Magazine
'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
  • WMAN NETWORK COORDINATOR
    WESTERN MINING ACTION NETWORK (WMAN) CONTRACT OPPORTUNITY CLOSING DATE: Feb. 19, 2021 WMAN is seeking a team member to coordinate the various network activities to...
  • FRIENDS OF THE INYO IS HIRING TRAIL AMBASSADORS FOR THE SUMMER OF 2021
    Friends of the Inyo's Trail Ambassadors (TAs) support the Inyo, Sierra, & Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests and other partners by providing positive public service, outreach, interpretation,...
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    Field seminars for adults in natural and human history of the Colorado Plateau with lodge, river trip and base camp options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
    San Juan Citizens Alliance is looking for a passionate, dynamic, organized, and technology-savvy communications professional to help grow our membership and presence in the Four...
  • ENERGY AND CLIMATE PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
    San Juan Citizens Alliance seeks an Energy and Climate Program Associate to focus on public outreach, education and organizing to advance campaigns to mitigate climate...
  • REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST
    This position provides professional real estate services and is responsible for managing and completing real estate projects utilizing a project management database that is designed...
  • WILDFIRE MITIGATION SPECIALIST
    The Wildfire Mitigation Specialist is responsible for delivering wildfire risk mitigation information, recommendations and programmatic resources to wildland urban interface homeowners, community members and partners....
  • DEVELOPMENT POSITIONS
    Thorne Nature Experience is hiring for a Development Director and Senior Individual Giving Manager. Individuals will work collaboratively with Thorne's Executive Director to develop and...
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    The National Parks Conservation Association, a 100-year-old nonprofit advocacy organization and the nation's leading voice for national parks seeks a Senior Program Manager, Landscape Conservation...
  • BACKCOUNTRY AND FRONTCOUNTRY STEWARDSHIP CREW MEMBERS
    The San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA) is hiring a crew of ambassadors to work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to educate visitors on...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATURAL HISTORY INSTITUTE
    The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the Natural History Institute (NHI). The Executive Director has broad authority to lead and manage the...
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    - The Land, History, and People of the Bears Ears Region - The Bears Ears and Cedar Mesa region is one of the most beautiful,...
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    Greater Yellowstone Coalition seeks a Senior Development Associate to coordinate the organization's individual giving program. The position description is available at http://greateryellowstone.org/careers Please email a...
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    SEEKING TALENTED TRAIL CREWLEADERS The Pacific Crest Trail Association, headquartered in Sacramento, California ,is dedicated to protecting, preserving and promoting the Pacific Crest National Scenic...
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    Native plant seeds for the Western US. Trees, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers and regional mixes. Call or email for free price list. 719-942-3935. [email protected] or visit...
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    Western lands and communities--in context--delivered to your inbox 3x/week. From award-winning journalist and HCN contributor Jonathan P. Thompson. $6/month; $60/year.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
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  • HISTORIC LODGE AND RESTAURANT - FULLY EQUIPPED
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