Mountain West News Bureau

 

Matt Frank, Digital Editor, Missoula MT, Rae Bichell, Reporter Greeley CO, Nate Hegyi Reporter Salt Lake City UT, Kate Concannon Managing Editor, Seattle, WA Noah Glick Reporter, Reno, NV Ali Budner, Reporter, Colorado Springs CO, Maggie Mullen Reporter, Laramie WY and Amanda Peacher Reporter, Boise ID
Credit Matt Bloom / KUNC

The Mountain West News Bureau is a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. Our mission is to tell stories about the people, places and issues of the Rocky Mountain West.

From land and water management to growth in the expanding West to our unique culture and heritage, we’ll explore the issues that define us and the challenges we face. 

Contributing stations include Boise State Public RadioWyoming Public MediaYellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado. Ali Budner is the Mountain West News Bureau reporter based at 91.5 KRCC.

Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Update posted June 26, 2019 at 5:48 p.m.: A spokesperson with Clayton Homes says the company has reopened conversations with the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center about the properties they own in Dearfield. "Our hope is to find a way to support their goals while moving ahead with plans to establish affordable housing in the area," said a statement.

A gray wolf was spotted in Northern Colorado this week and Wyoming Game and Fish just confirmed it's a member of a Wyoming pack.

 


Any day now, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule on the case of Adree Edmo, a transgender women currently in prison in Idaho. She sued the state for sex reassignment surgery and won. The state appealed and now the 9th Circuit’s decision on her case could have implications not only for her but for transgender inmates across the West and potentially the nation.  

Evan Barrientos / Audubon Rockies

Some state birds across our region are in peril, according to a new report on the condition of North American Grasslands.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Advocates in Colorado are trying to put an initiative on the 2020 ballot that would bring gray wolves back to the state. If it passes, how would it actually work?

Bureau of Land Management

President Trump is touting his environmental achievements this week. But some environmental advocacy groups are not impressed. 

The Center for Western Priorities just released a new study that shows the administration has been almost unanimously approving de-regulatory policy changes requested or supported by mining and drilling groups. 

NYC Parks

A recent study shows planting a trillion trees worldwide might be one of our best options for fighting climate change. 

Ana Adlerstein

Federal prosecutors have decided to bring border activist Scott Warren to trial for a second time. His case puts a spotlight on the murky legal boundaries of humanitarian aid at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

HEBER CITY — Tucked below the jagged, snowy Wasatch range 20 miles south of Park City, the Heber Valley looks like a miniature Switzerland. Dairy cows graze in bright green pastures and a small farm sells artisan cheeses and milk. 

Chances are good that you don't know exactly how fast your internet is. But Victoria Merinda said, "It's really one of those things that I think everyone should kind of know—how much internet they have."

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision Thursday that states and federal lawmakers, not courts, are responsible for ending political gerrymandering.

The last time the royalty rate for oil and gas production on federal land changed was in 1920. Proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives would address that, but the industry stands opposed.

Jim Peaco / National Park Service

The last place you might expect to find a wolf is inside a public library, a place that doesn’t even allow pets in the door. 

But on an early summer day, Shaya, a so-called “wolf ambassador” was pacing the 4th floor of the downtown library in Pueblo, Colorado, surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd.

About a century ago, African-American settlements sprang up across the West. Now, one of those sites in northern Colorado is set to host new houses.

The Black American West Museum, based in Denver, owns a number of properties in what used to be the town of Dearfield, Colorado. But a national homebuilding company, CMH Homes, Inc., also known as Clayton Homes, is now taking steps to turn other parts of the town into new residences.

A national report on the state of children came out this week from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, based primarily on census data.

Ermadz X / Creative Commons 2.0

The Rocky Mountain region continues to face some of the highest suicide rates in the country. A recent panel of experts in Colorado addressed what they said was one of the biggest hurdles to mental health: social stigma. 

People are searching the Mountain West for a hidden chest containing something dubbed the “Fenn treasure.” Some are getting injured trying.

Creative Commons 2.0 / U.S. Department of the Interior

The Nature Conservancy just appointed Obama’s former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell as its new interim CEO.  The leadership change comes in the wake of an investigation into sexual harassment and misconduct at the organization. Several top executives were implicated and have stepped down, including the CEO and the President.

MOAB — About 40 miles north from the tourist hordes in town and set against a backdrop of tan clay and red mesas, the vista looked primed for a nature magazine cover shoot: early afternoon, the desert bloom in full force, awash with purple and yellow flowers. Quiet.

It's been more than thirty years since Yucca Mountain in Nevada was picked as the nation's nuclear waste site, and the state has been fighting the project ever since. Under President Obama, it got its wish.

Fast forward to the Trump administration, and that long-running debate is back on the table.

theclyde / Creative Commons 2.0

According to a study out of Colorado State University, more people believe that animals should be protected and given rights on par with humans than they did 15 years ago. Fewer people believe that wildlife exists for our gain.

Robin Loznak / Our Children's Trust

Twenty-one young Americans, including two from Colorado, are going to court this week for the latest development in their case against the U.S. government over climate change. The case, Juliana v United States, began in 2015. 

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK, UTAH — The dark blue, predawn sky was just beginning to brighten over Mesa Arch — a once-hidden gem in southern Utah — as Jonathan Zhang frantically set up his camera and tripod.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

It’s not every day you get a true Eureka! moment in science. But Andrew Alfred, chief scientist at the Denver-based cannabis company, LivWell, recently did. The company grows marijuana in a giant indoor “farm” for sale at their dispensaries in Colorado and Oregon.

Developers are struggling to build enough houses and apartments to keep up with the population boom in the Mountain West, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data released last week.

This post was updated May 28, 2019 at 9:15 p.m. to include the leastest outbreak numbers and an additional infographic.

Measles have reached the highest numbers in 25 years, with more than 900 cases reported so far to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Mountain West is especially vulnerable. According to CDC data, too few kindergarteners in our region are fully vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella. One Colorado family took that to heart — and then things got personal.

Global Monitoring of Pharmaceuticals Project

A recent study of rivers across 72 countries found that waterways are often contaminated with antibiotics, including here in the Mountain West.

Terrance Boult / University of Colorado Colorado Springs

A Colorado university professor took thousands of photos of students and faculty without their knowledge as part of research to improve facial recognition software for the U.S. military.

Memorial Day weekend kicked off the summer season for national parks in the Mountain West. And according to new data, 2018 was good year for the country and the region.

USDA

Global methane in the atmosphere is on the rise again after a period of leveling off, but scientists tracking this phenomenon at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, in Boulder haven’t quite figured out why. 

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