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Water Rights and Responsibilities
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January 1, 2022

In the first issue of 2022, you’ll meet some hardworking Westerners, from the Indigenous women determined to preserve New Mexico’s Rio Grande, to the Nevada gold miners employed by a mega-corporation that cares as little for its workers as it does for the land it bulldozes. In Puget Sound, the Swinomish Indian Community shows that eelgrass and aquaculture can coexist, while Wyoming wonders whether Natrium nuclear reactors can take the place of coal. We ask uncomfortable questions: Why did the National Park Service bury its own study on sexual harassment inside the agency? And will the “green energy revolution” stomp on Indigenous values the way the fossil fuel industry has? In California, there’s reason to doubt Big Ag’s insistence that expensive canal repairs will help marginalized communities. We’re still suffering from 2021’s extreme “weather whiplash.” Native Americans need a better platform than Facebook, and corporations should quit exploiting Indigenous sacred places. A new anthology, Evergreen, celebrates the Northwest, and HCN bids a fond farewell to Betsy Marston, whose final “Heard around the West” column rounds out this issue.

Feature

Gold country: A precious metal, a mining mega-corp and a captive workforce
Gold country: A precious metal, a mining mega-corp and a captive workforce
In 2019, two gold-mining giants joined forces, with huge consequences for the Northern Nevada community and economy.

Reportage

Who should pay to fix California’s sunken canals?
Who should pay to fix California’s sunken canals?
Agribusiness and its proponents say repairs will benefit disadvantaged towns. Those residents disagree.
As coal plants close, Wyoming looks toward nuclear
As coal plants close, Wyoming looks toward nuclear
Is a new generation of nuclear technology a ‘shiny object’ or a solution to a faltering fossil fuel economy?
Arizona’s utility commission slashed just transition assistance for tribes
Arizona’s utility commission slashed just transition assistance for tribes
The Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe will receive significantly less funds to assist in economy after the end of coal.
‘Cultural resources are not a renewable thing for us.’
‘Cultural resources are not a renewable thing for us.’
The West’s largest green energy storage project would destroy a Yakama sacred site. Now, the nation is fighting back.
A shellfish company gets into the weeds
A shellfish company gets into the weeds
The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community shows how eelgrass and aquaculture can coexist in Puget Sound.
The Park Service buried its own study on harassment
The Park Service buried its own study on harassment
The agency promised transparency and action. Instead, it kept the audit confidential.

Editor's Note

Notes to self
Notes to self
Setting priorities for the year ahead.

Facts & Figures

Book Reviews

A new Northwest anthology finds both terror and magic in the darkness
A new Northwest anthology finds both terror and magic in the darkness
‘Evergreen: Grim Tales & Verses from the Gloomy Northwest’ explores landscapes and life from the Inland Northwest to the Pacific.

Photo Essay

Indigenous feminism flows through the fight for water rights on the Rio Grande
Indigenous feminism flows through the fight for water rights on the Rio Grande
An intergenerational group of Pueblo women lead the way on water policy along the Middle Rio Grande Valley.

Perspective

Indian Country deserves better than Facebook
Indian Country deserves better than Facebook
Social media has helped undo centuries of colonial disconnection, but Native communities need a much better platform.
Religious gatekeeping in red-rock country
Religious gatekeeping in red-rock country
A resort capitalizes on a nearby Yavapai-Apache religious site despite having no meaningful relationship with the tribe.

Heard Around the West

Bye Ye; Denali Uber; Heard transition
Bye Ye; Denali Uber; Heard transition
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

A fierce defender of the Western word
A fierce defender of the Western word
Betsy Marston retires from High Country News after 39 years with the magazine.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds