Rebecca Huntington

Freelance Reporter

A multi-media journalist, Rebecca Huntington is a regular contributor to Wyoming Public Radio.  She has reported on a variety of topics ranging from the National Parks, wildlife, environment, health care, education and business.  She recently co-wrote the one-hour, high-definition documentary, The Stagecoach Bar: An American Crossroads, which premiered in 2012. She also works at another hub for community interactions, the Teton County Library where she is a Communications and Digital Media Specialist. She reported for daily and weekly newspapers in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Wyoming for more than a decade before becoming a multi-media journalist. She completed a Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado in 2002. She has written and produced video news stories for the PBS series This American Land (thisamericanland.org) and for Assignment Earth, broadcast on Yahoo! News and NBC affiliates. In 2009, she traveled to Guatemala to produce a series of videos on sustainable agriculture, tourism and forestry and to Peru to report on the impacts of extractive industries on local communities.

Jackson Hole’s annual SHIFT Festival kicked off this week with Native American leaders defending Bears Ears National Monument. Each year, SHIFT gathers outdoor enthusiasts from around the nation. This year, Native American leaders took center stage.

Jackson Hole's annual SHIFT Festival brings together the outdoor recreation industry and conservationists. This year, the festival is focusing on making the case for how conservation can be good for business. Gov. Matt Mead's Policy Advisor Nephi Cole attended SHIFT to release a new report that he says will guide the state in how to enhance outdoor recreation in Wyoming.

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.

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

Hundreds of filmmakers are gathering at Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park this week for a biennial film competition that attracts filmmakers from around the globe.

"It's incredible, I mean there's more than 800 people attending this festival from all over the world so it definitely is the Oscars of wildlife filmmaking," said Jackson filmmaker Shane Moore.

Rebecca Huntington

On the Wind River Reservation, students are learning how to use futuristic tools to stretch the bounds of what's possible in the classroom.

What if you could put a swimming pool in the middle of your classroom?

“Me, me, me, me...” students gleefully shout.

That's just what students at the Arapahoe Elementary School couldn't wait to do...

“Let's be careful to not stand on the swimming pool,” a teacher says. “So now we're going to push select. I think we probably want a really big swimming pool so everybody can fit in it, right?”

Dhtrible at the English language Wikipedia

Jackson town officials have been deluged with angry emails and phone calls after the mayor decided to remove portraits of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence from town hall last week. The flap has garnered national media attention and gone viral on social media. Town Councilman and Vice Mayor Jim Stanford says he’s sorry for the fallout, which includes visitors saying they will cancel trips to Jackson.

Wikipedia

As part of NPR’s A Nation Engaged series, Wyoming Public Radio set out to hear what Jackson residents are hoping to see from the new Trump Administration. Rebecca Huntington brings us the voices.

Grand Teton National Park Foundation

At a bipartisan celebration today in Grand Teton National Park, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, serving the Obama administration, and Governor Matt Mead, a Republican, praised a deal to protect park land from commercial development.

Secretary Jewell praised the more than 5,000 private donors who contributed $23 million dollars in just eight months to allow the National Park Service to buy state land.

Aaron Schrank

Listen to the full show here. 

Teachers Help Students Cope with Uneasy Election

Emotions are running high following the 2016 presidential election. Educators in Jackson are helping their large number of Mexican students cope with emotions they may be encountering at home. Rebecca Huntington has more.

 

Aaron Schrank

 

Emotions are running high following the 2016 presidential election. Educators in Jackson are helping their large number of Mexican students cope with emotions they may be encountering at home.

“We have to determine what's important. Was my wig, really important?” asks teacher Thomas Ralston.

“No!” respond his third-grade class.

“So do I think if I used my earth and space book, every single thing in my earth and space book should go in my report?” he asks.

“No!” respond the students.

Brett Neilson

Jackson resident says a state system that flags voters as potential non-citizens may be intimidating some U.S. citizens, who have the legal right to vote.

Jackson's Gina Valencia became a U.S. citizen in 2010. That November she registered to vote in her first U.S. election and then voted in five elections. The Wyoming Department of Transportation has a copy of her U.S. passport on file as proof of her citizenship.

But this year, she received a letter from the Teton County Clerk saying she had been flagged by the state as a "potential non-citizen."

September 16th, 2016

Sep 16, 2016
Amy Sisk

Listen to the full show here. 

Many Reasons, One Cause In Pipeline Protest

Opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline continues to grow beyond its North Dakota roots, with solidarity protests on September 13 in dozens of cities across the country and the world.

Rebecca Huntington

In Grand Teton National Park, the White Grass Dude Ranch entertained visitors who came for mountain views and the chance to play cowboy. It closed in 1985 and soon the ranch's cabins and lodge started falling apart once people stopped using them.

That's how White Grass joined a backlog of some twenty-seven thousand historic properties nationwide that the National Park Service couldn’t afford to maintain. But things have changed.

Rebecca Huntington

On Tuesday, Jackson voters will be deciding whether to use sales tax dollars to pay for fixing a landslide that's looming over the town's main road. In 2014, the creeping slide accelerated triggering an emergency evacuation of nearby homes and businesses, disrupting water and sewer and destroying a Walgreens parking lot. Walgreens has abandoned the site and the town has spent more than one million dollars to restore services and slow the slide.

One22

Three non-profits that serve Teton County's lowest income residents and Latino community are merging into a single entity called One22. The Community Resource Center serves low-income residents who find themselves in crisis often due to housing or medical challenges. The center is merging with the Latino Resource Center and El Puente. 

The new group's Executive Director Mary Erickson says the merger will build better relationships with clients.

Rebecca Huntington

The future of coal was the focus of the International Advanced Coal Technologies Conference in Jackson Hole this week.  

Researchers, officials, and advocates came from all over the world to discuss, among other issues, new ways to use coal. 

Rebecca Huntington / Wyoming Public Radio

During a visit Thursday to the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the federal government should not surrender its role managing public lands. That's despite renewed efforts by several Western states to get federally-owned public lands transferred to state control.

"This is an extraordinary treasure, and it is indeed a national treasure. And I think it is incumbent upon the federal government to understand its partnership responsibility, not to abdicate it, not to give it up, not to surrender it."

naturalnutmeg.com

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack toured Snake River Brewing in Jackson yesterday. His department's Rural Energy for America Program - called REAP for short - gave the brewery a $13,000 grant to put solar panels on its roof.

Vilsack says that REAP shows how government can give small businesses a hand.

"Here's a place where the government is making a difference. You might have done this at some point in time, but you would not have done it now but for the REAP grant."

The Brewery's Chris Erickson agrees.

Officials Are Optimistic About Sage Grouse Protection Plans

Secretary of Interior Sally Jewel came to Cheyenne to announce a massive plan to conserve Sage Grouse habitat in several western states. Wyoming started its own conservation efforts in 2007 and Jewel says it is a model state. The question is whether the federal efforts can keep the Sage Grouse from being placed on the endangered species list. 

National Museum of Wildlife Art

The dragon, the monkey and the tiger: Not the animals you expect to see gracing the wide-open spaces of Wyoming. But you can now see these creatures, along with other Chinese Zodiac animals perched above the National Elk Refuge. Rebecca Huntington reports on a major international exhibit on display in Jackson. 

REBECCA HUNTINGTON: Outside the National Museum of Wildlife Art, a crane lifts the bronze head of a pig up off the ground. Then workers step in to guide the giant lollypop-shaped sculpture over to the pedestal.

Rebecca Huntington

Staying globally competitive by teaching future generations of workers how to innovate is a national concern. At Jackson Hole High School, a new program is teaching students the skills they will need to be innovators by assigning them real problems to solve.  

SAMMIE SMITH: So just watch for splinters, we're going to back out this way...

Chris Servheen

Elk and other wildlife are beginning their spring migrations. Moving to summer ranges can mean crossing roads and highways, which puts wildlife at risk of being struck and killed by vehicles. But research shows that properly designed wildlife crossings can make roads safer for wildlife and for people. 

Tony Clevenger has been studying wildlife crossings in the Canadian Rockies for more than 17 years, and he says the data is clear about when building crossings is cost effective.

  

A new film follows the journey of a snowboarder Brolin Mawejje on his quest to become the first African Olympic snowboarder. Born in Uganda, he saw snow for the first time when he came to the U.S. at age 12. Snowboarding helped Mawejje escape a difficult home life and bond with a family who brought him to Jackson Hole.

Jennifer Tennican

A new film follows the journey of a snowboarder Brolin Mawejje, on his quest to become the first African Olympic snowboarder. He was born in Uganda and only saw snow for the first time when he came to the U.S. at age 12. He eventually moved to Jackson Hole with a family that took him in as one of their own. Part of what sealed the bond with his adoptive family was a love of snowboarding, which he shared with their son, Phil Hessler.

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