Magazine
The Futures of Conservation
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November 1, 2022

In this special issue, we take an in-depth look at the future of conservation in the West. Experts agree it’s time to upgrade the environmental laws of the 1970s. Chuck Sams, the National Park Service’s first Native director, hopes to lead the agency in a more inclusive direction. Collaboration keeps political extremism at bay in Oregon, seeks to protect eagles from lead poisoning and works to preserve wildlife corridors on both sides of the Borderlands. In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, a small butterfly once thought to be extinct makes a remarkable comeback, while in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, activists forge a sustainable life that reflects their multicultural heritage. On Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, Indigenous youth learn to be stewards of both the land and their culture. Science fiction needn’t be dystopian. Watch out for ecological amnesia: We can’t create a livable future unless we remember our past and pay heed to our present.

Feature

In Colorado, a storied valley blooms again
In Colorado, a storied valley blooms again
The San Luis Valley’s Acequia Institute is raising new traditions from multicultural roots.
How a rare butterfly returned
How a rare butterfly returned
The revival of Fender’s blue illustrates the collaborative nature of survival.
Carving a future for the Tongass National Forest
Carving a future for the Tongass National Forest
In Southeast Alaska, youth help manage a forest and protect an ancient art.

Reportage

Post-Trump, wildlife passages along the border wall keep narrowing
Post-Trump, wildlife passages along the border wall keep narrowing
As construction continues, U.S. and Mexican conservationists work together to preserve remaining corridors.
How to prevent an anti-government revolution
How to prevent an anti-government revolution
In eastern Oregon, one strategy has proven effective at inoculating communities against extremist ideology.
To protect eagles, hunters and conservationists rebuild old alliances
To protect eagles, hunters and conservationists rebuild old alliances
Evidence of the toxic effects of lead ammunition on wildlife spurs a search for common ground.
Do bedrock conservation laws need a makeover?
Do bedrock conservation laws need a makeover?
Experts suggest needed upgrades in the face of modern crises.
A California fire department forges a new generation of conservation practitioners
A California fire department forges a new generation of conservation practitioners
In wealthy, segregated Marin County, a pioneering recruitment program breaks down barriers to the firefighting profession

Editor's Note

Conservation is an ecosystem
Conservation is an ecosystem
To protect what needs protecting, repair our ties with one another.

Essays

Antidotes for ecological forgetfulness
Antidotes for ecological forgetfulness
Bear witness, make a record, pass it on.

Conversation

From dominance to stewardship: Chuck Sams’ Indigenous approach to the NPS
From dominance to stewardship: Chuck Sams’ Indigenous approach to the NPS
The first Native national parks director talks tribal co-management, historical accuracy, harassment, and the fallacy of “wilderness.”

Poetry

Book Reviews

What can conservation learn from science fiction?
What can conservation learn from science fiction?
New works by Western authors explore the brighter futures of our swiftly tilting planet.

Perspective

The future of large landscape conservation begins with Indigenous communities
The future of large landscape conservation begins with Indigenous communities
In the Yellowstone to Yukon region, Indigenous peoples manage more than a quarter of protected lands.

Heard Around the West

Gnarly weddings, arachnid entertainment and gorilla gifts
Gnarly weddings, arachnid entertainment and gorilla gifts
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

#iamthewest

‘We cannot go backwards in time’
‘We cannot go backwards in time’
#iamthewest: Giving voice to the people that make up communities in the region.

Dear Friends

A new chapter for HCN
A new chapter for HCN
The organization is putting its building up for sale but will remain in Paonia.
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