Issues

How One Woman Took a Stand Against Tribal Disenrollment and Paid For It
How One Woman Took a Stand Against Tribal Disenrollment and Paid For It
In this issue, we investigate how a Nooksack tribal leader in Washington took a stand against her tribe’s disenrollment efforts and became the target of a home invasion, cyber stalking and constant harassment. In Alaska, we look at a budget threat to ferries forming the marine highway system. We check out a University of California lawsuit against the federal government after the Trump administration shut down the DACA program. In Navajo Nation, we ask why LGBTQ+ people are barred from Diné ceremonies. In a photo essay, we bear witness to the funeral of a deported undocumented U.S. Army veteran whose body was returned to his family in New Mexico for burial. We also interview a wildlife biologist who changed careers to become an advocate for equity in the conservation movement.
Crossing to Safety
Crossing to Safety
In the first issue of our newly redesigned monthly magazine, we lead off with an in-depth look at efforts in one Idaho town to block a series of wildlife crossings across the notoriously dangerous Targhee Pass. Elsewhere, we look at the lives of two groups of young Westerners: In Alaska, Native youth push for climate action, while in a former coal-dependent Colorado county, a high school class trains students in solar energy. We take a fact-driven deep-dive into the lifecycle of nuclear power production, and examine water right fights in Montana and the politics of housing in Washington. We interview a farmworker organizer who talks politics and immigration. We ask what the cowboy hat means for "Americanism," and critique the weird world of Western tropes as they manifest in Texas.
Party Favors
Party Favors
This special double issue takes on the complex politics of the American West. We investigate how the national Democratic party chose Xochitl Torres Small, a New Mexico congresswoman, in the 2018 primary. The investigation tears back the curtain on the political process, showing how the party picked a favorite while stamping down challengers. On the other side of the party divide, another feature profiles Oklahoma Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin. A white-passing citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Mullin is one of the few Native federal lawmakers, but his ultra-conservative views complicate his relationship with Indian Country. Along the border, meanwhile, communities are fighting back against President Donald Trump's most notorious political symbol – the border wall being built through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Elsewhere, the issue looks at the ongoing youth climate case in Oregon, disparities in federal disaster aid, Wyoming's dependence on the dying coal industry and more.
Forever Mines
Forever Mines
In this issue we take a dive into pollution, first with an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity, produced in collaboration with High Country News and the Ohio Valley ReSource, as mining companies have taken advantage of loopholes to get out of environmental remediation by idling their operations. We also look at aerial spraying in Oregon and how locals are working to upend the practice. Another HCN investigation finds the EPA awarded a contract to do clean up on the Navajo Reservation to an outfit with a troubled past. We look into why California’s program to help low-income residents during PG&E blackouts has nearly zero applications. We travel to Idaho, where many refugees have found success in resettlement. We also provide a perspective on the BLM chief’s fixation with wild horses as a threat to public lands, and more.
Storied Landscapes
Storied Landscapes
In our annual Books and Authors special issue we celebrate the storied West. Read an excerpt from George Takei’s memoir on his childhood experience in an internment camp and an excerpt from Beth Piatote’s first short-story collection that delves into family connection. Find author interviews with nature writer Terry Tempest Williams and poet Jake Skeets. We review many books from all corners of the West, dive into essays and provide a list of the season’s best reads.
Where Hunting Still Has Meaning
Where Hunting Still Has Meaning
In this issue we take a deep look at hunting and its meaning for the West. We dive into a Washington-Canada cross-border hunt that also served as strategic attempt to get Canada to recognize a tribe it considers ‘extinct.’ In Alaska, a hunter pursues a mountain goat but gets another adventure entirely. We take a look at cash-strapped states that sell high-priced trophy tags and allow sportsmen to hunt where, when and what they want – to the dismay of some. In Wyoming, a hunting family faces the prospect of chronic wasting disease on their kill. We also check in on the Klamath River, which now has the legal rights of personhood in Yurok tribal court. And we look into a new study that finds antibiotic-resistant bacteria proliferates in coastal waterways.
Severed Ties
Severed Ties
In this issue we examine how Indian boarding schools were at the center of a policy to hold Indigenous children hostage to open the West for settlement. We look at how the collection of data can be fatal for wildlife and travel to California where keeping Indigenous food culture alive risks jail time. Using audio leaked to HCN, we listen to BLM staff confront leadership over their pending headquarters move. In New Mexico, a fading mining town looks to revive itself with Airbnb. We ask what it will take to save Columbia and Snake River salmon and check in on the rebuilding of a 100-year-old boat that became a YouTube star.
"We can either wait on Mother Nature – or we can give it a shot ourselves."
"We can either wait on Mother Nature – or we can give it a shot ourselves."
In this issue we update an ongoing water struggle in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, where ranchers and farmers are in a race to conserve. We check in Montana and the effects of President Trump's trade war with China. We explain the failure of explosive devices against sea lions and highlight the curious deaths of gray whales at sea. We dive into the use of Indigenous struggles by white nationalists and other extremists, and describe the Indigenous narratives of a Maori filmmaker.
In Bad Faith
In Bad Faith
In this issue, we dive deep into relationships of religion and power in Utah, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has enjoyed lax water regulation. In a story from New Mexico, researchers are trying to rebuild the desert’s biocrust. And we report from Oregon, where the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians is reclaiming some of its traditional land – only after a wildfire swept through it. We ask whether boom-bust economies like those in Wyoming can survive the necessary shift away from fossil fuels, and we check in on a mountain goat lift operation in Washington. We ask what it means to be a mom who loves the desert when your daughter loves the Dollar Store. And we review Joe Wilkins' new novel, which is an examination of the myth of mountain masculinity.
2068: The Speculative Journalism Issue
2068: The Speculative Journalism Issue
In this special issue, we venture into the realm of science fiction. Using last year’s Fourth National Climate Assessment as our guide, HCN writers and editors asked what the West would look like in 50 years, and how we would cover it. The result is a range of fictional short stories based on the assessment and other climate research. Through the lens of speculative journalism, we look at agriculture in a rainier Montana; the pursuit of climate criminals in a collapsed United States; unethical conduct around drone cloud-seeding; the potential of a “Fire Service” instead of a “Forest Service”; the misuse of flies to devour human waste on the country’s last ski slopes; and the potential use of virtual reality to help people imagine glaciers past. Taken together, these stories represent myriad futures for the America West under different climate scenarios. They also make a subtle argument for human imagination in helping us grapple with climate change.
From Prison to Fireline
From Prison to Fireline
In this issue, we take a closer look at one of the West’s harshest penal systems, where incarcerated wildfire fighters learn to see themselves anew. And we travel to Vado, New Mexico, where Borderland infrastructure challenges are a major setback. We delve into a labor trafficking case in Colorado and look at what coal’s free fall means for Wyoming. We interview New Mexico Rep. Xochitl Torres Small and explain the shortcomings in the Navy’s environmental review process. A writer takes us into the tyranny of landlords and their lawns, and we look at a fight over wolf management in Alaska, where lawmakers have learned how to undermine citizen-led initiatives. We review a debut story collection by author Kali Fajardo-Anstine and take a peek inside a pocket birding book’s makeover.
A Radical Return
A Radical Return
In this issue, we look at efforts of Bacone College to reclaim its roots as a center for Native art. We delve into the rural anxieties that helped derail Oregon’s climate plan and investigate alleged misconduct in a New Mexico BLM field office. We look at a water skirmish in Utah, efforts by the U.S. Forest Service to limit public comments, and close encounters between humans and bears. We revisit the Columbia River treaty, six decades later, ask when U.S. lawmakers are doing enough to address the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women, and ask why the outdoor recreation industry seems so far behind on LGBTQ issues.
Losing Lake Coeur d'Alene
Losing Lake Coeur d'Alene
In this issue, we travel to Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where tribal and state officials grapple with a wicked pollution problem that threatens the lake, its economy and its communities. We check in on the Interior Department, which has named an opponent to the Endangered Species Act as an assistant secretary and quietly continued deployments of rangers to the Borderlands. We also interview a U.S. Fish and Wildlife whistleblower, examine the West’s poor record of regulating “forever chemicals,” and highlight one Colorado rancher's efforts to raise water buffalo. We examine the spread of wildfire in sagebrush country and reveal disparities within two California communities struggling to recover from devastating wildfires. We look at the lingering power of mining laws and into Montana's obsession with vigilantism. We review a new history on the Continental Divide Trail, as well as a film that portrays the struggle of Indigenous women to escape violence.
'None of this happened the way you think it did'
'None of this happened the way you think it did'
In this issue, we delve into a disturbing story from rural Colorado, where bereaved rural residents are helping the FBI investigate a funeral home suspected of illegally selling remains of the deceased. We interview a retired federal biologist on the Interior Department’s current policies; get on the ground with pygmy rabbit researchers; and highlight an ongoing battle between Alaska residents and the military over fishing waters. We report on a new app that could help people find wildfire escape routes, and we check in on a First Nations musician, discuss the state of Indigenous media, and review Stephanie Land’s newest book.
Public Pushback
Public Pushback
In this issue, our feature story dives into a border community’s resistance to arriving militia members. We travel to California, where: immigrants and refugees are modeling small, abundant agriculture; a radio station provides needed outreach to this community; and farmers make the case for capturing greenhouse gases. Other stories look at courts slowing the Trump administration’s “energy dominance” agenda, the energy industry lobbying to boost uranium, and the BLM offering the fire-starting Hammonds new permits to, yes, reduce fire risk. We review a new book that contemplates nature in isolation. And a writer questions the Mormon church’s recent reversal of an anti-queer policy, saying it’s not nearly enough.
Atomic Tourists
Atomic Tourists
In our annual outdoor recreation and travel issue, we take a road trip through the West's atomic past and lament the loss of a quiet sanctuary in New Mexico. We look at the economics of recreation and a guerrilla visitor's center for Bears Ears National Monument. We rethink access and design for disabilities in the outdoors, and consider what melting glaciers mean to mountaineering. We report on the loss of quiet, thanks to military overflights. We ask how long-distance running – not to mention walking – can re-familiarize a person with a place. And we think deeply on the currents that define our lives – and the courses of rivers. As we prepare for HCN’s 50th anniversary, read our latest initiative, “On the Road to 50."
A History of Violence
A History of Violence
In this issue, we take a look at the dark and hidden history of California's missions: the impact the system had on Indigenous peoples there. We also analyze New Mexico's Energy Transition Act, examine shareholder power to curb climate change, highlight Oregonian efforts to watch for oil trains, and investigate the nationwide problem of racism against Native athletes, coaches and fans. We travel to Santa Fe, where schoolchildren learn about inequity the hard way, discuss the important ways trees connect us all, and we revisit the historic cries of “socialism” that rose amid the establishment of public lands.
Scene of the Crime
Scene of the Crime
In this issue, we trace the death of an endangered pupfish that landed a man in prison. We look at ways Western politicians are pushing back against citizen ballot initiatives; the implications of new research indicating that fish feel pain; and the ways in which California’s Karuk tribe is managing for wildfires — whether the law likes it or not. We check in with a Borderlands sheriff who disagrees with the Trump administration’s “emergency,” and question the moral dimensions of a recent mountain lion death in Colorado. We also review a new documentary giving writer M. Scott Momaday a movie worth his talents, and a writer ponders the disastrous differences between the Exxon Valdez spill and the ongoing climate change catastrophe.
Arizona's Wild Horse Paradox
Arizona's Wild Horse Paradox
In this issue, we travel to Arizona, where the West's “wild” horse problem is as enigmatic as ever. We also delve into the bankruptcy of California energy company PG&E following catastrophic wildfires, and we examine questions of intellectual property questions around Indigenous recordings, which were often made and sold without permission. We check in on Utah bees and dive into a complicated conservation arrangement on undeveloped California land. In our essays and reviews, we look back at historic public lands policies; showcase photography from the gay rodeo circuit; and examine racism in language in California's Dixie School District.
El Nuevo Movimiento
El Nuevo Movimiento
In this issue, we examine Chicano movements that are beginning to embrace immigration as an issue, a surprising development spurred by recent national policies. We also analyze a major public-lands bill just passed in Congress; a water grab in Idaho; a crackdown on humanitarian aid along the southern border; and a Portland neighborhood that is already adopting the principles of a Green New Deal. We take a close look at Pinal County, Arizona, where climate change is forcing tough agricultural choices. We also discuss why environmental victories don’t guarantee economic justice, and we explore the surprising challenges faced by women of color when it comes to public lands.
High Country News Classifieds
  • WATERSHED RESTORATION DIRECTOR
    $58k-$70k + benefits to oversee watershed restoration projects that fulfill our strategic goals across urban and rural areas within the bi-national Santa Cruz and San...
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE ASSISTANT - (PART-TIME)
    High Country News, an award-winning media organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a part-time Customer Service Assistant, based at...
  • OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    We are a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education, innovation, and collaboration....
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Come work alongside everyday Montanans to project our clean air, water, and build thriving communities! Competitive salary, health insurance, pension, generous vacation time and sabbatical....
  • CAMPAIGN MANAGER
    Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to protecting, defending and restoring Oregon's high desert, seeks a Campaign Manager to works as...
  • HECHO DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) was created in 2013 to help fulfill our duty to conserve and protect our public lands for...
  • REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE, COLUMBIA CASCADES
    The Regional Representative serves as PCTA's primary staff on the ground along the trail working closely with staff, volunteers, and nonprofit and agency partners. This...
  • FINANCE AND OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    The Montana Land Reliance (MLR) seeks a full-time Finance and Operations Director to manage the internal functions of MLR and its nonprofit affiliates. Key areas...
  • DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATION
    The Nature Conservancy is recruiting for a Director of Conservation. Provides strategic leadership and support for all of the Conservancy's conservation work in Arizona. The...
  • 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...
  • BIG BASIN SENIOR PROJECT PLANNER - CLIMATE ADAPTATION & RESILIENCE
    Parks California Big Basin Senior Project Planner - Climate Adaptation & Resilience ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND Parks California is a new organization working to ensure that our...
  • SCIENCE PROJECT MANAGER
    About Long Live the Kings (LLTK) Our mission is to restore wild salmon and steelhead and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1986,...
  • HUMAN RESOURCES GENERALIST
    Honor the Earth is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on identity. Indigenous people, people of color, Two-Spirit or LGBTQA+ people,...
  • NEW BOOK BY AWARD-WINNING WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST, BRUCE SMITH
    In a perilous place at the roof of the world, an orphaned mountain goat is rescued from certain death by a mysterious raven.This middle-grade novel,...
  • MOUNTAIN LOTS FOR SALE
    Multiple lots in gated community only 5 miles from Great Sand Dunes National Park. Seasonal flowing streams. Year round road maintenance.
  • RURAL ACREAGE OUTSIDE SILVER CITY, NM
    Country living just minutes from town! 20 acres with great views makes a perfect spot for your custom home. Nice oaks and juniper. Cassie Carver,...
  • A FIVE STAR FOREST SETTING WITH SECLUSION AND SEPARATENESS
    This home is for a discerning buyer in search of a forest setting of premier seclusion & separateness. Surrounded on all sides by USFS land...
  • CARPENTER WANTED
    CARPENTER WANTED. Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rainforest on the coast, HIke the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg...
  • CAUCASIAN OVCHARKA PUPPIES
    Strong loyal companions. Ready to protect your family and property. Proven against wolves and grizzlies. Imported bloodlines. Well socialized.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    "More Data, Less Digging" Find groundwater and reduce excavation costs!