Carson City had silver. San Francisco boomed with gold. In Moab, it was all about uranium. For more than three decades after World War II, as the nation built its arsenal of Cold War weapons and nuclear energy plants, the richly radioactive deposits that snake through southeast Utah made tiny Moab the nation's Geiger counter capital.

Now uranium is stirring again in the West, according to a New York Times article on Page M11 of today's Money section. Two mines reopened last year in Colorado, sparked by a surge in prices and demand around the world and the anticipation that new nuclear power plants might be built in the United States.

But Moab has moved on and now thrives as a tourist destination. What grips the area is not the question of mines versus tourism, but what kind of tourism to embrace.