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No Place Like Home
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January 1, 2021

In our first issue of 2021, we dive into the concept of home, leading off with an in-depth feature about second-home owners in Gunnison County, Colorado, who fought back after county officials asked them to leave when COVID-19 arrived. Throughout the West, we learn how small towns with already-overheated housing markets are seeing a staggering increase in prices during the pandemic as the Zoom boom sends workers flocking to more desirable locations. Our cities are changing, too, as is shown by a unique research project in Seattle that details the many ways in which COVID-19 is transforming urban landscapes. In many places, evictions are on the rise, but in Pima County, Arizona, some of the constables charged with enforcing evictions are finding ways to help tenants stay in their homes. In Juneau, Alaska, an 80-year-old tugboat reveals a very different problem: the abandoned vessels that are littering the West coast. We talk to interesting people like Danielle Geller, a trained archivist who researches her mother and ponders the meaning of family, and former EPA program leader Mustafa Santiago Ali, who wants to help communities go from merely surviving to thriving. We also meet Nick Tilsen (Oglala Lakota), whose arrest for protesting President Trump at Mount Rushmore links him to a long history of Indigenous resistance. Finally, in her Bell Prize-winning essay, Kimberly Myra Mitchell describes how she found solace from grief in the midst of fighting wildfires.

Feature

When COVID hit, a Colorado county kicked out second-home owners. They hit back.
When COVID hit, a Colorado county kicked out second-home owners. They hit back.
How a group of nonresident homeowners tried to influence a rural Colorado election.

Reportage

Tracking the seasons of pandemic response in Seattle
Tracking the seasons of pandemic response in Seattle
Disaster researchers take a Prius-eye view of how COVID-19 is changing the city.
Drowning the derelicts: Yesterday’s boats are today’s problems
Drowning the derelicts: Yesterday’s boats are today’s problems
States and municipalities from Alaska to California struggle to dispose of old vessels without federal support.
A little fish that’s mighty as a mountain
A little fish that’s mighty as a mountain
Pupfish Peak in Nevada’s Amargosa Valley is named for the endangered Devils Hole pupfish.
Will California finally fulfill its promise to fix the Salton Sea?
Will California finally fulfill its promise to fix the Salton Sea?
Decades have passed and millions of dollars spent, yet little has been done to restore the lake. California officials say it’s all been leading up to this moment.
Students and faculty urge deeper look at land-grant legacy
Students and faculty urge deeper look at land-grant legacy
University officials face pressure to address their history as the recipients of dispossessed Indigenous land.
The battle for the Black Hills
The battle for the Black Hills
Nick Tilsen was arrested for protesting President Trump at Mount Rushmore. Now, his legal troubles are part of a legacy.

Editor's Note

The West’s homescapes are shifting
The West’s homescapes are shifting
2020 has redefined what many call ‘home.’

What Works

Rebel eviction-enforcers are helping tenants stay in their homes
Rebel eviction-enforcers are helping tenants stay in their homes
In Tucson, a group of constables went rogue and stopped enforcing evictions.

Facts & Figures

How the Zoom boom is changing the West
How the Zoom boom is changing the West
Remote workers are flocking to Western towns.

Essays

Through wildland firefighting, finding a space to heal
Through wildland firefighting, finding a space to heal
A grieving daughter encounters solace in an unexpected place.

Conversation

From boxes of memorabilia, sifting out a life
From boxes of memorabilia, sifting out a life
In her debut memoir, Danielle Geller researches her elusive mother — and the meaning of family.
Mustafa Santiago Ali describes the path forward for environmental justice
Mustafa Santiago Ali describes the path forward for environmental justice
Former EPA program leader shares ideas for federal action in the Biden administration.

Review

A high school football team’s wartime resistance
A high school football team’s wartime resistance
In ‘The Eagles of Heart Mountain,’ Bradford Pearson renders the lives of incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II in three dimensions.

Heard Around the West

Offensive Montanans; a stubborn turkey; landlubber remembrance
Offensive Montanans; a stubborn turkey; landlubber remembrance
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

Reflecting on HCN in the 1990s
Reflecting on HCN in the 1990s
Monuments, growth and the Marstons marked this era of the magazine.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • WATER RIGHTS/ADJUDICATION BUREAU CHIEF
    Job Overview: Working to support and implement the Department's mission to help ensure that Montana's land and water resources provide benefits for present and future...
  • CLIMATE CHANGE COORDINATOR
    The Greater Yellowstone Coalition is seeking a Climate Change Coordinator to play a lead role in shaping our programs to make the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Executive Director Position Announcement POSITION TITLE: Executive Director ORGANIZATION: Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument REPORTING TO: Board of Directors EMPLOYMENT TYPE: Part-time - Full-time, based...
  • HEALTHY CITIES PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Healthy Cities Program Director leads and manages the Healthy Cities Program for the Arizona Chapter and is responsible for developing and implementing innovative, high...
  • CONSERVATION PROGRAM MANAGER
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Conservation Programs Manager Job Opening Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through...
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    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Associate Director Job Posting Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through science,...
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  • STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    Join Skagit Land Trust (the Trust), a not-for-profit conservation organization based in Mount Vernon, Washington, and help protect land for people and wildlife. Skagit Land...
  • 2022 SEASONAL SCIENCE EDUCATOR
    The Mount St. Helens Institute Science Educator supports our science education and rental programs including day and overnight programs for youth ages 6-18, their families...
  • POLICY DIRECTOR
    Heart of the Rockies Initiative is seeking a Policy Director to lead and define policy efforts to advance our mission to keep working lands and...
  • CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
    Self-Help Enterprises seeks an experienced and strategic CFO
  • CONSERVATION SPECIALIST - LAND PROTECTION FOCUS
    View full job description and how to apply at
  • RIVER EDUCATOR & GUIDE
    River Educator & Guide River Educator & Guide (Trip Leader) Non-exempt, Seasonal Position: Full-time OR part-time (early April through October; may be flexible with start/end...
  • LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    The Land and Water Conservation Director is a full-time salaried position with the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, CO. The successful candidate will have...
  • FOOD SYSTEMS ENVIRONMENTAL FELLOWSHIP
    If you were to design a sustainable society from the ground up, it would look nothing like the contemporary United States. But what would it...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) is seeking an Executive Director who will lead RiGHT toward a future of continued high conservation impact, organizational...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Help protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life. Work hard, meet good people, make the world a better place!...
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