Magazine
Critical Mass
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Current Issue

December 10, 2018

The future of nuclear power is more uncertain than ever, so this issue includes two features that examine the forbidden power--its legacy and its possibilities. Meanwhile, we look at tunnels underneath the border wall; investigation errors for missing and murdered Indigenous women; a wayward pocket of Alaska yellow cedars; an interview with Democratic Rep. Raúl Grijalva, the soon-to-be majority head for the House Committee on Natural Resources; and more.

Feature

Is nuclear energy the key to saving the planet?
Is nuclear energy the key to saving the planet?
A new generation of environmentalists is learning to stop worrying and love atomic power.
There’s no easy fix for our nuclear past
There’s no easy fix for our nuclear past
At Washington’s Hanford nuclear site, failing infrastructure and make-do plans as the West prepares for a new round of radioactivity.

Current

In Oregon, a mysterious tree grove conjures a colder time
In Oregon, a mysterious tree grove conjures a colder time
Yellow cedars are suited to damp coastal Alaska. So what are they doing in the desert?
Rep. Raúl Grijalva intends to force a reckoning with climate change
Rep. Raúl Grijalva intends to force a reckoning with climate change
A Democratic spitfire takes the helm of the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Study of missing and murdered Indigenous women highlights police data failures
Study of missing and murdered Indigenous women highlights police data failures
Poor data collection by law enforcement creates a significant hurdle to understanding the crisis.
As the border wall grows, smuggling tunnels proliferate
As the border wall grows, smuggling tunnels proliferate
The Trump administration is ignoring a big question: How do you secure a border below ground?
Latest: BLM abandons plan to surgically sterilize wild horses
Latest: BLM abandons plan to surgically sterilize wild horses
The agency will focus on increasing adoption of horses and research other methods.
Latest: Top National Park Service climate official resigns
Latest: Top National Park Service climate official resigns
Marcy Rockman cites pressure from agency.

Editor's Note

Nuclear’s long odds
Nuclear’s long odds
Climate change is here, but nuclear power as a solution faces economical and historical challenges.

Essays

The arresting quiet of a crane migration in Washington
The arresting quiet of a crane migration in Washington
Sandhill cranes, cattle and the surprising benefits of their coexistence in the West.

Perspective

Is sporting a Patagonia fleece a political statement?
Is sporting a Patagonia fleece a political statement?
A reporter ponders the message the logo of an increasingly political company sends.

Book Reviews

Photos: the Borderlands free from stereotypes
Photos: the Borderlands free from stereotypes
Experience the banalities, triumphs and fragility of life on the U.S. - Mexican border.
Looking for love in all the wrong places
Looking for love in all the wrong places
A quest for connection unites a new collection of Western stories.

Heard Around the West

Batsh*t bafflegab?; Flatearthers not on a ball; Trolling the troll
Batsh*t bafflegab?; Flatearthers not on a ball; Trolling the troll
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

A most welcome winter
A most welcome winter
Former editorial fellows receive recognition, and fact-checking curious visitors swing through the office.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
    This newly created position with The Nature Conservancy's Colorado River Program will play a key role in the development and implementation of strategies to achieve...
  • PROGRAM OFFICER, INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES, NOVO FOUNDATION
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  • ARMY OF THE DOG
    A new generation of monkey wrenchers hits the Front Range?
  • ANNIE CLARK TANNER FELLOWSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES
    The Tanner Humanities Center and the Environmental Humanities Program of the University of Utah seek an environmental writer to offer classes in Utahs Environmental Humanities...
  • ALASKA STATE DIRECTOR
    The Wilderness Society works to protect Wildlands and inspire Americans to care for our public lands. We seek to hire a strategic, experienced leader who...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Idaho Conservation League (ICL) seeks an individual to lead this 45-year-old organization as executive director, to carry on ICLs work as Idahos leading voice...
  • IDAHO RIVERFRONT:
    2+ acres, 400+ feet on Snake River, 2800 sf residence, NWF-certified wildlife habitat, excellent hunting, fishing, birdwatching, stargazing, sunsets & panoramic views. In the heart...
  • WILDEARTH GUARDIANS IS EXPANDING - THREE JOB OPENINGS
    Guardians is expanding and looking for a few great people to join us in protecting and restoring the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health...
  • SUNNYSIDE MARKET SEEKS NEW PROPRIETOR
    Organic grocery/cafe at Glacier Bay needs a vibrant leader. Love good food, community, and Alaska? Join us!
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    Ouray County, Colorado, a popular tourist destination, has dramatic mountains and amazing winter ice climbing. Challenging terrain and high altitude can push visitors to their...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM ASSOCIATE - TAHOE AREA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Associate-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM COORDINATOR - TAHOE AREA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Coordinator-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM MANAGER - TAHOE AREA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Manager-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM ASSOCIATE, SOUTHERN CA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Associate-Southern CA. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • THE BOOK OF BARLEY -
    Collector's Item! The story of barley, the field crop. 50 years of non-fiction research. www.barleybook.com
  • TEMPORARY ASSISTANT EDITOR
    Are you a climber and a writer who is passionate about mountain literature? Do you love searching through old alpine journals for stories of esoteric...
  • OWN YOUR OWN CANYON - 1400 SF STRAW-BALE ECO-HOME ON 80 ACRES - 3 HOURS FROM L.A.
    1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • GRASSROOTS LEADERSHIP DIRECTOR
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness seeks a full-time grassroots leadership director to oversee all aspects of the Grassroots Leadership Program. This includes ongoing development of...
  • RIVER TRIP LEADER & EDUCATOR
    Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) is a growing nonprofit organization fostering community stewardship of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and...
  • RIVER GUIDE AND EDUCATOR
    Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) is a growing nonprofit organization fostering community stewardship of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and...