High Country News

High Country News
High Country News logo.png
Editor-in-chiefBrian Calvert
PublisherGreg Hanscom
Year founded1970 (1970)
CountryUnited States
Based inPaonia, Colorado

High Country News is an independent non-profit news media source that publishes a magazine, website and other works. The staff covers issues facing the Western United States, from as far west as sealevel at the seashore of the California Ballona Wetlands with a medicinal tribal native plant, and includes a tribal affairs desk. Located in Paonia, Colorado, High Country News is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation.

Tom Bell, a Wyoming conservationist, rancher and decorated World War II bombardier, started a newspaper in 1970 that would become the High Country News. He died at the age of 92 in 2016 in Lander, Wyoming, where he had founded High Country News.


High Country News has more than 35,000 subscribers.[1] In 2017, it received approximately 43% of its income from donations, 29% from subscriptions, 5% from advertising, and the balance from syndication and other sources.[2]


According to a review in The Christian Science Monitor, the paper "is closely read in congressional offices and state houses, as well as in the government agencies that control most of the rural West. It has broken important stories subsequently picked up by the New York Times and other national media."[3] Former Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt described the paper as "the only place where you can really know what's happening in the rest of the West."[3]

High Country News has received numerous journalism and environmental awards, including (but not limited to):

  • Utne Reader magazine's 2013 Utne Media Award for Best Environmental Coverage[4]
  • 2013 National Association of Science Writers' 2013 Science in Society Award
  • 2012 Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism
  • The 2012 Science in Society Award from the National Association of Science Writers
  • The 2012 Society of Environmental Journalists Awards, Outstanding Beat Reporting, Small Market
  • 2011 Excellence in Journalism Awards from the Native American Journalists Association
  • The Native American Journalists Association Best Environmental Story of 2010 (monthly/bimonthly category)
  • Utne Reader magazine's 2010 Utne Independent Press Award for Environmental Coverage[5]
  • The 2010 Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism
  • The 2009 Society of Environmental Journalists Awards, Outstanding Small Market Reporting, Print category
  • The 2008 Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism
  • The 2006 George Polk Award for Political Reporting


  1. ^ "About Us".
  2. ^ "Internal Revenue Service Form 990 Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax".
  3. ^ a b Knickerbocker, Brad (11 July 1991). "A Paper's Scrapping Western Crusade". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Winners of the 2013 UtneMedia Awards".
  5. ^ "Winners of the 2010 Utne Independent Press Awards". Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2010.

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