Natural Resources & Energy

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In the last three days, two people have been seriously injured by an elk. There have been three reported wildlife encounters in Yellowstone National Park this year.

The fossil skeleton of a carnivorous dinosaur recently found in Wyoming was just auctioned off in Paris. Paleontologists are worried the sale is part of a trend that will keep specimens from our region out of the hands of scientists.

Joe Riis

The Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee (GYCC) is holding a public one-day wildlife migration symposium Wednesday.

Wildfire season is ramping up in the region. Fire teams are now working to quash one outside Durango, Colorado, and Utah recently stopped another. That state is now doing prescribed burns to reduce the chance of a bigger blaze.

Bat house shelter on grounds of Fort Laramie National Historic Site, WY, where colony of little brown bats included a bat with the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, May 2018
Ian Abernethy / Wyoming Natural Diversity Database

Wildlife researchers have confirmed a bat in Fort Laramie has fungus that causes white-nose syndrome. The fungal disease has killed millions of bats in parts of the U.S. and Canada since 2006.

Bob Beck

Last week the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission voted to move forward with a plan that would lead to the hunting of up to 22 grizzly bears this fall and possibly more in the future. It would be the first grizzly bear hunt in Wyoming since the bear was listed as threatened in 1975. The hunt is part of the Game and Fish Department’s long-range plan for managing the grizzly. 

Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk
NPS Public Domain

In somewhat of a surprise move, Dan Wenk, the head of Yellowstone National Park announced his retirement Friday amidst speculation he was being reassigned for political reasons. The Mountain West News Bureau’s Nate Hegyi spoke with him over the phone about his retirement and his potential reassignment.

Bureau of Land Management

Driving west across Wyoming, there are windmills lined up across bluffs in the distance. Oil and gas rigs dot both sides of the highway. Open-pit coal mines too. What you won’t see on a cross-state trip are any fields of solar panels. In Sweetwater County, that could soon change.

The head of Yellowstone National Park says he plans to retire next March, ending a more than four decade run with the National Park Service. The surprise announcement came after speculation he was being reassigned for political reasons.

Mike Cavaroc

You may not have been to Yellowstone or the Grand Teton but you’ve probably seen photos of Bear 610 and her family. Still, the grizzly hasn’t been spotted this year and some are concerned she’s met an untimely end.

Climate change is expected to exacerbate wildfires, drought and flooding throughout the Mountain West. Some cities are looking at how these changes will affect their town and how they can prepare.

An article published in the journal, Nature, this month explains how a 130 million year old fossilized skull is shaking up scientists’ understanding of how and when the earth’s continents broke apart.

The skull was from a small fur-covered, egg-laying mammal that co-existed with the dinosaurs called the Cifelliodon wakarmoosuch.

Voices continue to mount against the Trump administration's plan to lease land for oil drilling near the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado. The Bureau of Land Management plans to lease more than 20,000 acres of land starting in early September, some of which comes within a mile of the park.

NPS Photo/Ke Qiang Ruan, 2015 Fire Island Photo Contest Entry

Springtime in the Mountain West means newborn animals. And with that comes opportunities for some very adorable wildlife viewing and photography. But officials want to remind visitors and locals alike to hold back from interacting with young wildlife.

President Trump has overturned a rule requiring outfitters to pay river and backcountry guides on public lands a minimum wage.


When you hear about companies like REI or Patagonia, you might think about tents, rain jackets or hikers in puffy coats on a mountaintop. But how about politics? These outdoorsy companies are part of a new wave of business advocates fighting for public lands.


Willow Pond is like a lot of community fishing holes. It’s in a suburban park beyond the soccer fields and a baseball diamond.

Wyoming Energy Summit logo
Wyoming Business Report

Coal could soon be used to make affordable carbon nanomaterials for mass use. The sci-fi sounding production is already used for things like water-resistant coats, electronic displays, or even dyes and pigments. Though, for now, it’s developed with expensive oil or gas feedstocks.

Bikes are off limits in the nation's 100 million acres of wilderness. But a few members of Congress want that to change.

CC0 Public Domain

At a public meeting on Wednesday, tribal members from around the country spoke out against the decision by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to hold a fall grizzly bear hunt. Blackfeet member Tom Rogers is with the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council. He said the federal government is required by law to consult tribes on natural resource issues that affect them, like a grizzly bear hunt.

Darrah Perez

Hundreds of bison that leave Yellowstone National Park each year are rounded up and killed to keep them from spreading brucellosis. But tribes have long wanted the disease-free bison to go to reservations.

The Interior Department wants to open up a quarter-million acres at national wildlife refuges for hunting and fishing.

The move would impact 21 states. In our region, it would expand hunting at a refuge in Utah  and another in Montana. It would also open Montana’s Swan River refuge to big game hunting for the first time.

Currently the sage grouse is not listed under the Endangered Species Act. And a bill before Congress  would prevent that from happening anytime in the next decade.

Until fairly recently, it was illegal to harvest rainwater in Colorado. Now, as in a number of other Western states, it’s seen as alternative water source in an increasingly dry landscape. But is rainwater safe?

Sybil Sharvelle, an environmental engineer at Colorado State University, is one researcher trying to answer that question.

Conservationists from around the country are opposing congressional legislation to allow a four-lane highway through a desert tortoise preserve in fast-growing southwestern Utah.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Media

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission unanimously voted to approve hunting regulations for Grizzly Bears on Wednesday. It would allow up to ten bears to be killed within a core management area near Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and 12 more in other areas of the state.

Elk hunting map divided into each area
Wyoming Game and Fish Department

After 30 years, the way elk hunting licenses are handled for residents and non-residents may change. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department held eight different public meetings around the state last week to determine what could be modified.

Public Domain / Max Pixel

Twenty-eight great plains tribes are demanding two different sites in Yellowstone National Park be renamed. The request says Hayden Valley and Mount Doane are offensive because they memorialize a racist and a murderer. But with local government officials opposing the change, it seems unlikely to happen.

Public Domain / Jean Beaufort

Black bear attacks are extremely rare, but that could be changing. Wildlife officials say with more people coming into contact with wildlife, the chances for conflict will also increase. 

Sweetwater Solar Energy Project Project Overview
Bureau of Land Management

A potential solar energy project in southwest Wyoming obtained a permit last week moving it a step closer to construction. The Sweetwater Solar Energy Project, to be located near Green River, would be the largest the state’s ever seen, providing 80 megawatts of generating capacity to the electrical grid. That’s enough to power almost 12,000 homes each year, according to a project description given to the Bureau of Land Management.

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