News

Neil Wight

A new study of mountain lions shows they’re much more social than previously thought, with networks of felines sharing resources in territories overseen by a dominant male.

Panthera’s Puma Project biologist Mark Elbroch is a lead author of the article, published last week in the journal Science Advances. The study uses GPS technology and motion-sensor cameras to look at cougars in western Wyoming. 

National Park Service

On Friday, National Park Service Director Mike Reynolds and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced plans to better protect park service employees from harassment.

The Modern West 28: Tiny Town, Big Bands

7 hours ago
elkmountainhotel.com

In the mid-20th century, the little town of Elk Mountain, Wyoming drew crowds from miles and miles away to its summer dances on the bouncy floor at the Garden Spot Pavilion.

Spoken Words 11: Janine Shepherd - Defiant

7 hours ago
Janine Shepherd

While training for the Olympics, Janine Shepherd suffered a devastating accident. In Defiant, she depicts the nightmare that followed the accident and the new gifts the experience has given her. 

UW College of Law

From immigration policy to environmental regulations to sexual harassment, Law Week at the University of Wyoming tackles timely and contentious legal topics. Starting October 16, the week of panel discussions hosted at the College of Law is open to the public.

Bison Population Count Shows Decline

20 hours ago
Bear River State Park

The bison population in Yellowstone National Park has been a longstanding subject of interest for state biologists. From the ground and also from air, biologists have been working to record the age and sex of the bison they see for an annual count.

Biologist Rick Wallen did a live interview on Facebook to share the 2017 population numbers and to explain the importance of tracking changes.

Celebrating its 17th year, the Wyoming Latina Youth Conference hosted young Wyoming women of Hispanic descent for two days of programming in Laramie on October 13 and 14. The theme this year was, “embracing leadership, science, and creativity.”

Over 200 female students in 5th through 12th grade attended workshops on science, technology, and creativity, in order to foster a belief in the power to choose their future.

POWDER RIVER BASIN RESOURCE COUNCIL

Wyoming's Department of Environmental Quality has denied a proposal for a new coal mine to be built near Sheridan… for the time being. Ramaco’s proposed Brook Mine has been embroiled in controversy for the last year over what many saw as an insufficient permit application. The Environmental Quality Council, or E.Q.C., an independent board, identified deficiencies in hydrology, a blasting plan, and land subsidence, or sinking, among others.

Alexis Bonogofsky

It’s been almost a year since the Eastern Shoshone Tribe released its first ten bison onto 300 acres of the Wind River Reservation. Next week, the tribe will release ten more. This time, though, the animals will come from the National Bison Range in Montana. The last batch came from a herd in Iowa.

Jason Baldes with the Eastern Shoshone Tribal Buffalo Restoration Program said the goal is to build a genetically pure herd by getting animals from different places.

Well with holes rusted through on John Fenton's property
John Fenton

Pavillion homeowner John Fenton is questioning whether abandoned wells near his home were properly addressed to eliminate contamination. The Fremont County town has been plagued since 2008 with contaminated water from underground natural gas with citizens complaining of discolored and foul smelling water. Since then, gas-producer EnCana has worked to plug abandoned wells and pressure test them to ensure there’s no interaction between gas and water.  

Logo for the Environmental Protection Agency
Public Domain

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday signed a proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan — President Obama’s signature climate change legislation. The 2015 rule aims to was meant to move the country’s electric grid away from coal and towards other sources with less greenhouse gas emissions.

Wyoming provides about 40 percent of the country’s coal, and most of that goes towards electricity generation. It’s no surprise the state has opposed the Clean Power Plan — or CPP — from the start.  

Wikimedia Commons

Wyoming’s county commissioners recently attended a discussion on opioid addiction with a representative from Kentucky, the state with the fifth highest rate of opioid overdoses in the country. Such rates haven't hit Wyoming yet.

But Joe Markiewicz, a statewide coalition trainer for the University of Kentucky, says rural states like Kentucky and Wyoming are more prone to addiction because hospitals, care centers and government agencies are spread out, making it harder for them to act as a united front to stop it.

Wyoming Afterschool Alliance

Across the nation, kids are getting caught up in the juvenile justice system more than they should be. That’s according to advocates who say more could be done to intervene before law enforcement get involved.

 

In Albany County alone, there are over 700 incidents involving juvenile offenders every year. But Peggy Trent, the county’s prosecuting attorney, said at least 70 percent of those cases could be handled by schools.  

 

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead licensed under CC BY 3.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/

The Las Vegas Strip Shooting this week is being described as the worst mass shooting in modern history. Gillette resident Clint Burton was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival taking photos for his website Backstage Music Magazine when he was injured in the shooting.

His son, twenty-year-old Bayelee Burton was also at the concert. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Bayelee after he and his family returned to Wyoming.

Madelyn Beck/Inside Energy

 

It’s a mixture you wouldn’t usually think of: black suits, pop country music, Japanese officials and the slight smell of manure. All these things came together at the CAM-PLEX event center in Gillette, Wyo., on Sept. 21 for a discussion about coal.

Tennessee Watson

The Wyoming Department of Education has announced it must change how it accredits school districts — yet another consequence of budget cuts mandated by the state legislature.

 

The department was contracting with AdvancED, an independent accreditor, to ensure districts were adhering to standards, but that work will now be handled internally.

 

Stotting mule deer. Seen at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada.
Steven Fine

Mule deer can migrate a little bit easier starting this year thanks to new fencing along their migration route. Wyoming’s Game and Fish Department replaced old livestock fencing this summer with the help of several partners including the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust Fund, Upper Green Muley Fanatics, Jonah Energy, and the Conservation Fund.

Mule deer migrate from Hoback, south of Jackson, to the Red Desert every year. It allows them to get the best vegetation and find the safest areas to raise fawns.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, has changed one of their major protocols when it comes to making arrests—they will now consider arresting anyone they encounter who is undocumented, even if they have no criminal history or prior deportations.

A Wyoming rig on federal land used for long directional drilling
BLM Wyoming / Bureau of Land Management

The Department of Interior, or DOI, plans to begin the process of changing the methane rule that’s currently in effect, and possibly end it permanently. The Methane and Waste Prevention Rule aims to reduce unnecessary gas and oil emissions by improving technology, reducing flaring, and spotting leaks early.  

Cut It Out program

Last year, Illinois passed legislation that requires cosmetologists to receive domestic abuse prevention training as part of their licensing process. Many people form strong bonds with their hair stylist. Now Wyoming is interested in turning to cosmologists for help spotting abuse in a similar way.

Katie Hughes works for the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the organization offering the training. She said the Cut It Out Program will teach hair stylists to understand the dynamics of abuse, how to offer support and where to refer victims to services.

2017 Fall Membership Drive: Pet Wednesday

Oct 4, 2017

Good news! Tomorrow is round two of Pet Wednesday, so if you forgot to pledge on behalf of a pet last week, now is the time to do it. 

We only have $57,500 left to raise... so throw us a bone by donating online or by calling 800-729-5897. 

You can also join in on the fun with social media:

1. Post a picture of your pet(s) here on Facebook 

2. On Twitter using the hashtag #WPRPetWednesday

Cooper McKim

Experts from around the country gathered Monday to discuss Wyoming’s wind energy future. The free conference was organized by the Ruckelshaus Institute and the Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy. Wind is widely considered a growing industry with consistently decreasing price sand Wyoming is considered to have one of the best wind resources in the country with high potential for growth.

Spoken Words 10: Shannon Baker - Stripped Bare

Oct 3, 2017
Shannon Baker

Reliving her years of living in the Nebraska sand hills, Shannon Baker discusses the splendor of the land and how it inspired the perfect setting for her new mystery Stripped Bare. Even with murder playing the main roll, Shannon describes the inspiration she gained from the interesting and particular people she has met throughout her life. 

Darrah Perez

 

Large crowds turned out for the grand opening of the new Native American Education, Research and Cultural Center on the University of Wyoming campus. Eastern Shoshone elder Stanford Devinney blessed the new center with a prayer while the building received a cedaring ceremony from Northern Arapaho elder Crawford White.

Maggie Mullen

Ten years ago, the Cheney International Center launched on the University of Wyoming’s campus. On Friday, former Vice President Dick Cheney and wife Lynne gave a talk on American politics to mark the anniversary.

The international center was built using a more than $3 million donation from the Cheneys, which was matched with funds from the state. The donation was also used to create a scholarship for UW students studying abroad, and to date, it has supported more than 2,000 students.

pixabay.com

As Wyoming’s energy industry continues to stay relatively stagnant, state leaders have been looking at alternate ways to boost the state’s economy. Governor Matt Mead is hoping technology will become a vibrant part of Wyoming’s economy, alongside energy, agriculture and tourism.  And this message has caught on. In June the Joint Education Committee requested that the Wyoming Department of Education convene a Computer Science Education Task Force, to look at what it would take to prepare Wyoming students to be leaders in the technology field.

 

U.S. Forest Service

Forest fires have dominated headlines in much of the west this summer. Wyoming Senator John Barrasso chairs the Senate Environment Committee and this week held a hearing on a string of bills that proponents say will help keep those catastrophic wildfires at bay.

To Barrasso and a bipartisan group of senators, the problem is clear: Catastrophic wildfires are manmade, well more precisely, made by the inaction of man and all the red tape of environmentalists.

EPA

  

Since January, President Trump has ordered systematic rollbacks of Obama-era environmental regulations. He’s voiced an intent to focus on energy development and jobs over environmental regulation.

Many of these rules were crafted by Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency under Gina McCarthy. She was EPA Administrator during his second term. They focused on taking strong steps against climate change. McCarthy recently visited Wyoming and gave her reaction to these drastic changes.

 

Ghost of the Mountains, Brian Leith Productions with Disneynature Productions and Chuan Films

The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival attracted an international audience this week for what many call the Oscars of nature film. Finalists included Wyoming filmmaker Shane Moore. Moore started making films when he was just 12 and growing up in Granite Creek, 30 miles southeast of Jackson. He met pioneers of nature shows, including the Wild Kingdom and Walt Disney, on his family ranch where they came to film. Moore was a finalist for two films, Born in China and Ghost of the Mountains. Both feature the rarely seen and rarely filmed snow leopard.

University of Wyoming

For more than 30 years, Stephen Walt has watched American and world politics. He is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor in International Affairs in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a foreign policy expert.

He visited the University of Wyoming as part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Program, and joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to discuss the how the current political climate is different from the Cold War.

 

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