Magazine
Forever Mines
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November 25, 2019

In this issue we take a dive into pollution, first with an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity, produced in collaboration with High Country News and the Ohio Valley ReSource, as mining companies have taken advantage of loopholes to get out of environmental remediation by idling their operations. We also look at aerial spraying in Oregon and how locals are working to upend the practice. Another HCN investigation finds the EPA awarded a contract to do clean up on the Navajo Reservation to an outfit with a troubled past. We look into why California’s program to help low-income residents during PG&E blackouts has nearly zero applications. We travel to Idaho, where many refugees have found success in resettlement. We also provide a perspective on the BLM chief’s fixation with wild horses as a threat to public lands, and more.

Feature

While ‘zombie’ mines idle, cleanup and workers suffer in limbo
While ‘zombie’ mines idle, cleanup and workers suffer in limbo
Instead of paying to clean up the mess left by mining, companies are warehousing their operations indefinitely.

Sidebar

The feds tried to make an example of a small Washington coal mine. It didn’t work.
The feds tried to make an example of a small Washington coal mine. It didn’t work.
The John Henry Mine last produced coal in 1999 and has yet to be fully reclaimed.

Editor's Note

Poor oversight comes back to haunt us
Poor oversight comes back to haunt us
Two investigations reveal federal agencies are too lax on bad actors.

Current

Can a campaign for nature and community rights stop aerial spraying in Oregon?
Can a campaign for nature and community rights stop aerial spraying in Oregon?
The push for more local control upends the typical pattern of Westerners fighting against regulation.
Refugees look for belonging in Idaho
Refugees look for belonging in Idaho
The Twin Falls resettlement program continues to thrive in the face of recent serious challenges.
Feds give Navajo uranium contract to firm with sketchy past
Feds give Navajo uranium contract to firm with sketchy past
A High Country News investigation finds the EPA awarded Tetra Tech a contract despite knowing its subsidiary had likely engaged in data manipulation, false reporting and profiteering.
How Big Rec chooses its public-lands battles
How Big Rec chooses its public-lands battles
Outdoor industry giants stood up for Bears Ears. Why won’t they stand up for the Borderlands?
California could have helped low-income residents weather PG&E blackouts
California could have helped low-income residents weather PG&E blackouts
The state had a program — and $72 million — but hardly anyone applied.
Arizona volleyball team faces harassment
Arizona volleyball team faces harassment
Native American athletes continue to experience racism.

Book Reviews

Grizzlies and the limits of coexistence
Grizzlies and the limits of coexistence
A rancher weighs the fate of wildlife and human encroachment in his new book.
Photos explore the eerie and erotic of public lands
Photos explore the eerie and erotic of public lands
David Benjamin Sherry, Terry Tempest Williams and Bill McKibben celebrate what could be lost to Trump’s monument rollbacks.

Perspective

BLM chief’s wild horse fixation distracts from the real threats to public land
BLM chief’s wild horse fixation distracts from the real threats to public land
Species extinction, near-constant wildfire and widespread drought are a few dangers William Perry Pendley might consider instead.

Heard Around the West

Slow-speed chase; intrepid coyotes; bear boxing
Slow-speed chase; intrepid coyotes; bear boxing
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

Many reasons to celebrate November
Many reasons to celebrate November
New employees join our staff and heritage months make the days extra special.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
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    40 acres: 110 miles from Tucson: native trees, grasses: birder's heaven::dark sky/ borders state lease & National forest/5100 ft/13-16 per annum rain
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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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    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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