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  • L.A. Bets on the Farm

    The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – the West’s most powerful water agency – uses a shrewd blend of Wall Street tactics and rural diplomacy to keep the water flowing to L.A. and its environs.

  • The Last Ride

    Longtime hitchhiker Dev Carey tells Michelle Nijhuis about some of his best – and worst – adventures on Western highways.

  • Cat Fight on the Border

    Plans to fence as much as possible of the U.S.-Mexico border could derail the return of rare jaguars to the Southwest.

  • Sheep v. Sheep

    Bighorn sheep and longtime sheep ranchers face off in Hells Canyon, where a legal battle over public-lands grazing could cause ripples across the West.

  • Facing the Yuck Factor

    As population growth and climate change stress the region’s water supplies, Westerners think hard about recycling their effluent, although some worry about the possibly harmful endocrine disrupters found in cleaned-up effluent.

  • A Climate Change Solution?

    Pete McGrail believes the volcanic basalt that underlies the Columbia River Basin may hold a cure for global warming: carbon sequestration.

  • Bonfire of the Superweeds

    In Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, good intentions are responsible for the introduction of exotic buffelgrass – but all the good intentions in the world may not be enough to save the desert now that this invasive and fire-prone plant is spreading

  • Guns R Us

    Westerners have always been deeply in love with their firearms, and gun-shop owners like Ryan Horsley are determined to make sure that nothing comes between them

  • Hydrogen Highway Revisited

    Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to save the planet through hydrogen power, but critics say the notion is just hot air

  • Predator hunters for the environment

    The group Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife has helped to protect a lot of Western land and wildlife – while doing its best to kill off as many predators as possible

  • Brave New Hay

    Monsanto’s genetically modified Roundup Ready alfalfa may take over the West, as the company re-engineers the world to conform to its business plan

  • Problems in Paradise

    The brutal murder of a Japanese tourist shines an unwelcome spotlight on the social problems plaguing Arizona’s beautiful but troubled Havasupai Reservation

  • The Battle for the Verde

    The Verde River is one of Arizona’s last free-flowing stream, but environmental and local activists fear an ambitious planned pipeline, designed to bring groundwater to the growing Prescott area, will end up sucking the river dry

  • 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

  • Phoenix Falling?

    Craig Childs lifts the rug of modern-day Phoenix, Ariz., to examine the remnants of the civilization that preceded it – the Hohokam people, who also built a great city in the middle of the desert, and flourished until the day they ran out of water.

  • Disposable workers of the oil and gas fields

    Without a college degree, work on the oil and gas fields is the best job you can get in the rural West – unless, of course, it kills you

  • The Silence of the Bees

    Migratory beekeeper John Miller hauls his hives across the West, pollinating everything from almonds to apples, but a nasty parasite and a mysterious disorder are making life much harder for John and his buzzing business partners.

  • Wish You Weren’t Here

    Quagga mussels – an extraordinarily prolific and costly invasive species – have appeared in Lake Mead, and no one is sure how to keep these unwanted newcomers from infesting the West.

  • One Nation, Under Fire

    The Sonoran Desert homeland of the Tohono O’odham Nation has become a nerve-wracking police state, caught in the crossfire between drug and immigrant smugglers and the U.S. Border Patrol.

  • The Efficiency Paradox

    Water efficiency has long been touted as a silver bullet for the West’s water problems, but too much efficiency can cause problems of its own, especially in the fragile Colorado River Delta.

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