Rico Moore is a freelance journalist based in Washington state. His work focuses on the confluence between environment and humanity. His reporting has primarily centered on Colorado issues and those affecting the Western US, including the intersections of state wildlife management, natural resource extraction, Tribes, as well as the politics of federal and state environmental policies. He has also reported on issues of environmental and climate racism and justice, as well as the intersections of these issues with democracy. He often focuses on the cultural and linguistic dimensions of these stories with an eye toward historical context.
Rico Moore is a recipient of a grant from the Fund for Environmental Journalism from the Society of Environmental Journalists: “Rico Moore, for “Ancestral Territory or Public Lands?: Indigenous sovereignty and reporting on Bears Ears.” The success story, told in a culturally sensitive and equitable fashion, shows how conflict over narratives framing Ancestral Territory/Public Lands in the context of Bears Ears can turn into collaboration and mutual success.”
Rico Moore won two awards for articles published in the Boulder Weekly from the Society of Professional Journalists Top of the Rockies contest on May 3, including second place in the Agricultural and Environment (Enterprise) category for “Will Coloradans free wolves on state public lands?” and third place in Politics (Enterprise) Reporting category for “The king’s forest or the peoples land.” The competition was in the 30,000 – 70,000 circulation category against news media from Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
“‘The earth holds so much power’: Deb Haaland visits sacred site Trump shrank,” The Guardian, April 8, 2021
“Federal funding of CPW’s predator control plans was illegal, judge says,” Boulder Weekly, April 8, 2021
“The Life and Death of a Pioneering Environmental Justice Lawyer,” DeSmog Blog, April 7, 2021
Each storm season brings increased stress and fear for the people of Kivalina, a tiny Native village of some 400 Inupiaq people that sits on a small barrier island on the shore of the Chukchi Sea in Alaska. For decades, there was no reliable way of evacuating people in the event of a severe storm; the only way on or off the island was by small plane or boat, neither of which are available or safe during high winds, storm surges, and inundation. A bridge to the mainland was only recently completed. Meanwhile, the island is rapidly eroding out from under the village.
When fierce storms appear on the horizon, the children get especially anxious and the elderly worry, which has impacts on their health. Increasingly hotter global temperatures mean the sea ice, which would have formed a barrier to protect the island from storms, forms much later in the storm season and melts much sooner. Without that protective sea ice, the island’s residents know that the community’s burial site, and the remains of 400 of their ancestors, will one day wash away. Meanwhile, the permafrost that Kivalina sits on and that forms the banks of the river that sustains their community is melting and eroding into the water, threatening their drinking water treatment system and creating potential health problems. The island’s shrinking footprint prevents the village from building sufficient housing, causing dwellings threatened by an encroaching sea to become overcrowded.
In a small but noble effort to protect their homes, the children of Kivalina gather stones and carry them to a spot on the beach between the sea and their village. One beside the other, they plant them upright in the sand, until a tiny wall faces the sea.
“How to Put the Bureau of Land Management Back Together Again” Audubon Magazine, February 25, 2020
“Alliance transcends boundaries to conserve cougars: Tribes of Washington and researchers work together to strengthen the relationship between cougars and the land.” High Country News, June 22, 2020
LVNG 17: “Immanence of Star,” et al.
And why we have a right to be here; High Country News, Jan. 18, 2019
A children’s book releasing Apr. 27, 2019 with Wolverine Farm Publishing