Magazine
A Mexican rancher struggles to shift from cattle to conservation
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April 30, 2012

In Northwest Mexico, rancher Carlos Robles Elías works hard to make his Rancho El Aribabi into an oasis of biodiversity, despite the challenges of a sagging economy and rampant drug cartel violence. Also, Arizona's clean elections law, tackling gangs with Steinbeck, balancing fish and farms, and more.

Feature

A Mexican rancher struggles to shift from cattle to conservation
A Mexican rancher struggles to shift from cattle to conservation
In Northwest Mexico, rancher Carlos Robles Elías works hard to make his Rancho El Aribabi into an oasis of biodiversity, despite the challenges of a sagging economy and rampant drug cartel violence.

Current

Arizona's clean-election law is pruned, but not uprooted
Arizona's clean-election law is pruned, but not uprooted
Clean-elections laws have a way of withering away, especially since the Supreme Court's controversial Citizens United ruling, but Arizona is still struggling to keep political campaigns fair.
A literary organization tackles California gang violence
A literary organization tackles California gang violence
The National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, Calif., is honoring the Nobel Prize-winning author by helping at-risk youth in the community he wrote about.
Balancing fish and farms on a Washington estuary
Balancing fish and farms on a Washington estuary
A restoration effort at Fisher Slough in Washington's Skagit River Delta has encouraged cooperation between farmers and environmentalists - and might even help endangered chinook salmon.
Low snowpack means a dry summer for the West
Low snowpack means a dry summer for the West
A map shows Western snowpacks as of April 1, 2012, and notes record-breaking heat and dry weather in the Southwest.

Editor's Note

Mexico’s conservationists keep fighting the good fight
Mexico’s conservationists keep fighting the good fight
Despite a constant lack of money and the threat of drug-cartel violence, dedicated border conservationists work to preserve the landscape they love.

Essays

Imaginary journeys on a rowing machine
Imaginary journeys on a rowing machine
When a writer buys a rowing machine, her 3-year-old daughter's enthusiasm turns exercise into an adventure as they imagine rowing to reach the island of Yap in Micronesia.

Dear Friends

Visitors, books and brand-new babies
Visitors, books and brand-new babies
Spring brings visitors, some with new books; Katie Lee publishes an epic poem at the age of 92; writer Eric Wagner welcomes a daughter; corrections.

Book Reviews

Dispatches from the other border: A review of A Good Man
Dispatches from the other border: A review of A Good Man
A Good Man -- the third novel in Guy Vanderhaeghe's U.S.-Canada border trilogy -- thoughtfully explores life in that region during the late 1800s.
New telling of a geologic saga: A review of Rough-Hewn Land
New telling of a geologic saga: A review of Rough-Hewn Land
In Rough-Hewn Land: A Geologic Journey from California to the Rocky Mountains, Keith Heyer Meldahl brings the geography of the West to vivid life.

Letters