Issues

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.
Barriers to Entry
Barriers to Entry
In this issue, we delve into the white supremacist past — and present — of Portland, Oregon. We meet Sam Thompson, a Portland resident who wants city officials to change racist policies that have persisted for decades. We also examine the impacts of the January government shutdown on residents of rural Washington — where federal workers aren’t exactly welcome. We explore an education model on the Mexican border that helps children caught amid family-straining deportation policies. We take an extended trip into the contemporary artwork of a prominent Lakota family, and learn the historical elusiveness of border security.
Nizhoni Girls
Nizhoni Girls
In this issue, we pay homage to image-heavy storytelling, through a short comic that tells the story of a surf rock band in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Indigenous storytelling has long been interested in recording collective history, and here we honor that tradition. In other stories, we dive into divisions over the Green New Deal, how heat hits poorer neighborhoods harder, and why Wyoming's public lands are the least accessible than any other state. Read why you should be eating roadkill, and how Elizabeth Warren’s claims to Native ancestry are damaging to Indigenous communities. And learn how the federal shutdown damaged good science.
What Killed Washington's Carbon Tax?
What Killed Washington's Carbon Tax?
In our first issue of the year, we examine the failure of Washington’s carbon tax as a way to discuss the challenge of climate policy. We also dive into the strange relationship between burrowing owls and agriculture near the Salton Sea; analyze the ways in which hunters and anglers are weighing in on politics; and examine how Indigenous podcasting is taking the “true crime” genre to new levels, allowing it to discuss major issues in new ways.
Good news, bad news
Good news, bad news
Our last issue of 2018 is dedicated to examining the impact of “news deserts” across the West, while highlighting the stubborn media “blooms” that point the way toward a brighter future. Our feature story asks whether journalists can adapt to the changing news ecosystem quickly enough. We also dive into what happens when local news sources dry up, highlight Denver's powerhouse editor and founder of Westword, Patricia Calhoun, and interview an artist on how new Indigenous comics are changing stereotypes and providing identity for kids.
Critical Mass
Critical Mass
The future of nuclear power is more uncertain than ever, so this issue includes two features that examine the forbidden power — its legacy and its possibilities. Meanwhile, we look at tunnels underneath the border wall; investigation errors for missing and murdered Indigenous women; a wayward pocket of Alaska yellow cedars; an interview with Democratic Rep. Raúl Grijalva, the soon-to-be majority head for the House Committee on Natural Resources; and more.
Follow the fish
Follow the fish
Human impact on the West is explored in this issue. On the border between Wyoming and Montana, river otters now scamper where they weren’t found until after the 1960s. The animals may have been drawn to the plateau by the fish stocked in its alpine lakes. Our other feature story looks at the scourge of microplastics: tiny particles that are now ubiquitous in our environment, our water and even our food. Stories examining whether to label anti-Indian groups hate groups, the wisdom gained on a dogsled in the Arctic, a plan that paves the way for more oil and gas drilling in New Mexico and more round out this issue.
Old Wests, and new
Old Wests, and new
We take a break from covering current events with our annual Books & Authors special issue, which hits themes familiar to every Westerner, echoing the conflicts common to our million-square-mile region. Book reviews, author Q&As, memoirs, excerpts and essays reimagine our relationships to each other, and to the land.
When your neighborhood goes BOOM
When your neighborhood goes BOOM
The West is experiencing growing pains, as its cities continue to expand. This issue's feature takes you inside the night of an oil and gas explosion in suburban Colorado, where drilling and production facilities are springing up next to new neighborhoods and schools. Inside the issue, we also investigate efforts to bring more people and water to southern Utah, where the estimated costs for the Lake Powell Pipeline don't seem to add up. Also in this issue are stories about the president's attack on public lands and how that may help Democrats in November's elections; how to battle climate dread; and an artist's response to the 20-year anniversary of Matthew Shepard's murder in Wyoming – and more.
High Country News Classifieds
  • A CHILDREN'S BOOK FOR THE CLIMATE CRISIS!!
    "Goodnight Fossil Fuels!" is a an engaging, beautiful, factual and somewhat silly picture book by a climate scientist and a climate artist, both based in...
  • DIGITAL ADVOCACY & MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    The Digital Advocacy & Membership Manager will be responsible for creating and delivering compelling, engaging digital content to Guardians members, email activists, and social media...
  • DIGITAL OUTREACH COORDINATOR, ARIZONA
    Job Title: Digital Outreach Coordinator, Arizona Position Location: Phoenix or Tucson, AZ Status: Salaried Job ID Number: 52198 We are looking for you! We are...
  • DESCHUTES LAND TRUST VOLUNTEER PROGRAM MANAGER
    The Deschutes Land Trust is seeking an experienced Volunteer Program Manager to join its dedicated team! Deschutes Land Trust conserves and cares for the lands...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming seeks an experienced fundraiser to join our team. We're looking for a great communicator who is passionate about conservation and...
  • INDIAN COUNTRY FELLOWSHIP
    Western Leaders Network is accepting applications for its paid, part-time, 6-month fellowship. Mentorship, training, and engaging tribal leaders in advancing conservation initiatives and climate policy....
  • MULESHOE RANCH PRESERVE MANAGER
    The Muleshoe Ranch Preserve Manager develops, manages, and advances conservation programs, plans and methods for large-scale geographic areas. The Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area (MRCMA)...
  • ARTEMIS PROGRAM MANAGER
    Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF or Federation) is America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 52 state/territorial affiliates and more...
  • ASSISTANT OR ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES
    Assistant or Associate Professor of Environmental Humanities Whitman College The Environmental Humanities Program at Whitman College seeks candidates for a tenure-track position beginning August 2023...
  • ANNUAL FUND MANAGER
    Working closely with the Foundation's leadership, the Annual Fund Manager is responsible for the oversight and management of the Foundation's annual operating fund. This is...
  • DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR
    Looking for someone who loves public land and understands the value and importance of data in reaching shared goals as part of a high-functioning team....
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    High Country Conservation Advocates (HCCA) in Crested Butte, CO is seeking an enthusiastic Executive Director who is passionate about the public lands, natural waters and...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS
    Are you passionate about connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with volunteer management experience to join...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The conservation non-profit Invasive Species Action Network seeks an executive director. We are focused on preventing the human-caused spread of invasive species by promoting voluntary...
  • NEW BOOK: A FEAST OF ECSTATIC VERSE AND IMAGERY
    Dynamic fine art photographer offers use of images to raise funds. Available for use by conservation groups. Contact at www.anecstaticgathering.com.
  • WANTED: TALENTED WRITER
    Write the introduction to A Feast of Ecstatic Verse and Imagery, a book concerning nature and spirituality. Contact at www.anecstaticgathering.com. Writer who works for conservation/nature...
  • MT STATE DIRECTOR- THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY
    The Montana State Director is a member of The Wilderness Society's (TWS) Conservation program team who plays a leading role in advancing the organization's mission...
  • HIGH COUNTRY NEWS EDITORIAL INTERNS
    High Country News, an award-winning magazine covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, is looking for its next cohort of editorial interns....
  • THE MAGICAL UNIVERSE OF THE ANCIENTS: A DESERT JOURNAL
    Bears Ears, Chaco Canyon, and other adventures in the Four Corners area. 60 photos and lively journals. Purchase hc $35 or pb $25 from bigwoodbooks.com...
  • DIRECTOR OF PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE - HR
    Career Opportunity: Director of People and Organizational Culture Do you have interest in approaching organizational culture from a place of creativity and curiosity? Do you...