Magazine
From Prison to Fireline
  • Digital Editions are available for our paid subscribers. Please login here.

  • If you wish to subscribe, click here.

August 5, 2019

In this issue, we take a closer look at one of the West’s harshest penal systems, where incarcerated wildfire fighters learn to see themselves anew. And we travel to Vado, New Mexico, where Borderland infrastructure challenges are a major setback. We delve into a labor trafficking case in Colorado and look at what coal’s free fall means for Wyoming. We interview New Mexico Rep. Xochitl Torres Small and explain the shortcomings in the Navy’s environmental review process. A writer takes us into the tyranny of landlords and their lawns, and we look at a fight over wolf management in Alaska, where lawmakers have learned how to undermine citizen-led initiatives. We review a debut story collection by author Kali Fajardo-Anstine and take a peek inside a pocket birding book’s makeover.

Feature

When Arizona catches fire, prisoners step up
When Arizona catches fire, prisoners step up
In one of the West’s harshest penal systems, incarcerated wildfire fighters learn to see themselves anew.
Who pays for infrastructure in Borderland colonias?
Who pays for infrastructure in Borderland colonias?
In places like Vado, New Mexico, good roads are hard to find.

Editor's Note

Where the incarceration and wildfire crises meet
Where the incarceration and wildfire crises meet
Prison firefighters are severely underpaid. And they’re the lucky ones.

Current

A family held their relatives captive; a community set them free
A family held their relatives captive; a community set them free
A labor trafficking case shows Westerners can sometimes still count on each other to protect those in need.
With coal in free fall, Wyoming faces an uncertain future
With coal in free fall, Wyoming faces an uncertain future
As demand shrinks and the industry retracts, counties and the state are in an untenable situation.
Rep. Xochitl Torres Small offers lessons in rural politics
Rep. Xochitl Torres Small offers lessons in rural politics
The Democratic congresswoman won a conservative region by talking about concerns all Westerners share.
Lawsuit filed against noisy flights over Olympic National Park
Lawsuit filed against noisy flights over Olympic National Park
Washington’s Attorney General points out shortcomings of the Navy’s environmental review.

Essays

The tyranny of lawns and landlords
The tyranny of lawns and landlords
Renting culture puts dreams of cultivating wildness out of reach.
See the journey to a new career at a wildland fire academy
See the journey to a new career at a wildland fire academy
Ex-gang members, veterans and immigrants alike take a three-month course to become California firefighters.

Book Reviews

The pocket birding book gets a makeover
The pocket birding book gets a makeover
Imaginatively spunky illustrations accompany avian anecdotes in BirdNote.
Grounding and grandmothers in a gentrifying Denver
Grounding and grandmothers in a gentrifying Denver
Denver author Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s rich debut story collection centers young female protagonists.

Perspective

How partisan politics can make ballot measures undemocratic
How partisan politics can make ballot measures undemocratic
A fight over wolf management in Alaska shows how lawmakers can undermine citizen-led initiatives.

Heard Around the West

Outdoor underachievers; mission massage; photo nots
Outdoor underachievers; mission massage; photo nots
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

Accolades and some new roles
Accolades and some new roles
New interns and a fellow arrive, and our editorial staff continues to morph.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    For more information visit www. wyofile.com/careers/
  • THRIVING LOCAL HEALTH FOOD STORE FOR SALE
    Turn-key business opportunity. Successful well established business with room to grow. Excellent highway visibility.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    For more information, visit www.wyofile.com/careers/
  • SONORAN INSTITUTE, CEO
    Chief Executive Officer Tucson, Arizona ABOUT SONORAN INSTITUTE Since 1990, the Sonoran Institute has brought together diverse interests to successfully forge effective and enduring conservation...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING www.westernlaw.org/about-us/clinic-interns-careers The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a high-impact, nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 27-year legacy using...
  • PROJECT MANAGER
    Position Summary Join our Team at the New Mexico Land Conservancy! We're seeking a Project Manager who will work to protect land and water across...
  • SEEKING PROPERTY FOR BISON HERD
    Seeking additional properties for a herd of 1,000 AUM minimum. Interested in partnering with landowners looking to engage in commercial and/or conservation bison ranching. Location...
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • OUTREACH DIRECTOR
    Upper Missouri Waterkeeper seeks an Outreach Director to play a key role designing and leading activities and initiatives that engage citizens in water resource decisionmaking,...
  • WILDLIFE HAVEN
    Beautiful acreage with Teton Creek flowing through it. Springs and ponds, lots of trees, moose and deer. Property has barn. Easy access. approx. 33 acres.
  • ARIZONA CONSERVATION CORPS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Arizona Conservation Corps is seeking a Program Director in Flagstaff or Tucson
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...