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Natural Resources & Energy
4:45 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Report Quantifies Economic Value Of Recreation In Sage Brush Country

Credit Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/15778088@N00/6144251104/">manyfires</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147">cc</a>

A new report by the Western Values Project shows that sagebrush lands create millions in recreation income for the state. The report looked at eleven Western states with large amounts of sage brush. 

Senior Economist Kristin Lee with ECONorthWest-- the firm that calculated the data--says Wyoming brought in the fourth highest revenues after Idaho, Montana and Nevada.

“What we found for Wyoming is that there were almost two million visitors to the sagebrush lands in 2013.  And those visitors spent approximately 87 million within 50 miles of those recreation sites.”

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Natural Resources & Energy
5:33 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Fire Severity Not Linked To Beetle Kill, Study Finds

Beetle-killed forest is easily identified by the red needles of the dead trees.
Credit biorootenergy.com

Forests affected by the bark beetle epidemic are just as capable of recovering from wildfire as unaffected forests, according to new research from the University of Wisconsin. Brian Harvey, one of the co-authors of the paper, said they looked at areas throughout the Northern Rockies in various stages of tree death.

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News
4:28 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Wyoming Loses Latest Wolf Battle And Could Ponder A Congressional Fix

Despite an emergency rule that put Wyoming’s wolf management plan firmly into law, a federal judge refused to change an earlier ruling that placed Wyoming wolves back on the endangered species list.   

Washington D.C. based U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sided with environmental groups who argued that Wyoming’s management plan, which allows wolves to be shot on sight in most of the state, failed to adequately protect wolves. 

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Behind The Scenes
4:15 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

2014 Fall Memembership Drive: Pet Wednesday

My mountain dog loves listening to Wyoming Public Media with me in the car while we drive to the mountains for a hike!
Mountain Dog by Katie Roenigk

Check out the menagerie of pets listening to Wyoming Public Radio!

We have two options for you to join in on the fun:

1. You can post a picture of your pet(s) on Wyoming Public Media's Facebook or Twitter using #PetWednesday all day.
2. You can post your photo in our "My Pet Loves Wyoming Public Radio Contest" which will run from Oct. 1st-Oct. 8th.

News
3:37 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Judge Rules Against Wyoming On Wolf Status

A federal judge has denied requests from the state of Wyoming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and pro-hunting groups to change a decision last week that reinstates federal protections for wolves in the state.
 
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday denied requests to change her ruling.

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News
12:51 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Wyoming Communities May Not Meet Potential New Pollution Standards

Credit Shella via Flickr

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering new air quality standards that, if adopted, would leave many Wyoming communities out of compliance.

The regulations would cut acceptable levels of ozone, a pollutant which can cause health problems.

Keith Guille is a spokesperson with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. He says the state would cooperate with the EPA if standards changed and any Wyoming community was found to have too much ozone, or be in “nonattainment.”

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Natural Resources & Energy
12:36 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Utility Withdraws Proposed Solar Surcharge

Solar panels.
Credit Dan Boyce/Inside Energy

Following backlash from customers, South Dakota-based Black Hills Power has dropped a proposed rate increase for solar users. 

The surcharge would have applied to customers in South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. Although the company has withdrawn the proposal for now, it hasn't ruled out bringing it back in the future. Deb Theriault of Casper-based Range Solar & Wind said even a surcharge of $5 to $20 could be a real disincentive.

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Natural Resources & Energy
6:45 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Group Hopes To Raise Funds To Protect Mule Deer Migration Bottleneck

Fremont Lake Bottleneck Property and elk fences that will need to be removed

A conservation group hopes to raise $2 million in three months to buy a critical piece of property along Wyoming’s mule deer migration route. At 150 miles, it’s believed to be the longest mule deer migration route in the world. Luke Lynch is with the Conservation Fund, the group raising money to buy the 364 acres, which creates a kind of migration-bridge for the deer to cross between Fremont Lake and the city of Pinedale. As many as 5,000 deer must cross the bottleneck single file there. Lynch says such routes need to be preserved because they’re so rare.

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Open Spaces
4:43 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

September 26th, 2014

State Scrambles To Fix Wolf Plan

This week a federal judge placed Wyoming’s wolves back on the endangered species list after ruling that the state’s management plan did not offer adequate protection for the wolves. The plan that the state and federal government negotiated would keep the number of wolves that are outside of National Parks to over 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs. But the Judge ruled that Wyoming’s plan was not binding.

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Open Spaces
4:36 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

State Scrambles To Fix Wolf Plan

This week a federal judge placed Wyoming’s wolves back on the endangered species list after ruling that the state’s management plan did not offer adequate protection for the wolves. The plan that the state and federal government negotiated would keep the number of wolves that are outside of National Parks to over 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs. But the Judge ruled that Wyoming’s plan was not binding.

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Open Spaces
4:22 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Wyoming Weighs Value Of Early Childhood Education

Liz Weaver of Tamarack discusses best practices with participants at an early childhood education symposium in Sheridan.
Aaron Schrank

Wyoming spends a lot of money educating its children. The state comes in sixth place in per-student spending for K-12. But when you look at outcomes—like graduation rates—we’re stuck in the middle of the pack. Some educators say the key to boosting student performance is to put more focus on children before they start kindergarten.

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Open Spaces
4:18 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Democrat Mike Ceballos Makes His Bid For State Superintendent

Mike Ceballos is trying to make a major career change. After leading the massive telecommunications firm Qwest, Ceballos returned to College to get his doctorate and now is the Democratic candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Ceballos has served on the Governor’s P-16 council which is intended to improved education in the state.

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Open Spaces
4:13 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Sexual Assault Remains Underreported In Wyoming – Why One Woman Is Speaking Out

The STOP Violence Project at The University of Wyoming offers free condoms with messages of consent.
Caroline Ballard

This past Sunday the White House released an ad campaign to address sexual assault on college campuses. It uses celebrities to promote speaking up if you suspect a sexual assault is in the works. But even with renewed awareness efforts, Sexual Assault remains the most underreported crime in the United States. Wyoming is no exception.

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Open Spaces
4:03 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Building A Local Food System In A Rural State

Brad Holliday's mobile chicken coop.
Credit Melodie Edwards

It's not just in big cities that people are buying up kale and bison jerky. Rural Wyomingites are trolling farmer's markets for purple tomatoes and emu oil, too. The state now has 49 farmer’s markets that have done over two million dollars in revenue just this year. But some farmers and food advocates who want to expand the availability of artisan foods say Wyoming is struggling with some deep challenges. 

In his pumpkin patch, eleven-year-old Michael Shaw pokes around under broad, drooping leaves. He’s not sure of any of the names because he lost his seed map.

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Open Spaces
3:53 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Residents Concerned Over Number Of Yellowstone Wildlife Killed

Moose with new calf.
Credit Penny Preston

Cody – Grizzly bears, moose, bison, and many other Yellowstone area animals are hit and killed by speeding motorists every year. But now, a baby moose that made newspaper and magazine headlines when it survived a raging river, has been photographed all alone. Locals fear it is orphaned and unlikely to survive, because a motorist killed its mother. It’s led to a renewed discussion over speed limits and signs in forested areas of northwest Wyoming.

A heavy snowpack swelled the Shoshone River this spring.

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Open Spaces
3:44 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Art Show Highlights Wyoming Bamboo Rod Builder

Johnson planes the bamboo.
Melodie Edwards

Is a bamboo fly rod “art?” A new exhibit in Cheyenne proposes that it is. The Wyoming State Museum has assembled over 70 crafts, all related to hunting and fishing like engraved rifles, pack saddles and taxidermy that highlights Wyoming’s long history of outdoor life. But many of the artists were skeptical about having their work displayed as art since most of them build their work only to use in the field. Laramie bamboo rod builder, Jerry Johnson, who has a fly rod in the show.

“You just take it, put a knife, put whatever you’re going to split with…”

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Open Spaces
3:36 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

At King's Saddlery, "Laid Back Western" Lives On

King's owner Bruce King.
Miles Bryan

When it opened in 1963 Sheridan’s King’s Saddlery was a small shop serving surrounding ranching and horse backing community. In the forty years that followed King’s became an institution. Founder Don King’s distinctive Sheridan style leatherwork is the finest in its class, and enthusiasts come from around the world to see the saddlery and the attached museum.

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News
2:21 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Japanese-American Internee Talks About Camp In Wyoming

Credit Jordan Giese

The University of Wyoming hosted an event Thursday with Sam Mihara, who was one of the nearly fourteen thousand Japanese-American internees at Heart Mountain Relocation Center during the Second World War. Mihara spent three years in the camp in-between Cody and Powell after being forcefully relocated from San Francisco in 1942. 

Mihara recalled the Wyoming winters as being particularly tough.

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Natural Resources & Energy
2:12 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

National Park Service To Step Up Enforcement At Gros Ventre Campground

Credit Linda Peterson

The National Park Service at Grand Teton National Park will be limiting what areas campers can use in the Gros Ventre campground for the rest of this season. That’s after a crowd Wednesday possibly caused a bull moose to charge, resulting in the fatal injury of a female moose.

Public Affairs Officer Jackie Skaggs says people have been getting far too close to animals, in some cases less than ten feet. She says new, plain clothed rangers will be introduced to protect both people and animals.

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News
4:26 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Two Cases of Enterovirus D68 Confirmed in Wyoming

The Centers for Disease Control have confirmed two cases of Enterovirus D68 in Wyoming.

The cases are in Campbell County and Lincoln County.

Enteroviruses are common, and this subtype is not new.  Recently, though, D68 has spread from the Midwest to other parts of the country. The D68 subtype can be associated with respiratory tract infection. 

It mostly affects children. 

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Arts
6:00 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Photographer Captures The Red Desert's Wide Vistas

A three-image composite panorama of the colorful Delaney Rim.
Dan Hayward

Wyoming’s Red Desert has become an increasingly popular destination for nature photographers. Dan Hayward has been taking pictures of that vast landscape—from the ground and from the air—for three years. On Friday, he’ll present his work in a slide presentation at Central Wyoming College in Riverton. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer spoke with Hayward about his work in the Red Desert.

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Natural Resources & Energy
6:39 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Grizzly Bears At Increased Risk Of Conflicts With Humans.

Hunting season has increased the likelihood of interaction between humans and bears, especially in the mountain ranges outside of Yellowstone National Park. Two grizzly bear attacks this month left one man dead and another injured.

Wyoming Game and Fish Large Carnivore Conflict Coordinator Brian DeBolt says bears have been moving south and east into the Wyoming Range and Big Horn Basin as their numbers have grown. Hunters are at greater risk during the season as they often go against bear safety precautions.

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Natural Resources & Energy
5:30 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Worker Dies After Flash Fire At Natural Gas Facility

Smoke billows at the scene of a gas storage tank explosion, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, near La Barge, Wyo. The explosion that injured several workers happened when a maintenance crew was cleaning out the tank, near the Shute Creek Plant at an EOG facility located on La Barge Highway.
Credit Jack Holt / AP Photo/Kemmerer Gazette

A worker has died after an explosion at a natural gas storage tank in western Wyoming. Jared Loftiss, 35, of Marbleton, Wyoming was working for Hughes Enterprises, an oilfield services company based out of Marbleton.

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News
4:49 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Whitebark Pine Facing Extinction, Report Says

Credit Ron Wolf via Flickr

The Whitebark Pine is a common site in Northwest Wyoming. But a changing climate means it may not be for much longer. That’s according to a new report from the Endangered Species Coalition.

Matt Skoglund is a director with the National Resources Defense Council, which worked on the report. Whitebark Pines only grow elevations above seven thousand feet, and Skoglund says that used to keep them safe from their greatest natural enemy: the Mountain Pine beetle.

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Single Shot Live
2:45 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Besides Daniel: 10,000 Beautiful Angels

Anna Rader

Georgia native Danny Brewer is the front man of indie-folk band Besides Daniel. His songs are deeply emotionally, with natural acoustic riffs and soulful melodies. His third album release, This Marvelous Grief, has been featured on NPR.

Natural Resources & Energy
11:26 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Storage Could Be Key In Massive Wyoming Wind Project

High Plains Wind Farm, near McFadden, WY. It is relatively small, with just 66 turbines, and most of the electricity it generates is consumed in-state.
Credit Leigh Paterson

Four companies, including Wyoming-based Pathfinder Wind Energy, announced an eight billion dollar project this week that would eventually send Wyoming wind power to California. If built, the wind farm would be one of the largest in the country. 

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Natural Resources & Energy
9:41 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Coal Trucks Use Natural Gas To Cut Costs

Mine haul truck at Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, WY.
Credit Leigh Paterson

Liquefied natural gas has long been used to power vehicles like buses and garbage trucks. But this week, one of America's largest coal companies, Alpha Natural Resources, announced a plan to build an LNG plant right next to a Gillette-area mine. That LNG will then be used to power the mine's massive coal haul trucks. 

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News
8:41 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Goshen County Grenade Launchers Raise Questions Of Police Militarization

Credit Flickr user nukeit1

Police forces nationwide have been criticized for their increased militarization following this summer’s protests and riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Now, Goshen County is coming under scrutiny for owning two grenade launchers. 

The weapons have never been used, but are kept by the Goshen County Sheriff’s department in case they are needed to immobilize a crowd of people. The county is home to only around 14-thousand people, and its jail houses just 25 inmates.

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Natural Resources & Energy
6:44 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Federal Protections Restored For Wyoming Wolves

Wyoming’s wolf management plan has been rejected by a federal court. 

It means that federal protections will be re-instated for gray wolves in Wyoming. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson sided with environmental groups who say that Wyoming’s management plan that allows wolves to be shot on sight in most of the state, does not provide enough protection for wolves. 

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Topic of the Week
8:21 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Do you think the UN Climate Summit this week will result in consensus & action among nations?

Do you think the United Nations Climate Summit this week will result in consensus and action among nations addressing climate change?

Why or why not?

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

By contributing your comment, you consent to the possibility of having it read on the air.

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