Best of the West: Rural exodus in the West, California wildfire nearly tamed, Utah dinosaur discovery

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Wildfires, The West

The Western Governors' Association keeps you updated on news of the West. Here are the western stories for the week starting October 16, 2017, that you don't want to miss. Image: Headwaters Economics 

The trend of young people moving from rural areas to densely populated urban centers has been growing nationwide. A new study shows where those transplants are moving in the West.  

Young people in their 20s and 30s are relocating for jobs in fast-growing industries such as health care, real estate and high tech, and away from traditional rural jobs such as farming and mining, according to the report produced by High Country News and Solutions Journalism Network.

Using Headwaters Economics data to track migration trends across the West, visitors can use an interactive tool detailing population fluctuations by county. The article also examines several rural counties that are attracting young people in surprising ways. For a macro view on how populations are shifting, click here for an article by Governing Magazine.  

California Wildfires: Firefighters expect full containment this week on the fires that have devastated the state and claimed at least 42 lives. Now, thousands of residents face a housing shortage as they begin to take stock of the damage. For an inside look of the dangerous job of fighting fire, view a slideshow by an Oregon reporter who followed the state’s firefighters through the 2017 fire season. The Los Angeles Times reported on Congressional budgeting practices that lead to shortfalls, and referenced WGA outreach in a recent article.  

To find WGA’s special report on the California wildfires, including information about how you can help those affected, click here.  

Dino discovery: The skeleton of a large dinosaur similar to a Tyrannosaurus rex discovered in Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was relocated to the state’s Natural History Museum for study this week following two years of excavation.

Great Migration: When temperatures dip, Wyoming pronghorn embark on one of the longest overland migrations in the Western Hemisphere.  Development continues to encroach on the pronghorns’ migration routes, but conservation strategies are being implemented in an attempt to offset these negative impacts.

Idaho dairy farmers have been keeping a close eye on the latest round of NAFTA negotiations this week. Mexico is the state’s top trading partner for dairy products, and changes to the 1994 deal could impact the state’s economy. Learn how.

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