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Finding Selena

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Rockies Today

January 21 · Issue #65 · View online
The big stories up and down the Rocky Mountains, curated by Mountain West News

Finding Selena
For decades, with little public notice, Native women have gone missing or been found murdered. The search for Selena Not Afraid—whose body was found Monday morning—shows how much things have changed, The New York Times reports.
Rural Montana had already lost too many Native women. Then Selena disappeared. Rural Montana had already lost too many Native women. Then Selena disappeared.
Selena’s disappearance played out against a national outcry over the killings and disappearances of Indigenous women. The issue hit home with particular force here in Big Horn County, a rural stretch of rolling mountains and ranch lands that contains the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations and has the highest rate of missing and murdered Native Americans in Montana, and among the highest nationwide.
Local activists had an incomplete count of 27 Native women who had gone missing in recent memory in Big Horn County alone. Selena was the 28th. The difference here and in many parts of the West is that for decades the disappearance of mothers and children, cousins and friends almost invariably played out in obscurity, with modest law enforcement investigations that almost invariably languished unsolved.
Activists and researchers say the crisis burned unheeded for generations until a few years ago, when families’ stories of how their loved ones were sex trafficked, murdered with impunity or dismissed as chronic runaways gained traction through grass-roots organizing and social media, forcing politicians and law enforcement to take notice.
Last year, 5,590 Indigenous women were reported missing to the F.B.I.’s National Crime Information Center, but advocates say the staggeringly high rates of violence suffered by Indigenous people are still not fully reflected in official accounting.
More on the search:
Body of Selena Not Afraid found within mile of rest stop where she was last seen
America’s radioactive secret
Beyond fracking: Oil-and-gas industry's toxic waste is radioactive Beyond fracking: Oil-and-gas industry's toxic waste is radioactive
More oil and gas news:
What's polluting Colorado's air? 125 million tons a year of heat-trapping and hazardous gases
Keep an eye on PRB in 2020, Wyoming geologists say
Wyoming DEQ backs off plan to dump more oilfield pollutants into Boysen
Wyoming OKs permit to test treated oil wastewater on a farm
Why many Alberta oil and gas companies aren’t paying their taxes
Jordan Cove passes big Oregon hurdle, but what's next for the pipeline project?
Oil and gas firms must invest in clean energy solutions to survive: IEA
Cattle battle
BLM begins overhaul of flashpoint grazing rules BLM begins overhaul of flashpoint grazing rules
BLM plans revamp of grazing regulations
More public lands goings on:
Feds overrule nomination of Moab-area rock art sites to National Register
Last lease on the line
Interior preps nearly 100 policy changes for 2020
Interior Department lawyer told Congress he had no contact with Koch network. Not true.
Judge: Group can look into Zinke-formed royalty panel
How mountain ecosystems breathe
How will Western water be affected by climate change? A tiny Colorado flower may have the answer. How will Western water be affected by climate change? A tiny Colorado flower may have the answer.
Relatedly…
Trump admin fast-tracks Colorado River pipeline
As the Southwest dries out, water managers increasingly look to cloud seeding
Climate risk and reward
Major NorthWestern shareholder puts companies on notice regarding climate risk Major NorthWestern shareholder puts companies on notice regarding climate risk
Tri-State CEO says wholesaler’s clean energy transition will pay dividends
More energy and climate news:
Wyoming asks Supreme Court to decide challenge to blocked Washington coal terminal
Report: Shakiest coal companies have most mine cleanup left
Land battles threaten wind, solar build-out
Youth climate lawsuit dismissal shows challenge of using courts to tackle climate change
How melting permafrost is beginning to transform the Arctic
What else we're reading today
The Skinning Tree
Special interests provided 93.5% of donations to Utah legislators last year
A particular kind of immigrant journey
Colorado is projected to gain a seat in Congress. Here’s why that’s a huge deal.
Once proposed as ski resort, B.C.’s Jumbo Glacier turned over to First Nation
Montana man kills grizzly in self-defense, keeps claws as a memento
Rockies Today is edited by Matthew Frank, Fellow in Regional Journalism at the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West at the University of Montana. 
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O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, 59812