Speaking to a long-standing tradition of the Rockies Report Cards "grading" the region on a variety of attributes, this year includes a brief look at three areas: crime and incarceration in the Rockies, historic preservation in the Rockies, and an evaluation of regional representation by elected officials. The Report Card also tackles issues of wildlife in the Rockies, dedicating three sections to the topic: "Wildlife: Range and Condition," "Wildlife Management," and "Impacts of Energy Development on Wildlife." Tangentially, the Report Card addresses water issues and population changes with the sections: "Wild and Scenic Rivers" and "Repopulating the Rockies." Edited by Walter E. Hecox (CC professor of economics), Elizabeth L. Kolbe (CC class of 2008), and Matthew K. Reuer.
The 2011 State of the Rockies Report Card is focused on the Eastern Plains, Infrastructure and Recreation. These separate but interrelated topics are all important aspects to the Rockies region.
The 2006 State of the Rockies Report Card continues the Rockies Project tradition of reporting key issues in this unique region of spectacular natural beauty, cultural wealth, abundant resources, and fragile environment. The Report Card includes analysis and discussion of some key issues that confront the Rockies: biodiversity, ranch economics, climate change, land conservation, and child development. Edited by Walter E. Hecox (CC professor of economics), Bryan Hurlbutt (CC class of 2004), and Caitlin O'Brady (CC class of 2005).
The 2013 State of the Rockies Report Card is entitled "Water Friendly Futures for the Colorado River Basin." The 2012-13 Rockies Project focus, for a second year, is the Colorado River Basin. The Colorado River Basin, covering a major portion of the eight-state Rockies region and extending into Mexico, has been the unified focus for all parts to the State of the Rockies Project during summer 2011 and the 2011-12 academic year and again for summer 2012 and 2012-13.
During the Late Cretaceous, western North America was flooded by an inland sea, the coasts of which were covered by broad, low-relief fluvial/alluvial plains on which a wide variety of dinosaurs and plants lived. Although these “actors” are known, their “actions” are not as clear; in particular, details of surface processes, dinosaur behavior and forest structure are not known for certain. In this study, stable isotopes of fossilized teeth from hadrosaurid dinosaurs collected in two different areas within the Kaiparowits Formation are used to investigate possible surface methane production, dinosaur niche partitioning, and the nature of the forest canopies in southern Utah during the Late Cretaceous to answer some of these outstanding questions. Comparison of carbon isotope ratios of tooth enamel between the two areas reveals significant offsets, which can be explained by differences between the areas in either (1) plant communities, (2) environmental and climatic stressors, or (3) the cycling of carbon within a forest canopy. Regardless of the exact cause, the preservation of these differences in hadrosaurid tooth enamel provides evidence of dietary niche partitioning amongst hadrosaurid sub-families within low-lying fluvial environments in southern Utah during the Late Cretaceous. Significant differences in both means and ranges of carbon isotope ratios of tooth dentine also exist between areas. Unlike enamel, dentine does not preserve primary isotopic information; rather, its chemical composition is strongly influenced by chemical processes taking place in soils near the surface. In this case, unusually high carbon isotope ratios of dentine from some sites within the two areas provide the first direct evidence of CH4 production in coastal floodplains of western North America during the Late Cretaceous. Such production of CH4 likely played an important role as a feedback that helped maintain “hothouse” climate conditions during this time. Since CH4 production has a pronounced impact on carbon isotope ratios of gases being emitted from the soil surface, it is possible to trace the movement of these gases into the biotic reservoir. In particular, the existence of hadrosaurid tooth enamel with high carbon isotope ratios suggests that these gases were incorporated into low-level forest vegetation before being eaten by the animals. In order for such “recycling” of carbon to occur, it is necessary for there to be a closed canopy near the surface, meaning that the forest understory is isolated from the open atmosphere due to dense vegetation cover. Thus, results from this study provide the first direct evidence for dense closed canopy forests in southern Utah during the Late Cretaceous.
The 2004 State of the Rockies Report Card launched an effort to provide a comprehensive and accessible annual statement on what is happening in the eight Rocky Mountain states. The contents include essays on the “state” of the region by experts; a “Rockies at a Glance” section to put the region in perspective; an overview essay on the economics and demographics of the eight-state Rockies region; 15 indicator sections that rank counties based on cultural, demographic, economic, and environmental characteristics, including thumbnail sketches of innovative communities; and an essay that highlights the distinct differences for three sub-regions within the Rockies: the Continental Divide Spine, the Eastern Plains Agricultural Heritage Zone, and the West and Southern Mountain Amenity Zone. Edited by Walter E. Hecox (CC professor of economics) and F. Patrick Holmes III (CC class of 2003).
The 2008 Report Card, Fifth Anniversary Edition, attends to environmental amenities, and also pushes into social dimensions that seem increasingly to capture the spotlight in the eight states included in this report: the role of immigrants, the challenge of affordable housing, the need to restore degraded landscapes, the continuing controversies over wildland protection, and the prospect of creating a long-term regional renewable energy boom. Edited by David Havlick; Project Supervisor, Walter E. Hecox (CC professor of economics); Editor, Layout, Christopher B. Jackson (CC class of 2006); Contibutor, Matthew K. Reuer.
The 2012 State of the Rockies Report Card entitled "The Colorado River Basin: Agenda for Use, Restoration, and Sustainability for the Next Generation," includes a summary of the Rockies Project Source to Sea trip, an investigation into the Colorado River's many diversions and uses, and an assessment of the "Law of the River," among many other topics.
The 2014 State of the Rockies Report Card is entitled "Large Landscape Conservation in the Rockies : Exploring New Conservation Paradigms for the Twenty-First Century." Building upon two years of focus on a very large conservation area in the Rockies, The Colorado River Basin, during 2013-14 the project team returned to an analysis of the eight-state region's land and environment. The project team delved into the techniques of "creative conservation" and "large landscape conservation" to provide comprehensive insight into innovative conservation actions and tools in the region. Using tabular and spatial techniques, the project team has begun to build a detailed inventory of conservation efforts and initiatives underway in the Rockies.
Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was enacted in 1994, the amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow in Mexico has increased significantly. After 20 years since NAFTA’s inception, this paper examines how FDI flows into Mexico compare to total factor productivity (TFP) for the 1960-2013 period. Results show there is a statistically significant unexplained portion of TFP positively affecting FDI. Factors used to determine TFP include total imports, total exports, and unemployment rate from 1980-2013. Results conclude that there are implications regarding international trade policy of the negative effects on FDI as they pertain to Mexico before and after the inauguration of NAFTA.
This study attempts to explain the effect geographical location has on a National Hockey League (NHL) team's revenue. The effect location has will be compared to other determinants of revenue in the NHL. Data sets were collected from the 2006-2007 and the 2007-2008 seasons. Regression results were analyzed from these data sets. This study found that attendance, city population, and win percentage has a positive and significant effect on revenue.
The 2005 State of the Rockies Report Card continues the Rockies Project tradition of identifying, assessing, and communicating key issues and problems in this unique region of spectacular natural beauty and cultural wealth, abundant resources and fragile environment. The Report Card includes thoughtful and often provocative analysis and discussion of some key issues that confront the Rockies: energy, the condition of the national parks, urban sprawl, toxic waste, creative occupations, and civic engagement. Edited by Walter E. Hecox (CC professor of economics), F. Patrick Holmes III (CC class of 2003), Bryan Hurlbutt (CC class of 2004).
For the 2007 Report Card new challenges include forest health and the importance of fire mitigation and disease in this region, energy development impacts on Rockies' communities and infrastructure, water use in the Rockies and the growing need for agriculture to urban water transfers, and trends in new communities, including "new urbanism". Edited by Walter E. Hecox (CC professor of economics), Matthew K. Reuer, and Christopher B. Jackson (CC class of 2006).
Each section of the 2010 Report Card is dedicated to agriculture in the Rockies. It provides the statistical overview of the region's industry, but also delves deep into agricultural history, land and water use, demographics, production, finance, organization, and a "foodprint" of Rockies' agriculture.
For the second year in a row, the State of the Rockies Project, in conjunction with Lori Weigel, Public Opinion Strategies and Dave Metz, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, conducted the Conservation in the West Poll. The poll's release on January 30, 2012 once again demonstrated that voters in Western states view parks and public lands as essential to their state’s economy, and support upholding and strengthening protections for clean air, clean water, natural areas and wildlife.
For the fourth year in a row, the Rockies Project has released the annual Conservation in the West Poll. Surveying 2400 registered voters from six western states, the poll provides valuable insight into the attitudes of voters in the Rocky Mountain West. Lori Weigel, Public Opinion Strategies and Dave Metz, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, conducted the Conservation in the West Poll. Conservation and land use issues could have the power to sway how westerners vote in 2014 elections, according to the 2014 Colorado College State of the Rockies Project Conservation in the West Poll.
For the third year in a row, the State of the Rockies Project, in conjunction with Lori Weigel, Public Opinion Strategies and Dave Metz, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, has conducted the Conservation in the West Poll. For more complete 2013 Conservation in the West Poll findings and more information visit: www.stateoftherockies.com.