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    Rural Connections

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    Rural Connections, the magazine of the Western Rural Development Center, is published to provide research-informed inspiration on timely research and activities by the West’s land-grant institutions and regional/national agencies as it relates to rural development issues in the region. Contributors include researchers, faculty, Extension researchers, specialists and agents, practitioners, and professionals from throughout the West with occasional contributions from outside the region.



    The Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Rural Connections includes an introduction by WRDC Director Don Albrecht plus eight articles discussing a range of citizen science research and activities throughout the western U.S.
    Read this issue.

    Past Issues

    RC-FA2018 Fall 2018. Articles include: ON THE COVER: Building Relationships Construyendo Relaciónes: Latino Energy Outreach in the Pacific Northwest. Other articles include an introduction by WRDC Director Don E. Albrecht, along with seven articles discussing a range of topics including: ecosystem services; economic benefits of watershed restoration; increasing SNAP/EBT use at farmers markets; Latino energy outreach; cooperatives for CED efforts; cooperative business for rural development; and innovative affordable housing efforts in Wyoming.
    rc-cvr-spr-sum-2018 Spring/Summer 2018. Articles include: ON THE COVER: Already a Lifestyle: How a Rural Nevada Town Used its Natural Assets to Become Sustainable and Successful. Other articles include an introduction by WRDC Director Don Albrecht along with five articles discussing a range of topics including rural housing, climate adaptation planning in Northwest Alaska, an Idaho community’s approach to food insecurity, access to crucial public safety facilities and equipment, and an innovative direct-to-consumer program for rural areas. 
    rc-fall-2017-cover Fall 2017. Articles include: ON THE COVER - Rural Resilience: Addressing Community Health Outcomes with NEAR Sciences; Small-Scale Agriculture and the New Natural Resource Economy; Externships in Community Sustainability through Cooperative Extension; Building Extension through Collaborative Biofuels Research; Determined to Become a Homeowner; and Western Results of Extension Sustainability.
     rcspr17-cover Spring 2017. Articles include: ON THE COVER - Rural Community Preparedness for Disasters Affecting Animals, Agriculture, and Food; When Disaster Strikes, Extension Responds; Planning for the Prosperity of the Rural West; The Dry Farming Collaborative; Shifting Water Use Patterns in Response to the Conversion of Irrigated Agricultural Lands; Interlocking Cross Laminated Timber; Death by a Thousand Cuts; Coastal Climate Change in Southeast Alaska; Exploring Transit Feasibility in Park County, Wyoming; Our Climate is Doing What?; Solar and Wind Assessments for Pivots; Community Rebranding; and Hired U.S. and California Farm Workers are Aging and Settling. 
    fall-2016-cover-rural-connections Fall 2016. Articles include: ON THE COVER - Making Every Dollar Count: Leveraging Federal Investments in Land Management to Benefit Local Communities; USDA Providing Quality Health Care in Rural Communities; State and Local Revenue Negatively Impacted by Secure Rural Schools Termination; A Wealth Creation Approach to Economic Development; Silver City, Nevada; Addressing Water Management Issues in the Drought-Stricken Great Basin; The Energy Boom and Rural Communities of the Intermountain West; Mapping Mine Waste Impoundments in the Western U.S.; and Irrigation Alternatives Lead to Reduced Water Use While Maintaining Crop Yields.


    Spring 2016. Articles include: Enhancing Tribal Health and Food Sovereignty; Power of the Fork; Embracing Uncertainty and Building Community; Economic Evaluation of Variable Rate Irrigation Center Pivot Technology; Illicit Drug Abuse in Rural Communities; County Economies 2015; Preparing Youth for Today's Economy; and Hope for the Best and Plan for The Worst: can you age-in-place?


    Fall 2015. Articles include: The Economic Recovery of Rural Western Counties; Community-Based Organizations Help Revitalize Forest Communities; Preparing for the Big One; Microirrigation for Sustainable Water Use; Volunteer Ingenuity Keeps Water Flowing in Bluewater, New Mexico; Rural Utah County Embraces the Area Sector Analysis Process; Pony Express Territory of Nevada; Crowdsourcing Climate Data; Imagine Guam Helps Citizens Plan for Island Sustainability; and Seeing the Potential in Vacant Homes.


    June 2015. Articles include: Washington Rural Pathways to Prosperity; Exploring Samoan Culture and Food Security; Colorado River Basin Agricultural Water Conservation Clearinghouse; Nevada's Living with Fire Program; and Renewable Energy's Role in University Outreach to the Public.
    may-2014-cover-rural-connections May 2014. Articles include: Extension Sustainability Outreach; The Sustainability Revolution; Land Use and Sustainability in the West; The Imperatives and Challenges of Addressing Climate Risk in Cooperative Extension Communities; Extension's Role in Improving Water Resource Sustainability; Sustainable Food Systems; and Energy Extension is Central to Sustainability.


    November 2013. Articles include: The History of Immigration and Demographics in the Western U.S.; Immigration and Immigration Policy in the West; Rural Latinos: Adaptations and Contributions; Strengthening Latino Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs in Washington; An Overview of Farm Labor in the U.S.; The Changing Face of California Agriculture; Life in Hawaii; and Immigration and Agriculture: What Next?.
    june-2013-cover-rural-connections June 2013. Articles include: The Energy Future of Rural America; Ten-Year Energy Vision-Western Governors' Association Energy Initiative; Energy in a Global Economy; The Sociology of Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Renewable Energy: Implications for Rural Development and Rural Policy in the Intermountain West; Wind Development as 'Sustainable Entrepreneurship;' Woody Biomass Industry in Utah: The Story of the Utah Biomass Resource Group; and In the Good Times and the Bad: Shale Gas Development and Local Employment. 
    jan-2013-cover-rural-connections January 2013. Articles include: Drought in the West: How Governors Address a Slow-Moving Disaster; Drought on the Rio Grande; Ranching, Risk, and Resilience During Drought; Helping a Community Develop a Drought Impacts Reporting System; Fire and Drought in Paradise-Say It Ain't So, Smokey; The Economic Impacts of Large Wildfires; Community Wildfire Planning as a Tool to Enhance Trust; Yellowstone National Park and the Summer of Fire; and Extension Disaster Education Network Responds to 2012 Drought and Wildfires.
    may-2012-cover-rural-connections May 2012. Articles include: A Food Hub Challenge; Clarifying the Regional Food Hub Challenge; The Final Frontier: A farmer's perspective; Economic Implications of Farm to School for a Rural Colorado Community; Land Use Planning and Spatial Configuration Benefit Community Agriculture; Developing a Healthy Food Hub in Rural Nevada; Rebuilding Alaska Foodsheds; Growing a Local Food Policy Council; and Pacific Food Hubs in Guam.
    sept-2011-cover-rural-connections September 2011. Articles include: The New Natural Resource Economy; Developing Value-Added Farm and Ranch Resources; Keeping it Local-Towards a Micronesian Product Seal; Creating Value for Place-Based Businesses; Sustainable Rural Development Using the Community Business Matching Model; Get on the Bus: Connecting Small Communities on Montana's Hi Line; Rebuilding the Grain Chain: Stories from the Pacific Northwest; The Small Business Impact of Telecommunications Policy Restrictions in Rural States; The Digital Economy in the Western U.S.; and Small Community Gets Big Broadband.
    june-2011-cover-rural-connections June 2011. Articles include: Finding a Place for Climate Science in the Rural West; Two Approaches to Supporting Rural Community Preparation for Climate Change; Food Security Adaptation Planning; State Fiscal Implications of Climate Change Legislation to Energy-Dependent States; Can Rangeland Carbon Sequestration Help Livestock Producers and Rural Economies Adapt to Climate Change?; Anaerobic Digestion in the Pacific Northwest; Assisting Arctic Inhabitants in Responding to Climate Change; Climate Change and the Family Forest Landowners in the Pacific Northwest; Climate Change and Agriculture; Multi-State Water and Climate Collaborations; Building Resiliency from Climate Impacts into Oregon Ag Systems Strategies; Planning Agricultural Responses to Climate Change in California; and REVIEW-Split Estate: Benefits and Consequences of Drilling in the Rocky Mountain West.
    sept-2010-cover-rural-connections September 2010. Articles include: Working Upstream: Focusing Attention on Health and other Benefits of Nature; The Forest as Nature's Health Service; Mental Health Outdoors: The Benefits of Nature; Rural Health and Rural Landscapes: An Ecological Approach to the Study of Obesity; The Obesity Research Prevention and Evaluation of Intervention Effectiveness in Native North Americans (OPREVENT); Poverty Reduction Project Increases Social and Natural Capital; Investigating Places for Active Recreation in Rural North Carolina Communities; Health, Economy, and Community: USDA Forest Service Managers' Perspectives on Sustainable Outdoor Recreation; Community Recreation and Healthy Living in Rural Settings; and Themus aquaticus and You: Biodiversity, Human Health, and the Interpretive Challenge.
     may-2010-cover-rural-connections May 2010. Articles include: River of Empire; The Future of Western Water Law: Will Prior Appropriation Survive Changing Priorities in Western Water Use?; Is the Failure to Acknowledge Tribal Interests Fueling the Water Crises?; The Klamath Solution: Certainty for Farmers and Electricity Customers; Measuring the Sustainability of Western Water Systems; Time and Nature; Western Households' Water Values, Knowledge, and Preferences for Meeting Future Water Scarcity; Hydrological Impacts of Traditional Community Irrigation Systems in New Mexico; Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment and as Landscape Amenities in Rural Communities; Tunnel Vision in the Central Valley: Narrow Regulatory Focus Dries up Western Rural Communities; Farmer Participation in Temporary Irrigation Forebearance: Portfolio Risk Management; Water Policy Innovations and Challenges in Arizona; Thinking as a Watershed; and Agricultural Conservation Clearinghouse.
    nov-2008-cover-rural-connections November 2009. Articles include: Food Insecurity in the Western States; Poverty Amidst Plenty: Understanding Farm Worker Food (in)Security in California; Rural Collaboration Works to Build Higher Skill Levels in Hopes of Attracting Better Jobs; Food Insecurity and Stress Among Children in the Western U.S.; Farm to School: The Health of the Next Generation; Marketing Healthy Foods in a Rural Convenience Store; It Takes a Year to Write an In-Season Real Food Cookbook; Food Security in the Western U.S. and Pacific Territories; Sunshine Barley: Ready to Grow; GROW! Food Security with a Community Garden; Wasatch Front CSA Collective: Growing Possibilities and Seeking Local Solutions to Food Production; and Advocating Native Bee Pollination Services on U.S. Farms. 
    apirl-2009-cover-rural-connections April 2009. Articles include: A Message from NACDEP President; An Entrepreneur-Based Economy; Her Seat at the Table; Diversity, Change, and Social Justice; eXtension's Entrepreneurs and Their Communities Website; Exploring Unintended Consequences in Community Development; Providing Workforce Housing While Preserving Natural Character in New Hampshire Communities; Economic Growth vs. Economic Development: Are you taking the time to measure changes impacting quality of life?; LULA-Leadership Training in Land Use and Community Conflict; Local Decision Maker-Plan Your Future; Conservation: A Path to Community Sustainability?; The Tourism Connection: Contributing to Sustainable Community Development in the 21st Century; Creative Industries Promote Economic Growth; The Shalom Farm: growing Food, Family, and Friends; Rural Farmers' Markets: Challenges and Opportunities; Earth, Wind, Fire: Preparing for Bioenergy Opportunities in Wisconsin; Environmental Education: Forests for Today and Tomorrow; Youth Civic Engagement through the Youth City Council Program; and Listening to the Experts: A report on what we heard.
    nov-2008b-cover-rural-connections November 2008. Articles include: Freeways to Fuels; Wind Energy Development and Education in Northeastern Colorado; Evaluating Distributed Biodiesel Production; Renewable Energy from Woody Biomass: A California Perspective; The Western Pacific Connection: Convening Chiefs and Councils; A Future without Oil: Winning the Oil End Game; Exploring Ocean Wave Energy; Nuclear Energy and the West; Smart Power Alternative to Coal;