Items by Samuel Western

A demographer predicts big changes for the West’s housing landscape
A demographer predicts big changes for the West’s housing landscape
Are we all headed to “megapolitan” areas like the Wasatch Front and Sun Corridor?
Rural Education 2.0
Rural Education 2.0
Tiny Vilas, Colo., thought it was a great idea to open an online school and enroll at-risk students from far-away Denver – but neither the students nor the school district ended up scoring well at report card time
Spinning coal into gasoline
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is eager to build a synfuels plant to turn coal into diesel, but it will neither easy nor cheap to make gas gasification a reality in the West
The Fourth Wave
With uranium prices rising, speculators are looking anew at busted mining towns like Jeffrey City, Wyo., but locals have learned to be skeptical
The rural West's pragmatic booster
Economist and demographer Larry Swanson wants to help rural Western communities find a way to survive
Ethanol takes off in the West
Critics say a new push for producing ethanol from corn is actually a waste of both energy and money
Harsh words from inside the Beltway
A Washington Post columnist hits a nerve in Wyoming when he scolds the state for its dependence on oil and gas, lack of leadership and scarcity of good jobs.
Keeping 'em down on the High Plains
The incestuous relationship between the oil and gas industry and the Wyoming government is finally being challenged through a state Supreme Court decision that ruled against Exxon.
Born caged: A new "wild' West
The trend toward private ownership of wildlife - especially game ranching of elk - has dire consequences for both wild animals and the soul of the nation that once protected their wild status.
A very large subdivision riles a very small town
Irate locals in Big Horn, Wyo., fight the ambitious golf course and vacation home development plans of Homer Scott Jr.