West Obsessed - High Country News

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Synopsis

Get in-depth analysis and stay up to date on the wide, wild and wonderful West. West Obsessed is an audio series produced in collaboration with KVNF community radio in Paonia, Colorado, where the editors and writers of High Country News discuss stories about the American West and why they matter.

Episodes

  • Listen to COVID-19 precautions in Mam language

    24/11/2020 Duration: 05min

    Listen to COVID-19 precautions in Mam language by High Country News

  • #35: A desert divided on the borderlands

    05/04/2018 Duration: 27min

    The borderlands are a long-misunderstood region of the country, wrapped up in rhetoric and myth. In this episode of West Obsessed, Tucson-based Associate Editor Maya Kapoor joins Editor-in-Chief Brian Calvert and Deputy Editor-Digital Kate Schimel to discuss the realities of the border, the communities along it and their intertwined ecologies and economies.

  • #34: The growing Indigenous resistance to drilling in the Southwest

    07/03/2018 Duration: 29min

    In this episode of West Obsessed, contributing editor Jonathan Thompson joins High Country News editors Brian Calvert and Kate Schimel to explore the struggle of Navajo Nation residents, and others, to prevent more oil and gas exploration in historically important lands. Chaco Canyon holds cultural significance to several tribal nations and is also at the center of one of the richest oil and gas fields in the country.

  • #33: Indian Country's dual housing crises

    12/02/2018 Duration: 28min

    Writer Julian Brave Noisecat join High Country News editors on the latest episode of West Obsessed to talk about the original victims of gentrification. Inside this story is an emotional tale of one Indigenous family's experience with structural inequities that affect the availability of housing in both rural and urban areas.

  • #32: The State of Jefferson's undercurrent

    30/01/2018 Duration: 26min

    In the latest episode of West Obsessed, High Country News editors discuss a zealous political movement — a push for a 51st state — born from resentment of California’s liberal ‘resistance’ to Trump.

  • #31: 2017 in the West

    18/01/2018 Duration: 27min

    Since President Donald Trump was inaugurated in Jan. 2017, he and his administration have been steadily undoing Obama-era protections, including designations of national monuments and rules designed to fight climate change. In the latest episode of West Obsessed, High Country News’ D.C. Correspondent Elizabeth Shogren, and editors Brian Calvert, Kate Schimel and Paige Blankenbuehler review some of the most important rollbacks that hit the West this year.

  • #30: The American alpine sublime

    08/12/2017 Duration: 27min

    The Rocky Mountains have long been a source of inspiration and art. This is apparent in the works of the poet Belle Turnbull, who wrote about the mining camps of Colorado, the beauty of the mountains, and her life in the Rockies. In this episode of West Obsessed, High Country News Editor-in-Chief Brian Calvert travels to Gunnison, Colorado, to discuss Turnbull, her work, and the questions it raises about modern wildness and the sublime with two professors from Western Colorado University: David Rothman, the head of Western’s creative writing program, and John Hausdoerffer, who heads the university’s environmental studies program.

  • #29: How to cover Indian Country

    30/11/2017 Duration: 31min

    Native American communities are an integral part of the nation’s history —and future. However, even today there aren’t enough publications that know how to accurately tell their stories. In this episode of West Obsessed, the writers and editors of High Country News discuss the magazine’s efforts to tell better stories from Indian Country.

  • #28: The tumultuous Bundy trials

    19/10/2017 Duration: 12min

    In April 2014, Cliven Bundy, along with hundreds of supporters, faced down federal agents over the removal of his cattle from public lands. They’d been illegally grazing for years and a court had ordered their impoundment. Three years later, Bundy, along with two of his sons and a handful of supporters, is slated to go on trial. It’s been a long and windy road to the courtroom; we break it down it this latest episode of West Obsessed.

  • #27: No hoax

    05/10/2017 Duration: 26min

    In this episode of West Obsessed, we confront the realities of climate change as its impacts on the West begin to unfold. With an administration at odds with recognizing climate change, it’s even more important to see what efforts are being made at the grass roots level. We discuss the fragility of shellfish in an increasingly acidified ocean and the impact of extreme weather events on indigenous people, and what they’re doing about it.

  • #26: People-powered solar

    21/09/2017 Duration: 28min

    This episode of West Obsessed delves into the forces that shape our energy system — from corporate profit motives, to the individuals with solar panels on their roofs. A surprising win by solar customers in Nevada portends a shift.

  • #25: A river is reborn

    15/09/2017 Duration: 25min

    In this episode of West Obsessed, High Country News examines the lessons learned on Washington’s Elwha River, whose dams came down six years ago, and Utah’s Bear River, where a diversion is still being planned.

  • #24: So what if we're doomed?

    18/08/2017 Duration: 29min

    High Country News Editor-in-Chief Brian Calvert delves into the choices we must make as we begin to face the consequences of the Anthropocene. Reckoning with the grinding anxiety of climate change and the grief of losing our most precious species, how we cope with these fears will define us.

  • #23: Alaska's thru-hike pipedream

    06/07/2017 Duration: 29min

    In this episode of West Obsessed, High Country News Correspondent Krista Langlois talks about her recent feature story on a burgeoning recreation industry in the West's northern-most terrain. Alaska looks to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline as a boon for an unlikely economy in the Frontier State: Thru-hiking through rugged wilderness.

  • #22: Forces behind the flip

    14/06/2017 Duration: 29min

    Why did the rural Colorado town of Walsenburg swing from voting blue to red in the 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump? High Country News editors Brian Calvert and Kate Schimel talk to writer Leah Todd about her recent feature story on the politics behind the shift that helped elect Trump to the White House.

  • #21: Strange animal killings and the people who investigate them

    01/06/2017 Duration: 28min

    In this episode of West Obsessed, the editors and writers of High Country News talk about a strange spate of animal killings across the West, the people who investigate those crimes and the implications those acts have on public-lands management.

  • #20: A rural town's prison economy

    18/05/2017 Duration: 29min

    In this episode of West Obsessed, the editors and writers of High Country News reflect on the story of Adelanto, California, a prison town that reflects Western truths of reinvention and subjugation. We take you inside a detention facility designed for the innocent. Why does such a place exist at all? And why was it built in the American West?

  • #19: Marching for science

    25/04/2017 Duration: 29min

    In this episode of West Obsessed, the staff of High Country News looks at Science Marches and how it hits home in the West.

  • #17: The science behind unruly fires

    20/04/2017 Duration: 30min

    In this episode of West Obsessed, High Country News editors and writers discuss the work of wildfire researchers. New studies are uncovering how intense wildfires create their own weather and move across the land — knowledge that could save lives.

  • #16: Busting the Tree Ring

    20/04/2017 Duration: 30min

    In this episode of West Obsessed, High Country News Editor-in-chief Brian Calvert and Publisher Paul Larmer bring HCN correspondent Ben Goldfarb into the studio to talk about his recent feature story an illegal timber poaching gang in Washington. How did an anonymous tip, DNA evidence and a century-old conservation law help the Forest Service take down a gang of maple poachers? Listen to find out.

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