Magazine
Forever Mines
  • Digital Editions are available for our paid subscribers. Please login here.

  • If you wish to subscribe, click here.

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
  • UNIQUE, ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOME ON ACREAGE NEAR MOSCOW, IDAHO
    Custom-built energy-efficient 3000 sqft two-story 3BR home, 900 sqft 1 BR accessory cottage above 2-car garage and large shop. Large horse barn. $1,200,000. See online...
  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURE BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures (MOLA) - established and profitable outdoor adventure & education business in Missoula, Montana. Summer camp, raft & climb guide, teen travel,...
  • STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    Join Skagit Land Trust (the Trust), a not-for-profit conservation organization based in Mount Vernon, Washington, and help protect land for people and wildlife. Skagit Land...
  • 2022 SEASONAL SCIENCE EDUCATOR
    The Mount St. Helens Institute Science Educator supports our science education and rental programs including day and overnight programs for youth ages 6-18, their families...
  • POLICY DIRECTOR
    Heart of the Rockies Initiative is seeking a Policy Director to lead and define policy efforts to advance our mission to keep working lands and...
  • CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
    Self-Help Enterprises seeks an experienced and strategic CFO
  • CONSERVATION SPECIALIST - LAND PROTECTION FOCUS
    View full job description and how to apply at
  • RIVER EDUCATOR & GUIDE
    River Educator & Guide River Educator & Guide (Trip Leader) Non-exempt, Seasonal Position: Full-time OR part-time (early April through October; may be flexible with start/end...
  • LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    The Land and Water Conservation Director is a full-time salaried position with the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, CO. The successful candidate will have...
  • FOOD SYSTEMS ENVIRONMENTAL FELLOWSHIP
    If you were to design a sustainable society from the ground up, it would look nothing like the contemporary United States. But what would it...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) is seeking an Executive Director who will lead RiGHT toward a future of continued high conservation impact, organizational...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Help protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life. Work hard, meet good people, make the world a better place!...
  • VERDE RIVER PROJECTS TECHNICIAN
    The Verde River Projects Technician (VRPT) provides technical assistance to Verde River Program staff in implementation of the Verde River Streamflow Monitoring Protocol. This consist...
  • 8 FIELD PROJECT SPECIALISTS (POSITION FORMERLY TITLED TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISOR)
    Are you passionate about environmental conservation and connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with outdoor leadership...
  • SOUTHWEST REWILDING ADVOCATE
    WildEarth Guardians is seeking a full-time advocate in our Wild Places Program to advance a new paradigm of forest management and protection based on the...
  • NEW BOOK:
    True Wildlife Tales From Boy to Man. Finding my voice to save wildlife in the Apache spirit. 365+ vivid colorful pictures. Buy on Amazon/John Wachholz
  • CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER
    with Rural Community Assistance Corporation. Apply here: https://www.marcumllp.com/executive-search/chief-operations-officer-rcac
  • CARPENTER WANTED
    CARPENTER WANTED. Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rainforest on the coast, Hike the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg...
  • WATER PROJECT MANAGER, UPPER SAN PEDRO (ARIZONA)
    Based in Tucson or Sierra Vista, AZ., the Upper San Pedro Project Manager develops, manages, and advances freshwater conservation programs, plans, and methods focusing on...
  • WADE LAKE CABINS, CAMERON MT
    A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and run a business on the shore of one of the most beautiful lakes in SW Montana....