Available Digital-Editions of High Country News
This issue’s cover story takes us into towering plumes of smoke to follow the work of researchers. New studies are uncovering how intense wildfires create their own weather and move across the land — knowledge that could save lives. It's a reminder of stake: If President Donald Trump’s budget cuts hobble that research, it will harm, not strengthen, the West’s security. Plus, the growing voice of sportsmen, communities protecting immigrants, and a public-lands love affair.
The Tree Ring
In our latest issue, we take a look back on our political history: In 1983, Reagan’s pick to head the environmental Protection agency, Anne Gorsuch, led the charge to slash her own agency’s budget and relax pollution standards. Scott Pruitt, the Trump administration’s new EPA administrator, has staked out an eerily similar path. In our cover story, a Washington man at the center of a timber-poaching gang wanted to help investigators — but he probably didn't think it would backfire and lead to an investigation that would land him in jail.
In this year's Travel Issue, we have tried to push deep into the unexpected, or even uncomfortable, corners of the West. These are not vacation stories, necessarily. But they are travel stories. They are as much inner journeys as outer, all prompted by the unique features of our great region, places often forgotten or ignored.
In this issue, we investigate how the tentacles of a national opioid and heroin epidemic have reached the rural West. To help tell that story, Assistant Editor Paige Blankenbuehler reported in tiny Craig, Colorado, where she uncovered a private practice that spurred a complicated drug crisis that continues to outpace the available resources for addicts, the health care community and law enforcement.
River of Healing
As a new administration begins to overhaul U.S. regulatory system, we take a deeper look at the meaning of wilderness. Florence Williams, in our cover feature, tags along on an Idaho outing along a "River of No Return." The experience proved transformative for many of the women, damaged by the war, who found solace in nature.
For Which it Stands
How the movement at Standing Rock and its protestors' efforts extended well beyond North Dakota. While the pipeline is stalled (for now), its impacts are planting seeds, however small, within social and environmental movements and for tribal sovereignty across the country.
Obama and the West
In our last issue of the year, we reflect on the presidency of Barack Obama and the stamp he's left on the West. Despite his inclination toward compromise and incremental progress, Obama may well be remembered as the first leader to seriously address the foremost environmental issue of our time: climate change.