Best of the West: Redwoods seek new home; West home to strongest economies; Idaho confronts doctor shortage

The West

The Western Governors' Association keeps you updated on news of the West. Here are the western stories for the week starting June 4, 2018, that you don't want to miss. Image: Archangel Ancient Tree Archive

Does anyone want their own redwood? Because 100 of the enormous trees are bound for Seattle, Washington, thanks to a contribution from The Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, and now they just need space to grow.

Cultivated from ancient redwood cuttings from California, the now six-foot trees have outgrown their home in a Michigan greenhouse, and a 71-year old Boeing retiree has taken on the challenge of finding a new home for them in the Pacific Northwest.

“There is something about these trees that is just so awe-inspiring, so wonder-inspiring,” said Philip Stielstra, the volunteer seeking to accommodate the grove. “There is something about these beings that have lived here on this Earth for over 2,000 years, they seem to know something and have wisdom we human mortals just don’t have. I just feel awed in their presence.”

Now Hiring: Nontraditional pathways – that is, careers that don’t require a four-year degree – are gaining traction as demand for industrial work, manufacturing and technology grow. Watch a PBS News interview on how workforce development experts (including Beth Cobert, who participated in the Colorado workshop of the Western Governors’ Workforce Development Initiative) are tackling the skills gap.   

Too Many Trees? Learn why forest managers are declaring an ‘epidemic of trees’ in Montana and Washington.  In Colorado, researchers explain why forests used be thinner, and how it was better for wildfires as overcrowded forests become a growing concern.

West is Best: According to WalletHub, seven of the top 10 states with the strongest economies are in the West. The study, which compared key indicators such as lowest unemployment rates and highest GDP growth, includes Washington, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and Utah in the top five rankings.

Confronting a Doctor Shortage: Idaho ranks 49th in the country for the number of physicians per capita, meaning doctors are in high demand. With many of those physicians nearing retirement, the Gem State is working to recruit young doctors to rural communities by utilizing technology and through enticing loan repayment and residency programs. 

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