New Podcast: The Modern West

A rich collection of news and cultural stories from around Wyoming. Features, interviews, oral history, readings, and more offer a snapshot of Western life.

Top Stories

Melodie Edwards

One Hour In The Life Of A Barrel Racer And Rodeo Star

When you think of a rodeo star, it’s usually a guy on a bucking horse, not a woman. But there is one age-old rodeo event that was developed especially for women: barrel racing. It’s been around since the early 1900’s, but it’s not for wimps. Racers on horseback make loops as fast and tight as they can around three barrels set up in a triangle before heading back to start--and they do it in all in under 18 seconds. One of the world’s fastest barrel racers is 19-year-old Cassidy Kruse from...
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Win A GoPro Hero3

There are only 3 days left to enter this month's drawing to win a GoPro Hero3. Film your outdoor excursions and more!

Forest fire activity has been among the worst on record across much of the West this summer, but it should be a typical fire season here.

State Forester Bill Crapser says that’s because of the unseasonably rainy weather Wyoming saw in June and July.  Crapser says Wyoming’s fire season has started to pick up, but he doesn't expect things to get out of control.

Leigh Paterson / Inside Energy

Wyoming’s largest utility pledged Monday to cut its carbon emissions and invest in renewable energy.

Wikimedia Commons

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is monitoring Sage Grouse for signs of West Nile Virus. The disease, carried by mosquitos, has a high mortality rate for the bird.

Tom Christiansen, the Department’s Sage Grouse Program Director, says keeping tabs on what kills Sage Grouse is always important, but it’s crucial as the September Deadline approaches for federal officials to decide whether to list Sage Grouse as endangered.

Aaron Schrank

Ryan Reed loves rodeo. And each July, he makes a pilgrimage here, to the so-called “Daddy of ‘Em All” in Cheyenne.

“You just feel like you’re on hallowed ground when you’re here.” Reed says.

Roaming the Frontier Days midway, this amateur steer wrestler and calf roper is like a kid in a candy store. 

“Yesterday, during the bareback bronc, I actually got some dirt flung on me,” says Reed. “I really felt like I’d been hit by some special dirt or something. That’s just kind of the feeling I have about the place.”

Aaron Schrank

The rodeo may be the best-known competition at Cheyenne Frontier days, but outside the arena there is another group of skilled professionals vying for glory. Carnival games operators leverage years of practice and skill to convince people like you to pay cash for the opportunity to win a push, stuffed prize. For many of them, it's not just a job: it's a way of life. Wyoming Public Radio’s Miles Bryan spent time with a few of these games operators and has this postcard.

Courtesy Wyoming NORML

  

A Wyoming group has received permission to collect nearly 25 thousand signatures by February in an effort to get an initiative on the ballot. It would legalize the use of medical marijuana among other things. Chris Christian is the Executive Director of the group Wyoming NORML and she says it was time legalization became a topic of discussion in Wyoming. She explains her interest to Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck. 

You can learn more about Wyoming NORML’s effort at wyomingnorml.org

Leigh Paterson / Inside Energy

For Jim and Lyn Schneider, the decision to invest in $50,000 worth of solar panels and battery storage was easy. There were no power lines near their property. After buying land in a remote area near Alcova, Wyoming, their utility company estimated it would cost the couple around $80,000 to get electricity in their new home.

"It's like wow, we’re gonna have to be really primitive! We're gonna be cooking on a campfire! We're gonna have to really like each other," Lyn Schneider said between bursts of laughter.

Bob Beck

It’s another day at the bull riding event at the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo and it’s another day of the rodeo announcer thanking bullfighter Darrell Diefenbach for knocking a bull away from a helpless bull rider who’d fallen to the ground. It’s something Diefenbach and his Frontier Days partner Dusty Tuckness do every day.

Dan Boyce

The massive expansion of domestic oil and gas production over the last five or so years is rippling across the economies where that drilling is taking place. More oil workers need more welders, more restaurants, and ... more clothes.

Specifically, workers are required to wear flame resistant clothes, or FR for short, on oil and gas sites everywhere in the country.

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Topic Of The Week

What changes would you like to see made to standardized testing for K-12 students?

Open Spaces

Aaron Schrank

Cheyenne Frontier Days' Indian Village Showcases Living Tradition

The very name ‘Frontier Days’ is meant to conjure up images of the old West. And that includes Native Americans, who have been a part of Cheyenne Frontier Days pretty much from the beginning. The North Bear Singers and Little Sun Drum and Dance Group, from the Wind River Indian Reservation are the main attraction this year, occupying the arena at the center of the Indian Village. It’s ringed by vendors selling traditional—and not-so-traditional—crafts. Bead worker Jim Howling Wolf says...
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Gear Up For Summer Festivals In Wyoming

Get ready for a summer filled with music! There's quite a variety of Wyoming music festivals throughout the state and we've got you covered.

Arts & Culture

Wyoming Public Media

Morning Music Live From Cheyenne Frontier Days: Part 2

Morning Music's last day at Cheyenne Frontier Days was a success! Take a look at the second day of Morning Music's live show, playing tunes at Old Frontier Town. We ended a busy and western filled week with live music from Sheridan Country band Tris Munsick and the Innocents. We had a great time meeting listeners, members, the tourists for CFD, and residents of Cheyenne. See ya'll again next year! Check out our videos from the event: Morning Music LIVE from #CheyenneFrontierDays with country...
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Inside Energy

Dan Boyce

INSIDE ENERGY: In Oilfield Towns, A Boom In Flame Resistant Clothing

The massive expansion of domestic oil and gas production over the last five or so years is rippling across the economies where that drilling is taking place. More oil workers need more welders, more restaurants, and ... more clothes. Specifically, workers are required to wear flame resistant clothes, or FR for short, on oil and gas sites everywhere in the country. Data from the federal Bureau of Labor statistics show 80 people died from fires or explosions on oil and gas operations from 2009...
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Explore your favorite destinations while contributing to your favorite radio station! Choose from countries all around the world or National Parks in your backyard.