Explore the series by topic or location.

Rural Character

A Nevada community rallies to preserve its rural flavor in the face of suburban sprawl. The battle cry: a donkey’s bray.

Conservation Easements

This popular conservation tool has been used to protect millions of acres “forever.” Yet, as the dispute over a ranch in Wyoming shows, even forever can end.

Wind Power

Renewable energy may be good for the planet, but its local effects can be mixed. Lessons from the largest wind farm in the East, in upstate New York.

Coastal Erosion

As global warming causes the seas to rise and shorelines to recede, what will happen to homes stranded on the beach? A Texas town provides a glimpse of America’s future.

Highway Beautification

Vegetation and advertising fight for attention on a Florida road. The trees lose, and the community asks: Shouldn’t the public decide what the public sees on a public way?

Green Burials

Joan Graham, age 80, wants to turn her Michigan farm into an unusual burial ground. Could death add life to land conservation efforts?