Magazine
Visions of Wildness
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December 1, 2021

In our final issue of 2021, we dive into controversies, from the fight over putting a wind farm next to a Japanese American incarceration camp, to a report on how income inequality is transforming the West. Lack of housing makes life difficult for Jackson Hole-area workers, while an Indigenous activist questions how much Biden’s Bears Ears proclamation accomplished. Our features tackle two subjects that often divide HCN’s own readers: Wild horses and cattle ranching. On the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, Indigenous people wonder if wild horses and buffalo can coexist, and we learn about modern-day ranching’s crazy economics when a Washington rancher tries to cheat the big meatpackers and win. Was the Northwest’s summer heat dome a “stress test” for wildlife, or a massacre? There’s even some good news: Activists are unionizing the big environmental groups, we visualize a healthy Klamath River, and an Indigenous writer reclaims her culture’s relationship with fire, while Rick McIntyre tells an inspiring story in his book, The Redemption of Wolf 302.

Feature

Wild horses, buffalo and the politics of belonging
Wild horses, buffalo and the politics of belonging
On the Wind River Indian Reservation, two animals slip between the cracks of what is wild and what isn’t.
Betting the ranch
Betting the ranch
Cody Easterday wagered hundreds of millions of dollars on the price of beef. He lost.

Reportage

How heat waves warp ecosystems
How heat waves warp ecosystems
After the Northwest ‘heat dome’ this summer, scientists look for signs of ecological ruin — or resilience.
Vacation resort replaces affordable housing in Teton Valley
Vacation resort replaces affordable housing in Teton Valley
Once-affordable towns near Jackson Hole have become real estate magnets since the pandemic.
Wind turbines proposed near a Japanese American incarceration camp prompt outrage
Wind turbines proposed near a Japanese American incarceration camp prompt outrage
The Lava Ridge Wind Farm in Idaho would more than double the state’s wind energy output, but at what cost?
Sharing the slopes
Sharing the slopes
Will skiers compromise to help a dwindling herd of bighorn sheep?
What would a healthy Klamath River look like?
What would a healthy Klamath River look like?
An illustration of a complex ecosystem that could exist again.
What unions at green groups hope to gain
What unions at green groups hope to gain
‘We have to stand up against the exploitation of us.’

Editor's Note

Loving the world despite everything
Loving the world despite everything
Notes on resilience in the face of disruption.

Facts & Figures

Income inequality proliferates across the West
Income inequality proliferates across the West
How history, tax policies and gentrification play into wealth inequity.

Essays

Rekindling  with fire
Rekindling with fire
An Indigenous writer reclaims her relationship with fire in the landscape of her ancestors.

Conversation

Bears Ears is back — but don’t celebrate just yet
Bears Ears is back — but don’t celebrate just yet
Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk unpacks the deeper implications — and limitations — of Biden’s monuments proclamation.

Book Reviews

The emotional lives of wolves
The emotional lives of wolves
Biologist Rick McIntyre uses anthropomorphism to tell the story of his subjects.

Heard Around the West

An owl army, a tire-less elk and a minor coup attempt
An owl army, a tire-less elk and a minor coup attempt
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

Paul Larmer’s 40-year ride with HCN
Paul Larmer’s 40-year ride with HCN
The one-time intern turned publisher, and now senior development officer, retires to a mic and his camera.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds