Items by Marshall Swearingen

Defuse the West
Defuse the West
Public-land employees are easy targets for a violent, government-hating fringe.
Reports from the front lines
Reports from the front lines
Excerpts from official accounts of threats against U.S. Forest Service and BLM employees.
Utilities experiment on the rural Northwest
Utilities experiment on the rural Northwest
Real-time response to demand could radically shift how the grid operates.
Watershed moment
Watershed moment
The U.S. and Canada prepare to renegotiate the 50-year-old Columbia River Treaty.
Cosmic Prospecting in Lead, South Dakota
Cosmic Prospecting in Lead, South Dakota
What happens when an old mining town recruits a physics lab and pursues Big Science?
Alaska tribes attempt to block the controversial Pebble Mine
Alaska tribes attempt to block the controversial Pebble Mine
Some of the last surviving salmon-based cultures turn to the EPA to protect their communities.
Helium rising in the West
Helium rising in the West
The region has become an important source of the technologically vital gas.
Cow stomp: using cattle to reclaim mine land
Can Colorado ranchers and the Forest Service work together to erase old mining scars?
Wyoming digs its 10 billionth ton of coal
Wyoming digs its 10 billionth ton of coal
The industry hopes Wyoming's coal bonanza lasts another 100 years. But mining's peaks and valleys have never been entirely in its control.
Mining for dark matter in Lead, South Dakota
How the Sanborn Lab's search for the universe's secrets is reshaping a Black Hills mining town
The Latest: Quagga mussels invade Lake Powell
The Latest: Quagga mussels invade Lake Powell
There’s still time to combat the invasive, destructive mussels before they colonize the reservoir
The West’s Big Data colonies
The West’s Big Data colonies
New "company towns" are born in the rural West -- for Facebook, Google and the like.
Weighing Pebble Mine
The EPA is one step closer to killing the project before it starts
Wyoming's pile of coal
The story of the state's 10-billionth ton
How technology detected a huge mine landslide before it happened
How technology detected a huge mine landslide before it happened
Employees at a Kennecott copper mine outside Salt Lake City knew an April 10 landslide was coming
Big Data colonizes the West
How Internet data centers are reshaping Western communities
Boundary water disputes
Groups concerned with pollution on the Kootenai River turn to the International Joint Commission
The Forest Service battles placer mining with an obscure law
The Forest Service battles placer mining with an obscure law
A little-known 1955 law gives the Forest Service a way to shut down placer mining claims along some Western rivers.
High-tech canary in the copper mine
New radar technologies helped Kennecott predict huge mine landslide
The who, what, where and why of letting it burn
Making sense of how the Forest Service fights fire
Federal Helium Reserve faces uncertainty amid global shortage
Federal Helium Reserve faces uncertainty amid global shortage
An obscure BLM facility plays a critical role in a market hit hard by the fracking boom
Science for the long now
Nevada climate research will inform water planning
Snow not falling on cedars
Forest Service helps yellow-cedar adapt to an ever-changing climate
Forests test-drive collaboration
Idaho's National Forests experiment with a new USFS planning rule
Here comes the sun?
Coal plant's closure could mean renewable energy for tribes
Side effects
Google Earth shows the toll marijuana takes on the land in Northern California
Delayed gratification
Megaloads opposition is having a lingering impact
The life of brine
An unexpected link between an earthquake and a river tells of the West's struggle with salt.
Powering down
For Montana electric utility, deregulation comes home to roost