What we do
High Country News is the nation’s leading source of reporting on the Western United States. We publish an award-winning magazine and a popular website, along with special reports and books. Through in-depth reporting, High Country News covers the West’s social, political and ecological issues. From Alaska and the Northern Rockies to the desert Southwest, the Great Plains to the West Coast, High Country News covers 12 Western states and hundreds of Indigenous communities. We are an essential magazine for people who care about this region.
Our print and online magazine has more than 36,000 subscribers, including policymakers, educators, public land managers, environmental professionals, outdoor enthusiasts and thousands more. Our website attracts nearly 400,000 sessions each month, and our online archives are unusually deep, from the first issue in 1970 to today.
High Country News’ commitment to environmental and social responsibility gives an added resonance to our unique Western voice. We strive to inspire, engage and challenge readers to bridge cultural divides, expand their own perspectives and consider new ideas. We want our readers to know the West.
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.
In 2017, High Country News became the first non-Native American publication to establish an Indigenous Affairs desk as part of an effort to attract new readers and improve their coverage of Native American issues.
High Country News has more than 35,000 subscribers. 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.
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." 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."
High Country News has received numerous journalism and environmental awards, including (but not limited to):
2020 George Polk Award for Education Reporting for "Land Grab Universities" by Tristan Ahtone and Robert Lee
2012 Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism for "Perilous Passages" by Emilene Ostlind and Joe Riis
2012 National Association of Science Writers Science in Society Journalism Award, Science Reporting for a Local or Regional Audience category, for "Perilous Passages" by Emilene Ostlind, Mary Ellen Hannibal, and Cally Carswell
2012 Society of Environmental Journalists Awards, Outstanding Beat Reporting, Small Market
2011 Excellence in Journalism Awards from the Native American Journalists Association
2010 Native American Journalists Association Best Environmental Story of 2010 (monthly/bimonthly category)
2010 Utne Reader magazine's Utne Independent Press Award for Environmental Coverage
2010 Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism for "The Dark Side of Dairies" by Rebecca Clarren
2009 Society of Environmental Journalists Awards, Outstanding Small Market Reporting, Print category
PAONIA, CO 81428-1090 | Tax-exempt since Aug. 1969
Classification (NTEE) Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (Environmental Quality, Protection and Beautification )
Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(3) Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
Donations to this organization are tax deductible.
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