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Planning in the American West

I am hot-wired to the American West. I was born and raised in the Deep South, but I have always been a Westerner. As a boy, the beginning of my Saturday was watching Roy Rogers and Gabby Hayes. My favorite movie or TV genre has always been the Western.

It was only natural I would move to the West. I began reading Montana magazine in college and fell in love with the state from afar.

I love the open spaces, the mountains, the rivers, the colorful history and the weather.

I became a planner after a few false starts at other professions. It suits my attachment to the land and my concern for the land.

I relish the differences of the planning profession out in the Interior West: the water scarcity, the vast expanses of public lands, the influence of agriculture and natural resource extraction, and the growing suburbanization of the West.

Things are different here, but we planners in the West face the most of the same issues planners elsewhere face. We are differently the same.

  1. Springtime in the Rockies

    by , 05 Jun 2009 at 12:56 PM (Planning in the American West)
    It has been a while since I last posted my blog.

    It must be Spring in Montana because the dandelions are growing like nobody's business in my yard, much to the chagrin of myself and the annoyance of my neighbors. Dandelions are amazing plants, really. Cut them down and a day later they are ready with new seeds to spread. No wonder they are everywhere.

    My son turns eight tomorrow. I look at him and I see the little guy he used to be. I wish he could have stayed four ...
  2. Elections 2008

    by , 10 Nov 2008 at 7:05 PM (Planning in the American West)
    I hope that the president-elect will bring change to this troubled nation. The economy is perhaps what turned the election in Obama's favor. Whether he can turn the economy around or play a big part in doing so I cannot predict.

    Today at my Toastmasters meeting we discussed the election and questions were posed as to what needs fixing. I did not get my chance to speak but had I had the opportunity I would have said - "I would like to see our president-elect work on improving our ...
  3. Snow came and went!

    by , 14 Oct 2008 at 1:45 PM (Planning in the American West)
    We got snow this weekend. It snowed pretty much all day Sunday. Of course I didn't have my snow tires on the car yet, so I waited for things to settle down on the roads before venturing out.

    Every Fall on that first snow day people have to re-remember how to drive on ice and snow. I stay home and let the knuckleheads slip and slide around and into each other. Unfortunately one man was killed in a rollover on the interstate.

    The snow is gone now and temperatures are ...
  4. Indi . . .ah . . .Native American Summer

    by , 03 Oct 2008 at 3:12 PM (Planning in the American West)
    Still feeling like August here. I am not complaining. The shorter days are turning the leaves autumn colors but the temperatures remain mild.

    Probably should mow the lawn one more time and give the trees a good watering before the cold weather hits and I have to bleed the outside pipes.

    Who knows. Maybe the son won't need to treat-or-treat with long underwear under his Batman costume.
  5. MAP conference

    by , 25 Sep 2008 at 4:13 PM (Planning in the American West)
    This week was the Montana Association of Planners (MAP) conference. This year it was at the beautiful Flathead Lake Lodge, on the east shore of Flathead Lake. Awesome place to meet. The views were spectacular, the food was great and the company was excellent.

    Seems like the issues never change, though the solutions are in a constant state of flux.

    The female planners seem to get younger and prettier every year.

    I ran into a planner I used to work with ...
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