Luke Hammons http://wyomingpublicmedia.org en Growing sagebrush and other native seed: Crackpot idea or lucrative business venture? http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/growing-sagebrush-and-other-native-seed-crackpot-idea-or-lucrative-business-venture <p>Richard and Claire Dunne grow sagebrush on Absaroka Farm in northcentral Wyoming. The seeds are sold for use in land reclamation. Where some people see a weed, others see a gold mine... &nbsp;At least that’s the case in Richard and Claire Dunne’s Absaroka Farm in North Central, Wyoming. &nbsp;A farm that, if you drove past it, you might think was just another stretch of the prairie.</p><p>Although sagebrush seed is in demand, growing it commercially is a niche marked… and some people think it’s crazy.&nbsp; Wyoming Public Radio’s Luke Hammons filed this report.</p> Sat, 01 Jun 2013 23:45:22 +0000 Luke Hammons 41660 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Growing sagebrush and other native seed: Crackpot idea or lucrative business venture? May 31st, 2013 http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/may-31st-2013 <p><a href="http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/wyoming-missed-out-last-uranium-boom-planning-future"><strong>Wyoming missed out on last uranium boom, but planning for the future</strong></a></p><p>Wyoming Public Radio has for years reported that the state is on the verge of a uranium boom. It turns out the state missed the peak of that boom, and is now betting on slower, more conservative growth. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.</p> Fri, 31 May 2013 23:09:34 +0000 Bob Beck, Irina Zhorov, Luke Hammons, Rebecca Martinez, Sara Hossaini & Willow Belden & Clay Scott & LuLing Osofsky 41625 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org May 31st, 2013 May 10th, 2013 http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/may-10th-2013 <p></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/pollutants-detected-water-wells-sublette-county-s-gas-fields">Pollutants detected in water wells in Sublette County’s gas fields</a></strong><br>Sublette County has been in the news a lot because of its <em>air quality</em> problems, which largely stem from natural gas production. But there’s another issue too: Pollutants have been showing up in <em>water wells</em>. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.</p> Fri, 10 May 2013 23:22:02 +0000 Bob Beck, Irina Zhorov, Luke Hammons, Rebecca Martinez & Willow Belden & Amanda LeClaire 40608 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org May 10th, 2013 The word ‘amnesty’ might misrepresent new immigration legislation. http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/word-amnesty-might-misrepresent-new-immigration-legislation <p></p><p>A US senate committee has introduced an&nbsp;immigration&nbsp;reform plan that includes a path to citizenship for&nbsp;immigrants&nbsp;living illegally in the U.S. Opponents claim that such a path rewards people who have broken the law by giving them amnesty.</p><p>Under current law, many&nbsp;immigrants&nbsp;seeking residency have to leave the country. Sometimes for ten years or more.&nbsp;&nbsp;But this deportation often has side-effects.</p><p>Wyoming Public Radio's&nbsp;Luke&nbsp;Hammons has more.</p> Fri, 10 May 2013 22:28:40 +0000 Luke Hammons 40597 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org The word ‘amnesty’ might misrepresent new immigration legislation. Wyoming might get average levels of precipitation this summer http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/wyoming-might-get-average-levels-precipitation-summer <p>Recent snow storms have brought Wyoming’s level of precipitation back to normal for the month.&nbsp; That’s compared with April of last year– preceding the largest drought in history–when Wyoming was at 66% of average.</p><p>The Belle Fourche River Basin has the highest level of precipitation in the state at 300% of average. &nbsp;And the Sweetwater Basin has the statewide low at 81%.</p><p>Ken Von Buettner is a hydrologic technician for the Natural Resources Conservation Council. Von Buettner is optimistic about having a summer with normal levels of precipitation.</p> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 00:02:55 +0000 Luke Hammons 39694 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Wyoming might get average levels of precipitation this summer Natural gas might become even more attractive to utilities than coal http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/natural-gas-might-become-even-more-attractive-utilities-coal <p>A new study conducted by the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University reports that as more EPA regulations go into effect, natural gas is likely to become even more attractive to utilities than coal.</p><p>Co-author of the study, Professor Lincoln Pratson, says that one reason coal will become less desired is the expensive emission controls the coal plants will have to install.</p><p>The only pollutant that natural gas plants produce that the EPA regulates are NOx emissions. &nbsp;NOx stands for pollutants which contain NO and NO2, gases formed during combustion.</p> Fri, 19 Apr 2013 23:52:52 +0000 Luke Hammons 39586 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Natural gas might become even more attractive to utilities than coal Event to raise awareness about sexual assault and rape http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/event-raise-awareness-about-sexual-assault-and-rape <p>Several groups will lead a rally in Laramie this week to combat rape culture. The event called Take Back the Night will incorporate music, dance and poetry to raise awareness about sexual assault and support survivors.</p> Wed, 17 Apr 2013 23:17:42 +0000 Luke Hammons 39487 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Event to raise awareness about sexual assault and rape Disagreement over adequate wolf numbers continues http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/disagreement-over-adequate-wolf-numbers-continues-0 <p>Although Wyoming Game and Fish says that the state has a healthy population of wolves, some groups believe the numbers are still far below where they should be.</p><p>Spokesman for the Game and Fish, Eric Keszler says that the minimum number of wolves needed to maintain a healthy population is 150, and the minimum number of breeding pairs is 15.&nbsp; At the end of December, there were about 21 breeding pairs in Wyoming.</p> Fri, 12 Apr 2013 00:33:19 +0000 Luke Hammons 39225 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Disagreement over adequate wolf numbers continues Disagreement over adequate wolf numbers continues http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/disagreement-over-adequate-wolf-numbers-continues <p>Although Wyoming Game and Fish says that the state has a healthy population of wolves, some groups believe the numbers are still far below where they should be.</p><p>Spokesman for the Game and Fish, Eric Keszler says that the minimum number of wolves needed to maintain a healthy population is 150, and the minimum number of breeding pairs is 15.&nbsp; At the end of December, there were about 21 breeding pairs in Wyoming.</p> Fri, 12 Apr 2013 00:33:17 +0000 Luke Hammons 39224 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Disagreement over adequate wolf numbers continues DADS Making a Difference program helps low-income fathers http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/dads-making-difference-program-helps-low-income-fathers <div style="margin:0;"><font color="black" face="Calibri" size="4"><span style="font-size:14pt;">This month nine low-income fathers will graduate with structural steel welding certificates with the help of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.</span></font><font color="black" face="Calibri" size="4"><span style="font-size:14pt;">&nbsp; </span></font><font color="black" face="Calibri" size="4"><span style="font-size:14pt;">DADS Making a Difference is a program that gives job training and other services to fathers who need help supporting their children. </span></font><br><p></p> Wed, 10 Apr 2013 23:58:30 +0000 Luke Hammons 39165 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org DADS Making a Difference program helps low-income fathers Motorists in Grand Teton need to watch for wildlife http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/motorists-grand-teton-need-watch-wildlife <p>Drivers in and around Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole need to watch out for large animals. Right now the spring migration of elk is underway.&nbsp; Bison, mule deer, and moose are also leaving their winter ranges and traveling into their summer range in the Park.</p><p>Park Spokeswoman, Jackie Skaggs says that colliding with such animals can be extremely dangerous.</p><p>“Hitting something that large can cause serious damage to your vehicle,” Skaggs says, “could cause serious injury to you or the occupants of your vehicle, and it will likely cause the death of an animal.”</p> Fri, 05 Apr 2013 15:11:08 +0000 Luke Hammons 38943 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Motorists in Grand Teton need to watch for wildlife Robocall scam hits Wyoming http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/robocall-scam-hits-wyoming <div style="background-color:white;margin:0;"><span dir="ltr"><span style="background-color:white;"><font color="black" face="Arial,sans-serif" size="4"><span style="font-size:14pt;">A rash of robocalls asking people for debit and credit card information has hit Wyoming. Mon, 25 Mar 2013 22:47:22 +0000 Luke Hammons 38474 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org New rules for Grand Teton elk hunt seek to limit bear encounters http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/new-rules-grand-teton-elk-hunt-seek-limit-bear-encounters <p></p><p>The National Park Service and the Game and Fish Department changed regulations for hunting elk in Grand Teton National Park. Part of the reason for these changes is to avoid contact between hunters and grizzly bears.</p><p>Last year a hunter participating in the annual elk reduction program shot and killed a grizzly in the park. In 2011, a grizzly mauled a hunter. Both encounters involved bears protecting animal carcasses.</p> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 21:55:04 +0000 Luke Hammons 37946 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org New rules for Grand Teton elk hunt seek to limit bear encounters Wyoming could see another drought this summer http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/wyoming-could-see-another-drought-summer-1 <p>The National Weather Service says spring temperatures and precipitation should be near normal in Wyoming.</p><p>But Forecaster Paul Skrbac says that trend might not continue for the rest of the year.</p><p>“As we get into summer it looks like the odds increase that it’ll be a little warmer than normal,” Skrbac says, “and potentially a little dryer than normal.”</p><p>Skrbac says there’s still a chance that temperatures and precipitation could be average this summer, but it doesn’t look likely.</p><p></p> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 00:29:07 +0000 Luke Hammons 37899 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Wyoming could see another drought this summer Wyoming could see another drought this summer http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/wyoming-could-see-another-drought-summer-0 <p>The National Weather Service says spring temperatures and precipitation should be near normal in Wyoming.</p><p>But Forecaster Paul Skrbac says that trend might not continue for the rest of the year.</p><p>“As we get into summer it looks like the odds increase that it’ll be a little warmer than normal,” Skrbac says, “and potentially a little dryer than normal.”</p><p>Skrbac says there’s still a chance that temperatures and precipitation could be average this summer, but it doesn’t look likely.</p><p></p> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 00:29:05 +0000 Luke Hammons 37898 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Wyoming could see another drought this summer Wyoming could see another drought this summer http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/wyoming-could-see-another-drought-summer <p>The National Weather Service says spring temperatures and precipitation should be near normal in Wyoming.</p><p>But Forecaster Paul Skrbac says that trend might not continue for the rest of the year.</p><p>“As we get into summer it looks like the odds increase that it’ll be a little warmer than normal,” Skrbac says, “and potentially a little dryer than normal.”</p><p>Skrbac says there’s still a chance that temperatures and precipitation could be average this summer, but it doesn’t look likely.</p><p></p> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 00:29:02 +0000 Luke Hammons 37897 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Wyoming could see another drought this summer Antelope Butte Ski Area could reopen as non-profit, nearby for-profit ski lodge calls foul http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/antelope-butte-ski-area-could-reopen-non-profit-nearby-profit-ski-lodge-calls-foul <p>The Antelope Butte ski area in the Bighorn Mountains has been closed since 2004. Now, the Antelope Butte Foundation is raising money to reopen the ski-resort… this time as a nonprofit. The Foundation has applied for a Wyoming Business Council Grant to refurbish the resort. But the owner of the nearby Meadowlark Ski Lodge is worried that the competition could kill his business. Wyoming Public Radio’s Luke Hammons reports.</p> Tue, 12 Mar 2013 19:29:44 +0000 Luke Hammons 37883 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Antelope Butte Ski Area could reopen as non-profit, nearby for-profit ski lodge calls foul March 8th, 2013 http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/march-8th-2013 <p></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/uw-economist-anne-alexander-discusses-potential-effects-federal-sequester-wyoming">UW Economist Anne Alexander discusses the potential effects of the federal sequester on Wyoming</a></strong><br>One thing everyone is trying to get a grip on is how the federal sequester will impact Wyoming.&nbsp; Anne Alexander is an economist at the University of Wyoming.&nbsp; She joined Bob Beck in the studio to discuss this.</p> Sat, 09 Mar 2013 00:08:33 +0000 Bob Beck, Irina Zhorov, Willow Belden, Rebecca Martinez & Luke Hammons 37760 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org March 8th, 2013 Cheyenne Regional Airport might lose air tower http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/cheyenne-regional-airport-might-lose-air-tower <p>Cheyenne Regional Airport could lose its air tower as a result of the federal sequester. The Federal Aviation Administration is losing funding for 100 towers nationwide, each of which serve airports with a limited number of flights.</p><p>David Haring is director of aviation at the airport. He says the airport will continue to operate… but losing the air tower is a big deal, because it’s an important safety tool.</p> Wed, 06 Mar 2013 14:11:59 +0000 Luke Hammons 37591 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Cheyenne Regional Airport might lose air tower Sequester might cut funding for special needs students http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/sequester-might-cut-funding-special-needs-students <p>March 1st a series of automatic cuts to federal spending—called the sequester—went into effect. Education is one of the areas Wyoming will feel the cuts most acutely. A White House report says the state will lose millions of dollars in school funding.</p><p>Jim Rose, interim director of the Wyoming Department of Education, says a 5% cut to the federal education budget would mean special needs students would get less funding.</p> Tue, 05 Mar 2013 14:12:32 +0000 Luke Hammons 37528 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Sequester might cut funding for special needs students Adventure Race expected to draw tourists to Wyoming http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/adventure-race-expected-draw-tourists-wyoming <p></p> Sat, 02 Mar 2013 01:03:29 +0000 Luke Hammons 37424 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Adventure Race expected to draw tourists to Wyoming Researchers hope to improve wind farm efficiency http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/researchers-hope-improve-wind-farm-efficiency <p>A group of University of Wyoming researchers received $508,000 from NASA to study aerodynamics and wind resistance at Wyoming’s Supercomputing Center.</p><p>The U.S. Department of Energy reports that Wyoming has one of the highest capacities for wind power production in the country. But University of Wyoming Mathematics Professor Stefan Heinz says most wind farms aren’t arranged as efficiently as they could be. He says the wake of one turbine often disrupts the turbines around it, reducing efficiency.</p> Wed, 06 Feb 2013 23:45:14 +0000 Luke Hammons 36331 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Researchers hope to improve wind farm efficiency Yellowstone's new hydroelectric plant is up and running http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/yellowstones-new-hydroelectric-plant-and-running <p></p><p></p><p>Yellowstone National Park is now generating one third of its electricity from a hydroelectric facility.&nbsp; Located near the Mammoth Hot Springs Headquarters, the plant’s engineers estimate that it will save the Park about $70,000 a year. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Park spokesman, Dan Hottle, says that the hydroelectric plant will also be good for the environment. &nbsp;</p><p></p><p>“This is one example,” Hottle says, “of a project where we were able to cut our greenhouse emissions by almost 800 metric tons every year.”</p><p></p> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 01:24:44 +0000 Luke Hammons & Chelsea Biondolillo 36217 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Yellowstone's new hydroelectric plant is up and running Enviro groups plan to sue to protect boreal toads http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/enviro-groups-plan-sue-protect-boreal-toads <p>Various ecological groups in the Rocky Mountain region have joined together to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to list the boreal toad as endangered.</p><p></p><p>Once populating much of the coniferous forests of the Western United States, the boreal toad’s numbers have plummeted in the last two decades. Currently, the amphibian is only found in 1% of its original breeding area in the Southern Rockies.</p> Mon, 04 Feb 2013 12:24:13 +0000 Luke Hammons 36166 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Enviro groups plan to sue to protect boreal toads Wyoming tourism has record year in 2012 http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/wyoming-tourism-has-record-year-2012 <p>A new report released by the State Tourism Office shows that tourism in Wyoming generated $128 million in tax revenues in 2012. That’s a 7.6% increase over taxes generated by tourism in 2011.</p><p>The number of visitors to the state also grew by 4% from 8.34 million in 2011 to 8.67 million in 2012.</p><p>Diane Shober, Director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism, says that this higher tax revenue might be coming from more focused marketing techniques and increased cooperation between state, local, and private tourism groups.</p> Fri, 01 Feb 2013 01:17:58 +0000 Luke Hammons 36041 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Wyoming tourism has record year in 2012 Bighorn sheep near Jackson at risk of fatal pneumonia outbreak http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/bighorn-sheep-near-jackson-risk-fatal-pneumonia-outbreak <p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Bacteria connected with pneumonia that can be fatal to bighorn sheep has been found in the herd living near Jackson. This month, 10 of&nbsp;14 bighorn sheep tested positive for mycoplasma ovipneumonia.</p><p></p><p>In the early 2000s, this same bighorn sheep herd was cut in half by an outbreak of pneumonia.&nbsp; After this outbreak, the lamb birth-rate did not return to normal levels for about four years.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Game and Fish biologist Doug Brimeyer says that there is not enough evidence to say whether or not these kinds of outbreaks are cyclical.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 01:17:39 +0000 Luke Hammons 35924 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Bighorn sheep near Jackson at risk of fatal pneumonia outbreak Wyoming labor force is shrinking http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/wyoming-labor-force-shrinking <p>Although Wyoming's unemployment rate dropped from November to December by 0.2 percent, the state labor force has also decreased by about 2,500 people in the last year, signaling that the economy might be worsening.&nbsp;</p><p>Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Senior Economist David Bullard says the low unemployment rate doesn't tell the whole story about the state of Wyoming's economy.</p> Wed, 23 Jan 2013 14:53:54 +0000 Luke Hammons 35618 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Wyoming labor force is shrinking Film contest seeks to foster small-scale indie productions http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/film-contest-seeks-foster-small-scale-indie-productions <div style="margin:0;"><font face="Calibri" size="3">The Wyoming Film Office is taking submissions for the annual Wyoming Short Film Contest.</font><font face="Calibri" size="3">&nbsp; </font><font face="Calibri" size="3">To be eligible, films must be under fifteen minutes, shot in Wyoming, set in Wyoming, or include Wyoming as a character.</font><font face="Calibri" size="3">&nbsp; </font><font face="Calibri" size="3">The winner will receive a $25,000 prize, for use on their next film shot in Wyoming.</font><font face="Calibri" size="3">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </font><br><p></p> Tue, 22 Jan 2013 14:48:31 +0000 Luke Hammons 35559 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Film contest seeks to foster small-scale indie productions AVMA: Wyomingites don't bring pets to the vet often enough http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/avma-wyomingites-dont-bring-pets-vet-often-enough <p></p> Mon, 21 Jan 2013 15:34:02 +0000 Luke Hammons 35519 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org AVMA: Wyomingites don't bring pets to the vet often enough