Features

There’s no easy fix for our nuclear past
There’s no easy fix for our nuclear past
At Washington’s Hanford nuclear site, failing infrastructure and make-do plans as the West prepares for a new round of radioactivity.
Is nuclear energy the key to saving the planet?
Is nuclear energy the key to saving the planet?
A new generation of environmentalists is learning to stop worrying and love atomic power.
Follow the fish
Follow the fish
Fish-stocking has drawn otters to the Beartooth Plateau of Montana. What effect do they have in their new environs?
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.
California’s Tangled Water Politics
California’s Tangled Water Politics
Will there ever be enough water in California's Bay Delta to satisfy farmers, keep fish alive and quench the thirst of millions of people?
The Butterfly Sting
The Butterfly Sting
How a federal wildlife agent brought down one of the world's most notorious insect thieves.
Columbia Basin (Political) Science
Columbia Basin (Political) Science
Some fisheries scientists and environmentalists say the Bonneville Power Administration has had an unhealthy influence on salmon research in the Northwest.
Sheep v. Sheep
Bighorn sheep and longtime sheep ranchers face off in Hells Canyon, where a legal battle over public-lands grazing could cause ripples across the West.
The Killing Fields
The first bison hunt in 15 years was supposed to offer hope for a reasonable solution to Yellowstone’s ‘buffalo problem,’ but a lifelong hunter who watched it says the senseless slaughter continues.
Grizzly war
Wildlife biologists, environmentalists and Western politicians are engaged in a fierce debate over whether two decades of protection have so restored Yellowstone's grizzly population that the animal ought to be removed from the endangered species list.
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