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What Are We Doing Here?
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August 6, 2018

As wildfires and drought return year after year to the West, some communities bear the brunt more than others. In this issue's feature, Contributing Editor Cally Carswell reflects on whether she should stay in a place experiencing climate change as rapidly as Santa Fe, New Mexico, and what it means to make a home there. Assistant Editor Emily Benson looks at another facet of climate change in the Southwest, how it no longer faces a drought but a steady aridification, and how word changes may help change water-use behavior. This issue also explores how rural communities in Montana are dealing with mental health crises, and more.

Feature

In this rapaciously dry year, a quiet question grows louder: What are we doing here?
In this rapaciously dry year, a quiet question grows louder: What are we doing here?
Drought, dread and family in the American Southwest.

Sidebar

When climate change hits home
When climate change hits home
Northern New Mexicans weigh their future in a drying climate.

Current

In the Southwest, ‘drought’ doesn’t tell the whole story
In the Southwest, ‘drought’ doesn’t tell the whole story
Why ‘aridification’ is a better term for our new, more parched reality.
Climate change is making it harder to revive damaged land
Climate change is making it harder to revive damaged land
Instead of restoring the past, ecologists are increasingly focused on the future.
Neighbors on call to help care for one another
Neighbors on call to help care for one another
Community health programs are thriving in Haiti, Montana and the Navajo Nation.
Montana is losing essential mental health services
Montana is losing essential mental health services
As the state’s mental health system faces an uncertain future, experts encourage crisis prevention.
Pawnee comic Howie Echo-Hawk wants to see you squirm
Pawnee comic Howie Echo-Hawk wants to see you squirm
Echo-Hawk’s ‘punishment comedy’ draws on his experiences as an Indigenous man living in Seattle.
Montanans sightsee at a political circus
Montanans sightsee at a political circus
President Donald Trump’s spectacle draws a crowd, for now.

Editor's Note

The desert in our dreams of empire
The desert in our dreams of empire
Flood and drought have shaped the West, and humans are often unprepared.

Essays

After the mountain yellow-legged frog disappeared
After the mountain yellow-legged frog disappeared
A wildlife biologist returns to a childhood stomping ground, devoid of its once-plentiful amphibians.

Book Reviews

The golden age of rock climbing
The golden age of rock climbing
Black and white photos capture the people behind the humble beginnings of the sport.
The Second Coming of Christ in southern Idaho
The Second Coming of Christ in southern Idaho
A new memoir reflects on an isolated, religious upbringing in a survivalist Mormon family.

Heard Around the West

Fleeing wolves; coal and water; California crash
Fleeing wolves; coal and water; California crash
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

Welcome to our new intern
Welcome to our new intern
The annual Cherry Days Festival brought hot temperatures and more visitors.

Letters

NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor of Native Americans and the News Media The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is...
  • AWF seeks an energetic Marketing and Communications Director. Please see the full job description at https://azwildlife.org/jobs
  • The Southwest Communications Director will be responsible for working with field staff in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico to develop and execute detailed communication plans...
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  • (CFROG) is a Ventura County, CA based watch-dog and advocacy non-profit organization. cfrog.org
  • Take your journalism skills to the next level and deepen your understanding of environmental issues by applying for the 2019-2020 Ted Scripps Fellowships in Environmental...
  • WINTER WILDLANDS ALLIANCE POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Winter Wildlands Alliance seeks an experienced and highly motivated individual to lead and manage the organization as Executive...
  • The San Juan Mountains Association is seeking a visionary leader to spearhead its public lands stewardship program in southwest Colorado. For a detailed job description...
  • The Cascade Forest Conservancy seeks a passionate ED to lead our forest protection, conservation, education, and advocacy programs.
  • Mountain Pursuit is a new, bold, innovative, western states, hunting advocacy nonprofit headquartered in Jackson, Wyoming. We need a courageous, hard working, passionate Executive Director...
  • The Draper Natural History Museum (DNHM) at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center of the West in Cody, WY, invites applications for the Willis McDonald, IV...
  • Couple seeks quiet, private, off-grid acreage in area with no/low cell phone service and no/low snowfall. Conservation/bordering public lands a plus. CA, OR, WA, ID,...
  • 20mi N of Steamboat Springs, majestic views, aspen forest, year-round access, yurt, septic, solar electric, seasonal ponds, no covenants, bordering National Forest. Ag status. $449K....
  • Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring for two positions: Communications & Development Manager/Director (remote work possible) and a Deputy Director...
  • Former northern Sierra winery, with 2208 sq.ft. commercial building, big lot, room to expand.
  • The dZi Foundation is seeking a FT Communications Associate with a passion for Nepal to join our team in Ridgway, Colorado. Visit dzi.org/careers.
  • Available now for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojaidigital.net.
  • Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • 1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
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