December 16th, 2011

Listen to the whole show

A Listing of Today's Stories:

Avalanche Center to Skiers, Snowmobilers: 'Friend Me'
The Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center has a new friends group that aims to raise the center's profile and to enhance fund-raising from private donors. The center will also soon be looking for even more friends on Facebook. It's all part of an effort to prevent tragedies in the backcountry. Rebecca Huntington has more.

Wyoming athletics is making a comeback
With the exception of the Wyoming Cowgirls basketball team, it’s been tough sledding for athletics at the University of Wyoming.  While there has been a couple of football bowl wins, some success from wrestling and swimming, it’s been mostly glum.  But led by an eight win football season and an apparent turnaround of the Cowboys basketball team, things are looking up again.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

U-W Quarterback Brett Smith gets pumped for the New Mexico Bowl.
One of the biggest reasons for the success of the 8-4 Wyoming Cowboys football team is the surprising play of its freshman Quarterback Brett Smith.  Smith was named a freshman All American and will lead Wyoming against Temple in Saturday’s New Mexico bowl.  He tells Bob Beck that it is hard to believe that as a freshman that he will be starting in a bowl game.

Wyoming parents create an App to ease road trips with the kids
This week, a new iPhone app came out which lets you search for child-related amenities when you’re on the road. Jen Sieve-Hicks of Buffalo is one of the app’s creators. She says the app gives parents a lot more information than they would get from a Google search.

Congress speaks out about EPA’s Pavillion report
The E-P-A has released its preliminary report on groundwater contamination near the town of Pavillion.  The environmental agency’s findings -- that chemicals found in the aquifer are “likely” associated with hydraulic fracturing -- could escalate the emotionally and politically-charged debate over domestic energy production.  From Washington, Elizabeth Wynne Johnson reports on what Wyoming lawmakers and environmental advocates are saying about what happens next

Author Ron Franscell discusses his two newest books
Award winning author and Wyoming native Ron Franscell has been busy with a couple of books.  One is the critically acclaimed book called The Sourtoe Cocktail Club and the other is a fun book called the Crime Buffs Guide to the Outlaw Rockies.  He joins Bob Beck in the studio.

Reality TV show aims to draw young people to hunting
Each year, fewer and fewer Americans go hunting. That trend worries the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, because they get the bulk of their funding from hunters. So they’re beefing up their efforts to recruit new hunters. The latest plan is to recruit kids through a reality TV show. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

Eagle Feathers: Religious items as contraband in Indian Country
Most U.S. religions have no problem carrying out their spiritual exercises. But, for Native Americans in Wyoming and elsewhere, practicing traditional religious ceremonies isn't so simple: They can be heavily regulated by federal authorities, especially when it comes to the use of sacred items like eagle feathers. Wyoming Public Radio’s Tristan Ahtone reports.

The Audubon Society gears up for Christmas Bird Count
The Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count is getting underway in Wyoming this weekend. The way it works is volunteers go out to specific areas, look for birds and document what they see. Bird counts are being organized in about 20 locations across the state over the next few weeks. I spoke with Jacelyn Downey, a community naturalist with Audubon Wyoming, to find out why the count is so important. She says it’s an important way to collect data.