Editor's note

Seeking economic health for small towns
Seeking economic health for small towns
A project looks at how communities are faring in rural New Mexico.
Migrations, old and new
Migrations, old and new
Humans have always trekked paths to new places.
Climate change is our new reality
Climate change is our new reality
A summer of hurricanes, flooding and wildfires made it clear: the climate is changing.
When a boom is not a boon
When a boom is not a boon
In North Dakota, the Three Affiliated Tribes are trying to cope with both the benefits and the unexpected problems brought by the Bakken oil rush.
Colorado water diversions, urban and rural
Colorado water diversions, urban and rural
Colorado's Front Range and Western Slope communities and farms have always wrangled over the water produced high in the Rocky Mountains.
The paradox of the housing boom and bust
The paradox of the housing boom and bust
Outside Delta, Colo sits yet another rural subdivision that was never completed -- a sign of the West's housing bust and of the difficulty of regulating rural growth.
Have we learned anything from the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords?
Have we learned anything from the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords?
The shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others needs to be seen in the cultural and political context of life in modern Arizona.
Can animals evolve quickly enough to survive global warming?
Can animals evolve quickly enough to survive global warming?
What can rapid evolution in response to climate change teach us about managing nature?
Billboard corporations and other big industries make their own rules
Billboard corporations and other big industries make their own rules
Burning down billboards isn't a good idea, but can a citizen fight the corporate power behind the big signs?
Animal migration occurs all around us and yet remains a mystery
Animal migration occurs all around us and yet remains a mystery
Sandhill cranes and pronghorn antelope are among the many creatures that make long and arduous seasonal migrations across the West.
Environmentalists may have to take what they can get
Environmentalists may have to take what they can get
Obama isn't the fierce environmental leader many hoped for, but some good things are happening despite right-wing opposition and the ongoing recession.
Aspiring farmers find creative ways to succeed
Aspiring farmers find creative ways to succeed
Sarahlee Lawrence and Amy Ridout are part of a wave of young farmers determined to remake the American food system.
Why do people yearn to possess wolves and other wild animals?
Why do people yearn to possess wolves and other wild animals?
Human beings seem to have an insatiable desire to own or at least manipulate wild animals.
Western scientists study the past to predict the future
Scientists are digging into the past of the West to try to understand what the future may bring.
Management by mega-fire
It’s a basic fact of Western life that fire rarely behaves the way we want it to.
Hope and redemption
Hope and redemption
The story of the West is a story of the quest for redemption - not just for individuals, but for an entire landscape.
Calling all science nerds
Calling all science nerds
Across the country, "citizen scientist" volunteers help professional researchers by gathering data on wildlife species, from moose to hummingbirds.
Relying on Navajo guides
Relying on Navajo guides
In this issue's feature story, reporter Marilyn Berlin Snell turns to Navajo guides to understand the challenges facing today's tribal government.
Economies of vice
Economies of vice
If marijuana becomes fully legal and taxable, it won't be the first time authorities have learned that it's easier - and more profitable - to manage vice than to try to eliminate it.
The return of the Lords of Yesterday
The return of the Lords of Yesterday
The West's once-faltering extractive economy is roaring back to life, powered by the energy needs of developing countries like China.
A lonely crusade
A lonely crusade
A Wyoming farmer's long struggle to find out what's polluting his water gets the attention of the EPA - and inspires reporter Abrahm Lustgarten of ProPublica.
The Las Vegas effect
The Las Vegas effect
Grand Canyon air tours are fun, the way Las Vegas is fun, but one of the world’s natural wonders should not be treated like a sideshow.
The cost of righteousness
The cost of righteousness
Has some environmentalists' refusal to compromise helped cause the delisting of wolves in Montana and Idaho?