Magazine
The Big Swing
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June 12, 2017

In this issue, we examine the subtleties of Western politics by trying to understand why one Colorado county swung from blue to red in the last election. The county has long been Democratic, with roots in coal production and unions, yet voters in Walsenburg lost faith in professional politicians and voted for now-President Donald Trump. Also, Wyoming considers its wilderness study areas, new studies show the West's water supplies are dwindling, and urban families fight health-harming heat.

Feature

The Big Swing: Why a blue Colorado county voted for Trump
The Big Swing: Why a blue Colorado county voted for Trump
How a wave of retirees and a changed economic landscape reshaped rural politics.

Editor's Note

Our ‘Montana moment’
Our ‘Montana moment’
Perspective on polarized politics in the West.

Current

Climate change is shrinking the West’s water supply
Climate change is shrinking the West’s water supply
Three new studies show dry times ahead.
Can Wyoming learn from Utah’s public-land mistakes?
Can Wyoming learn from Utah’s public-land mistakes?
If the initiative is successful, it could be a model for other states.
Latest: Washington to restore salmon habitat blocked by culverts
Latest: Settlement resurrects Alaska’s Pebble Mine
Latest: Settlement resurrects Alaska’s Pebble Mine
Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the project must pass muster for salmon.
Eight lawmakers whose bills attack public lands
Eight lawmakers whose bills attack public lands
Who are the Westerners behind bills meant to weaken federal protections of land?
Native Lives Matter; Elk slaughter; Labor union movement
Native Lives Matter; Elk slaughter; Labor union movement
HCN.org news in brief.
The danger of urban ‘heat islands’
The danger of urban ‘heat islands’
How built-up cities and higher temperatures threaten human health.

Essays

Big Dan, a couple of beers and thousands of honeybees
Big Dan, a couple of beers and thousands of honeybees
A tale of removing a bee infestation.

Book Reviews

See the bay ‘where water is gold’
See the bay ‘where water is gold’
Photos by Carl Johnson illustrate the cost of building the Pebble Mine in Alaska.
Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, revisited
Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, revisited
A new book examines six decades of transformation in Monterey, California.

Writers on the Range

‘This Glock belongs to a friend’
‘This Glock belongs to a friend’
What’s the protocol for holding onto a depressed person’s gun?

Heard Around the West

Hooligan Island; Tree-hoppers in Joshua Tree; Kanye for president?
Hooligan Island; Tree-hoppers in Joshua Tree; Kanye for president?
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

Reading the old-fashioned way
Reading the old-fashioned way
Warmer weather brings visitors to High Country News.

Letters

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