Features

The U.S. stole generations of Indigenous children to open the West
The U.S. stole generations of Indigenous children to open the West
Indian boarding schools held Native American youth hostage in exchange for land cessions.
Colorado farmers fight to save their water and their community’s future
Colorado farmers fight to save their water and their community’s future
‘We can either wait on Mother Nature — or we can give it a shot ourselves.’
The Mormon Church supplied tainted water to its members for years
The Mormon Church supplied tainted water to its members for years
Utah regulators turned a blind eye to faulty water systems at a girls’ summer camp, trusting the LDS Church would eventually fix the problem.
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?
L.A. activists try to stop woodlands from becoming sediment dumps
L.A. activists try to stop woodlands from becoming sediment dumps
When Camron Stone realized that an oak forest was about to be bulldozed by the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, he started fighting back.
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.
The Other Bakken Boom: America’s biggest oil rush brings tribal conflict
The Other Bakken Boom: America’s biggest oil rush brings tribal conflict
North Dakota's Three Affiliated Tribes have long wanted a stake in the state's occasional oil booms, but the size, scope and speed of the Bakken development caught them completely unprepared.
A Colorado newspaperman fights for his valley's water
A Colorado newspaperman fights for his valley's water
Bob Rawlings, publisher of the Pueblo Chieftain, has battled for decades to bring water to southeastern Colorado and, once it's there, to keep it no matter what.
Unfinished zombie housing developments haunt the rural West
Unfinished zombie housing developments haunt the rural West
Lack of planning rules and the housing bubble led to dead subdivisions plaguing the West, especially in Teton County, Idaho, where locals are trying to deal with the impacts of the real estate bust, yet still arguing if planning even works.
How Arizona’s culture helped shape the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords
How Arizona’s culture helped shape the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords
If you want to understand why Jared Lee Loughner shot Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and 18 others at a Tucson Safeway in 2011, look to Arizona’s soulless culture and vitriolic politics.
Billboard corporations use money and influence to override your vote
Billboard corporations use money and influence to override your vote
In Salt Lake City and other Western communities, billboard companies battle local democracy by fighting attempts to regulate the giant signs.
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