Available Digital-Editions of High Country News

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Water Rights and Responsibilities January 01, 2022

Water Rights and Responsibilities

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In the first issue of 2022, you’ll meet some hardworking Westerners, from the Indigenous women determined to preserve New Mexico’s Rio Grande, to the Nevada gold miners employed by a mega-corporation that cares as little for its workers as it does for the land it bulldozes. In Puget Sound, the Swinomish Indian Community shows that eelgrass and aquaculture can coexist, while Wyoming wonders whether Natrium nuclear reactors can take the place of coal. We ask uncomfortable questions: Why did the National Park Service bury its own study on sexual harassment inside the agency? And will the “green energy revolution” stomp on Indigenous values the way the fossil fuel industry has? In California, there’s reason to doubt Big Ag’s insistence that expensive canal repairs will help marginalized communities. We’re still suffering from 2021’s extreme “weather whiplash.” Native Americans need a better platform than Facebook, and corporations should quit exploiting Indigenous sacred places. A new anthology, Evergreen, celebrates the Northwest, and HCN bids a fond farewell to Betsy Marston, whose final “Heard around the West” column rounds out this issue.

Visions of Wildness December 01, 2021

Visions of Wildness

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In our final issue of 2021, we dive into controversies, from the fight over putting a wind farm next to a Japanese American incarceration camp, to a report on how income inequality is transforming the West. Lack of housing makes life difficult for Jackson Hole-area workers, while an Indigenous activist questions how much Biden’s Bears Ears proclamation accomplished. Our features tackle two subjects that often divide HCN’s own readers: Wild horses and cattle ranching. On the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, Indigenous people wonder if wild horses and buffalo can coexist, and we learn about modern-day ranching’s crazy economics when a Washington rancher tries to cheat the big meatpackers and win. Was the Northwest’s summer heat dome a “stress test” for wildlife, or a massacre? There’s even some good news: Activists are unionizing the big environmental groups, we visualize a healthy Klamath River, and an Indigenous writer reclaims her culture’s relationship with fire, while Rick McIntyre tells an inspiring story in his book, The Redemption of Wolf 302.

The Radioactive Waste Next Door November 01, 2021

The Radioactive Waste Next Door

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This issue takes us into Western communities that are facing serious challenges. In White Mesa, Utah, the nation’s only active uranium mill wants to import radioactive waste from overseas over the fierce objections of its next-door neighbors, the Ute Mountain Utes. Meanwhile, in Shasta Vista, California, cannabis-growing Hmong Americans defied evacuation orders to fight wildfires because they don’t trust the hostile county they live in. Climate change threatens Hatch, New Mexico’s famous green chiles, as well as the snow that sustains Rocky Mountain ski towns (among other things). We look into why reducing methane emissions matters. Still, wildfire experts see reasons for hope, and some communities are coming together: When Alaska’s Yukon River saw dismal salmon runs, other Native villages helped feed hard-hit communities. Black and Native communities are discussing their complex relationship, and Chuck Sams might become the first Native American to lead the National Park Service. Finally, archaeologists are starting to realize that Indigenous people have been around longer than academics have, after all.

In The Graces of Grasses October 01, 2021

In The Graces of Grasses

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In this issue, Westerners struggle to cope with the effects of our nation’s politics and policies. Our feature story delves into how right-wing extremists, responding to pandemic recommendations, are causing public health officers to step down across the West. Meanwhile, families who can’t afford skyrocketing rents are camping year-round on public land and often finding it’s not easy. The sparks are flying between utility equipment and climate change. But there’s also good news: Oregon families are rebuilding houses — and lives — after last year’s fires, while St. Johns, Arizona, decided its at-risk youth needed a youth center more than juvenile detention. In north-central Montana, Aaniiih and Nakoda youth reclaim their heritage by restoring the prairie, while elsewhere in the state, volunteers remove fences that impede migrating wildlife. Jason Asenap reflects on the need for more Indigenous critics to discuss Indigenous films and TV series, and a Washington writer wonders if nature can mend the growing political fractures in her tiny community.

Where Wolves May Tread September 01, 2021

Where Wolves May Tread

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In this issue, we examine rivers from several angles: as wildlife corridors, as water supplies, and as waterways that sustain cultures as well as fish. Our feature takes us down the Upper Green River, trying to track a wolf pack; Colorado officially welcomes the predators, but wolves coming from Wyoming struggle to find refuge. We shine a spotlight on the Klamath River Basin, where the Klamath Tribes struggle to save endangered c’waam and koptu. The bonds between the river and the Yurok people cannot be broken, though some wonder whether salmon will survive until the dams come down. Meanwhile, the river the whole Southwest depends on — the Colorado — is rapidly disappearing. In other news, the Supreme Court makes voting harder for Indigenous people. We review Douglas Chadwick’s Four Fifths a Grizzly and Nawaaz Ahmed’s debut novel, Radiant Fugitives. And a young writer working for the Montana Conservation Corps learns that you don’t need to fall in love with a landscape in order to take good care of it.

A Mega-Dairy Comes to the Desert August 01, 2021

A Mega-Dairy Comes to the Desert

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Water, climate, habitat and humanity mingle in our August issue. The feature examines a Minnesota-based mega-dairy’s impacts on rural southeast Arizona, a region already suffering from a shrinking aquifer. In Washington, dams may doom the Skagit River’s imperiled salmon, unless a local tribe convinces regulators to remove them. In Montana, the Apsáalooke (Crow) Nation wants to restore the polluted Little Bighorn River, while in Alaska’s Yukon Flats, tribes worry about water and wildlife when a company with a history of environmental violations begins exploring for oil. Humans need habitat, too, and Tucson, Arizona, hopes to ease the housing crisis by building accessory dwelling units. This month’s Facts and Figures untangles the relationship between heat, drought and the power grid. We preview a breakthrough Indigenous TV series, “Reservation Dogs,” and review Alexandra Kleeman’s neo-noir climate thriller, “Something New Under the Sun.” Finally, we include Tope Folarin’s thoughtful essay about how his childhood memories encouraged his family’s tentative return to the outside world, post-COVID-19.

An Urban Greenspace Revolution July 01, 2021

An Urban Greenspace Revolution

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In our July feature Correspondent Leah Sottile shows how good plans go awry with her feature on how a locally supported rails-to-trails project in Yamhill County, Oregon, got derailed by politics. In Arizona, landscapes sacred to Indigenous people are sacrificed to mine valuable minerals. In California, a rural community has waited years for safe drinking water, while farther north, the drought-stricken Klamath River’s salmon are dying for lack of water. Meanwhile, lockdown-weary Americans are overusing — and often abusing — Western parks and public lands. But it’s not all bad news: Stella Kalinina’s photographs reveal industrial sites being turned into public green spaces. We also interview two women who organize farmworkers, and review “Fireline,” a podcast that takes a fresh take at wildfire, and a book, Lisa Wells’ “Believers,” about people determined to live good lives despite the reality of the climate crisis.

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