It's also a chance for the president to see how national parks - likened to Europe's cathedrals - need political and fiscal support.
The president, in Montana on Friday and Colorado on Saturday, has so far taken care not to alienate 'New West' swing states. But rumblings are nonetheless afoot.
Despite the job losses, the stimulus acted to check the precipitous decline in GDP, according to the Obama adviser.
The Monitor's language columnist ponders her recent adventures in the world of public domain.
Composer Joseph Bertolozzi has recorded sounds from the Mid-Hudson Bridge to create a new kind of symphony.
How constant behind-the-scenes bickering helped Britain and America win World War II.