Mountain West

Utah wants to build an oil railway through a wilderness area
Utah wants to build an oil railway through a wilderness area
Questions surround the fiscal viability of the project and how this aligns with Biden’s climate agenda.
On grieving trees
On grieving trees
For years, a young writer saw the tell-tale signs of beetle kill. And then the infestation came for the pines at her own home.
Schussing through time
Schussing through time
A Utah library holds a comprehensive archive commemorating ski sports.
The place that coal built and fire burned
The place that coal built and fire burned
Extractive industry laid the infrastructure for the suburban sprawl that fueled Colorado’s destructive Marshall Fire.
Cultural extraction at the edge of the abyss
Cultural extraction at the edge of the abyss
Butte, Montana, doesn’t have a major art museum. Instead, it has a gigantic toxic pit.
Winter without snow is coming
Winter without snow is coming
Parts of the Mountain West could be nearly snowless for years at a time in just a few decades.
Ozone pollution is on the rise in the West
Ozone pollution is on the rise in the West
Wildfires, oil and gas drilling, vehicle emissions, and climate change all combine to create more days with unhealthy levels of the colorless, odorless gas.
‘A ticking time bomb for a mass die-off’
‘A ticking time bomb for a mass die-off’
Recent grazing decisions continue to risk Southwest Colorado’s bighorns.
Climate change increases rare earth elements in Colorado’s Snake River
Climate change increases rare earth elements in Colorado’s Snake River
A new study suggests lower stream flows as a primary culprit.
‘All I want to do is help people get over this pandemic’
‘All I want to do is help people get over this pandemic’
Tsun Sheng Neil Ku, a doctor in Billings, Montana, shares his experience battling both the virus and online misinformation.
Development threatens one of Montana’s ‘blue-ribbon’ trout rivers
Development threatens one of Montana’s ‘blue-ribbon’ trout rivers
Noxious algae is choking the very watershed that’s drawing people to develop property there.
What’s the value of tracking recreation in the West?
What’s the value of tracking recreation in the West?
Fast-growing Western communities face a paradox of increased visitors.
Montana counties band together to reinvigorate passenger rail
Montana counties band together to reinvigorate passenger rail
The newly formed Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority aims to connect a rural and divided state.
Wyoming’s schools at risk as the state’s extraction industries erode
Wyoming’s schools at risk as the state’s extraction industries erode
One of the biggest spenders per student in the nation, the state has tied the expenditure to mineral wealth. Will legislators vote to raise state taxes?
Energy companies have left Colorado with billions of dollars in oil and gas cleanup
Energy companies have left Colorado with billions of dollars in oil and gas cleanup
As the state tries to reform its relationship to drilling, an expensive task awaits.
Butterflies in the West are disappearing
Butterflies in the West are disappearing
The climate crisis has caused a steep decline in butterfly sightings in the Rocky Mountain range.
Will the climate crisis tap out the Colorado River?
Will the climate crisis tap out the Colorado River?
Water availability is going from bad to worse in the seven states that rely on the drought-stricken river.
Divided prospects: The fight over an immigration detention center
Divided prospects: The fight over an immigration detention center
When a private prison company came to Evanston, Wyoming, local officials believed an economic revival was at hand. Instead, it unleashed a bitter debate.
A little fish that’s mighty as a mountain
A little fish that’s mighty as a mountain
Pupfish Peak in Nevada’s Amargosa Valley is named for the endangered Devils Hole pupfish.
Where the Great American Outdoors Act stands now
Where the Great American Outdoors Act stands now
After passing with bipartisan support in August, the conservation law hits stumbling blocks. Here’s what may happen next.
Wilderness rescuers brace for a busy winter
Wilderness rescuers brace for a busy winter
Snow is on the way — and amid COVID-19, recovery missions are on the rise.
Hunting for myself in the high Montana sagebrush
Hunting for myself in the high Montana sagebrush
A hunter celebrates a new vision of queerness and rural culture.
Now that you’ve gone West, young man
Now that you’ve gone West, young man
Toward unlearning Manifest Destiny.
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