One of the most pervasive notions of American cultural identity is that of the Old West and the myth of the cowboy. This month we stick a magnifying glass up to those notions to see where they originate, and where they continue to resonate.

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A federal agency known as the Mineral Management Service, or MMS, has faced scrutiny as of late after the BP oil disaster in the Gulf. The agency falls under the Department of Interior, headed by former Colorado Senator, Democrat Ken Salazar. But, this isn’t the first time MMS has come under fire. High [...]

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With the reintroduction of the wolf into Rocky Mountain regions, some are advocating for hunting the animals. Long time High Country News contributor and contributing Field & Stream editor Hal Herring recently wrote an article entitled “One Way to Save the Wolf: Hunt It.” He speaks to High Country [...]

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The deck is looking increasingly stacked against coal in many Western states. With broad bipartisan support and endorsements, Colorado lawmakers recently passed a bill that makes the conversion of three Front Range power plants from coal to natural gas almost a sure bet. High Country News producer Cally Carswell recently sat down [...]

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News

AP
January 25, 2015 | NPR · The actor who most famously plays Mr. Bean wrecked the high-performance car back in 2011. Luckily, he wasn’t seriously injured. But it did cost him $1.4 million to get it fixed.
 

ITAR-TASS/Landov
January 25, 2015 | NPR · Petro Poroshenko says that the only way forward in ending the conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east is to revive a cease-fire agreement forged in September in Minsk.
 

AP
January 25, 2015 | NPR · The president recommends more than 12 million acres of the region receive the highest level of protection available for public lands.
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of Tom Toro
January 25, 2015 | NPR · Tom Toro was a directionless 20-something film school dropout. Then, after an inspired moment at a used book sale, he started submitting drawings to The New Yorker and collecting rejection slips.
 

Courtesy of Liveright Publishing
January 25, 2015 | NPR · Falling in love with your handsome pen pal, moving overseas to marry him, then finding out he’s part of a terrorist organization: That’s the Bunjevac family story, told in a new graphic memoir.
 

January 25, 2015 | NPR · Every answer today is a word starting with the letters A-R, which you will identify from its anagram. For example, given AR plus ROB, the answer would be “arbor.”
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
January 25, 2015 | NPR · The film director is known for composing and performing his own soundtracks. On Lost Themes, he reaches beyond the movies to craft a collection of understandably cinematic-sounding music.
 

Courtesy of the artist
January 25, 2015 | NPR · An arresting, frozen-moment splay of images and emotions, Phil Elverum’s latest album as Mount Eerie feels less like a meditation and more like a slow-motion mauling.
 

Courtesy of the artist
January 25, 2015 | NPR · The Israeli singer has a compelling, unusual, wholly original voice. On Gold Shadow, his first official release in North America, he writes with passion and poetry.
 

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