Meet HCN’s new editor-in-chief

Our readers have high expectations, and Jennifer Sahn is up for the charge.

 

We usually reserve this space for a wide-angle glimpse of what you’ll find inside the magazine, but this month, I want to discuss a different beginning: the newest member of our staff.

Carex chihuahuensis (Chihuahuan sedge), from Atascosa Borderlands, a visual storytelling project.
Luke Swenson and Jack Dash

Editing High Country News is not a job for the faint of heart. We cover the West’s thorniest issues and gravitate without hesitation toward difficult conversations. And you, our readers, expect incisive, fair and meaningful work. HCN’s new editor-in-chief, Jennifer Sahn, is up to the task.

Jennifer spent her formative years at Orion magazine and later helped lead Pacific Standard. In her 20-plus years in the business, she has earned a reputation as a thoughtful and demanding editor. Conservationist and author Terry Tempest Williams wrote to me recently to praise Jennifer as “smart, tough, rigorous and instinctive. … She nurtures and challenges her writers at once.”

Jennifer understands the power of journalism to drive dialogue, bridge cultural divides and create real change in the world. Just as importantly, she has a deep love for the West. She thrives in those places where the human and natural worlds meet — HCN’s native habitat.

With Jennifer at the helm, you can expect High Country News to stay true to its deep roots in Western soil and committed to giving you the information you need to work for a better future. The West faces daunting challenges, but we remain determined to enlighten and inspire our readers. We know you expect nothing less.

Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Sahn.

We want to express our deepest gratitude to Katherine Lanpher, who served as interim editor-in-chief this winter. Katherine worked tirelessly with our staff and freelancers to “commit great journalism,” as she likes to say. She supported our editorial team through a divisive national election, an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and gun violence that hit much too close to home.

Katherine is a veteran of daily newspapers, public radio and digital news, and her tough-minded, quick-to-laugh approach proved just the right medicine for our team — and me — during these trying times. For the care that you put into each word that went into the magazine, Katherine, we thank you. Thanks, too, for taking such good care of us.

Greg Hanscom, executive director and publisher

This issue showcases the wide-ranging “work of the word” that Katherine has fostered. Luke Swenson and Jack Dash’s photo essay about the Atascosa Highlands introduces us to a tiny sliver of Arizona that hosts an incredible abundance of life. We hear about people who look to the LA River for sustenance and about a second-grade class in Denver tackling wolf reintroduction. There’s a potent critique of land acknowledgements and a report on Eugene, Oregon’s search for unique solutions in the fight against climate change.

Read on and enjoy. Here’s to fresh beginnings.

Email High Country News at [email protected] or submit a letter to the editor.

High Country News Classifieds
  • GUIDE TO WESTERN NATIONAL MONUMENTS
    NEW BOOK showcases 70 national monuments across the western United States. Use "Guide10" for 10% off at cmcpress.org
  • CARBON RANCH PLANNER
    The Quivira Coalition (www.quiviracoaltion.org) is a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education,...
  • EDUCATION AND OUTREACH DIRECTOR
    Education and Outreach Program Director The Quivira Coalition (www.quiviracoaltion.org) is a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic,...
  • WESTERN DIVISION DIRECTOR OF FIELD PROGRAMS
    DEADLINE TO APPLY: October 29, 2021 LOCATION FLEXIBLE (WESTERN HUB CITY PREFERRED) Overview The Land Trust Alliance is the voice of the land trust community....
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH ASSOCIATE
    Communications and Outreach Associate Position Opening: www.westernlaw.org/communications-outreach-associate ************************************************* Location: Western U.S., ideally in one of WELC's existing office locations (Santa Fe or Taos, NM, Helena,...
  • FREELANCE GRAPHIC DESIGNER & PROJECT COORDINATOR (REMOTE)
    High Country News (HCN) is seeking a contract Graphic Designer & Project Coordinator to design promotional, marketing and fund-raising assets and campaigns, and project-manage them...
  • FILM AND DIGITAL MEDIA: ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF INDIGENOUS MEDIA, CULTURAL SOVEREIGNTY AND DECOLONIZATION (INITIAL REVIEW 12.1.21)
    Film and Digital Media: Assistant Professor of Indigenous Media, Cultural Sovereignty and Decolonization (Initial Review 12.1.21) Position overview Position title: Assistant Professor - tenure-track Salary...
  • REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST
    To learn more about this position and to apply please go to the following URL.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    "More Data, Less Digging" Find groundwater and reduce excavation costs!
  • RARE CHIRICAHUA RIPARIAN LAND FOR SALE
    40 acres: 110 miles from Tucson: native trees, grasses: birder's heaven::dark sky/ borders state lease & National forest/5100 ft/13-16 per annum rain
  • CENTRAL PARK CULTURAL RESOURCE SPECIALIST
    Agency: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Salary Range: $5,203 - $7,996 Position Title: Central Park Cultural Resource Specialist Do you have a background in Archaeology...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    Come live and work in one of the most beautiful places in the world! As our Staff Attorney you will play a key role in...
  • ARIZONA GRAZING CLEARINGHOUSE
    Dedicated to preventing the ecological degradation caused by livestock grazing on Arizona's public lands, and exposing the government subsidies that support it.
  • OPERATIONS MANAGER
    Position Summary: Friends of the Inyo (friendsoftheinyo.org) is seeking a new Operations Manager. The Operations Manager position is a full-time permanent position that reports directly...
  • WATER RIGHTS BUREAU CHIEF
    Water Rights Bureau Chief, State of Montana, DNRC, Water Resources Division, Helena, MT Working to support and implement the Department's mission to help ensure that...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Amargosa Conservancy (AC), a conservation nonprofit dedicated to standing up for water and biodiversity in the Death Valley region, seeks an executive director to...
  • DEVELOPMENT & OUTREACH ASSOCIATE
    Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is hiring! Who We Are: The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) is a small grassroots nonprofit based out of Juneau, Alaska,...
  • DESERT LANDS ORGANIZER
    Position Summary: Friends of the Inyo seeks a Desert Lands Organizer to assist with existing campaigns that will defend lands in the California desert, with...
  • IDAHO CONSERVATION LEAGUE
    Want to help preserve Idaho's land, water, and air for future generations? Idaho Conservation League currently has 3 open positions. We are looking for a...
  • LUNATEC ODOR-FREE DISHCLOTHS
    are a must try. They stay odor-free, dry fast, are durable and don't require machine washing. Try today.