Features

In this rapaciously dry year, a quiet question grows louder: What are we doing here?
In this rapaciously dry year, a quiet question grows louder: What are we doing here?
Drought, dread and family in the American Southwest.
How the Yurok Tribe is reclaiming the Klamath River
How the Yurok Tribe is reclaiming the Klamath River
For the first time, the largest tribe in California has one of its own to lead its legal battles.
The dark secrets of the Animas River
The dark secrets of the Animas River
A 2015 spill that turned the waterway orange is a reminder of mining’s disastrous legacy.
California farm communities suffer tainted drinking water
California farm communities suffer tainted drinking water
In California's agricultural hub, the Central Valley, Latino communities fight for clean water.
Conservation goals in Jackson Hole collide with a need for worker housing
Conservation goals in Jackson Hole collide with a need for worker housing
In Wyoming's top resort town, the desire to protect the environment and the community's character kills big affordable housing projects.
The power grid may determine whether we can kick our carbon habit
The power grid may determine whether we can kick our carbon habit
How the huge and fragile network of wires intertwined into our very existence may determine whether we can kick our carbon habit.
How right-wing emigrants conquered North Idaho
How right-wing emigrants conquered North Idaho
Conservative transplants largely from California have taken over Kootenai County -- have they gone too far?
Seeking balance in Oregon's timber country
Seeking balance in Oregon's timber country
Can logging towns and old-growth forests both thrive in the Northwest?
Sacrificial Land: Will renewable energy devour the Mojave Desert?
Sacrificial Land: Will renewable energy devour the Mojave Desert?
An unlikely group of activists is championing a new bill to protect the Mojave Desert. But even if it passes, large swaths of once empty land will be developed.
Secret getaways of the National Landscape Conservation System
Secret getaways of the National Landscape Conservation System
A desert hiker finds a lot to like in little-known Bureau of Land Management gems.
Field notes from a solo paddle in Alaska’s Inside Passage
Field notes from a solo paddle in Alaska’s Inside Passage
A journalism professor kayaks alone for nearly 1,000 miles, dealing with difficult seas, icebergs, orcas and bears.
Climate change turns an already troubled ski industry on its head
Climate change turns an already troubled ski industry on its head
California's Mammoth Mountain provides a case study on the uncertainty of the ski business, and how global warming threatens to make it even more unpredictable.
Farmers agree to tax those who deplete groundwater
Farmers agree to tax those who deplete groundwater
Amid drought and climate change in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, farmers vote for a new approach to rein in their overpumping of groundwater.
Will the Badlands become the first tribal national park?
Will the Badlands become the first tribal national park?
Oglala Lakota leaders hope to transform their bombed-out Badlands and help lift the tribe out of poverty, but it won’t be easy.
How Outward Bound lost, and found, itself
How Outward Bound lost, and found, itself
The original outdoor education school came close to falling apart after consolidating into a single national school. Now, its newly separate branches are thriving and redefining themselves.
A field program teaches undergrads to think differently about public lands
A field program teaches undergrads to think differently about public lands
Whitman College's Semester in the West and similar programs strive to make students think about resource issues critically and compassionately, and often change their lives in the process.
Oil and gas companies pour money into research universities
Oil and gas companies pour money into research universities
In the midst of the nation’s current oil and gas frenzy and controversies over fracking, energy company contributions to schools are raising questions about academic integrity.
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.
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