Articles on US West

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The 2016 Maple fire (photographed in July 2017) reburned young forests that had regenerated after the 1988 Yellowstone fires. More frequent high-severity fires are expected in the future as climate warms, which may change patterns of forest recovery. Monica Turner

Here’s how forests rebounded from Yellowstone’s epic 1988 fires – and why that could be harder in the future

Huge fires roared through Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 1988, scorching one-third of the park. Since then the park has been a valuable lab for studying how forests recover from fires.
‘Early Days.’ Detail of Frank Happersberger’s pioneer monument, San Francisco, California, 1894. Photo by Lisa Allen. Cynthia Prescott

Think Confederate monuments are racist? Consider pioneer monuments

Many cities are removing their Confederate statues. But pioneer monuments represent a racist past, too. There are at least 200 of them, and their future is now being debated.
Warning sign at Kerr-McGee uranium mill site near Grants, N.M., December 20, 2007. AP photo/Susan Montoya Bryan

Before the US approves new uranium mining, consider its toxic legacy

The Trump administration's push for 'energy dominance' could spur a new wave of domestic uranium production. A scholar describes the damage done in past uranium booms and the visible scars that remain.
Lake Powell, photographed April 12, 2017. The white ‘bathtub ring’ at the cliff base indicates how much higher the lake reached at its peak, nearly 100 feet above the current level. Patti Weeks

Climate change is shrinking the Colorado River

The Colorado River supplies water to millions of people and irrigates thousands of miles of farmland. New research warns that climate change is likely to magnify droughts in the Colorado Basin.
A Mexican who was recently deported from the U.S. in Tijuana, Mexico. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

America’s mass deportation system is rooted in racism

From Chinese laborers to 'bad hombres,' the US settler mentality has perpetuated an immigration system that pushes out unwanted groups and bypasses the Constitution.
Supporters of Ammon and Ryan Bundy and other militants who took over the Malheur Wildlife Refuge celebrate after they were found not guilty of conspiracy charges. Alex Milan Tracy/Sipa via AP Images

History points to more dangerous Malheur-style standoffs

Acquitted in the Malheur takeover trial, Ryan Bundy urges protests against efforts to conserve public lands. Who will protect federal employees?
The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is part of a complicated history of land in the western US. US Fish and Wildlife Service

Malheur occupation in Oregon: whose land is it really?

Like much federal land in the US West, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has a long history tied to Native Americans’ plight and conflicts between settlers and the federal government.

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