Jonathan Thompson

Contributing  Editor

Jonathan Thompson is a native Westerner with deep roots in southwestern Colorado. He owned and edited the Silverton Standard & the Miner newspaper in the tiny town of Silverton, Colo., and was the editor-in-chief of High Country News from 2007 to 2010.  After that he lived in Berlin, Germany, and then was a Ted Scripps fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder. In 2016, Jonathan was awarded the Society of Environmental Journalist's Outstanding Beat Reporting, Small Market.

email: jonathan at hcn.org

Trump’s coal and nuclear bailout helps execs and hurts the grid
Trump’s coal and nuclear bailout helps execs and hurts the grid
In a heavy-handed directive, the Department of Energy caters to industry barons.
The 416 Fire reminds us there’s no escape from climate change
The 416 Fire reminds us there’s no escape from climate change
Rumors that a popular tourist train sparked the fire have forced a reckoning.
The dark secrets of the Animas River
The dark secrets of the Animas River
A 2015 spill that turned the waterway orange is a reminder of mining’s disastrous legacy.
The nowhereness of airports
The nowhereness of airports
The way air travel has devolved says something awful about humans.
At Bears Ears, Trump and Zinke ignored everyone but industry
At Bears Ears, Trump and Zinke ignored everyone but industry
Newly released documents show that locals had little voice in monument decisions.
Resistance to drilling grows on the Navajo Nation
Resistance to drilling grows on the Navajo Nation
Indigenous activists try to quell a rising tide of oil and gas exploration in Chaco Canyon.
The danger of local hands on public lands
The danger of local hands on public lands
When it comes to monuments, Utah lawmakers have conflicts of interest.
The big public land sell-out
The big public land sell-out
Even without wholesale land transfers, public lands are already being conveyed to industry.
The 26,000 tons of radioactive waste under Lake Powell
The 26,000 tons of radioactive waste under Lake Powell
The West’s uranium boom brought dozens of mills to the banks of the Colorado River — where toxic waste was dumped irresponsibly.
What national monument protections do
What national monument protections do
Some say the Bears Ears shrinkage won’t change anything — they’re wrong.
Interior Department’s return to the ‘robber baron’ years
Interior Department’s return to the ‘robber baron’ years
Secretary Ryan Zinke will be known better for cynicism than conservationism.
How to make sense of Trump’s changes to Bears Ears
How to make sense of Trump’s changes to Bears Ears
The drastically reduced boundaries don’t line up with what the public wants.
A map of $1.1 billion in natural gas pipeline leaks
A map of $1.1 billion in natural gas pipeline leaks
In seven years, pipeline incidents have killed nearly 100 people nationwide.
Nationwide, oil pipeline spills are a near-daily reality
Nationwide, oil pipeline spills are a near-daily reality
As Nebraska OKs Keystone XL route, a look at U.S. oil spills since 2015.
Coal. Guns. Freedom?
Coal. Guns. Freedom?
How the Trump administration has seized mythologies around coal.
National monuments protect meaning, not just landscapes
National monuments protect meaning, not just landscapes
If Bears Ears shrinks, it will be to our national cultural detriment.
One grid to rule them all
One grid to rule them all
And in the darkness, bind them: The West’s bid for one big electric grid.
Can Zinke shrink Bears Ears?
Can Zinke shrink Bears Ears?
The Interior Secretary hints at a smaller, scattered national monument.
The Trump administration’s false coal stats, explained
The Trump administration’s false coal stats, explained
Enviro chief Scott Pruitt’s coal job numbers aren’t even close to accurate.
What’s really killing King Coal?
What’s really killing King Coal?
Rick Perry wants to save coal from solar and wind, but natural gas is the real culprit.
High Country News Classifieds
  • DESCHUTES LAND TRUST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Deschutes Land Trust, based in Bend, Oregon, seeks a collaborative and strategic Executive Director to lead us in pursuing our mission: to conserve and care...
  • DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
    Job Title: Development Manager Supervisor: Senior Director of Development Effective Date: May 17, 2021 Job Status: Full-time (40 hours/week), exempt Location: Within the Colorado Plateau...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT FRIENDS OF CEDAR MESA
    - The Land, History, and People of the Bears Ears Region - The Bears Ears and Cedar Mesa region is one of the most beautiful,...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Job Title: Executive Director Reports To: Board of Directors Compensation: $75,000 to $80,000, plus generous benefits and paid leave. Funding for relocation expenses available. Classification:...
  • WATER DIRECTOR
    Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Application review will begin on April 2, 2021 and will continue until the position has been filled....
  • CLIMATE JUSTICE FELLOW
    High Country News, an award-winning magazine covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks applicants for a climate justice fellowship. The fellowship...
  • VIRGINIA SPENCER DAVIS FELLOWSHIP
    High Country News, an award-winning magazine covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, is offering a fellowship for early-career journalists interested in...
  • COLORADO WILD PUBLIC LANDS VIDEO CONTEST
    Please submit your video of 30 seconds or less, taken on public lands, to [email protected] by May 15th for a chance to win in one...
  • WMAN NETWORK COORDINATOR
    WESTERN MINING ACTION NETWORK (WMAN) CONTRACT OPPORTUNITY CLOSING DATE: Feb. 19, 2021 WMAN is seeking a team member to coordinate the various network activities to...
  • FRIENDS OF THE INYO IS HIRING TRAIL AMBASSADORS FOR THE SUMMER OF 2021
    Friends of the Inyo's Trail Ambassadors (TAs) support the Inyo, Sierra, & Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests and other partners by providing positive public service, outreach, interpretation,...
  • LAND & CABIN ON CO/ UT LINE
    18 ac w/small solar ready cabin. Off grid, no well. Great RV location. Surrounded by state wildlife area and nat'l parks.
  • MANAGER PERMACULTURE LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR
    Permaculture / Landscape Company Manager / Site Lead Red Ant Works, Inc. - 20+ year landscape construction and horticultural care company seeks manager and site...
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Field seminars for adults in natural and human history of the Colorado Plateau with lodge, river trip and base camp options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
    San Juan Citizens Alliance is looking for a passionate, dynamic, organized, and technology-savvy communications professional to help grow our membership and presence in the Four...
  • ENERGY AND CLIMATE PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
    San Juan Citizens Alliance seeks an Energy and Climate Program Associate to focus on public outreach, education and organizing to advance campaigns to mitigate climate...
  • REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST
    This position provides professional real estate services and is responsible for managing and completing real estate projects utilizing a project management database that is designed...
  • WILDFIRE MITIGATION SPECIALIST
    The Wildfire Mitigation Specialist is responsible for delivering wildfire risk mitigation information, recommendations and programmatic resources to wildland urban interface homeowners, community members and partners....
  • DEVELOPMENT POSITIONS
    Thorne Nature Experience is hiring for a Development Director and Senior Individual Giving Manager. Individuals will work collaboratively with Thorne's Executive Director to develop and...
  • SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION & ENERGY
    The National Parks Conservation Association, a 100-year-old nonprofit advocacy organization and the nation's leading voice for national parks seeks a Senior Program Manager, Landscape Conservation...
  • BACKCOUNTRY AND FRONTCOUNTRY STEWARDSHIP CREW MEMBERS
    The San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA) is hiring a crew of ambassadors to work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to educate visitors on...