Utah

Official invocations; not dead yet; ancient tattooing
Official invocations; not dead yet; ancient tattooing
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.
Since the 1870s, the West has led the way for women in politics
Since the 1870s, the West has led the way for women in politics
Though racist policies persist, the West has a distinctive heritage of expanding voting rights for women.
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.
San Juan County ends legal fight against Voting Rights Act decision
San Juan County ends legal fight against Voting Rights Act decision
The first-ever Navajo majority commission halted a legal challenge to the ruling that ended discriminatory voting boundaries.
Energy lobbyists changed politicians’ official letters supporting gas project
Energy lobbyists changed politicians’ official letters supporting gas project
The Consumer Energy Alliance made substantial edits to lawmaker op-eds about the controversial Jordan Cove Energy Project.
The desert gets a biocrust skin graft
The desert gets a biocrust skin graft
Without its cover of living microorganisms, the desert is eroding.
The West’s hidden corners offer a safe space for polygamists
The West’s hidden corners offer a safe space for polygamists
Each year, Mormon fundamentalists gather on a remote slice of southeastern Utah.
The legacy of colonialism on public lands created the Mauna Kea conflict
The legacy of colonialism on public lands created the Mauna Kea conflict
Public lands are often the only places where Indigenous sacred landscapes still exist.
The fallout of uncertainty in nuclear test communities
The fallout of uncertainty in nuclear test communities
For downwinders of bomb testing, plans for compensation to redress past harms makes for tricky politics.
Roadless rule rollback would threaten Utah’s at-risk plants and animals
Roadless rule rollback would threaten Utah’s at-risk plants and animals
More than 100 species rely on habitat away from roads and development, according to a new study.
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.
National parks provide an unsettling view of patriotism
National parks provide an unsettling view of patriotism
Our nation’s darker past and bright ideas can both be found in the parks.
Last words from a desert scribe
Last words from a desert scribe
Essayist Ellen Meloy’s posthumous collection is profound, outspoken and hilarious.
Paranoia and a ‘preposterously’ oversized water tank
Paranoia and a ‘preposterously’ oversized water tank
An affluent Utah community spent millions to extinguish its fear of fire. Decades later, they’re still trying to buy their way out of a bottomless pit.
It’s time to move the Bureau of Land Management out of D.C.
It’s time to move the Bureau of Land Management out of D.C.
(Most) of those living in the West have the public lands’ best interest at heart.
Wildfire escape routes? There’s (almost) an app for that.
Wildfire escape routes? There’s (almost) an app for that.
Scientists are using crowdsourced data to help firefighters flee dangerous flames.
Bears Ears’ only visitor center isn’t run by the feds
Bears Ears’ only visitor center isn’t run by the feds
With the monument facing stripped-down protections and sky rocketing visitation, a local nonprofit built its own guerrilla visitor center to educate the masses.
Study finds 96% of national parks have hazardous air quality
Study finds 96% of national parks have hazardous air quality
Popular parks such as Yosemite and Joshua Tree have pollution levels that threaten visitors and wildlife.
Will the Trump administration boost uranium?
Will the Trump administration boost uranium?
Energy industry lobbying could lead to more mining from Bears Ears to Wyoming.
See the captivating flux of Western alkaline waters
See the captivating flux of Western alkaline waters
Salt lakes fade from chartreuse to rust into pale wastelands in photos taken by Aya Okawa.
Country-life shooters; moose acceptance; Phil Lyman’s unpaid debt
Country-life shooters; moose acceptance; Phil Lyman’s unpaid debt
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.
As citizen-led ballot initiatives soar, so have efforts to block them
As citizen-led ballot initiatives soar, so have efforts to block them
In Idaho, a struggle over Medicaid expansion exposes the limits of forcing change via ballot measure.
Utah asks for exemption from Forest Service roadless rule
Utah asks for exemption from Forest Service roadless rule
For two decades, the rule has protected nearly four million acres in Utah.
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