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A Legacy of Weapons and War
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June 1, 2022

Can we learn from past mistakes? That’s the underlying question this issue, where we revisit the misery of last summer’s “heat dome” from inside a state prison in Walla Walla, Washington. The scars of Cold War nuclear testing endure, as shown by Emmet Gowin’s photos of the Nevada Test Site and a powerful essay by Terry Tempest Williams. With drought emptying Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam’s days as a power source may be numbered. Can rare-earth metals like tellurium help solve our energy problems and boost the economy of Grants Pass, Oregon? A “Wildlife Welfare Check” brings good as well as bad news, Western teens are fighting climate change in the courts, and the Yurok Tribe is returning giant condors to the California skies. We meet the Navajo Nation’s first economist, and science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson talks about the High Sierra. Laureli Ivanoff prepares her grandmother’s summer greens dessert, and a young writer searches for identity in rural Utah.

Feature

When the heat is unbearable but there’s nowhere to go
When the heat is unbearable but there’s nowhere to go
How last year’s record-breaking heat wave caused misery and chaos for Washington’s incarcerated population — and why it’s set to happen all over again.
Witness to the Cold War in the desert
Witness to the Cold War in the desert
Terry Tempest Williams on Emmet Gowin’s unflinching photos of the Nevada Test Site.

Reportage

The Yurok Tribe is bringing condors home to Northern California skies
The Yurok Tribe is bringing condors home to Northern California skies
Hunters, dairy farmers, utility operators, loggers, government agents and conservationists have all supported the tribe in helping North America’s largest land-based birds.
Western courts grapple with climate change
Western courts grapple with climate change
Rocky Mountain teens sue over fossil fuel-friendly policies.
Who’s after rare metals in the Klamath Mountains?
Who’s after rare metals in the Klamath Mountains?
While the region has a small cache of tellurium, politics and economics are in the way.
Powell’s looming power problem
Powell’s looming power problem
Drought and demand threaten a critical component of the Western grid.

Editor's Note

Too hot to handle
Too hot to handle
The dangerously hot future is here. How will we respond?

Facts & Figures

Wildlife in the West: The good, the bad, the in-between
Wildlife in the West: The good, the bad, the in-between
Conservation and wildlife corridors can help, but is it enough?

Essays

How to choose a pronoun
How to choose a pronoun
The land does not care what parts of you are male or female.
How cooking, eating and harvesting beach greens ties a family together
How cooking, eating and harvesting beach greens ties a family together
An Inupiaq writer remembers her family roots through a favorite dish.

Conversation

The Navajo Nation’s first economist takes a fresh view on development
The Navajo Nation’s first economist takes a fresh view on development
Alisha Murphy discusses her vision of a robust tribal economy and the importance of community input.
Seeing Mars on Earth
Seeing Mars on Earth
Kim Stanley Robinson on how the High Sierra has influenced his science fiction.

Photo Essay

As Lake Powell levels drop, see inside Glen Canyon Dam
As Lake Powell levels drop, see inside Glen Canyon Dam
The hydropower plant that powers about a quarter of a million homes is run by a team of mechanics, electricians and more.

Heard Around the West

Idiot invasion; outhouse fail; rim-to-rim rule rupture
Idiot invasion; outhouse fail; rim-to-rim rule rupture
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

Meet you in the metaverse
Meet you in the metaverse
Well, how about at a HCN Live! event?

Poetry

Letters

Letters to the editor, June 2022
Comments from readers.
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