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Rural Disasters- Saving Lives and Livelihoods

Rural disasters often mobilize two self-described groups: “The red-light team” from the official ranks of fire, emergency medicine and law enforcement systems. And “the Carhartt and cowboy-hat army,” including agriculture producers and their children, friends, and relatives serving officially and unofficially as emergency responders. Both groups bring critical knowledge and skills. An inter-agency effort that includes land-grant university Extension offices is helping these groups work together to achieve better results.

How the BLM is overhauling land-use planning

The Bureau of Land Management is unveiling a new approach to planning how to manage its 245 million acres, one that invites diverse viewpoints much earlier in the multi-year process. Bringing people with different perspectives together is one of the goals of Planning 2.0, the BLM’s proposed new strategy for developing resource management plans, the big-picture blueprints that guide the agency’s on-the-ground decisions. It’s the first time in 33 years that the BLM has overhauled its planning procedures.

Elk, not bison, are spreading Brucellosis near Yellowstone

Since Wyoming first established its feedgrounds in 1912, thousands of elk have munched taxpayer-funded rations every winter. Conservationists have long warned that the crowding could spread brucellosis, which causes miscarriages. However, since state and federal agencies have long assumed that bison, not elk, transmit the disease to livestock, they’ve focused their attention on the bison, restricting their winter migration out of Yellowstone National Park and culling hundreds each year. Research by the U.S.

Many Northeast, Midwest States Face Shrinking Workforce

In many parts of the Northeast and Midwest, population growth is slowing at an unprecedented rate as people are getting older, women are having fewer children, and more people are moving out than in — and that signals big economic trouble ahead. The population of prime working-age adults, ages 25 to 54, will decline in 16 states, most of which are in the Northeast and Midwest, from 2010 to 2040, according to a Stateline analysis of projections released by the University of Virginia’s Demographics Research Group in the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

The Graying of Rural America

As young people increasingly move to cities, what happens to the people and places they leave behind? Over the past two decades, as cities have become job centers that attract diverse young people, rural America has become older, whiter, and less populated. Between 2010 and 2014, rural areas lost an average of 33,000 people a year. Today, just 19 percent of Americans live in areas the Census department classifies as rural, down from 44 percent in 1930. But roughly one-quarter of seniors live in rural communities, and 21 of the 25 oldest counties in the United States are rural.

Firefighters, first responders welcome evacuees back to Fort McMurray

the firefighters and first responders hailed as heroes for saving most of the city and safeguarding its people as they fled a monster wildfire in May parked their rigs and hung banners to welcome the oil-town’s gritty residents as they headed back home along Highway 63.  As the first residents arrived, passing a huge Canadian flag hung between the ladders of two fire trucks parked on one bridge, the Fort Mac Evacuees saw for the first time the devastation.  They saw destroyed areas covered with a white substance sprayed to keep toxic ash from blowing about.

Internet Access - an incomplete promise

With their homes and small businesses lacking access to robust fiber Internet service, many American small business operators try to get by with mobile wireless service not intended to support businesses. Larry Korte is an example, trying to run his consulting business in Churchville, Virginia, on 4G cellular service. But since the service is essentially metered Internet, where users pay overage charges for exceeding bandwidth limits, Korte finds the service expensive and a poor value. “I go to the [cell phone provider] and say, ‘Well, we need 300 gigabytes a month.

Bringing people together:Rural is 'different', not 'less'

A foundation executive says some philanthropies may use questions of "capacity" as an excuse not to fund projects in rural America. But in the long run, he says, urban-based philanthropies need rural constituencies to make a difference at the national level. But that’s apparently not what has happened in the recent past. A U.S. Department of Agriculture study released last year showed that rural areas, while they were home to about 19 percent of the U.S. population,  received only 6 to 7 percent of private foundation grants awarded from 2005 to 2010.

Mapping the large-scale loss of natural areas in the West

Energy development was the biggest force transforming landscapes in Colorado and Wyoming in recent years, according to an interactive mapping project called the Disappearing West released earlier this week by the Center for American Progress (CAP), a liberal think tank based in Washington, D.C.  Some 362 square miles of Colorado and 491 square miles of Wyoming were altered by energy development between 2001 and 2011, increasing the total land area covered by energy development in those states by 33 percent and 38 percent.


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