Framing the “New West”— Molly Ryan

The “Old West” and the “New West.” These terms are often used to characterize the transformation of rural western economies and communities from places oriented around extractive industries to those based around natural amenities and recreation (Bryson & Wyckoff, 2010; Krannich et al., 2011; Shumway & Otterstrom, 2001). This transformation is driven by in-migration from Read more about Framing the “New West”— Molly Ryan[…]

What’s Behind Oregon’s New Law Mandating Overtime Pay for Farmworkers and What Might it Mean for Farmers in the State? — Shannon Bell

Labor shortages became very salient in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the agricultural industry has been reckoning with labor shortages and the equity concerns around farm labor conditions for years. One of the primary factors behind both the decline in willing farm labor and the outcry among farmworker advocates has been the Read more about What’s Behind Oregon’s New Law Mandating Overtime Pay for Farmworkers and What Might it Mean for Farmers in the State? — Shannon Bell[…]

Understanding the Impacts and Implications of Rural Gentrification in the American West

Many amenity towns in the Western United States are struggling with rapid in-migration and its corresponding impacts on natural resources, socioeconomic inequality, and community culture and character. The regional growth associated with three rural hubs in the West–Summit County, Colorado; Jackson, Wyoming; Bend, Oregon–can offer insights into this phenomenon of rural gentrification. In partnership with Read more about Understanding the Impacts and Implications of Rural Gentrification in the American West[…]

Rural Gentrification: The Housing Crisis — Mara MacDonell

There are two things that are common knowledge if you live in a ski town (and you don’t have a trust fund to support you): 1) Getting a job is easy, which is good because you’ll probably need at least two; and 2) there is no housing. Previous to matriculating at Yale, I lived in Read more about Rural Gentrification: The Housing Crisis — Mara MacDonell[…]

Is Oregon’s Land Use System Protecting Farmers? — Shannon Bell

Between 2001 and 2016, 11 million acres of farmland in the United States were developed, with 4.1 million acres converted to urban and highly developed land uses and almost 7 million acres converted to low-density residential use. The 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Census revealed that from 2012 to 2017, the amount of Read more about Is Oregon’s Land Use System Protecting Farmers? — Shannon Bell[…]

Flagstaff, Arizona’s journey through rural gentrification — Molly Ryan

I’ve been living on the East Coast for over eight years now. When I meet someone new and tell them that I grew up in Arizona, they usually respond with a comment about the weather. “You must be used to this kind of heat!” they say. I know what they’re imagining: a dry, sandy landscape Read more about Flagstaff, Arizona’s journey through rural gentrification — Molly Ryan[…]

Climate Change and Plant Communities: Reshaping Ecosystems for Livestock and Wildlife — Scott Carpenter

During the month of August, I was unfortunate enough to be impacted by two extreme weather events associated with climate change. In Wyoming, multiple field days were cut short due to hazardous air quality resulting from the ongoing wildfires in California and Oregon. While 2020 saw the second highest acreage burned since 1960 (the highest Read more about Climate Change and Plant Communities: Reshaping Ecosystems for Livestock and Wildlife — Scott Carpenter[…]

Global change and root production: how does land use and climate change affect life belowground? — Uthara Vengrai

Roots do everything. They are the connector between plants and soil–the interface at which many of the transactions of life are made. Roots (with the help of their mycorrhizal associates) conduct a plant’s search for nutrients, water, and shelter. They scour the soil for the ingredients of life and support whole ecosystems of microorganisms, plants, Read more about Global change and root production: how does land use and climate change affect life belowground? — Uthara Vengrai[…]

Natural (Green) Infrastructure in Oregon

Lily is a Financial Analyst Intern with the Natural Infrastructure Initiative at the World Resources Institute (WRI). She is researching the relationship between resilient water utilities and environmental health. In particular, Lily’s work is centered on the need for more widespread financing and funding opportunities for natural (green) infrastructure projects in Oregon. She is researching Read more about Natural (Green) Infrastructure in Oregon[…]

Inherding: The Concept, The Benefits, and its Feasibility—Cally Guasti

If you visit cattle ranches in most of the U.S., you’ll see two kinds of cattle grazing methods: the first is where cattle graze freely on the land, the second is rotational grazing. But on a ranch in May, Idaho, there is a third method, called “inherding.” With the inherding method, cattle are herded on Read more about Inherding: The Concept, The Benefits, and its Feasibility—Cally Guasti[…]

Relationship-based Farming: Biodynamic agriculture as an innovative approach for rethinking our food system—Viola Taubmann

Cow manure that has fermented in the soil over the winter while stored in a cow horn is mixed with water and stirred vigorously for one hour, regularly changing directions. This mixture is then applied to the soil in minuscule amounts before sowing to encourage healthy root growth.  Sounds like a magic potion? This is Read more about Relationship-based Farming: Biodynamic agriculture as an innovative approach for rethinking our food system—Viola Taubmann[…]

The Underlying Market Forces that Enable Farms to Share Risk Across the Supply Chain—Tim Ibbotson-Sindelar

Our research project with Vilicus Farms focuses on how farms and the supply chain can partner to mitigate risk for both parties, and how the supply chain can reorient itself to share  some of the risks that traditionally farms shoulder alone. The risks that the supply chain can particularly help shoulder include farms’ financial risks Read more about The Underlying Market Forces that Enable Farms to Share Risk Across the Supply Chain—Tim Ibbotson-Sindelar[…]

Who is leading the effort to conserve privately-owned grasslands in the West?—Laura González Mantecón

As I write this, surrounded by towering Douglas firs in the Pacific Northwest, I am very far removed from the open prairies of Central Montana, but for the past few months, my mind has often been wandering through the expansive Northern Great Plains. My student partner, Lani, and I have been working with the Range Read more about Who is leading the effort to conserve privately-owned grasslands in the West?—Laura González Mantecón[…]

Ranching the Hard Way—Lani Chang

“We’ve all chosen to do ranching the hard way” a rancher chuckles through the small illuminated rectangle on my computer’s desktop. My project partner, Laura González Mantecón, in the adjacent rectangle on Zoom asks him what he means by that. They’ve all chosen in one form or another to adopt practices that demand a lot Read more about Ranching the Hard Way—Lani Chang[…]

Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation—Grace Hilbert

No two conservation projects are the same, which is why the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) developed the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation, also referred to as the Conservation Standards (previously the Open Standards). These Standards are an adaptable framework that brings together common concepts, approaches, and terminology to help make conservation efforts more Read more about Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation—Grace Hilbert[…]