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What if a government agency awarded nearly $300 million worth of work to an unqualified company simply to enrich former colleagues and anger political enemies? In her cover story- Lost in the Woods-for High Country News, investigative reporter Claudine LoMonaco shows that the U.S. Forest Service may have done just that in 2012 with the contract for the Four Forest Restoration Project—also called the Four Fry Project—in Arizona. For the latest edition of Sounds of the High Country, KDNK’s collaboration with High Country News, Nelson Harvey spoke to LoMonaco about the troubling implications of what she found.
Human caused climate change can seem like an abstract global problem, but when it begins to affect our food supply things get real, real quick. For the latest edition of Sounds of the High Country, KDNK’s collaboration with the magazine High Country News, Nelson Harvey spoke to author Elizabeth Grossman about how native Alaskan tribes are seeing their wild food sources undermined by a changing climate. He filed this report.
For most people, going out for a hike first requires some amount of driving, which can feel like a Catch-22 for the conservation-minded. In the current issue of environmental magazine High Country News, Craig Childs explores the conflict in his story “Motorheads Gone Wild”. On this edition of Sounds of the High Country, KDNK’s collaboration with the magazine, KDNK’s Eric Skalac talked to Childs about the dilemma of the ecological off-roader. You can read Craig Childs’ “Motorheads Gone Wild” at hcn.org. Also find past editions of this podcast at KDNK.org or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
It may not come as a surprise that many Native Americans living on mostly poor, remote reservations in the American West have come to rely heavily on payday loan companies offering cash at high interest rates when money is tight. Yet as Jonathan Thompson reveals in the current issue of High Country News, some tribes have also started getting into the payday lending business themselves, often by partnering with private companies and shielding them from state financial rules.
For this episode of Sounds of the High Country, KDNK's collaboration with the magazine, Nelson Harvey asked Thompson whether these tribes could be mortgaging their futures in exchange for quick cash.
In its quest to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, the U.S. Border Patrol is running roughshod over huge swaths of desert wilderness with complete immunity from U.S. environmental laws. That's what Ray Ring, a senior editor for High Country News, discovered on a recent reporting trip to the border. For the latest edition of Sounds of the High Country, KDNK's collaboration with the magazine, Ring told Nelson Harvey about the tremendous environmental price we're paying at the border, and why it's tough to quantify what we're getting in return.
From Yosemite to Glacier National Park to the Harriet Tubman National Monument in Maryland, the 400 parks that make up the U.S. National Park system are supposed to be the shared heritage of all Americans. Yet as Jodi Peterson reports in the current issue of High Country News, the vast majority of people who visit national parks or work in the system are white. For the latest edition of Sounds of the High Country, KDNK's collaboration with High Country News, Nelson Harvey spoke with Peterson about the National Park Service's diversity problem.
Sometimes when you set off across the west in search of adventure, you find a bit more than you bargained for. The annual travel issue of High Country News is out this week, and to mark the occasion the magazine held a "Western Travel Horror Story" contest that prompted more than 50 readers to submit stories about trips in the west that went terribly—and hilariously—wrong.
For the latest edition of Sounds of the High Country, KDNK's collaboration with High Country News, KDNK's Nelson Harvey had three readers tell him their stories. He spoke to Will Toor about getting stripped of his dignity on a hitchhiking trip, to Sheyna Maytum about breaking down in the desert, and to Bruce Drogsvold about a tow truck driver who will live in infamy. Here are their stories.
California's 38 million residents need energy, and since they don't want it from coal plants, communities in the West are trying to seize an opportunity to export their renewable energy California's way. In this episode of Sounds of the High Country, KDNK's Eric Skalac spoke to Judith Lewis Mernit who wrote about California's energy needs and the west's renewable energy network in the most recent High Country News. As Mernit writes, the situation might mean economic development for small towns with big renewable energy resources.
In the early March issue of High Country News, contributing editor Sierra Crane Murdoch tells a sprawling tale of contamination, cancer and cover up as she tries to unravel the unsolved mystery of the Fallon, Nevada cancer cluster. For the latest edition of Sounds of the High Country, KDNK's Nelson Harvey spoke with Murdoch about what she found.
Out in the Gila National Forest, ranchers and environmentalists are working together to protect endangered wolves, while also protecting ranchers' livelihoods. In the current issue of the High Country News, writer April Reese investigates the surprising new strategy for endangered wildlife protection being tried in New Mexico.
For this episode of Sounds of the High Country, our collaboration with the High Country News, KDNK's Eric Skalac spoke to Reese about how two usually antagonistic groups are working on a solution that could make everyone happy.