american west

Headwaters Economics

The Mountain West is home to huge swaths of public land. A new web-based tool is now showing people exactly where that land is and which agency is managing it.

Climate change is becoming a reality. According to NASA, over the next century, our planet is likely going to see some pretty significant changes. We’re already seeing rising sea levels due to the melting ice caps, along with storms that are stronger and more frequent.

For people living in the American West, the snowpack is becoming less predictable. Summers are longer and hotter, and severe droughts are pushing us to become more reliant on water reserves. Perhaps most notably, those hotter, drier summers are resulting in more and more wildfires.

Smoke and burned trees from a wildfire
Photo by Joanne Francis on Unsplash

The ecosystems of the American West are under threat from climate change. Analysis by the Bureau of Land Management says areas like the Great Basin are particularly susceptible, with invasive species, increasing temperatures and years of extreme drought, putting the country’s largest desert at risk. 

Outside of major metropolitan areas like the Bay Area and Seattle, Reno has one of the highest median home prices in the American West.

Urban Sprawl Encroaching Nevada's Open Spaces

Jun 2, 2016
disappearingwest.org

A new study that looks at land loss across the American West shows urban sprawl encroaching on Nevada's wide open spaces. 

Public lands make up about 80 percent of Nevada, but a new map shows just how much we humans have been spreading out over the last decade.

The findings come from researchers at the nonprofit Conservation Science Partners and funded by the Center for American Progress to track the decline of natural landscapes.

Nicole Gentile helped direct the project, called "The Disappearing West."

Julia Ritchey

The Oregon standoff at a national wildlife refuge enters Day 33 with only a few holdouts remaining. So far 11 people have been arrested, including Ammon and Ryan Bundy, sons of defiant Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. As Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports, many ranchers say the issues involving public lands are too complex to be minimized to just one group’s actions.  

Ever since Ammon Bundy and a band of anti-government protestors took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, attention has turned to the role the federal government plays in land-use policy.