When most of us hear the word “cattle” we think of an animal that came to the Southwest in the late 1800s. But one breed arrived here long before most other settlers.

Arid grasslands once covered significant parts of the Southwestern states — as much as 24 million acres in Arizona, for example. American pronghorn were widespread in these open spaces, along with many other grassland-dependent wildlife species.

Visitors to several public campgrounds and day-use areas near Sedona will soon see an increase in user fees. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the hike comes as a result of surges in insurance and wage rates.

Despite this year’s abundant monsoon season, researchers say climate change could be pushing the Southwest into a period of sustained drought. 

The U.S. census has released data showing a 15 percent increase in the population age 65 and over. That amounts to more than 40 million Americas. Western states like Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico had the fastest growth of older residents. A number of counties across the southwest experienced a more than 70 percent increase in the number of seniors. Scottsdale, Arizona is the country's oldest city, where 20 percent of the population is over age 65. The census bureau attributes most of this growth to people who move south after retirement. As a whole, the nation is getting older.