Back 40: National stories told locally.

Today the gulf between urban and rural communities feels wider than ever. Through embedding our reporters in the community, High Country News’  Back 40 series covers important national stories, locally.

The issues, people and places in these stories help tell the complex narrative of the rural West through the lens of HCN’s backyard in western Colorado to facilitate a better understand of these communities and to help bridge the cultural divide.

National stories told locally.
In rural Colorado, can art provide an economic engine?
In rural Colorado, can art provide an economic engine?
A small town invests in affordable housing for the creative sector.
As sediment builds, one dam faces its comeuppance
As sediment builds, one dam faces its comeuppance
Officials at a Colorado reservoir are reckoning with decades of accumulation.
Colorado’s biggest methane emitter may get a discount
Colorado’s biggest methane emitter may get a discount
In exchange, the state asks a coal mine to trap its gas—but the BLM won’t require it.
Forest Service confronts a popular hot springs’ overuse
Forest Service confronts a popular hot springs’ overuse
Rangers tackle the conundrum of protecting loved-to-death wilderness.
How farmers can help keep salt out of the Colorado River
How farmers can help keep salt out of the Colorado River
The solution to a basin-wide problem may fall to individual irrigators.
Neighbors clash over a Colorado chicken farm
Neighbors clash over a Colorado chicken farm
A local court decision lands on the side of a 15,000-hen operation.
The wine industry’s battle with climate change
The wine industry’s battle with climate change
Vineyards deal with drought, temperature swings and fruit that ripens too early.
Local power gets results for Thompson Divide
Local power gets results for Thompson Divide
New legislation could end a decade-long fight against oil and gas development.
Planes, pits & snowmobiles: how scientists get good data
Planes, pits & snowmobiles: how scientists get good data
A day in the field as researchers wring water data from Colorado’s snowpack.
Dispatch from coal country: Advocates and adversaries duel over leasing reform
Dispatch from coal country: Advocates and adversaries duel over leasing reform
In western Colorado, two visions for the future of fossil fuels collide at a BLM listening session.
High Country News Classifieds
  • DEAN, W. A. FRANKE COLLEGE OF FORESTRY AND CONSERVATION, UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
    Dean, W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, apply http://bit.ly/2548umjobs. AA/EEO/ADA/Veterans Preference Employer
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    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks a creative and driven graphic design professional to design high quality print and digital collateral. The Graphic Designer will bring...
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    San Isabel Land Protection Trust seeks experienced person to manage its 133 conservation easements in south-central Colorado.
  • CAMPAIGN REPRESENTATIV
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  • AG LANDS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Oregon Agricultural Trust (OAT) seeks passionate relationship builder experienced in coordinating agricultural conservation easement transactions.
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    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • FINANCE DIRECTOR
    Mountain Studies Inst (MSI) is hiring 4+ positions: Finance Director; Coms/Engagmnt Mngr; Dev/Engagmnt Dir; Americorps vol
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND ENGAGEMENT MANAGER
    Mountain Studies Inst (MSI) is hiring 4+ positions: Finance Director; Dev/Engagement Dir; Coms/Engagement Mngr; & Americorps volunteer
  • SEASONAL TRAIL CREW LEADERS
    Lead the nation's premier volunteer-based trail crew programs on the spectacular Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. This is a great career-building opportunity for rising professionals....
  • ORGANIZING AND TRAINING COORDINATOR
    Is this your dream job? Are you looking to join a nationally recognized organizing network, live in a spectacular part of the West, and work...
  • DEVELOPMENT AND ADVOCACY DIRECTOR
    Provide stewardship and protection for the Great Burn wildlands along the Montana-Idaho stateline. This position is based in Missoula, MT, where a river runs through...
  • DEVELOMENT DIRECTOR
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness is seeking a qualified Development Director to manage the fundraising success of our growing organization, including the team-driven implementation of...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Central Oregon LandWatch is seeking an Executive Director to advance our mission and oversee the development of the organization. Job Description: The Executive Director oversees...
  • LISA MACKEY PHOTOGRAPHY
    Fine Art Gicle Printing. Photo papers, fine art papers, canvas. Widths up to 44". Art printing by an artist.
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    San Juan Citizens Alliance is seeking a full-time San Juan Energy Campaign Organizer located in Farmington, New Mexico. The San Juan Energy Campaign Organizer focuses...
  • WILDLIFE PROGRAM MANAGER
    San Juan Citizens Alliance (SJCA) is looking for a passionate, experienced, and motivated Wildlife Program Manager to lead campaigns to protect and enhance wildlife and...
  • GRANT WRITER
    "This thriving citizens organization exemplifies the ideal of public involvement in public processes."- Billings Gazette Help protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, &...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER AND MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR
    Western Colorado Alliance is hiring for 4 positions, 2 Full Time Community Organizers, 1 Part Time Community Organizer and a Part Time Membership Coordinator. For...
  • BUSINESS OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    Thorne Nature Experience is looking for a Business Operations Director who will work in partnership with the Executive Director and Thorne's Directors and Managers to...
  • WILDERNESS CONSERVATION CORPS - OREGON
    The Siskiyou Mountain Club is hiring interns for the 2020 Field Season. Interns utilize non-mechanized tools to complete trail restoration and maintenance while gaining job...