Magazine
The Pioneer of Ruin
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September 17, 2018

The idea of home plays a major role in this issue. Our feature examines the struggles and triumphs of one woman building a life in a hardscrabble corner of the Utah desert, while another story profiles a community whose members have taken it upon themselves to fight the fires threatening their homes. This issue also digs into one family’s unlikely turn toward hemp to save their ranch, and an opera giving voice to people who lived downwind of the 1945 Trinity atomic bomb test.

Feature

The pioneer of ruin
The pioneer of ruin
Amid a desolate mess in Cisco, Utah, a young woman resurrects a home.

Editor's Note

In a desolate place, will a modern pioneer last?
In a desolate place, will a modern pioneer last?
There are many ways a determined outsider can transform a place.

Current

As the West burns, a town fields its own amateur firefighters
As the West burns, a town fields its own amateur firefighters
The community of Dufur, Oregon, bands together to douse the flames.
The West’s atomic past, in opera halls
The West’s atomic past, in opera halls
On stage and in Congress, Trinity test downwinders fight for recognition.
Republicans tout hemp’s potential
Republicans tout hemp’s potential
The crop could be a lifeline for struggling agricultural communities.
Latest: Forest Service report calls for changes in wildfire management
Latest: Forest Service report calls for changes in wildfire management
Increases in timber sales, prescribed burns and thinning projects are needed to save life and property.
Latest: County campaign promotes monuments on the chopping block
Latest: County campaign promotes monuments on the chopping block
San Juan County says ‘Make it Monumental’ while asking for exemption from the Antiquities Act.

Essays

Relittering: Take your trash and show it in the sun
Relittering: Take your trash and show it in the sun
Philosophy teaches us little more than how to confuse our settled opinions.

Book Reviews

How Native filmmakers are restoring cinematic narratives
How Native filmmakers are restoring cinematic narratives
Indigenous film festivals showcase Native stories, but more support is needed to reach mainstream audiences.
Photos: Above a Western waste land
Photos: Above a Western waste land
A photo collection of 67 Superfund sites shows landscapes vandalized by mines and nuclear plants.
An end of the line for the kings of the Yukon?
An end of the line for the kings of the Yukon?
A writer visits Alaska and finds a fishing culture in slow collapse, fading with its most important resource.

Writers on the Range

We should all be more like ‘the bluebird man’
We should all be more like ‘the bluebird man’
Meet Al Larsen, a citizen scientist with decades of meticulous records of the West’s bluebirds.

Heard Around the West

A toilet project; carpet-bombing trout; the ick factor
A toilet project; carpet-bombing trout; the ick factor
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

A dispersed staff and a tied knot
A dispersed staff and a tied knot
Editorial staffers relocate, HCN receives an award and an editor gets married!

Letters

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