By Emilene Ostlind
What can Wyoming learn from studies of the “natural resource curse”?
Wyoming has long produced the most coal of any US state and lands in the top ten states for natural gas and oil production. In a fossil fuel driven economy, all that mineral wealth should make Wyoming rich, and sometimes it truly does. Consider the first decade of the 2000s when hydraulic fracturing opened up previously inaccessible natural gas reserves. In 2008 Wyoming’s economy—as measured by gross domestic product, personal incomes, state revenues, or number of jobs—flourished. State coffers were overflowing and citizens across the state benefitted from the bounty.
By Nathan C. Martin
Agencies bet that hundreds of miles of temporary new roads can help a forest
The Medicine Bow National Forest is the most densely roaded forest in Wyoming. Interstate 80 borders it to the north, and winding byways bisect its major mountain ranges—the Sierra Madre and the Snowy Range.
Plants as stories of human meddling
The Wyoming census for the plant kingdom is out! Over 2,900 different kinds of vascular plants grow in the wild in Wyoming according to experts at UW’s Rocky Mountain Herbarium. They include more than 2,500 native species along with 372 nonnative ones as of 2018.
What do we really know about their effects?
As Cara Nelson, a researcher and professor of ecosystem science and restoration at the University of Montana, hiked around Missoula’s foothills, she noticed abundant knapweed and cheatgrass growing amidst native bunchgrasses and wildflowers.
Can a highly coordinated team of experts and weed managers stop a new invasive species?
For many westerners, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is the exemplar invasive weed, well known for thriving in sagebrush landscapes where it crowds out native plants, fuels a devastating fire regime, and threatens wildlife and livestock grazing.
Systematic landscape planning software improves the odds against a despised invasive reed
It’s a hot, sunny day in early April, and I’m out collecting GPS coordinates for stands of wetland vegetation in the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge on the Great Salt Lake in Utah.
Using technology to detect and map new invasive species arrivals
The Noxious Weed
Since dalmatian toadflax was introduced in Wyoming, it has checked off all the boxes of an invasive species—it outcompetes native vegetation, reduces biodiversity, and is not palatable for wildlife or livestock.
The United States of America is unique in the world for its vast system of federal public lands, which make up more than a quarter of the country’s land area. Those federal lands, mostly concentrated in the 11 westernmost states and Alaska, span everything from rivers and canyons to sagebrush steppe and alpine peaks.
The citizens and leaders behind our public land heritage
On June 30, 1864, the US Senate approved a grant of federal land to the state of California, a tract in the Sierra Nevada at the headwaters of the Merced River “known as the Yo-semite valley…with the stipulation…that the premises shall be held for public use, resort, and recreation…for all time.”
A court case challenges domestic sheep grazing on national forests
In any court case, there are two sides. But in a wood-paneled courtroom at the Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Butte, Montana, differences between the two sides headed to court were not immediately apparent.