Podcast: A matter of a piñon

Listen now to this episode from The Times:

Tall, bushy, spiny and fragrant, the pinyon pine is a beloved feature of the Mountain West — and not just for its beauty. Pinon nuts, tiny little pinon nuts found in tree cones, are so delicious that people have been enjoying them for generations. Climate change is affecting the United States in a terrible way. The harvest of pinon is shrinking.

Today, we travel to New Mexico where the pinyon tree is the official state tree. Russell Contreras is an Axios justice reporter and race correspondent based in Albuquerque. He has a close-up view of the slow decline of the pinon. A native New Mexican tells us more about the tree and nut’s cultural significance.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: Axios race and justice reporter Russell Contreras and Smithsonian Institution American Women’s History Initiative director Tey Marianna Nunn

More reading:

Op-Ed: Pinyon and juniper woodlands define the West. Why is the BLM making them into mulch?

Locally foraged pinon nuts are cherished in New Mexico. They’re also disappearing

Pine nut recipes: From small seeds, inspiration

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producer Denise Guerra and producers Shannon Lin, Melissa Kaplan and Ashlea Brown. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Lauren Raab, Shani O. Hilton are our editors. Andrew Eapen composed our theme song.

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