Rebecca Huntington

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.

Rebecca Huntington

In the summer of 1988, 36 percent of Yellowstone National Park was on fire. To this day, it remains the largest wildfire since Yellowstone became a national park. Yellowstone's spokesperson at that time, Joan Anzelmo remembers what it was like to be at the center of the firestorm.

Rebecca Huntington

Die-hard skier Ed Bushnell invented his own helmet-mounted video camera long before the device became de rigueur for skiers. He recalls filming clients with his contraption while working for a photo concession at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. He describes how clients developed “Kodak courage” when they hired him. Bushnell later became a Wyoming private eye and shares a funny incident about how being a PI isn’t quite how it’s portrayed on TV. Bushnell also shares a story about performing an impromptu musical concert in India while traveling with the Rotary Club of Jackson Hole.

Rebecca Huntington

Roy Chambers was born to Ida and Andy Chambers in 1924 in a log cabin still standing on Mormon Row in the shadow of the Tetons in what’s now Grand Teton National Park. Roy worked hard on the family’s homestead cattle ranch. He met his wife, Becky, a nurse at St. John’s Hospital, and they married in 1956. Two years later, they bought the Flying V Ranch (today known as the Gros Ventre River Ranch) and went into the dude ranching business. Roy talks about the joys of running a guest ranch with Rob Cheek, who first came to Jackson Hole as teen-age “dude,” or tourist. 

Ryan Janek Wolowski via Flickr

Now residents of Buffalo Valley on the border of Grand Teton National Park, BJ and Marius Hanford danced on Broadway in New York City for many years before moving West. Marius recalls what it was like to go from being a military man to learning ballet. The couple shares stories of their love of dance and of one another.

Rebecca Huntington

Chef Eric Bartle and girlfriend, Sara Kundelius, moved in the dead of winter from Portland, Oregon, to Turpin Meadow Ranch. The guest ranch is nestled at the end of the Buffalo Valley Road, on the edge of the Teton Wilderness, one of the most remote places in the Lower 48 states.

The couple loves to forage for locally grown foods and brought with them a supply of homemade jarred and canned delicacies to incorporate into the ranch’s menu. They share stories about that first trip to the ranch and their passion for home and forest-grown food.

Rebecca Huntington

Singer-songwriter Beth McIntosh and her son, Rainer McIntosh-Round, who live in Wilson, Wyoming, share stories about surviving moose and bone-chilling temperatures living in the cowboy state. McIntosh also reflects on her Scottish immigrant roots.

Rebecca Huntington

Wilson, Wyoming residents Pat Hardeman and Ireen Steeg share memories of Earl Hardeman, Pat’s husband and Irene’s uncle. Earl grew up on a homestead in Kelly, Wyoming, which later became part of Grand Teton National Park. They talk about the isolation of growing up in Kelly and the challenges of daily routines, such as getting to school.

wyoarts.state.wy.us

When David Romtvedt first moved to Wyoming, his profession as a poet made him immediately suspect. His wife, Margo Brown, an artist and a Wyoming native, talks with David about how he gradually earned the respect of her ranching relatives. Romtvedt served as Poet Laureate of Wyoming from 2003 to 2011.

Rebecca Huntington

On May 25, 2014, 15-year-old Sasha Johnstone became the youngest person to climb and ski the Grand Teton, according to mountain guides. At 13,775 feet, the Grand is the highest peak in Grand Teton National Park with slopes as steep as 55 degrees, bordered by cliffs dropping away precipitously to create “no fall zones.” Sasha skied the peak with his parents.

Rebecca Huntington

Dollie Iberlin gives new meaning to the phrase “student teacher” as she recalls her first teaching job, educating two students just a few years younger than herself on a Johnson County ranch. While teaching at the ranch, Iberlin also weathered one of the most famous and daunting blizzards in Wyoming history. Iberlin shares stories about that fun and fateful year with her daughter, Margo Brown.

Every fall, the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson holds an annual fund-raising show that gives art collectors a chance to rub shoulders with high-caliber wildlife artists.

Partygoers, dressed in everything from cocktail gowns to cowboy  hats, are sipping drinks while admiring paintings and sculptures created by one hundred premiere wildlife artists. Bettina Whyte, a museum trustee, is among those admiring the art.

Rebecca Huntington

Mental health. It's a topic that can be hard to talk about. So the National Council for Behavioral Health has taken a cue from successful CPR and first aid programs and designed a similar training to help everyday citizens know how to respond in a mental health crisis.

A half dozen Jackson community members are gathered in a classroom in the basement of St. John's Medical Center. Their instructor, Adam Williamson, has handed out poster-sized paper and markers and asked them to draw a picture of anxiety.

Rebecca Huntington

What do butterflies, pikas and a challenge course have in common? They're all at the heart of the summer camp experience for teens in Kelly, Wyoming. Bordering Grand Teton National Park, Teton Science Schools offers a perfect setting for campers to study and appreciate nature. But as Rebecca Huntington reports students walk away with a lot more.

“Is this one lupine? Oh there's a painted lady, I think.”

Lori Iverson/USFWS via Flickr Creative Commons

A private consultant presented preliminary options for a more permanent fix to a creeping landslide in Jackson at a Town Council meeting yesterday. 

The Town of Jackson has hired Oregon-based consultant George Machan to come up with options for stopping the slow-moving landslide on Jackson's East Gros Ventre Butte. Although the earth movement has slowed to less than half an inch per week, town officials want to reinforce the slope to prevent future problems.

The options have price tags ranging from eight million to thirty million dollars. 

Rebecca Huntington

A slow-moving landslide has displaced homes and businesses in Jackson, and the town has been working to deal with the problem for weeks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with reporter Rebecca Huntington, who’s been following the situation closely. She says from what geologists have said, the cause of the landslide seems to be a combination of natural and human-induced factors.

Rebecca Huntington

A creeping landslide on Jackson's East Gros Ventre Butte, that has forced the evacuation of homes and businesses, appears to be slowing down.

Charlotte Reynolds, an information office for the Budge Drive Slide, says the slower movement, combined with favorable weather, could make it possible for some residents to return home soon.

Rebecca Huntington

Jackson is shutting off water today to homes and businesses on the north side of West Broadway as part of its ongoing response to the creeping hillside collapse on East Gros Ventre Butte.

The plan is to install new valves and hydrants that will give the town the option of capping off a 12-inch water main, along the slide area, if that becomes necessary. Although the hillside is shifting slowly, it's creating forces that could burst both the water main and a nearby sewer line.

Rebecca Huntington

Workers are building a temporary path for a drill rig to access a slow-moving landslide threatening homes and businesses in a Wyoming resort town.

Jackson officials say the heavy rig will drill bore holes up to 200 feet deep along the upper crest as they look for ways to counter the slow collapse first noticed April 4.

The samples should tell them about the composition of the formation, the depth of the slide, the water levels and the location of the slide's scarp.

Jackson Fire Chief Willy Watsabaugh gave a tour of the area over the weekend.

Rebecca Huntington

A slow-moving landslide in Jackson has started accelerating, blocking off the area's only access road and undermining options for stabilization.

Crews stopped work Thursday on an emergency buttress designed to slow down the slide. Officials decided it was no longer safe to work beneath a cut slope that kept releasing gravel slides, and pulled workers off the job. The only access road to the hillside has become impassable.

The Town has hired landslide expert George Machan, who gave an update today.

Jackson Hole News and Guide

On Monday, the Jackson Town Council voted to increase emergency spending from $50,000 to $750,000 to deal with the slow-moving landslide beside the town's main thoroughfare. Town officials say the money is needed to manage the slide and to build a buttress to create pressure at the base of the slide to slow it down.

The Council voted four-to-one to approve the funding. Councilman Jim Stanford cast the lone dissenting vote.

An evacuation order is being downgraded to an advisory for some homes and apartments under threat from a slow-moving landslide in Jackson. An evacuation order will remain in effect for five residences within a high-risk zone where geologists are seeing slope movement of about an inch a day.

Even though residents in lower-risk areas are allowed to move back, Acting Police Chief Cole Nethercott says he's not encouraging them to do so.

About 60 Jackson residents remain under an evacuation order due to a slow-moving landslide on the lower flank of East Gros Ventre Butte that has buckled pavement, cracked retaining walls and undermined water lines.

Some homes in the Budge Drive Hillside area are not at direct risk from the slide. But the slide has compromised the only road to the homes and broken the main waterline. During a tour of the area today, Jackson Fire Chief Willy Watsabaugh said those problems make it unsafe to reoccupy those homes at this time.

A geologist and landslide consultant says the chance of a sudden, catastrophic slope failure on East Gros Ventre Butte in Jackson is only about 5 percent. As a result, town emergency services have downgraded their evacuation order, allowing most businesses in the Hillside building to reopen this morning. Some businesses and many residences remain under an evacuation order.

At a community meeting last night, Acting Chief of Police Cole Nethercott asked residents not to take unnecessary risks by entering the evacuation area on their own.

Rebecca Huntington

With the deadline looming to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, healthcare-dot-gov navigators are seeing a surge in people seeking help. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington has more.

"Thanks for your patience, you'll have our undivided attention shortly. Your access to quality, affordable coverage is just a few minutes away."

www.magnussonracing.com/blog/

Sixteen sled dog teams are racing more than 300 miles this week across western Wyoming and neighboring states. This is the nineteenth year for the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race. This weekend is the end of the 8-day race that started in Jackson and finished in Evanston. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington caught up with one of the racers, Bruce Magnusson.

CROWD: Go dogs, go!

Sixteen sled dog teams are racing 350 miles this week across western Wyoming and neighboring states. After a rest day Monday, teams will resume racing Tuesday with a 50-mile leg from Lander. 

Governor Matt Mead and other elected officials made the case during a Jackson forum Wednesday that Wyoming's future depends on energy. They said that tapping state's energy resources, from coal to natural gas, is what pays the bills when it comes to building schools and other vital infrastructure.

But the governor said that doesn't mean producing energy should come at the cost of the environment. And that impressed Paul Hansen, who moderated
the forum.

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