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Welcome to Down Yonder – our weekly roundup of good reads we’ve found around the web.

Our goal is to showcase more perspectives on national and global issues through a rural lens. Expect Down Yonder on Saturdays. Enjoy!


OPB: Racism In The Great Outdoors: Oregon’s Natural Spaces Feel Off Limits To Black People

Not everyone has the same access to green spaces. Tara Cooper, like many Black people, felt excluded and unwelcomed from a hike in the forests, well before this spring’s closures that were ordered to slow the spread of the coronavirus.


ProPublica: The Prison Was Built to Hold 1,500 Inmates. It Had Over 2,000 Coronavirus Cases.

Prison overcrowding has been quietly tolerated for decades. But the pandemic is forcing a reckoning.


Grist: Supreme Court Clears Way for Atlantic Coast Pipeline to Cross Appalachian Trail

Pipeline crossings on the AT are nothing new, but environmentalists worry the ruling sets a bad precedent because this crossing is on public land in a remote setting.


Scalawag: Modern Abolition and the Lasting Truth of Change

Analysis and Commentary: Juneteenth of 2020, we find ourselves in a moment that is both new, and not-new—on the verge of rebellion, with the uncertain fear of a point of no return. In the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges of anti-Blackness, police brutality, and failing safety nets at every level in a global pandemic, we know that other worlds are possible, no matter how much those in power want us to forget it.


High Country News: Navajo Ranchers Are Raising Premium Beef

“In the Navajo Diné traditional way of living the livestock is one of the main values,” Kimberly Yazzie said. “It’s taught if you have these things, you’re going to continue to live a good life, you’re going to do great things and you’re going to succeed.”


The Hill: Fox News Poll: Biden’s Lead Widens to 12 Points Over Trump

The survey finds Biden at 50 percent and Trump at 38 percent. Biden led Trump 48 to 40 in the Fox News poll in mid-May.