HCN renews its commitment to covering the West’s complexities

We debut a new design as we celebrate our 50th anniversary.

 

With the new year comes a new look for High Country News! We’re pleased to offer you the first issue of our revamped magazine, in which you’ll find the rich and nuanced reporting and analysis you’ve come to expect from us, now bolstered by a reimagined design and new vision for the future. Our editor-in-chief explains the issue’s new features on page 25.

A white-tailed buck is backlit by headlights moments before it dashes across rush-hour traffic on Hillview Way in Missoula, Montana. Deer are frequently hit along this busy street as it bisects two islands of open space amid growing neighborhoods.
Paul Queneau
One thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to exploring the deep tensions that crisscross the West like so many roads. In this issue’s cover story, that metaphor becomes a reality, as a fight over how best to help elk, deer and other wildlife cross a stretch of highway in Idaho opens big questions on land management.

As writer Ben Goldfarb details, wildlife crossings have become a popular way to keep car-creature collisions in check and allow animals to travel through landscapes otherwise fractured by pavement. But a plan to build three such bridges over Targhee Pass, at the edge of Island Park, Idaho, ran into a different kind of fault line: a distrust of outsiders and a desire to exact local control over public lands.

In Island Park, different groups of people connected the same dots in vastly different ways, at times drawing connections that, to others, veered into absurdity. Tracing how they came to those conclusions won’t lead to agreement, of course, but it might lead to a deeper understanding of — and empathy for — the myriad individuals who call the West home.

Emily Benson, associate editor
Brooke Warren/High Country News
Elsewhere in this issue, we interview United Farm Workers Secretary Treasurer Armando Elenes on the importance of union organizing and compromise. We also review the film The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw, an entertaining coming-of-age story centered on a young Indigenous woman in Canada, and check in on the promise of one of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws, the National Environmental Policy Act, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.

High Country News is celebrating the very same milestone this year. And five decades of chronicling the complexities of the American West have left us with one conclusion: From the highways of Idaho to the fields of California, there are always more stories to be told from this fascinating place. 

High Country News Classifieds
  • SEASONAL SAN JUAN RANGERS
    Seeking experienced crew members to patrol Colorado's most iconic mountain wilderness.
  • ENDANGERED SPECIES STAFF SCIENTIST
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a staff scientist to advocate for the conservation of endangered species. General position overview: The position will involve working...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY - ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM
    The Center for Biological Diversity - a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of imperiled plants, animals and wild places - seeks a dynamic...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a Staff Attorney to join our team of attorneys, scientists, campaigners who are working to protect America's public lands...
  • SOUTHWEST CONSERVATION ADVOCATE
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a Southwest Conservation Advocate to join our team of attorneys, scientists and campaigners who are working to protect America's...
  • OCEANS PROGRAM CAMPAIGNER
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks an experienced campaigner for its oceans program. The aim of the position is to campaign for the protection of...
  • CLIMATE LAW INSTITUTE ATTORNEY
    The Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute is looking to add an attorney to its team and will consider applicants at both staff attorney...
  • FULL-TIME CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a full-time Campaign Director in our Climate Law Institute to join our campaign for progressive, urgent government action to...
  • WESTERN WATER PROJECT MANAGER
    National Wildlife Federation is hiring NM-based position focused on riparian corridors, watershed health. Learn more and apply online: https://www.nwf.org/about-us/careers
  • ASSOCIATE PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Position Title: Associate Program Director Location: New Mexico; flexible in state Position reports to: Senior Program Director Position Closes: March 13, 2020 GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The...
  • DEAN, W. A. FRANKE COLLEGE OF FORESTRY AND CONSERVATION, UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
    Dean, W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, apply http://bit.ly/2548umjobs. AA/EEO/ADA/Veterans Preference Employer
  • GRAPHIC DESIGNER
    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks a creative and driven graphic design professional to design high quality print and digital collateral. The Graphic Designer will bring...
  • STEWARDSHIP SPECIALIST
    San Isabel Land Protection Trust seeks experienced person to manage its 133 conservation easements in south-central Colorado.
  • CAMPAIGN REPRESENTATIVE
    Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign is hiring an experienced campaigner to lead our work challenging the oil and fracked gas industry on the Gulf...
  • AG LANDS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Oregon Agricultural Trust (OAT) seeks passionate relationship builder experienced in coordinating agricultural conservation easement transactions.
  • REMOTE SITKA ALASKA FLOAT HOUSE VACATION RENTAL
    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • FINANCE DIRECTOR
    Mountain Studies Inst (MSI) is hiring 4+ positions: Finance Director; Coms/Engagmnt Mngr; Dev/Engagmnt Dir; Americorps vol
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND ENGAGEMENT MANAGER
    Mountain Studies Inst (MSI) is hiring 4+ positions: Finance Director; Dev/Engagement Dir; Coms/Engagement Mngr; & Americorps volunteer
  • SEASONAL TRAIL CREW LEADERS
    Lead the nation's premier volunteer-based trail crew programs on the spectacular Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. This is a great career-building opportunity for rising professionals....
  • ORGANIZING AND TRAINING COORDINATOR
    Is this your dream job? Are you looking to join a nationally recognized organizing network, live in a spectacular part of the West, and work...