Items by Paige Blankenbuehler

Biden pledged to stop drilling on public lands. What happened?
Biden pledged to stop drilling on public lands. What happened?
The president reversed a key part of his agenda that was intended to combat the climate crisis.
‘A ticking time bomb for a mass die-off’
‘A ticking time bomb for a mass die-off’
Recent grazing decisions continue to risk Southwest Colorado’s bighorns.
Why have gray wolves failed to gain a foothold in Colorado?
Why have gray wolves failed to gain a foothold in Colorado?
The Green River Corridor, a pathway from Wyoming to Colorado, highlights the political and physical barriers wolves face.
Second-graders take on Colorado’s wolf reintroduction
Second-graders take on Colorado’s wolf reintroduction
‘Wolves are AMAAAAZING! Because they help the ecosystem and are amazing.’
New Mexico judge revokes protected lands for jaguars
New Mexico judge revokes protected lands for jaguars
Conservation groups vow to fight the ruling to help the cats reclaim their historic habitat.
A little fish that’s mighty as a mountain
A little fish that’s mighty as a mountain
Pupfish Peak in Nevada’s Amargosa Valley is named for the endangered Devils Hole pupfish.
Energy dominance or climate action: Trump, Biden and the fate of public lands
Energy dominance or climate action: Trump, Biden and the fate of public lands
In Grand Junction, Colorado, the presidential election is a choice between two distinct energy futures.
Trump’s new NEPA is faster and narrower
Trump’s new NEPA is faster and narrower
Land agencies have less time — and get less public scrutiny — to issue environmental assessments.
Contested domestic sheep allotment in Colorado retired
Contested domestic sheep allotment in Colorado retired
Rancher J. Paul Brown gives up his permit near the Weminuche Wilderness to protect vulnerable bighorn sheep populations.
Technology has complicated our relationship to winter
Technology has complicated our relationship to winter
In this increasingly digitized West, who is shut out?
Art and journalism combine to create a more empathetic West
Art and journalism combine to create a more empathetic West
Writer-editor-illustrator Sarah Gilman talks about her latest project for High Country News.
The West needs more effective political coverage
The West needs more effective political coverage
Retrospective storytelling captures the nuance of our systems to better inform us as we enter election season.
Poor oversight comes back to haunt us
Poor oversight comes back to haunt us
Two investigations reveal federal agencies are too lax on bad actors.
The corrupting influence of power
The corrupting influence of power
It’s more important than ever to pursue accountability.
The latest from our hologram portal
The latest from our hologram portal
We speculate updates to stories and the readers who speak out in 2068.
Last Resort West experiences mayhem on the mountain
Last Resort West experiences mayhem on the mountain
In 2068, the Lower 48’s last ski resort deputized soldier flies to manage human feces. The plan backfired.
Close encounters with the bear kind
Close encounters with the bear kind
The very places that attract visitors and newcomers for their proximity to wildlife grapple with a spike in bear-human incidents.
Death, life and friendship in the rural West
Death, life and friendship in the rural West
Rural communities can find solace in one another.
See where PFAS pollution has been confirmed in the West
See where PFAS pollution has been confirmed in the West
Western states lag behind in both monitoring and regulating the class of ‘forever chemicals.’
The ecosexual movement is attracting new people to environmentalism
The ecosexual movement is attracting new people to environmentalism
‘Pollen-amorous’ leaders host marriages to the Earth in Sin City.
How a tiny endangered species put a man in prison
How a tiny endangered species put a man in prison
The Devils Hole pupfish is nothing to mess with.
Russian investors are keen on Nevada’s copper
Russian investors are keen on Nevada’s copper
Demand for clean cars is causing an uptick in copper mining in the West, but at what cost?
The Forrest Fenn treasure has been found
The Forrest Fenn treasure has been found
The discovery was made after a Colorado avalanche swept the stash onto a roadway.
‘Things are not going to get better for a long time’
‘Things are not going to get better for a long time’
PG&E’s bankruptcy complicates an already difficult recovery for Camp Fire survivors.
What happened with your insurance after wildfire?
What happened with your insurance after wildfire?
Help us investigate the opaque wildfire insurance industry by sharing your experience.
How best to share the disappearing Colorado River
How best to share the disappearing Colorado River
Seven Western states must rewrite the rules of the river and cut water use — before they bleed the critical artery dry.
Rep. Raúl Grijalva intends to force a reckoning with climate change
Rep. Raúl Grijalva intends to force a reckoning with climate change
A Democratic spitfire takes the helm of the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Inside Colorado’s ‘hotbed’ of wildlife conflict
Inside Colorado’s ‘hotbed’ of wildlife conflict
Documents show flawed management leads to unnecessary killings of bighorn sheep.
Arizona delays the Colorado River drought agreement
Arizona delays the Colorado River drought agreement
Interests of a few hundred farmers are contributing to postponements in basin-wide plan.
Wildfires don’t hurt hot real estate markets
Wildfires don’t hurt hot real estate markets
Our love for nature causes more homes to be built in the path of destructive wildfires and leads to more blazes.
High Country News Classifieds
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