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'None of this happened the way you think it did'
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June 10, 2019

In this issue, we delve into a disturbing story from rural Colorado, where bereaved rural residents are helping the FBI investigate a funeral home suspected of illegally selling remains of the deceased. We interview a retired federal biologist on the Interior Department’s current policies; get on the ground with pygmy rabbit researchers; and highlight an ongoing battle between Alaska residents and the military over fishing waters. We report on a new app that could help people find wildfire escape routes, and we check in on a First Nations musician, discuss the state of Indigenous media, and review Stephanie Land’s newest book.

Feature

‘None of this happened the way you think it did’
‘None of this happened the way you think it did’
For years, the clients of a Colorado funeral home kept their loved ones’ cremated remains. Then the FBI called.

Editor's Note

Death, life and friendship in the rural West
Death, life and friendship in the rural West
Rural communities can find solace in one another.

Current

After nearly going extinct, Washington’s pygmy rabbits need room to grow
After nearly going extinct, Washington’s pygmy rabbits need room to grow
Recovering the endangered rabbits will test society’s willingness to let nature reclaim a landscape.
The key to endangered species recovery? Communication.
The key to endangered species recovery? Communication.
A retired federal biologist says Trump’s Interior Department is more business as usual than critics claim.
Alaskans at war with U.S. military over readiness exercises
Alaskans at war with U.S. military over readiness exercises
The small town of Cordova, dependent on salmon fishing, is fighting for control of its waters.
The hidden consequences of New Mexico’s latest oil boom
The hidden consequences of New Mexico’s latest oil boom
Carlsbad residents are experiencing health impacts, but the science behind their woes lags behind the pace of drilling.
Wildfire escape routes? There’s (almost) an app for that.
Wildfire escape routes? There’s (almost) an app for that.
Scientists are using crowdsourced data to help firefighters flee dangerous flames.
Ranchers sue major meatpackers
Ranchers sue major meatpackers
Plaintiffs allege ‘The Big Four’ conspired to reduce cattle prices.

Arts and Culture

Tantoo Cardinal shines in the new film ‘Falls Around Her’
Tantoo Cardinal shines in the new film ‘Falls Around Her’
Darlene Naponse and Tantoo Cardinal team up to create a fascinating study of a First Nations musician who leaves her career behind.

Book Reviews

What it’s like to navigate life below the poverty line
What it’s like to navigate life below the poverty line
A new book humanizes the work America’s poor must go through to try and stay afloat.

Perspective

Survey finds few tribal governments allow press freedom
Survey finds few tribal governments allow press freedom
83% of respondents said stories about tribal government affairs often go unreported due to censorship.

Heard Around the West

Potato living; safe landings; swarms at the bend
Potato living; safe landings; swarms at the bend
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

On the Road to 50: Stitching the Northwest back together
On the Road to 50: Stitching the Northwest back together
The past, present and future of the West, and HCN’s coverage of the region.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • MONTANA DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    YOUR POSITION WITH TNC The Director of Development (DoD) is responsible for directing all aspects of one or more development functions, which will secure significant...
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    Development & Operations Coordinator Terms: 1.0 FTE (full-time), Salary DOE ($45,000 - $55,000) Benefits: Paid Time Off (12-24 days/year depending on tenure), Paid Holidays (10/year),...
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    NEW BOOK showcases 70 national monuments across the western United States. Use "Guide10" for 10% off at cmcpress.org
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    The Quivira Coalition (www.quiviracoaltion.org) is a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education,...
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    Education and Outreach Program Director The Quivira Coalition (www.quiviracoaltion.org) is a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic,...
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    Agency: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Salary Range: $5,203 - $7,996 Position Title: Central Park Cultural Resource Specialist Do you have a background in Archaeology...
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    Position Summary: Friends of the Inyo (friendsoftheinyo.org) is seeking a new Operations Manager. The Operations Manager position is a full-time permanent position that reports directly...
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    Water Rights Bureau Chief, State of Montana, DNRC, Water Resources Division, Helena, MT Working to support and implement the Department's mission to help ensure that...
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