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Identity Politics, Montana Style
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September 3, 2012

Is Senate candidate Denny Rehberg of Montana really who he says he is? Also, looking into refinery safety, air pollution around gas fields, a closer examination of federal land swaps, and more.

Feature

Who is Denny Rehberg, really?
Who is Denny Rehberg, really?
Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg has exploited his family's long Montana history to get where he is today, but his current campaign for Democrat Jon Tester's Senate seat is raising questions about his record and that history.

Editor's Note

For Western politicians, roots matter
In the rural West, how deep a candidate's family roots go -- how long they've lived in the area -- sometimes matters more than his or her experience or political opinions.

Current

The Bay Area Chevron explosion shows gaps in refinery safety
The Bay Area Chevron explosion shows gaps in refinery safety
Oil refineries pose serious health hazards for nearby residents as well as workers, as the recent explosion in Richmond and other incidents, like one in Sinclair, Wyo., have made clear.
(Don't) Let it burn
(Don't) Let it burn
A "temporary" policy change requires Forest Service firefighters to put out fires they might have let burn in previous years, for fear of them raging out of control.
In rural California, a Liberian family finds an agricultural refuge
In rural California, a Liberian family finds an agricultural refuge
Guinda, California is home to an unusual multi-ethnic community with a rich African-American farming tradition.
Watching land swaps in Idaho and the West
Watching land swaps in Idaho and the West
Federal land exchanges have come under increased scrutiny over the past decade, both from citizen activists and the Government Accountability Office.
Cracking the ozone code in Utah's gas fields
Cracking the ozone code in Utah's gas fields
Can gas drilling and clean air co-exist?

Essays

Gathering strength from the Continental Divide
Gathering strength from the Continental Divide
A summer in the Rocky Mountains helps a child learn to stand up against the bullies in her life.

Book Reviews

Book note: Valley of Shadows and Dreams
Book note: Valley of Shadows and Dreams
Melanie Light's thoughtful essays, accompanied by the evocative black-and-white photographs of her husband, Ken Light, portray a dark and yet hauntingly beautiful California in Valley of Shadows and Dreams.
Return to innocence: A review of Queen of America
Return to innocence: A review of Queen of America
In Luis Alberto Urrea's sequel to The Hummingbird's Daughter, the author continues his imagined story of his legendary Great-aunt Teresita, who was known as the Saint of Cabora.
A parent lost and found: A review of Descanso for My Father: Fragments of a Life
A parent lost and found: A review of Descanso for My Father: Fragments of a Life
Harrrison Candelaria Fletcher tries to trace his family history -- particularly the life of his father, who died when he was almost two, in his new book.

Dear Friends

High Country News hires an associate designer
High Country News hires an associate designer
HCN welcomes Andy Cullen, our new associate designer; more late-summer visitors come to Paonia.

Letters

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