel bio the numbers.
Heard Around the West
Santa Fe coyotes replaced by mountain lions; cat problems in Colorado; bunny restraining order in Oregon; dead snakes bite back; mysterious things in a dead bird’s tummy.
Gunning with the in-laws
Jonathan Thompson learns to love guns – and to fear them even more than he did before.
The new land rush
In the Rocky Mountain West, old mining claims are suddenly the newest real estate hot spots.
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