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Crossing to Safety
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January 1, 2020

In the first issue of our newly redesigned monthly magazine, we lead off with an in-depth look at efforts in one Idaho town to block a series of wildlife crossings across the notoriously dangerous Targhee Pass. Elsewhere, we look at the lives of two groups of young Westerners: In Alaska, Native youth push for climate action, while in a former coal-dependent Colorado county, a high school class trains students in solar energy. We take a fact-driven deep-dive into the lifecycle of nuclear power production, and examine water right fights in Montana and the politics of housing in Washington. We interview a farmworker organizer who talks politics and immigration. We ask what the cowboy hat means for "Americanism," and critique the weird world of Western tropes as they manifest in Texas.

Feature

When wildlife safety turns into fierce political debate
When wildlife safety turns into fierce political debate
In Island Park, Idaho, a fight over roadkill became a referendum on government control.
Where does ‘the West’ begin?
Where does ‘the West’ begin?
When it comes to the myths and images of the West, Fort Worth, Texas, has created a cottage industry.

Reportage

Montana’s water rights fractured by new development
Montana’s water rights fractured by new development
As subdivisions spread, it’s becoming harder to manage one of the state’s most valuable resources.
To find Jose Montelongo, ICE agents targeted his whole family
To find Jose Montelongo, ICE agents targeted his whole family
One family’s ordeal under Trump’s zero tolerance immigration tactics.
As Spokane grows, is it leaving low-income renters outside?
As Spokane grows, is it leaving low-income renters outside?
Proposals to protect tenants and reduce homelessness lack political support.
Young Indigenous activists lead climate justice action in Alaska
Young Indigenous activists lead climate justice action in Alaska
Two Alaska Native teenagers pushed for a resolution declaring a climate emergency – and decision-makers listened.
Migrant labor activists win lawsuit for foreign shepherds
Migrant labor activists win lawsuit for foreign shepherds
Ranchers must now bring in immigrant sheepherders under permanent visas.

Editor's Note

HCN renews its commitment to covering the West’s complexities
HCN renews its commitment to covering the West’s complexities
We debut a new design as we celebrate our 50th anniversary.

What Works

In rural Colorado, the kids of coal miners learn to install solar panels
In rural Colorado, the kids of coal miners learn to install solar panels
Where the mines once provided steady employment, solar energy now offers jobs for the next generation.

Facts & Figures

Nuclear power is clean – if you ignore all the waste
Nuclear power is clean – if you ignore all the waste
Compare the annual waste produced by a coal-burning power plant and a nuclear generating station.

Conversation

Undocumented farmworkers could get citizenship from a new bill in Congress
Undocumented farmworkers could get citizenship from a new bill in Congress
A United Farm Worker organizer reveals the political strategy behind the scenes.

West Obsessed

What the cowboy hat says about ‘Americanism’
What the cowboy hat says about ‘Americanism’
A problematic symbol of the West gets a reboot.

Perspective

NEPA transformed federal land management — and has fallen short
NEPA transformed federal land management — and has fallen short
A look back at the ground-breaking legislation on its 50th anniversary.

Review

When post-9/11 racism haunts an American family
When post-9/11 racism haunts an American family
In Laila Lalami’s new book, a Moroccan-American family seeks a sense of belonging in California.
Not all Indigenous cinema needs to be serious
Not all Indigenous cinema needs to be serious
‘The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw’ is an entertaining tale about a millennial Indigenous woman returning home.

Heard Around the West

A sleepy bear; historic trash; meth awareness
A sleepy bear; historic trash; meth awareness
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

A quick guide to your redesigned magazine
A quick guide to your redesigned magazine
A fresh magazine for another 50 years of HCN.
HCN celebrates newness in the new year
HCN celebrates newness in the new year
We have a new look, editors and fellows.

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