Willow Belden

Reporter

Phone: 307-766-5086
Email: wbelden@uwyo.edu 

Willow Belden joined Wyoming Public Radio after earning her masters degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to grad school, Willow spent a year in the Middle East on a Fulbright grant, conducting research in a Palestinian refugee camp, and writing for the Jordan Times and JO Magazine. Upon returning to the U.S., she became a reporter and editor at the Queens Chronicle in New York City and received the Rookie Reporter of the Year award from the New York Press Association. This spring, she received the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship from Columbia University. When she’s not working on stories, Willow spends her time bicycling, hiking, kayaking and traveling. She can occasionally be spotted on a unicycle. And she has a habit of swimming in the ocean with the Polar Bear Club on New Years Day.

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News
9:36 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Wyoming Game and Fish Department to unveil Mule Deer plan in February

The Game and Fish Department is coming up with a new management plan for mule deer in the Platte Valley.

The mule deer population has declined by at least 30 percent over the past few decades, and last fall, Game and Fish solicited input from the public about how to address the problem.

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Worker Safety
3:22 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Advocates are optimistic about Mead's commitment to worker safety

AFL-CIO

After a meeting with Gov. Matt Mead’s staff on Thursday, workers’ rights advocates say they’re optimistic that Mead will take steps to ensure safer work environments in Wyoming.

Wyoming has one of the highest rates of workplace fatalities in the country, and a recent report by the state epidemiologist documenting injuries and deaths over the past 17 years has put the problem back in the spotlight.

Kim Floyd of the AFL-CIO says the meeting with the governor’s staff was productive.

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Snow
5:47 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Winter weather draws snow bunnies to Wyoming

Wyoming’s ski resorts are benefitting from the lack of snow elsewhere in the country.

  Some areas in the Tetons have gotten more than 12 feet of snow so far this season, and both major resorts near Jackson say they’re getting visitors who would normally have gone to resorts in other states.

  Grand Targhee Resort has been honoring season passes from other ski areas, provided visitors stay at least two nights. And Jackson Hole Mountain Resort says skiers who had planned to vacation in Colorado or Utah are changing plans last minute and coming to Wyoming.

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News
3:36 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

High Ozone Levels Subject Of Pinedale Meeting

Deer and antelope mingle in the Pinedale Anticline natural gas field.
Dustin Bleizeffer/WyoFile

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality says oil and gas companies in the Pinedale area are improving efforts to curb emissions on high ozone days.

The area is not in compliance with federal Clean Air Act standards, and the DEQ held a public meeting Tuesday, to brief residents on its efforts to combat the high ozone levels.

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Breastfeeding
6:03 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Advocates want Laramie businesses to be breastfeeding-friendly

A group of residents in Laramie are trying to make it easier for new mothers to breast feed their babies and go back to work. Women who breast feed their children typically have to pump milk during the workday, but many workplaces don’t give their employees time and space to do that.

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News
9:25 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Mead wants data before he supports tougher workplace safety regulations

Gov. Matt Mead says tougher regulations aren’t the only answer to improving workplace safety.

“I want to be careful before we move down that path, because I also think that industry, on a voluntary basis, has a role to play,” Mead said. “I think enforcement is also part of it. But … we need to make sure that we have the data on what are the cause of these accidents and what are possible corrections for those accidents.”

Mead was speaking to the Wyoming Press Association in Laramie.

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Open Spaces
8:17 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Green River teaches manners to prevent bullying

Students made anti-bullying posters to hang on the walls at Lincoln Middle School.
Willow Belden
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News
5:42 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Researches Study The Effect Of Wind Turbines On Wildlife

mywindpowersystem.com

Researchers at the University of Wyoming are trying to figure out how wind turbines affect antelope and elk. They’ve collared dozens of animals near the town of Medicine Bow and are tracking their movements over the course of several years.

Jeff Beck, who teaches ecosystem science and management, is overseeing the study. He says pronghorn tend to stay away from certain man-made structures … but wind farms are a relatively new phenomenon.

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News
7:58 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Wyoming's food bank to gain autonomy

Wyoming’s food bank is going to become its own entity this summer. Currently, it’s part of the Food Bank of the Rockies in Colorado, but in July it’s splitting off.

Development Manager Jamie Purcell says it's been good working with the Colorado food bank, but that that the change will be beneficial.

“Because of the restraints placed on us by our parent organization, we’re not able to expand to the level that we need to be at,” Purcell said. “But when we become autonomous, whatever our board of directors sees fit to do, we will be able to do.”

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Wolf Plan
5:30 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Scientist evaluating wolf plan says proposal is flawed

Associated Press

One of the scientists evaluating Wyoming’s proposed wolf plan for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the plan is flawed.

 

The plan calls for Wolves to be protected as trophy game in northwestern Wyoming but would allow them to be killed as predators elsewhere.

 

Biologist John Vucetich says Wyoming is overestimating what an acceptable mortality rate would be.

 

“They state in there that up to 43-percent mortality rate can be endured without any population decline,” Vucetich said. “And that’s simply not true.”

 

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News
5:36 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Womens Prison Seeks Funding For Nursery

stock photo

The women’s prison in Lusk is seeking funding for a nursery. That would enable inmates who give birth while incarcerated to keep their babies with them in prison for up to 18 months.

Warden Phil Myer says it’s usually better for newborns to be with their mothers – even in prison – than to live with relatives or foster parents, and he says taking care of a baby in prison also makes inmates less likely to commit further crimes.

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News
5:26 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Wildlife Proposals Sought

It’s time for another round of wildlife project proposals: For the tenth year in a row, the Wyoming Governor’s Big Game License Coalition is funding projects that benefit moose, elk, wild sheep and other animals.

The money comes from 20 big game hunting licensesthat the governor auctions offeach year, with proceeds going to conservation projects.

Coalition chair Kevin Hurley says wild sheep tags have sold for as much as $55,000 apiece, and he says hunters are willing to pay the price for two reasons.

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Open Spaces
12:08 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

December 16th, 2011

Open Spaces
12:04 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

December 9th, 2011

Open Spaces
11:53 am
Thu January 5, 2012

November 4th, 2011

Open Spaces
11:49 am
Thu January 5, 2012

October 21st, 2011

Open Spaces
10:56 am
Thu January 5, 2012

September 30th, 2011

News
6:00 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Mead promises to improve workplace safety

Gov. Matt Mead says he will implement recommendations from a new report focused on improving safety for workers.

Wyoming has one of the nation’s highest rates of workplace fatalities, and the governor recently commissioned a study to figure out why.

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Telemedicine
5:26 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

St. Johns to connect stroke patients with specialists via video

Stroke patients in Jackson will soon be able to consult with out-of-state specialists via video technology.

Gary Trauner, Chief Operating Officer at St. John’s Medical Center, says specialists used to make occasional trips from Idaho and Utah, but now remote doctors will constantly be available to meet with patients over video.

Trauner says the new technology will help St. John’s diagnose patients and determine whether to transfer them to other facilities. He says it’s almost as good as having the specialist in the room with the patient.

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Wolves
5:22 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Study shows wolves benefit Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Associated Press

A new report indicates the reintroduction of wolves has benefited the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The study found that the wolves have kept the elk population in check, which in turn has allowed aspen, willow and cottonwood trees to re-grow in some parts of the park.
 Study author Bill Ripple of Oregon State University says those types of trees are crucial to maintaining a vibrant ecosystem.

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News
7:27 am
Tue January 3, 2012

New party head seeks to give Democrats more clout

The Wyoming Democratic Party has chosen a new executive director: Robin Van Ausdall. 

Van Ausdall has worked on several Democratic political campaigns in Colorado and was the Democratic National Committee field officer for northeast Colorado for three years.

She says she’s excited about returning to her native Wyoming, and she hopes to make the Democratic party more competitive in the state. She says she hopes to provide more support to party officials at the county level and to raise more money than in the past.

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News
2:09 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

Winter storm brings avalanches to western Wyoming

The winter storm in northwest Wyoming has caused avalanches in Jackson Hole, Teton Pass, and Hoback Canyon. And the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center says more slides are likely to come.

An avalanche warning is in effect through Friday night. Forecaster Jim Springer says that doesn’t just mean there’s a risk of avalanches; it means they’re already happening.

“If you venture out right now, you’re going to have avalanche problems,” Springer said.

He added that conditions are ideal for slides right now, because early-season snow has been sitting for so long.

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