Melodie Edwards

Reporter

Phone: 307-766-2405
Email: medward9@uwyo.edu   

Melodie Edwards grew up in Walden, Colorado where her father worked in the oilfield and timber industries. She graduated with an MFA from the University of Michigan on Colby Fellowship. She is the recipient of the Doubleday Wyoming Arts Council Award for Women and is the author of Hikes Around Fort Collins published by Pruett Publishing.

Melodie Edwards and her husband own Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse. When she's not writing, she loves to putz in the garden and hike and ski in the mountains with her daughters.

Ways to Connect

Trout Unlimited

Populations of native cutthroat trout appear to be rebounding, thanks to an effort to kill off an invasive species in Yellowstone Lake. More than 40 species, including bears, river otters and eagles, rely on cutthroat trout for food. But Trout Unlimited special project manager Dave Sweet said cutthroat have been under attack. “Yellowstone Lake is unique in that it only had primarily one species in it, which were Yellowstone cutthroat trout,” he said. “Some lake trout were introduced and...

Listen to the full show here. Lesser Known GOP Candidates Hope To Make A Big Splash When U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis announced that she would not seek re-election this year, some big names in the state stepped forward, but so did a number of others, especially in the Republican Party. But their lack of cash and name recognition has made it difficult to get the same attention as two current office holders and another candidate with a famous last name. Why Everyone In Colorado Is...

Johns Hopkins University Press

Thanks to innovations in camera technology, wildlife biologists are now able to peek into the lives of animals like never before. Now, a new book called Candid Creatures: How Camera Traps Reveal the Mysteries of Nature, compiles the best camera trap photos from around the world. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards talked with author, Roland Hayes, head of the Biodiversity Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and Professor at North Carolina State University. Hayes starts the...

johnvillella

Not long ago, the bright-orange monarch butterfly was a common sight in Wyoming. Now, not so much. So conservation groups are enlisting Wyomingites to help track down how many are still migrating through. Nature Conservancy Scientist Amy Pocewicz said the species is in serious decline because the forests where they overwinter in Mexico have been disappearing. The monarch was petitioned for possible listing as an endangered species in 2014 and the federal government is now a year overdue in...

In a new report, the Government Accountability Office criticizes public lands agencies for poor management of grazing permits. The watchdog says conflicts and armed standoffs over grazing rights, like the one in 2014 in Nevada, would be less likely if public land agencies improved their permit tracking methods. Anne-Marie Fennell worked on the study and says the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management haven’t been documenting cases of unauthorized grazing, but instead have been...

nps.gov

Wyoming’s tribes are skeptical of a Native American wildlife group’s plan to expand the range of grizzly bears onto tribal lands throughout the West. Guardians of Our Ancestor’s Legacy or GOAL has proposed putting any grizzlies Wyoming considers over its population limit on reservations. Jason Baldes is the director of the Wind River Native Advocacy Center and the son of a longtime wildlife manager on the reservation. He says the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes are lucky to have...

Melodie Edwards

Out under the cottonwoods in her backyard near Fort Washakie, Eastern Shoshone member Pat Bergie shows off her new raised-bed garden. “Those are the tomatoes, strawberries,” she says, pointing at the rows of small seedlings. “Over here, I’d done some cabbage inside. I brought them out and planted them and those are what’s gone.” Gone because birds came and gobbled them up. “The big ones, the magpies are the ones that went out,” she says, laughing. “They’re the hoggy ones.” Bergie inherited...

University of Wyoming

Earlier this month, the University of Wyoming’s new president Laurie Nichols visited the Wind River Indian Reservation and sat down with business councils from both the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapaho to talk about how to get the Native American student body to better reflect Wyoming’s population of Native Americans overall. She told Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards, it’s an issue she’s tackled before in her time as South Dakota State University’s provost.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming’s new president, Laurie Nichols, recently met with tribal leaders to talk about recruiting more Native American students to the school. In her previous position as provost at South Dakota State University, Nichols says welcoming Native students was a big priority, and she’d like to do the same at UW. She says both the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone business councils explained that their tribal populations are growing, and that means a lot more young people...

Carol S. Bock

A national Native American conservation group says grizzly bears shouldn’t be removed from the Endangered Species List, but instead should expand the bear’s range onto tribal lands. Ben Nuvamsa is a former Hopi councilman and a spokesman for Guardians of Our Ancestor’s Legacy or GOAL. He said the grizzly plays an intricate role in the belief systems of many tribes. “I am a member of the Bear Clan at Hopi, and we are the traditional leaders at Hopi. And it has a long and important story in our...

Eric Barnes

In the 1960’s, Fontanelle Reservoir in southwest Wyoming was partially built to store water from the Green River for irrigation and industrial use in Western Wyoming. It was never completed, but now a bill has passed the U.S. House that would allow the state of Wyoming to finish the job. Since the Green River is a major tributary of the Colorado, expanding the reservoir could allow as much as 100,000 more acre feet of water to be diverted from the Colorado River system. Gary Wockner is...

University of Wyoming

Listen to the full show here. UW President Has Been Thrust Into Budget Cutting Mode Wyoming President Laurie Nichols started her job on a Monday, the Monday after the Friday when Governor Matt Mead told the UW trustees that they must whack an additional $35 million from the University budget. The state’s fiscal downturn has led to a $41 million cut from the UW budget. Needless to say it’s been a stressful time. They’ve decided not to fund several positions, they convinced some people to...

Melodie Edwards

Kids and horses gather on a dusty riding ground on a ridge overlooking the snow-capped Wind River Range. Northern Arapaho Social Services Director Allison Sage starts the day’s ride as he always does: with a prayer and introductions. “We’re using Arapaho language,” he says. “We’re saying nee'eesih'inoo. That means ‘my name is.’ So you say, nee'eesih'inoo and then how you feel.” Everyone goes around the circle, taking turns expressing their feelings. And Sage will end the day’s the same way to...

Lauren Connell

A University of Wyoming study is looking for non-lethal approaches to relocating prairie dogs colonies off ranchlands where they can cause problems for livestock grazing and onto public lands. The prairie dog study is the brainchild of UW Rangeland Ecology student Lauren Connell. “So what I was interested in doing is seeing if we can first identify how prairie dogs are making their decision as to where to form their new colonies. And if we can leverage that to then do a non-lethal management...

Flicker Creative Commons

The U.S. Geological Survey is tracking the spread of an invasive species, the American bullfrog, in Montana and Grand Teton National Park. They’re using genetics to determine where the species originated so they can manage their numbers. Research zoologist Adam Sepulveda says, bullfrogs are a huge threat to other amphibian species, like the Columbia spotted frog, the boreal chorus frog and the Western tiger salamander, and could eventually become a threat to the extremely endangered Wyoming...

STEPHANIE JOYCE / WYOMING PUBLIC RADIO

Listen to the full show here. From Housekeepers To Railroad Conductors, Coal's Crash Takes Its Toll The coal industry’s recent downturn is casting ripples throughout the economy in the West. In Wyoming, the unemployment rate is climbing faster than any other state in the country—and it’s not just miners who are struggling. From a hotel in Gillette, Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce explores the fallout from the collapsing mineral economy. Wyoming's Wage Gap Won't Close Anytime Soon If...

Will Taggart and Aaron Pruzan

It wasn’t until the 1980’s that kayakers successfully descended the Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone River in northwest Wyoming, one of the wildest rivers in the U.S. But it was also around then that the state of Wyoming drew up plans to dam the canyon. A new documentary called Our Local Epic by kayakers Will Taggart and Aaron Pruzan explore how the Clark’s Fork became Wyoming's first wild and scenic river. The film will screen at the River Fest in Cody on August 20, as well as many other...

At a House Energy and Natural Resources Committee meeting in Washington last week, Republican lawmakers criticized the Bureau of Land Management for its plans to research new sterilization methods for wild horses. Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert said there has been enough research and that it's time to start acting. “We don’t have time for a lot more studies. This has been an issue for years. It seems like we need a bill to end the studies and start the implementation.” Wyoming’s BLM Office...

Northern Arapaho officials on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming say they've experienced some bumps since the tribe took over management of their federal health clinic earlier this year. The Northern Arapaho Tribe has been working for many years to get full management of their health care system. In January, they finally took over for the Indian Health Services. Tribal Administrator Vonda Wells says the federal government has controlled the tribe’s health system since they were...

Kari Greer, National Interagency Fire Center

Dry winds and a lack of rain kept the Beaver Creek fire burning hot over the weekend. The blaze is located in Colorado two miles south of the Wyoming border. It’s now grown to over 6200 acres and the local sheriff’s office says two outbuildings have been consumed in the flames. While no homes have been lost, about 60 cabins are still in the fire’s path. Firefighters have been using sprinklers and other prevention methods to prepare the buildings in case the fire moves closer. Supervisors are...

M&R Glasgow, Flickr Creative Commons

Listen to the full show here. Wyoming Lawmakers Oppose New Gun Measures In Wake Of Orlando In the wake of the tragic slayings in Orlando last weekend, gun-control unexpectedly dominated Congress this week. Matt Laslo reports from Washington on why Wyoming lawmakers think the debate is misguided. Wyoming's Legislative Races Will Be Among The Most Competitive In The Nation While many Wyoming voters are paying attention to the U.S. House race, the state’s legislative races will be among the most...

Melodie Edwards

On the shore next to the Buford Ranch pond in early June, clear plastic tubs sit in stacks with little ordinary-looking, brown speckled toads visible inside climbing the walls, trying to escape. And escape is exactly what a crowd of people—private landowners, environmental groups and federal and state agencies — have all gathered here today to help the toads do. The Buford Ranch pond is barely more than a puddle on the Laramie plains, but it happens to be critical habitat for the Wyoming toad...

CC0 Public Domain

With more people eating gluten-free diets and more countries growing their own wheat, Wyoming growers are getting stuck with more product than they can sell. Weather conditions in the last few years have allowed Wyoming wheat producers to grow lots of wheat they used to be able sell to around the world. But Wyoming Wheat Market Commission Director Keith Kennedy says many countries, like those in Eastern Europe, are now growing their own wheat. He says the ratio of how much wheat the state has...

Wikipedia Creative Commons

With only a few hundred in existence, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to release over 900 adult Wyoming toads onto land west of Laramie on Wednesday. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Coordinator Doug Keinath says there’s a lot riding on the release because of how rare this toad is. “It’s extremely rare. It’s considered one of the most endangered amphibians in North America, if not the most endangered amphibian in North America. It only occurs within the Laramie Basin. So...

A conference next week in Riverton will explore the enormous health gap on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The life expectancy of Native Americans there is only 52 years old, compared to the national average of 78 years old. Northern Arapaho Social Services Director Allison Sage says the conference will bring together doctors, teachers, traditional healers and others to collaborate on solutions. He says there's especially a need for more doctors and better preventative and prenatal care....

StoryCorps Facebook

An upcoming agriculture conference will look at how to entice younger Wyomingites to work in ranching. This year’s Wyoming Cattle Industry Convention is titled Educating for Ranching Success in the 21 st Century . The average age of a U.S. rancher today is 57. Wyoming Stockgrower’s Association Vice President Jim Magagna would like to see that number go down. “A lot of our focus in recent years has been bringing young people into our industry,” he says. “We hear so much about the average age...

Collecting antlers is not allowed west of the Continental Divide between January and April, but South Pinedale Game Warden Jordan Kraft says that doesn’t stop people. He says the growing popularity of antler collecting is disturbing wildlife, just when the animals need to gain weight in the winter. More and more people are making money by collecting antlers dropped by mule deer and elk and selling them for $14 to $18 a pound. The antlers are made into furniture, or ground into medicinal teas...

DaiRut

A family whose three St. Bernard dogs were killed in traps in Casper filed a claim this week with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and other agencies, contending that the dogs were caught in “choker loop” traps on state lands where they say trapping is not allowed. Family attorney Gary Shockey says state regulations list other activities that are legal on state lands, but not trapping. “There are specific rules and regulations for what can and cannot be done on state lands," Shockey says....

Melodie Edwards

Listen to the full show here. An Uneven Exchange: Coal Miners Versus Coal Consumers Budget Cuts Before Taxes Health Department Braces For Serious Budget Cuts U.S. Fish and Wildlife Cease Dell Creek Wolf Pack Kill Wyoming Fire Danger Is Low Transgender Laramie Teen Running For School Board Amid School Policy Debate Albany County School District was on its way to becoming the first in Wyoming to pass a policy protecting transgender students. Now, amid national debate, school officials are...

Melodie Edwards

Everywhere you look on the McNeil elk feed ground west of Bondurant, you see the bones and hides of dead elk. Rancher Steve Robertson says many are left behind from wolf kills. He tells of seeing elk chased by wolves here just this last winter. “The steams boiling off them, their tongues are hanging out,” he says. “And then two weeks later all those elk were killed on the feed ground. And the elk, they can’t go anywhere they’re snowed in, they’re trapped.” Such a high surplus killing, as it’s...

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