Analysis

With coal in free-fall, Wyoming faces an uncertain future
With coal in free-fall, Wyoming faces an uncertain future
As demand shrinks and the industry retracts, counties and the state are in an untenable situation.
The Colorado River needs a long-term plan for drought
The Colorado River needs a long-term plan for drought
Western states bought some time with a historic agreement but still face a hotter, drier future.
Much of rural America is doomed to decline
Much of rural America is doomed to decline
Public policy solutions need to grapple with, not ignore, this economic reality.
Can rural towns stem the trend of population decline?
Can rural towns stem the trend of population decline?
Small-town Choteau, Montana, is working to find answers to the question that is plaguing 23 of the state’s counties.
The ‘scenery economy’ reinvigorates a Montana town
The ‘scenery economy’ reinvigorates a Montana town
Tourism has given Philipsburg new life — but it’s brought few permanent families.
Nonprofits make rural home ownership more plausible
Nonprofits make rural home ownership more plausible
In the final part of a series on Boulder, Montana, a pathway for solutions for affordable housing woes.
There aren’t enough affordable homes for rural Montanans
There aren’t enough affordable homes for rural Montanans
In the second story of the series, the town of Boulder’s aging population is likely to put more pressure on housing.
How to turn a struggling small town around
How to turn a struggling small town around
In the first part of a series on Boulder, Montana, a well-rounded economic development effort.
The future of small-town Montana rides on public lands
The future of small-town Montana rides on public lands
From Dupuyer to Columbia Falls, a look at the growing recreation economy.
Why some young professionals settle in small-town Montana
Why some young professionals settle in small-town Montana
As rural areas struggle to hold onto youth, a look at a few young professionals who returned.
Idaho protects the rights of faith healers. Should it?
Idaho protects the rights of faith healers. Should it?
A debate rages over the extent of religious freedom in the face of preventable deaths.
Will Trump put a ‘hired gun’ for ranchers in top BLM post?
Will Trump put a ‘hired gun’ for ranchers in top BLM post?
The president is considering a BLM director who has continually fought the agency.
How NAFTA built a bustling border city
How NAFTA built a bustling border city
In southern New Mexico, a dream of a bi-national community, not a concrete wall.
Proper fire funding continues to elude Congress
Proper fire funding continues to elude Congress
Nearly everyone agrees it’s important. So what’s the hold-up?
What Trump’s Supreme Court pick holds for Indian Country
What Trump’s Supreme Court pick holds for Indian Country
Neil Gorsuch’s background in Indian law and Western issues could be useful to tribal litigants.
After Oroville, officials across the West review dam safety
After Oroville, officials across the West review dam safety
The California dam’s spillways are ready for rain as safety officials prepare for future catastrophes.
Defendants ordered released as Bundy trial continues
Defendants ordered released as Bundy trial continues
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy says he would rather stay in jail.
A map of $1.1 billion in natural gas pipeline leaks
A map of $1.1 billion in natural gas pipeline leaks
In seven years, pipeline incidents have killed nearly 100 people nationwide.
In Utah, public access to state lands comes at a cost
In Utah, public access to state lands comes at a cost
Public access to trust lands varies widely from state to state.
Interior Department mired in investigations
Interior Department mired in investigations
Democrats vow to press the investigations while Zinke shrugs them off.
How states generate money from the land they own
How states generate money from the land they own
From Arizona to Oregon, states have different tactics to make money off their state trust lands.
Fish and Wildlife retracts opposition to Arizona project
Fish and Wildlife retracts opposition to Arizona project
As Trump sidelines science, the agency flips on San Pedro River development.
The disappearance of Washington’s killer whales
The disappearance of Washington’s killer whales
The endangered whales are at a 30-year low, tied to depressed chinook salmon runs.
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