Communities

‘Will my tears cool the ash?’
‘Will my tears cool the ash?’
A firefighter contemplates the coming fire season.
Why Western wildfires are getting more expensive
Why Western wildfires are getting more expensive
This year’s fire season was the costliest on record, burning more than 9 million acres.
Montana’s rough, fiery summer
Montana’s rough, fiery summer
This year’s wildfires were a public health nightmare.
Photos: An unexpectedly quiet eclipse viewing
Photos: An unexpectedly quiet eclipse viewing
In Lander, Wyoming, the promised eclipse hordes never materialized.
The view of the eclipse from the lenses of our readers
The view of the eclipse from the lenses of our readers
A collection of photos submitted by the High Country News community.
How the West experienced the solar eclipse
How the West experienced the solar eclipse
HCN readers watched from all over the country. Find out where.
In solar scuffle, big utilities meet their match
In solar scuffle, big utilities meet their match
Solar advocates win a surprising victory in Nevada.
Hunting for feral figs
Hunting for feral figs
The gem-like fruit are best when found free in the urban wilds.
A human head for a bear’s snack; lost in the wild; a dog returns home
A human head for a bear’s snack; lost in the wild; a dog returns home
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.
What a doctor learns after a life’s work
What a doctor learns after a life’s work
A pediatrician reflects on his work in Navajo Nation.
When solar eclipses coal
When solar eclipses coal
A solar eclipse comes to the West as solar energy surges past coal.
West Obsessed: On finding our way in the Anthropocene
West Obsessed: On finding our way in the Anthropocene
How to confront hard truths about climate change and ecocide.
What I learned from Iraqi and Kurdish students in Montana
What I learned from Iraqi and Kurdish students in Montana
Seeing encounters between foreign students and rural Westerners was eye opening.
A young hunter moves past death threats from afar
A young hunter moves past death threats from afar
The Apassingok family reflects on a formative kill of a whale and the social-media backlash.
Why I obsess about the names of plants and animals
Why I obsess about the names of plants and animals
Naming things makes individuals out of a landscape of birds, trees and bumblebees.
A far-right rally meets backlash in Seattle
A far-right rally meets backlash in Seattle
Violent clashes in Virgina over displays of Nazism set the stage for conflict in Washington state.
What would the rural West do without volunteer firefighters?
What would the rural West do without volunteer firefighters?
Small-town firefighters are often first responders to some of the biggest blazes.
Amid California’s toxic dumps, local activists go it alone
Amid California’s toxic dumps, local activists go it alone
They call themselves promotores, and they’re starting to see results.
The West braces for a “cosmic traffic jam”
The West braces for a “cosmic traffic jam”
Hordes of travelers have filled up campsites and hotels in preparation.
Recognizing California’s invisible activists
Recognizing California’s invisible activists
We are seeing a mounting intolerance toward undocumented farmworkers.
A legal snarl in Idaho portends future conflicts over water
A legal snarl in Idaho portends future conflicts over water
As the climate changes, dams face new challenges for water rights and releases.
No, God won’t take care of climate change
No, God won’t take care of climate change
Conservationists and religious folk need to find harmony for a healthy planet.
Why so many hate crime victims choose not to report
Why so many hate crime victims choose not to report
A Colorado study examines the experiences of victims.