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

The West’s wacky weather
The West’s weather is full of surprises this spring, with snowstorms, windstorms, rain and wildfires all happening at the same time.
CRASH?
Just as western Colorado towns like Rifle have begun a new life as thriving “amenity” economies, an energy boom of unprecedented proportions has taken over the landscape.
Leave it alone
Archaeology is, or at least ought to be, about more than just picking up artifacts to gather dust on the shelves of crowded museum storerooms.
Breaking the silence of suicide
It may seem like a considerable departure for High Country News to write about mental illness and suicide, but as Ray Ring’s deeply personal lead story shows, both tragedies are rooted in the West.
The elephant that was left out of the room …
Indian tribes were left out of the negotiations that divvied up the Colorado River in 1922, but it’s no longer possible to ignore them – particularly in the case of the Navajo Nation.
Two weeks in the West
Quagga mussels hit the jackpot in Nevada; Lakes Mead and Powell are in trouble; lots and lots and lots of snow – and a few ambitious ski resorts; and Colorado is building a vegetated overpass for wildlife on I-70.
Lakeside City
Fiction: A child's road trip to the Salton Sea
Men with boots
The transformation of once-scrappy mining towns like Silverton, Colo., and Superior, Ariz., into trendy tourist havens is bound to leave the locals with mixed feelings and some nostalgia.
Reluctant Boomtown
A copper-mining company is courting Superior, Ariz., but the former mining town – now re-inventing itself as a modest tourist haven – is unsure whether it really wants a new marriage with extractive industry.
Primer 1: Politics
Something deeper than party lines is at work in Western politics.
An energy oasis in the political desert
The Interior West’s growing political voice – and its status as the nation’s energy supplier – mean presidential candidates need to see the region as more than campaign flyover country.
Two weeks in the West
Greater sage grouse gets another shot at protection; Colorado River water users ratify new plan; news from around the West; a high-tech “virtual fence” on the U.S.-Mexico border runs into problems.
Canis fiasco
A chaotic effort to restore Mexican wolves in New Mexico and a problem with too many elk in Colorado are two facets of the same problem: Our propensity to manage nature in very unnatural ways.
Two weeks in the West
Two weeks in the very arid West means dry ski slopes, destructive wildfires, unending drought and unhappy bears; timber mills are victims of housing collapse; costs of carbon dioxide and its removal.
Coal’s other mess
Even as the air over power plants clears, the coal combustion waste on the ground gets worse – and the EPA seems disinclined to deal with the problem.
Ashes to houses
One of coal's big messes is transformed into building blocks
Coming to a farm near you: Los Angeles
In this issue of High Country News, Matt Jenkins dives into the murky world of L.A.’s water system
Exploring the shrinking marvel of Lake Powell
Jonathan Thompson kayaks Lake Powell and finds it drastically changed – and shrunken – from the “Lake Foul” he first visited 20 years ago.
Two weeks in the West
California’s continuing water troubles; saving water for the Delta smelt; New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici to retire; Idaho grizzly shot; polygamous community in the spotlight; Vegas goes a glitzy shade of green.
Two weeks in the West
Wilderness bills are coming back to life, especially one that would protect Arizona’s Tumacacori Highlands; a lot of things besides windmills are killing birds.
High Country News Classifieds
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