Published: June 2, 2016

Original article can be found at WNYC  
Originally published on June 2, 2016 

Real estate and energy development in Western states have transformed more than 4,000 square miles of land between 2001 and 2011. 

“A new analysis by the nonprofit Conservation Science Partners finds that natural areas out west are disappearing at the rate of a football field every two and a half minutes,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in April.”If you add all that up, you’re looking at a pretty bleak picture. If we stay on this trajectory, 100 hundred years from now, natural parks and wild life refuges will be like postage stamps of nature on a map.” 

Those figures cited by Sec. Jewell come from a new report from Conservation Science Partners and the Center for American Progress, called “The Disappearing West.”  

But Patty Limerick, state historian of Colorado and the director of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, says there has always been change in the American west, and that our expectations and dreams of the west need to keep up with reality.