Features

The Big Swing: Why a blue Colorado county voted for Trump
The Big Swing: Why a blue Colorado county voted for Trump
How a wave of retirees and a changed economic landscape reshaped rural politics.
Meet Nevada’s cow cops
Meet Nevada’s cow cops
Where crime scene investigators ride the range.
The cost of the bighorn comeback
The cost of the bighorn comeback
In California’s Eastern Sierra, bringing back bighorn has meant killing more mountain lions.
Oil boom spurs a rush on extractive education programs
Oil boom spurs a rush on extractive education programs
As production from unconventional reserves ramps up, students are flooding into university and technical programs supporting oil and gas development.
A mining rush in Canada’s backcountry threatens Alaska salmon
A mining rush in Canada’s backcountry threatens Alaska salmon
Canadian governments back proposals for more than a dozen new mines along salmon-rich rivers that flow to the Alaska coast.
As it goes high-tech, wildlife biology loses its soul
As it goes high-tech, wildlife biology loses its soul
We're learning a lot by monitoring wild animals, but the high tech methods used to track them take some of the mystery out of our relationship with the wild.
A Washington tribe and a timber company wrestle over a forest's future
A Washington tribe and a timber company wrestle over a forest's future
The Port Gamble S'Klallam are protecting their treaty rights to fish and shellfish in Port Gamble Bay, using laws to limit development, much to the frustration of timber company-turned-developer Pope Resources.
Is there a way through the West’s bitter wild horse wars?
Is there a way through the West’s bitter wild horse wars?
Activists push compromise as the controversial federal mustang management program reaches a breaking point, with more horses in captivity than roam the range.
How the Mormon GOP runs Utah with a collectivist touch
How the Mormon GOP runs Utah with a collectivist touch
One of the most conservative states in the nation has built one of the healthiest economies not with purely laissez-faire policies, but with a dose of federal dollars and central planning.
The soul in Suite 100: A ghost story
The soul in Suite 100: A ghost story
The author considers family lore and legends, including a ghost story about her great-grandmother in New Mexico.
The fossil record: How my family found a home in the West
The fossil record: How my family found a home in the West
The Gilman clan didn't go on normal vacations; their fossil-addicted parents trundled them across the West looking for the shells of long-extinct sea creatures.
Vagabond writer Craig Childs on 20,000 years of wanderlust
Vagabond writer Craig Childs on 20,000 years of wanderlust
The author traces the paths of peoples that have wandered the earth for centuries, from Alaska to the Southwest.
Can pallid sturgeon hang on in the overworked Missouri River?
Can pallid sturgeon hang on in the overworked Missouri River?
In the dam-locked Upper Missouri, scientists search for signs that the ancient species hasn't reached the end of its line.
Great Basin scientists unleash new weapons to fight invasive cheatgrass
Great Basin scientists unleash new weapons to fight invasive cheatgrass
A trio of dedicated scientists are testing out cutting-edge ways to finally turn the tide against the Great Basin's cheatgrass invasion, as the weed continues to cause devastating fires.
Who is Denny Rehberg, really?
Who is Denny Rehberg, really?
Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg has exploited his family's long Montana history to get where he is today, but his current campaign for Democrat Jon Tester's Senate seat is raising questions about his record and that history.
Troubled Taos, torn apart by a battle over historic Hispano land grants
Troubled Taos, torn apart by a battle over historic Hispano land grants
A New Mexican town known for its art scene is home to a fractured community, where distrust of Anglo newcomers plays out in a fight over whether ancient deeds give Hispano old-timers a right to land.
The Salt Pond Puzzle: Restoring South San Francisco Bay
The Salt Pond Puzzle: Restoring South San Francisco Bay
The unintended consequences of the most ambitious wetland recovery project on the West Coast -- and the tough choices biologists may face as they try to balance the competing demands of rare species.
Can the outdoor gear industry wield its power for conservation?
Can the outdoor gear industry wield its power for conservation?
Pioneering mountaineer Peter Metcalf built Black Diamond into a successful climbing-gear business when nobody thought it could be done. But his dream of turning the outdoor industry into a force for nature remains tantalizingly elusive.
The Quileute Reservation copes with tourists brought by "Twilight"
The Quileute Reservation copes with tourists brought by "Twilight"
At La Push, Wash., the small but vital Quileute Indian Nation copes with tourists brought by the popular Twilight books and movies.
The Atlas of the Industrial West
The Atlas of the Industrial West
An annotated map shows you how to find some of the West's odder sites, such as old bombing ranges, giant dams, huge industrial projects and giant telescope arrays.
Exploring the West's land sculptures -- made by artists and industry
Exploring the West's land sculptures -- made by artists and industry
A land-art-inspired ramble takes the writer from Michael Heizer's Double Negative, to Robert Smithson's underwater Spiral Jetty, with detours to places including the Bingham Canyon copper mine.
FLDS continues abusive polygamist practices in Utah and Arizona
FLDS continues abusive polygamist practices in Utah and Arizona
The states' failure to crack down on Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints means abuses still happen, despite the conviction of extreme polygamist Warren Jeffs.
The fading Arizona town of Gila Bend bets big on solar
The fading Arizona town of Gila Bend bets big on solar
At last -- a place to put utility scale plants that won't ruin the desert. But will politics and the economy get in the way?