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

High Country News Classifieds
  • CONSERVATION ASSOCIATE - OKANOGAN LAND TRUST (NORTH CENTRAL WA)
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  • DIGITAL ADVOCACY & MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    The Digital Advocacy & Membership Manager will be responsible for creating and delivering compelling, engaging digital content to Guardians members, email activists, and social media...
  • DIGITAL OUTREACH COORDINATOR, ARIZONA
    Job Title: Digital Outreach Coordinator, Arizona Position Location: Phoenix or Tucson, AZ Status: Salaried Job ID Number: 52198 We are looking for you! We are...
  • DESCHUTES LAND TRUST VOLUNTEER PROGRAM MANAGER
    The Deschutes Land Trust is seeking an experienced Volunteer Program Manager to join its dedicated team! Deschutes Land Trust conserves and cares for the lands...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming seeks an experienced fundraiser to join our team. We're looking for a great communicator who is passionate about conservation and...
  • INDIAN COUNTRY FELLOWSHIP
    Western Leaders Network is accepting applications for its paid, part-time, 6-month fellowship. Mentorship, training, and engaging tribal leaders in advancing conservation initiatives and climate policy....
  • MULESHOE RANCH PRESERVE MANAGER
    The Muleshoe Ranch Preserve Manager develops, manages, and advances conservation programs, plans and methods for large-scale geographic areas. The Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area (MRCMA)...
  • ARTEMIS PROGRAM MANAGER
    Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF or Federation) is America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 52 state/territorial affiliates and more...
  • ASSISTANT OR ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES
    Assistant or Associate Professor of Environmental Humanities Whitman College The Environmental Humanities Program at Whitman College seeks candidates for a tenure-track position beginning August 2023...
  • ANNUAL FUND MANAGER
    Working closely with the Foundation's leadership, the Annual Fund Manager is responsible for the oversight and management of the Foundation's annual operating fund. This is...
  • DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR
    Looking for someone who loves public land and understands the value and importance of data in reaching shared goals as part of a high-functioning team....
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    High Country Conservation Advocates (HCCA) in Crested Butte, CO is seeking an enthusiastic Executive Director who is passionate about the public lands, natural waters and...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS
    Are you passionate about connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with volunteer management experience to join...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The conservation non-profit Invasive Species Action Network seeks an executive director. We are focused on preventing the human-caused spread of invasive species by promoting voluntary...
  • NEW BOOK: A FEAST OF ECSTATIC VERSE AND IMAGERY
    Dynamic fine art photographer offers use of images to raise funds. Available for use by conservation groups. Contact at www.anecstaticgathering.com.
  • WANTED: TALENTED WRITER
    Write the introduction to A Feast of Ecstatic Verse and Imagery, a book concerning nature and spirituality. Contact at www.anecstaticgathering.com. Writer who works for conservation/nature...
  • MT STATE DIRECTOR- THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY
    The Montana State Director is a member of The Wilderness Society's (TWS) Conservation program team who plays a leading role in advancing the organization's mission...
  • HIGH COUNTRY NEWS EDITORIAL INTERNS
    High Country News, an award-winning magazine covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, is looking for its next cohort of editorial interns....