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Know the West

Many reasons to celebrate November

New employees join our staff and heritage months make the days extra special.


November is Native American and Alaskan Native Heritage Month, and High Country News is here for it! New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland, one of the first Native American women elected to Congress (Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids is the other), singled out Nick Estes’ feature on Indigenous children and abusive boarding schools (HCN, 10/14/19). “We must remember the tragic reality of the past and the foundation that this country was founded upon — stolen land and oppression,” Haaland wrote. “For #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth, we will elevate the voices that have gone unheard for far too long.” And the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals’ Climate Change Program at Northern Arizona University held a webinar on the rights of nature, featuring the sources Associate Editor Anna M. Smith talked to for her story on the Klamath River (HCN, 10/28/19).

Left, Mark Nydell at Bierstadt Lake, Colorado. Right, Amanda Campbell climbing Unaweep Canyon, Colorado.
Courtesy photos

Meanwhile, at our Paonia, Colorado, headquarters, we just welcomed two new employees to our customer service team: Amanda Campbell and Mark Nydell. Amanda grew up on the Colorado’s Front Range, exploring the outdoors with her family. She earned a B.A. in anthropology and sustainability from Western Colorado University in 2017 and has gone from studying in Ecuador to exploring the local food movement, working on several organic farms. She likes skiing the backcountry in her free time. Mark’s lifelong love of the woods led him to a career in environmental stewardship, which eventually grew into a 20-year career with the National Park Service. These days, however, rather than tending parks, Mark is tending to our readers when he’s not looking after his backyard farm and garden. We are grateful to have them both.

Associate Editor Emily Benson spoke at the Our Gem Symposium, a gathering focused on Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Lake, in early November. Emily told the assembled scientists, residents, resource managers and other attendees about her July feature story on the toxic mine pollution lurking on the lake floor, as well as the work by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and others to protect the “gem of North Idaho.”

Finally, a few corrections. First, we failed to include the photo and bio for one of the authors of a piece in our Books and Authors special issue (HCN, 11/11/19). Bojan Louis (Diné) is the author of the poetry collection Currents (BkMk Press, 2017) and an assistant professor of creative writing and American Indian studies at the University of Arizona. We sincerely regret the omission and appreciate Louis’ contribution. In the same issue, we misspelled the title of Jennifer Givhan’s novel; it is Trinity Sight. Lastly, in “Desautel’s Decision” (HCN, 10/28/19), it was Rick Desautel’s brother Larry, not Tony, who took him on his first deer hunt; the Sinixt gravesites were disturbed in 1989, not 1988; and the map of traditional territories that appeared in the story misspelled the name of a Colville tribal band; it is San Poil, not Sandpoil. We regret the errors.