High Country News

For nearly fifty years, we've had the great honor of covering the American West. We've been able to survive -- and thrive -- that long because of readers like you who make donations beyond your subscriptions, ensuring that we can continue to bring you important stories and information.

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General Information

Official Name
High Country News​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
Former Name(s)
(2004)High Country Foundation
Date Established
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
EZ Tax Credit
Tax ID
Headquarters Address
119 Grand Avenue
Paonia, CO 81428
Colorado Location
Mailing Address
Other Address
119 Grand Avenue
Paonia, CO 81428

P.O. Box 1090
Paonia, CO 81428
Main Phone Number
Fax Number
Other Phone Number
Social Media Links

Mission Statement

High Country News is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit news organization that covers the important issues that define the American West. Its mission is to inform and inspire people - through in-depth journalism - to act on behalf of the West's diverse natural and human communities.

Organization History

HCN has thrived for nearly 50 years as a nonprofit media organization. Guided by our mission to inform and inspire people to act on behalf of the West's diverse natural and human communities, the organization's primary efforts are the production of an every-other-week magazine, High Country News, and a website, In 1970, Tom Bell, a teacher, rancher, and wildlife biologist, founded High Country News in Lander, Wyoming, to sound the alarm about environmental destruction in the Northern Rockies.

Over the last decade, High Country News has expanded from a black-and-white tabloid serving 20,000 readers into a multimedia operation that now reaches six million people a year. The High Country News media network now includes:

1. High Country News, the flagship publication, which is printed in full-color, has over 31,000 paid subscribers, and reaches 96,000 total readers via "pass-along" sharing. More than 3,000 readers subscribe to HCN's digital edition.

2., our website, currently attracts nearly 450,000 pageviews each month and rising and includes free access to our 49 years of searchable archives, as well as on-line-only news and blogs to encourage more reader participation and discussion.

3. Our social media presence continues to grow, with over 67,000 Facebook likes, engaging more than engaging more than 32,000 users and reaching over 213,000 total users on that platform on average each month so far in 2019. We also have over 31,000 followers on Twitter.

Through our editorial intern program, the organization helps to seed the West and beyond with conservation- and community-minded journalists and professionals. The program, which has trained over 225 people since 1983, teaches interns to analyze complex Western issues and contending viewpoints. High Country News provides a modest stipend and housing, and in turn, the interns learn to write well-researched articles and produce multi-media pieces for the magazine and website.

In the spring 2019 semester, HCN University, HCN's student outreach program, reached nearly 300 professors serving over 7,300 students in a wide variety of disciplines. This program provides free student subscriptions, a biweekly e-newsletter for professors, and an online librarian available to professors.


David Leonhardt of the New York Times wrote in his December 2017 list of recommended publications:
"The single most common suggestion from readers falls into the broad category of regional news: High Country News. As one newsletter reader, Suzanne, explained to me: The name is "not a reference to marijuana." Instead, "'High Country' is an older term for the Western U.S." The publication covers land use, climate, wildfires and many other issues. I started reading this week and will become a regular."

Doug Fox won the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism-Features at the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony for "Firestorm." Daniel Glick and Jason Plautz won the Thomas L. Stokes Award for Best Energy and Environment Writing for their February 2019 article "The rising risks of the West's latest gas boom." Julian Brave NoiseCat was a finalist for the prestigious Livingston Awards from the University of Michigan for "A tale of two housing crises, rural and urban."

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