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February 1, 2022

This month's feature story looks into how Western farmworkers bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change, doing back-breaking labor in triple-digit temperatures. In response, activists in Washington are charting a new path to climate justice. This story is accompanied by the powerful artwork by farmworkers and their allies. Elsewhere, we meet Iniko, the baby condor that became a celebrity, and we learn to love the Pacific lamprey, a species that outlived the dinosaurs but needs human help today. In Oregon, a non-Native developer is attempting to open a gaming operation that threatens tribal sovereignty. Hydrologist Phoebe Suino talks about the Rio Grande and Indigenous water rights, and the “green metals” that power our electric vehicles spark a not-very-green mining boom. Ben Goldfarb ponders the deeper meaning of the film “Don’t Look Up,” and a writer wonders whether the only thing standing between Butte, Montana, and gentrification is the fascinating but deadly Berkeley Pit. Laureli Ivanoff’s column, “The Seasons of Uŋalaqłiq,” makes its debut, and Tiffany Midge takes charge of “Heard around the West.”

Feature

A just transition for farmworkers
A just transition for farmworkers
As agricultural laborers continue to bear the brunt of climate change, activists in Washington chart a new path for climate justice.
The beauty and complexity of farm work in Washington
The beauty and complexity of farm work in Washington
Artwork created by farmworkers and their communities paints an authentic picture of farm labor in Washington.

Reportage

Meet the influencer of the California condor world
Meet the influencer of the California condor world
During the pandemic, a chick named Iniko became an ambassador for conservation from her redwood nest.
EPA prohibits White Mesa Mill from receiving Superfund waste
EPA prohibits White Mesa Mill from receiving Superfund waste
Energy Fuels Resources was found in violation for improper handling of radioactive waste storage.
Tribes call out Oregon’s reckless gaming regulation
Tribes call out Oregon’s reckless gaming regulation
Using horse-racing laws, a shadowy state agency and a billionaire push for a private casino that threatens tribes’ self-sufficiency.
Humble suckers: Pacific lamprey have survived 5 mass extinctions but are now under threat
Humble suckers: Pacific lamprey have survived 5 mass extinctions but are now under threat
Cooperative efforts between tribes and non-Native institutions are helping conserve the under-researched Devonian darlings.

Editor's Note

Our intersectional future
Our intersectional future
How to preserve what we love about the West in a way that is fair to all cultures and stakeholders, and that doesn’t leave anyone behind.

Facts & Figures

Electric vehicles drive up demand for ‘green metals’
Electric vehicles drive up demand for ‘green metals’
The need for energy-transition metals breathes life into new mines in the West.

Essays

Rekindling connections in the small flame of a qulliq
Rekindling connections in the small flame of a qulliq
An Inupiaq writer welcomes the nourishing glow of a seal oil lamp into her home.

Conversation

Tribal nations are locked inside the U.S. water regime
Tribal nations are locked inside the U.S. water regime
Phoebe Suina on the Rio Grande River, Pueblo inclusion and the need for holistic solutions to our man-made disaster.

Perspective

Cultural extraction at the edge of the abyss
Cultural extraction at the edge of the abyss
Butte, Montana, doesn’t have a major art museum. Instead, it has a gigantic toxic pit.
How do you make a movie about a hyperobject?
How do you make a movie about a hyperobject?
The film ‘Don’t Look Up’ turns climate change into an allegorical comet.

Heard Around the West

Free bird; lost-and-found bear; cowboy pride
Free bird; lost-and-found bear; cowboy pride
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

A community space for far-flung friends
A community space for far-flung friends
We want to hear from you!

Letters

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