Penny Preston

Freelance Reporter

When Penny Preston came to Cody, Wyoming, in 1998, she was already an award winning broadcast journalist, with big market experience.  She had anchored in Dallas, Denver, Nashville, Tulsa, and Fayetteville.  She’s been a news director in Dallas and Cody, and a bureau chief in Fayetteville, AR.  She’s won statewide awards for her television and radio stories in Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and Wyoming.  Her stories also air on CBS, NBC, NBC Today Show, and CNN network news.

But, her greatest love is Northwest Wyoming, and that is where she’s produced more than broadcast news stories since 2000.  As former news director at the Big Horn Radio Network in Cody, she produced hundreds more radio stories and newscasts.

Penny has years of historical knowledge about Northwest Wyoming, and the Greater Yellowstone Area.  She lives within 30 miles of Yellowstone.  She has close connections with the scientific community in the region.  She was a seasonal Park Ranger in Yellowstone for five years.

On June 21st, 2014, the Wyoming Association of Broadcasters gave Penny two awards for photography and breaking news coverage.  Since moving to Wyoming, she’s received four other WAB awards for excellence in television and radio news coverage.

Penny’s husband Charles is a scientist who came to Cody to create the content and programs for the Draper Museum of Natural History at the Center of the West.  Penny received the “Civilian Desert Shield - Desert Storm U.S. Air Force Medal” in recognition of her volunteer civilian service under hazardous wartime conditions in Saudi Arabia.  Penny is a martial artist, with a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.  She is also a certified scuba diver.  Penny has traveled world-wide, but loves to travel most in Wyoming and Montana.

Mary Rumsey

Moose numbers are down across Wyoming. Now, a woman who lives in what used to be known as moose country is asking Wyoming’s Game and Fish Department to stop hunting near her Wood River home near Meeteetse. A hunter who has been waiting for decades to hunt moose there disagrees and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is caught in the middle.

The Jackson area has been well known for its moose for a long time. When a big bull moose steps out of the willows, tourists are amazed.

A woman exclaims, “Oh my gosh!”

Dr. Lawrence Todd

Climate change is revealing Wyoming artifacts hidden by ice for 10,000 years. Scientists are flocking to the melting snow and ice fields. And the world is watching.

The Prince of Monaco, among others, is giving a lot of money to support a science emerging in the mountains of Wyoming.

Prince Albert II talked about climate change, and his foundation’s support of scientific research on climate change when he came to Cody in 2013.

U.S. Senate

Listen to the whole show here. 

Wyoming Senators Look to Dump the ACA 

Wyoming's two senators are set to play a key role in the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. Senate Republicans, led by Senator Mike Enzi took their first steps towards repealing the Affordable Care Act in a late night session.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

William F. Cody, also known as Buffalo Bill, died in Denver, Colorado on January 10, 1917.  One hundred years later, his name adorns a 300,000 square foot museum complex in Cody, Wyoming: The Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

That complex holds a Buffalo Bill Museum, but it also houses a research library and four other Museums, featuring Western Art, Plains Indians, guns, and the wildlife and wild places of the Yellowstone area. What else did the world famous showman leave behind?

Mike Wood

A blizzard in the Beartooth Mountains outside Cody, trapped snow plow drivers and even the tow truck that came to pull them out. An amazing rescue saved one plow truck driver who spent all night in the cab of his plow. He survived deadly cold and wind.

In Cody on Monday morning, just as temperatures rose above freezing for the first time in four days, blinding blowing snow trapped a big backhoe in a drift, and it had to be pulled out with another rig.

Tom Rullman

Large drones may soon be flying in and out of the Powell Municipal Airport. The state of Wyoming might help with the cost of a drone manufacturing plant there. If so, it will be one of the first public airports in the nation to allow drones and manned aircraft in the same airspace.

Powell’s Municipal airport, on the top of Polecat Bench, is relatively quiet much of the time.

USFWS Mountain Prairie

A scientist says more than 6,000 deer are hit and killed on Wyoming roads each year, causing more than $50 million in injuries and damage to cars and wildlife. One scientist is studying the new nighttime speed limits to see if they really work.

Amy Gerber

A group of federal and state wildlife managers approved the updated management plan for grizzly bear delisting at a meeting in Cody on Wednesday. The Conservation Strategy is a big step toward delisting, since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recommended delisting. But, Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk voted against it, and a Sierra Club spokeswoman reminded the group grizzly numbers are declining.

Daniel Mayer

The man who died in a Yellowstone hot spring last summer was apparently looking for a place to soak in the park. Yellowstone officials released the final report on the accident following a Freedom of Information Act request. The victim’s sister recorded the incident on her cell phone.

The accident happened in Norris Geyser basin on the afternoon of June 7. Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress says it is a very dangerous area with boiling acidic waters.

Penny Preston

The Shoshone River east of Cody is choked with mud for miles. Wyoming’s Game and Fish fisheries biologist is investigating for massive fish kills. The sediment release apparently happened when Willwood Irrigation workers flushed water from the Willwood Dam between Cody and Powell.

Willwood Irrigation District Manager Todd Singbeil would not comment Sunday on the mud flow.

State fisheries biologist Jason Burkhardt was not available for an interview either, but did confirm he is investigating the issue.

Penny Preston

While the National Park Service celebrated its 100th year of existence recently, the beloved federal agency is trying to figure out how to make it through the next century, while protecting the national parks “unimpaired for future generations”. Some people are concerned new funding sources may put corporate logos in the parks.

144 years after Yellowstone National Park was established, people from around the world still gasp and cheer when Old Faithful erupts.

Charles Preston

An Oregon man is killed when he slips into a hot springs hundreds of yard off the boardwalk in Norris Geyser Basin. A Canadian tourist is fined $735 for picking up a bison calf that had to be euthanized. Another group of Canadians faces criminal charges for filming themselves walking on Grand Prismatic Spring. Two visitors have died already this summer season, but the risky behavior continues.

J. Michael Lockhart / USFWS

 

Wyoming’s Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are planning a historic venture this summer. They hope to bring black-footed ferrets back to Meeteetse, where they were found 35 years ago when the species was thought to be extinct.

Black-footed ferrets were thought to be extinct in 1981 when John Hogg’s dog brought a dead one to his ranch house near Meeteetse. Hogg has since passed away. But, on the 25th anniversary of the ferret’s discovery near Meeteetse, Hogg told the story, again.

nps.gov

Wyoming experts were cautiously optimistic Thursday when they learned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing that Yellowstone Grizzly Bears be removed from the endangered species list.

Grizzly bears were listed for decades, before they were removed from the list in 2007. A judge put them back under federal protection in 2009.  Now, just as grizzly bears are starting to emerge from their dens, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it’s recommending delisting again.

National Park Service

Yellowstone biologists are winning the war against invasive Lake Trout, and bringing back native Yellowstone Cutthroat.

Yellowstone Lake is a cold place. If you’re out on the lake even in the middle of the summer, you’ll need a jacket. So, when we went out in a boat with Yellowstone’s leader of the Cutthroat Trout restoration project, it was chilly.

Yellowstone Lake is the largest fresh water lake above 7000 feet in north America. It is also very deep, and cold. That is why non-native Lake Trout have thrived here. They evolved in the Great Lakes. 

  

Retired U.S. Senator Al Simpson has too many friends in high places. Simpson refuses to choose between close friends George Herbert Walker Bush, Dick Cheney, and others. He was at his home in Cody this week when he talked about it.

Al and Ann Simpson were getting ready for a trip to Dallas. He interrupted his packing, to talk about friendships, among other things. His friendship with George H.W. Bush is a long one.

Wild horses cost American taxpayers $77 million a year. But a man who helps shrink wild horse herds with birth control vaccine hopes to reduce those costs.

A wild horse herd lives on BLM land in the McCullough peaks, just east of Cody. BLM officials used to do gathers here, to reduce the herd size… but it’s not growing anymore, thanks to a contraceptive called PZP 

Senior Scientist of the Science and Conservation Center Jay F. Kirkpatrick said, “They reached zero population growth in three years flat. They’re balancing foal production with mortality.”

Wikimedia Commons

  

Cody area lawmakers want the federal government to take grizzly bears off the endangered species list. They say there are more bears than ever outside Yellowstone. But others say the numbers don’t matter, and that the grizzly should remain protected.

Many Cody area residents have advocated for grizzly delisting for years. But, talk about delisting intensified this summer, after a grizzly killed a hiker in Yellowstone.

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.

Wyoming Coal Versus The Courts

This week’s Supreme Court ruling on the EPA and its ability to regulate carbon is a mixed bag for Wyoming officials and energy producers. It sets the stakes even higher for Republicans in the state who are determined to derail a pending EPA rule on climate change.

Wyoming Does Not Officially Track Health Impacts From Energy

yellowstonenationalparklodges.com

Yellowstone Park is celebrating completion of a two year, 29 million dollar renovation of its oldest lodge: Lake Hotel. Now all of the Lake Hotel’s redecorated rooms are ready for guest now. Penny Preston reports people worked through two bitter winters to complete the project.

In 1889, 27 years before there was a National Park Service, construction began on Lake Hotel.  It is Yellowstone’s oldest.  Two years ago, reconstruction started.

“The old hotel had been touched pretty harshly over the years.

Penny Preston

Yellowstone National Park lost two hundred cabins this spring. They were part of the park’s largest lodging complex. No, it’s not in the Old Faithful area, nor Mammoth. Penny Preston reports it’s in Canyon Village, where the park’s biggest hotel once stood.

PENNY PRESTON:  The Canyon Hotel was Yellowstone’s largest, from 1910, until 1960. It was created by Old Faithful Inn architect Robert Reamer. 

ROBERT REAMER:  “My parents used to like to go up there and have dinner.”