75 reasons to love the West

The top people, places, things, and trends that make us happy to live here now

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We love a comeback
Jessica Lowry

We love a comeback

Bison (pictured). The guys who founded American Prairie Reserve are determined to bring back the bison herds that enchanted 19th-century travelers. So they’re gobbling up Montana land as fast as they can—nearly 300,000 acres so far, with a goal of 3 million—and have a healthy herd of 250 roaming free. americanprairie.org

Forests. Archangel Ancient Tree Archive harvested shoots from 2,000-year-old coast redwoods and has planted the clones in Oregon. The goal: to re-create not just any redwood forest but one with sturdy bloodlines. Meanwhile, near Yellowstone, TreeFight’s volunteers tack pheromone pouches onto whitebark pines to ward off devastating pine beetles. As TreeFight likes to say, “Fight now, hug later.” ancienttreearchive.org; treefight.org

Rivers. Thanks to dam removals, the Olympic Peninsula’s Elwha River is running free for the first time in more than a century, and the salmon are coming back strong. nps.gov/olym

More: Sunset's Environmental Awards

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