What is EcoWest?

EcoWest tracks, analyzes, and visualizes environmental trends in the American West.

Browse through any newspaper in the region and you’ll see detailed dashboards depicting stock prices, batting averages, and high temperatures. But what about the state of the West itself? Is the environment improving or declining? Where is the region’s population growing? What’s happening with droughts, floods, and climate change? Which species are in trouble? Where are wildfires burning? What’s happening to our snowpack?

We created EcoWest to answer these questions, and many others.

At the heart of EcoWest is a series of metrics that serve as barometers for Western conservation and proxies for ecosystem health. Examples of these indicators include water use, endangered species listings, conservation funding, and public opinion on environmental issues.

EcoWest collects, analyzes, visualizes, and freely shares critical data on the West’s environment, primarily through PowerPoint slides, graphics, maps, videos, dashboards, and other online tools. Our mission is to inform and advance Western conservation by creatively communicating what the latest science, monitoring, polling, and research is telling us about how the West is changing.

As we develop EcoWest, we are consulting with a broad range of experts and advisors who can help interpret the data, explain the limitations, identify emerging threats, and look across the issues to highlight priorities for Western conservation.

EcoWest is a product of California Environmental Associates, an environmental consulting firm, and supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Western Conservation subprogram, which seeks to “protect and restore biologically important and iconic areas of the North American West in ways that help create sustainable communities and build broader and more effective conservation constituencies.”