State of Change

In small towns in New Mexico and the West, life is changing quickly. More young people are moving away from rural places than into them. Some New Mexico communities are trying to escape generations-long boom-and-bust cycles, while others struggle to retain their identity in an economy flooded with tourists and newcomers. Internet connections that could power remote businesses in rural places lag behind urban centers.

New Mexico, along with the rest of the rural West, is in a state of change. Over the past year, a group of New Mexico news organizations investigated the challenges to building resilient rural communities, and found a lack of high speed internet holds communities back. Now, they bring you stories about the complex barriers to launching internet connections in most rural areas, and show you the tribes, towns and schools who are doing it better. This project is supported by NewTowncarShare News and the Solutions Journalism Network, and is funded by the LOR Foundation.

Competition fosters computer skills in New Mexico schools
Competition fosters computer skills in New Mexico schools
Rural students learn how to code by participating in a supercomputing challenge.
The New Mexico towns where less connectivity is more
The New Mexico towns where less connectivity is more
Communities are embracing faster internet but rejecting better cellphone reception.
Tribes lead the way for faster internet access in New Mexico
Tribes lead the way for faster internet access in New Mexico
Across sovereign governments, a group of Southwest tribes prepares to launch their own network.
How a rural electric co-op connected a community
How a rural electric co-op connected a community
By expanding into broadband, Kit Carson Co-op provides high-speed internet to thousands.
Small towns look for a road forward, paved with fiber-optic
Small towns look for a road forward, paved with fiber-optic
A group of New Mexico newsrooms examines the future of broadband access in rural communities.
In small towns, a way to make remote work, work
In small towns, a way to make remote work, work
A ‘micro’ economic development program bolsters a community of telecommuters.
Raton tries to rise again
Raton tries to rise again
A former coal mining town takes measured approach to economic recovery.
In the Southwest, a sustainable breed of cattle
In the Southwest, a sustainable breed of cattle
The criollo cow can thrive in hot, dry conditions that are difficult for other breeds.
A vision for the Navajo Nation in one farm’s sustainability
A vision for the Navajo Nation in one farm’s sustainability
Local businesses keep jobs and money circulating within their communities.
Navajo small businesses help stabilize booms and busts
Navajo small businesses help stabilize booms and busts
To build a sustained community, the Navajo Nation experiments with entrepreneurs.
From ‘hallway’ to artery, a town rebuilds Main Street
From ‘hallway’ to artery, a town rebuilds Main Street
Booms and busts withered Farmington, New Mexico, but new initiatives could revitalize it.
When federal health care falls short, tribes improvise
When federal health care falls short, tribes improvise
A growing number of tribes manage their own clinics and behavioral programs.
In New Mexico, demographic shifts have helped job growth
In New Mexico, demographic shifts have helped job growth
An influx of immigrants is preventing economic stagnation in the Borderlands.
New Mexico breweries patch the gaps between oil booms
New Mexico breweries patch the gaps between oil booms
Rural towns explore ways to diversify their economies, from tourism to hospitality.
In rural New Mexico, a new brewery creates momentum
In rural New Mexico, a new brewery creates momentum
Truth or Consequences looks for ways to attract a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Infographic: Where in the West young people are moving
Infographic: Where in the West young people are moving
Some counties in the region buck the aging trend.
Why save the small town?
Why save the small town?
Cities may seem inevitable, but rural communities are finding ways to hang on.
Seeking economic health for small towns
Seeking economic health for small towns
A project looks at how communities are faring in rural New Mexico.
NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • WLN is hiring a full-time organizer to lead our work in Indian Country.
  • Reporting to the Board of Directors (Board), the Executive Director (ED) has overall operational responsibility for FoGB staff, programs, expansion, and execution of the mission....
  • Friends of the Inyo seeks a California Desert Lands Protection Fellow to assist with an effective campaign to defend lands in the California desert, including...
  • Part-time, 6-month contractor to promote the benefits of cutting methane waste and reducing ozone.
  • Part-time, 6-month contractor to promote the benefits of cutting methane waste and reducing ozone.
  • Join the Center for Conservation Peacebuilding for a workshop to build your capacity to transform conflicts and create lasting solutions for people and wildlife. April...
  • 1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • Trout Unlimited in New Mexico is seeking a coordinator to work on campaigns and projects that conserve quality fish and wildlife habitats. This position is...
  • The American Forest Foundation (AFF) seeks a smart and highly motivated candidate to join their Western conservation team. The California Conservation Manager supports the Director,...
  • Nov 7-8 in Grand Junction, CO Keynote: Brad Udall on Climate Change Other Topics: Threats to Food Energy Water Security From Forecasting to Decision-Making Science...
  • For more information on RE Sources and a full job description: visit our website:
  • The Rio Grande is one of the Wests most vital rivers and it is in dire need of a passionate, steadfast, and persistent advocate. We...
  • with home on one acre in Pocatello, ID. For information and photos visit www.blackrockforgeproperty.com.
  • Skiing, biking, hiking, fishing, 3 bd/2 bth, deck. 1.38 acres, no covenants. Call Reggie Masters, Associate Broker Coldwell Banker Bighorn Realty, 970-596-3568.
  • Here is an opportunity to have a piece of self-sufficient paradise on Idaho's Main Salmon River adjacent to the largest Forest Service wilderness area in...
  • Do you love Grand Teton National Park? Grand Teton National Park Foundation is seeking a Database and Systems Administrator. Applicants must be highly organized, extremely...
  • Help protect Montanas water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life. Work hard, meet good people, make the world a better place!...
  • San Juan Citizens Alliance is seeking a full-time San Juan Energy Campaign Organizer located in Farmington, New Mexico. The San Juan Energy Campaign Organizer focuses...
  • potential fruit/hay with house, Hotchkiss, CO, Scott Ellis, 970-420-0472, [email protected]
  • The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) seeks a director to lead a nationwide program focused on the protection of U.S. national parks from energy development...