Reducing the Risk of Unintended Injury
Can an energy policy be economically sound, environmentally responsible, and humanely conceived? This is the question at the heart of the Center of the American West's new report, High Energy Prices & Low-Income Americans: Reducing the Risk of Unintended Injury.
At a moment when the shift toward renewable energy sources and efficient technologies is poised to transform our national energy policy, this new report makes the case for ensuring that the promise of this brighter future is extended to all Americans.
This report is part of the Center's Energy Initiative, an ongoing project aimed at assessing our regional and national relationship with energy. It was made possible through the collaboration and financial support of Energy Outreach Colorado, a nonprofit organization that works to ensure that the state's low-income families can meet their home energy needs. (Downlaod PDF)
A Guide To A New Relationship
Building on the great success of our first energy report, the Center has teamed up with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) to publish What Every Westerner Should Know About Energy Efficiency and Conservation: A Guide to a New Relationship . Lead authors Patty Limerick and Howard Geller (of SWEEP) have assembled the most current information on energy efficiency and conservation into an accessible and practical guide for individuals and businesses who want to save energy - and money - this summer and beyond. (Download PDF)
An assessment of impacts and potential responses
In 2004, the Aspen City Council made a commitment to achieve the highest level of environmental protection for our beautiful valley and its quality of life. The council directed city staff to come forward with ideas and proposals to achieve this standard. John Worcester, Aspen City Attorney, presented an ambitious proposal he named "The Canary Initiative." The Canary Initiative identifies Aspen and other mountain communities as the canary in the coal mine for global warming. Aspen's goal: to aggressively reduce its contribution to global warming, and to engage other communities to send a clear message on the importance of this issue. (Downlaod PDF)
A Look into the Patterns of Land Use and Future Development in the American West
The American West is the fastest-growing region of the country, but it is also a place endowed with great open spaces that offer important ecological and social values. Over the last decade, Westerners have witnessed remarkable change, have watched whole mountainsides develop, and found their commutes lengthening. This report projects land use patterns so that Westerners might take a look at their regions's future. (Download PDF)
Cleaning Up Abandoned Hard Rock Mines: Prospecting for A Better Future
Of all the ways in which the Western past remains tightly connected to the Western present and future, acid mine drainage may be the most telling example. The mining booms of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century left behind a legacy of trouble for today's Westerners. With the goal of bringing mining industry leaders, environmental activists, government agencies, and concerned citizens of communities in mining territory together to reinforce and create positive solutions to this problem. The Center of the American West convened a three-day workshop in October 2004. This report is a result of that workshop. (Download PDF)
What Every Westerner Should Know About Energy
On July 8, 2003, the Center of the American West released its report, What Every Westerner Should Know About Energy, based on findings from its 2002 conference on Western Energy Issues, as well as research and consultations with scholars and other professionals in the energy industry. This report is designed to educate Westerners on energy issues, in an interesting and informative manner. We believe this Report from the Center will be a useful tool to spark conversations and educate citizens about the West's energy future. (Download PDF)
Making the Most of Science in the American West: An Experiment
On August 1, 2003, the Center of the American West released its report, Making the Most of Science in the American West. In the report, we look at the key role that scientists have played in the West and in the shaping of natural resource policies that govern so much of the Western landscape. We asked Westerners to retain their faith in science, but to remodel the dream to make the most of our spectacular talent pool of scientists in universities, federal agencies, and nongovernmental organizations throughout the West. (Download PDF)
Boom and Bust in the American West
Upturns and downturns in the economy often produce more agitation and worry than insight and reflection. This report offers a chance to step aside from the fray, and think about the big picture. The eighteen findings in this report offer a unique insight into economic patterns that have shaped the West over the past 150 years, and bring to light important information on indicators of a changing Western economy, the effects of booms and busts on communities, and ways of dealing with the impacts of these often sudden shifts in prosperity. (Download PDF)
Protecting Communitites and Restoring Forests
This report is a product of the Front Range Fuels Treatment Partnership Roundtable, a coalition of individuals from state and federal agencies, local governments, environmental and conservation organizations, the academic and scientific communities, and industry and user groupsall with a commitment to forest health and fire risk mitigation along Colorado's Front Range. (Download PDF)
On November 13th and 14th, 2007, Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) convened a two-day workshop on the ecological implications of climate change for the park. With the help of the Center of the American West, University of Colorado, RMNP brought together many of the region's leading biologists, physical scientists, and climatologists to assess the state of the science on the ecological consequences of climate change for the park, to determine priorities and needs in monitoring and research, and to suggest possible mitigation strategies. Over two days of presentations and deliberation, workshop participants worked toward a consensus view of the changes that the park will likely undergo as the region experiences climate warming. This document is a synthesis of the presentations and discussions at the November 2007 workshop. (Download PDF)
Atlas of the New West makes sense of this transformation with forty-six full-color, three-dimensional maps, offering a portrait of the region's cosmopolitan cities, nuclear waste sites, gold-medal trout streams, espresso bars, and working ranches. Illustrations and informative sidebars show old West battles taking new forms--who owns what land? who controls what water rights? and how much development is too much? (Download PDF)
Reconciling explosive growth with often majestic landscapes defines New Geographies of the American West. Geographer William Travis examines contemporary land use changes and development patterns from the Rockies to the Pacific, and assesses the ecological and social outcomes of Western development.
Unlike previous "boom" periods dependent on oil or gold, the modern population explosion in the West reflects a sustained passion for living in this specific landscape. But the encroaching exurbs, ranchettes, and ski resorts are slicing away at the very environment that Westerners cherish.
Efforts to manage growth in the West are usually stymied at the state and local levels. Is it possible to improve development patterns within the West's traditional anti-planning, pro-growth milieu, or is a new model needed? Can the region develop sustainably, protecting and managing its defining wildness, while benefiting from it, too?
Travis takes up the challenge, suggesting that functional and attractive settlement can be embedded in preserved lands, working landscapes,and healthy ecologies. (Download PDF)