Our executive summary deck draws from the six PowerPoint presentations that cover biodiversity, climate change, land use, politics, water, and wildfires. Download links for the summary are below.

Key points

  1. Human footprint: Despite the prevalence of public land, many of the West’s iconic and least disturbed landscapes are vulnerable to human activities, putting biodiversity and wilderness values at risk.
  2. Land use: Population growth is a key driver, but agriculture uses most of the West’s water and has a bigger footprint than cities and suburbs
  3. Water: Growth and climate change are compounding the water crisis by increasing demands and jeopardizing supplies, but water quality is generally better out West than back East.
  4. Biodiversity: Habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change are the top threats to the West’s rich array of species and ecosystems.
  5. Wildfires: Climate change and the legacy of fire suppression will continue to make the wildfire season longer, costlier, and more destructive
  6. Public opinion: Americans—and Westerners in particular—often support environmentalists’ goals, but hostility toward the movement may be growing.
  7. Funding: Budgets for federal environmental agencies are relatively steady and conservation ballot measures usually pass, but considerably fewer have been put to voters during the economic downturn.


Download Slides: EcoWest Executive Summary (122183 downloads ) Download Slides (Narrated): EcoWest Executive Summary (3598 downloads ) Download PDF: EcoWest Executive Summary (4407 downloads ) Download PDF with Notes: EcoWest Executive Summary (4661 downloads )

Visualizing environmental trends