File photograph: The Oakhurst subdivision abuts open space  in Clayton, Calif.  (Contra Costa Times)
File photograph: The Oakhurst subdivision abuts open space in Clayton, Calif. (Contra Costa Times)

Every 2.5 minutes the West loses an area of natural land the size of a football field to human development. And each year, on average it loses 432 square miles, an area nearly the size of Los Angeles, according to a new study.

Paul Rogers of The San Jose Mercury News digs into a report by scientists at Conservation Science Partners, a nonprofit research organization. He writes:

Careless development -- whether it is sprawling new subdivisions outside Denver or Phoenix, or vast new oil and gas fields near towns like Pinedale, Wyoming --fragment the landscape, the report's authors said, blocking corridors for wildlife, polluting water and changing the West's singular sense of place.

Read Rogers' story to learn more about how the West is changing.

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