Magazine
The Next West
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September 1, 2020

In this issue, we celebrate our 50th anniversary with a look at the life and legacy of High Country News’ founder, Tom Bell. We recall the magazine’s 50-year history and consider the West to come. Our feature story focuses on the Southwest, where extreme heat is having a deadly impact on elderly, homeless and low-income residents. Elsewhere, we discover how undocumented workers, ineligible for federal COVID-19 aid, survive and even organize despite the pandemic and economic crisis. We dig into the Trump administration’s environmental policy changes, including the planned “evisceration” of the National Environmental Policy Act, and analyze the Great American Outdoors Act, which boosts support for public lands, but fails to address climate change and fossil fuels. The issue also examines the West’s changing demographics, as energy boomtowns empty out while urbanites flee to rural areas. Finally, we reflect on New Mexico author Rudolfo Anaya's lasting influence and interview Hillary Hoffmann and Monte Mills, whose new book examines the history, future and present-day context of the legal fight to protect Indigenous cultures.

Feature

Extreme heat is here, and it’s deadly
Extreme heat is here, and it’s deadly
Gearing up for the fight against a new climate enemy.
‘Somebody has to keep people on their toes’
‘Somebody has to keep people on their toes’
High Country News’ unlikely and remarkable origin story.

Reportage

Trump’s new NEPA is faster and narrower
Trump’s new NEPA is faster and narrower
Land agencies have less time — and get less public scrutiny — to issue environmental assessments.
Is a big win for conservation a blow to climate action?
Is a big win for conservation a blow to climate action?
As extinction and climate crises loom, the Great American Outdoors Act and recreation industry continue to rely on oil money.
A wildlife refuge under siege at the border
A wildlife refuge under siege at the border
New emails detail drained ponds, salvaged fish and a tense relationship with the Department of Homeland Security.

Editor's Note

Working with readers for a better West
Working with readers for a better West
High Country News turns 50 this year, but we’re already planning for the decades to come.

What Works

The old-school organizers who got it done on Zoom
The old-school organizers who got it done on Zoom
How the country’s oldest organizing group won COVID-19 relief for undocumented immigrants in California.

Facts & Figures

Where people are migrating in, and out of, the West
Where people are migrating in, and out of, the West
While the region continues to grow, migration patterns are in flux.

Essays

The physics of connection and solitude
The physics of connection and solitude
In the middle of a pandemic, a lifetime of lessons from a parent.
Rudolfo Anaya defined the West like no one else
Rudolfo Anaya defined the West like no one else
The writer showed us magic, mystery and where Manifest Destiny failed.
Now that you’ve gone West, young man
Now that you’ve gone West, young man
Toward unlearning Manifest Destiny.

Conversation

The undeniable truths in literature
The undeniable truths in literature
Four Colorado writers discuss empathy, systems of oppression and ‘the moment.’
Tribal nations are decolonizing cultural protection
Tribal nations are decolonizing cultural protection
A new book looks at a ‘third way’ for Indian law.
A little paper with clout
A little paper with clout
How High Country News evolved.

Photo Essay

Marlon’s hustle to survive
Marlon’s hustle to survive
The unforgiving economy left by the pandemic leaves many undocumented people without a safety net.

Review

The failures of U.S. immigration policies
The failures of U.S. immigration policies
Three new books challenge the way we imagine the U.S.-Mexico border.

Heard Around the West

Gone bitten; Target moms; celery phones
Gone bitten; Target moms; celery phones
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

Spread the news,  and take us higher
Spread the news, and take us higher
As we gear up for another 50 years, we’re working to raise $10 million.

Letters

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