This article, "How the West was reinvented," from the January-February Washington Monthly, a neo-liberal mag from back East, examines a phenomenon that some opponents of the Rosemont Mine hope will be a key factor down here. That's the easing out of what the article calls the Old Economy of extractive industries such as oil (and mining, which isn't mentioned except for coal development) in favor of what the article calls the New Economy of recreation and tourist-based industries. It's hard to say whether mining down here is truly the Old Economy, since besides Rosemont, at least four efforts are underway to bring in new mines down by Patagonia. But the article is certainly provocative enough and uses a story to echo talking points heard regularly on Rosemont--that tourism is a better long-term industry than mining, and that mining jobs pay better than jobs waiting tables and running restaurants.

One question the writer didn't answer to my satisfaction stems from his lead-in at Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah, which continued to rake in visitors and tourist dollars during last October's federal shutdown that closed national parks. Why did this national monument stay open when the national parks--which like monuments operate under the National Park Service--were closed?