Open Spaces

Open Spaces
3:51 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Yellowstone Superintendent Offers Update on Winter Use Plan

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This week Yellowstone National Park has held a series of meetings discussing its new proposed winter use plan.  Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk joins Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck and they discuss the fact that after several years of reduced numbers, more snowmobiles may soon be allowed in Yellowstone.

Open Spaces
3:42 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

15 Years In: WWAMI Program Produces Wyoming Doctors Who Settle In the State

Second-year WWAMI student Mark Wefel worked with Dr. Dean Bartholomew at the Platte valley Medical Clinic in Saratoga this summer as part of a four-week Rural/Underserved Opportunity Program (RUOP).
Rebecca Martinez
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Open Spaces
3:24 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Students flock to University Summer Dance Program

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This summer, the Snowy Range Dance Festival is drawing dancers from across the Rocky Mountains and as far away as Florida for a period of intensive dance training. Now in its eighteenth year, the festival has long been an important resource for dancers in the region.

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Open Spaces
3:54 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

June 22nd, 2012

Yellowstone National Park is worried that visitors take their safety for granted around wild animals. A passenger of this SUV got out of his car to take a close-up photo of this black bear.
Rebecca Martinez
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Open Spaces
3:42 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Yellowstone fears visitors are too bold around animals

Yellowstone National Park is worried that visitors take their safety for granted around wild animals. A passenger of this SUV got out of his car to take a close-up photo of this black bear.
Rebecca Martinez

After a peaceful quarter century, bears in Yellowstone National park killed two visitors last summer. Now, park officials are adamantly warning visitors to forget the sense of security they feel at zoos and amusement parks because Yellowstone is a wild place. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.

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Open Spaces
3:40 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Safety official tries to help Wyoming reduce traffics deaths

One of the issues surrounding workplace safety is the number of serious highway crashes related to work.  In fact, 2010 statistics show that better than half of the fatalities in Wyoming were transportation related.  Colonel Mark Trostel is the former head of the Colorado Highway Patrol.  During his time that state went from have one of the lowest traffic safety records to the fifth best.  He is currently working to improve Encana’s traffic safety record and so far so good.  Trostel has been chosen to help Wyoming find ways to improve its ranking.  We caught up with him during a recent pres

Open Spaces
3:38 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

New efforts focus on restoring sage grouse habitat, to prevent endangered species listing

This well site near the Powder River was reclaimed eight years ago, but BLM officials say more needs to be done to make the area hospitable to sage grouse.

Sage grouse have been dying out in Wyoming and across the west for years, and the bird is being considered for endangered species listing. As a result, Wyoming has made a major push to preserve prime sage grouse habitat. But recently, scientists have been warning that conservation may not be enough. Studies have recommended that in addition to protecting habitat that’s still intact, the state needs to restore areas that have been disturbed. So now, a variety of agencies are working to come up with a plan for large-scale restoration. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
3:34 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Research indicates sage grouse dislike human-made noise

Jessica Blickley is one of the authors of a new report about the effects of noise on sage grouse.

As we’ve just heard, there’s a lot of concern over declining sage grouse numbers. And a lot of effort is going into keeping the birds from being included on the endangered species list. Part of that effort involves studying which aspects of human activity are most problematic. A new study published in the journal Conservation Biology examines how human-made noise – particularly the noise associated with gas development – affects sage grouse. We’re joined now by Jessica Blickley, one of the authors of the report.

Open Spaces
3:32 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Laramie residents discuss what they want to hear from candidates

During this election season candidates for public office are discussing a number of topics.  We asked Wyoming Public Radio’s Madison Williams to ask people in Laramie what issues they’d like to hear candidates discuss.

Open Spaces
3:30 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Democratic Candidate for U-S House Chris Henrichsen discusses health care, energy issues and more

Casper College Political Science Professor Chris Henrichsen is running for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat.  He joins us for the first time to discuss his campaign and some of the issues facing the state and nation….

Open Spaces
3:28 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Laramie’s Mark Jenkins discusses his recent Everest trip

Laramie resident Mark Jenkins recently returned to Wyoming after climbing Mount Everest. Jenkins is a travel writer for Outside Magazine and a contributor to National Geographic … and he joins us now to discuss his experience. He says Everest expeditions are long -- typically two months or even longer.

Open Spaces
5:41 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

June 15th, 2012

Open Spaces
5:25 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Many are Optimistic That Wyoming’s Uranium Industry Will Grow

Cameco’s Smith Ranch Central Processing facility
Courtesy of Cameco

Intro:    For the last several years a number of companies and politicians have expressed interest in getting more actively involved in Wyoming’s Uranium industry.  Currently a task force of lawmakers is studying nuclear energy production and companies are testing the waters before they jump into the marketplace.  The upside is that Wyoming has a lot of Uranium, the downside is cost and regulations.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.

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Open Spaces
5:20 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Uranium Mining In Jeffrey City: Past, Present and Future

The McIntosh Pit in Jeffrey City is full of water that has a high content of radionucleides.
Irina Zhorov

HOST: Everyone is predicting a uranium boom internationally and Wyoming has the largest deposits in the U.S. The state has a legacy of uranium mining, as well. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov looks at the boom and its history.

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Open Spaces
5:03 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Wyoming Cleans Up After Uranium Boom Years

This aerial map shows the Gas Hills in 1978, before major mine and tailings pond remediation efforts began there.
Dean Fitzgerald

HOST: When the Cold War caused a uranium boom in the 1950s, soil and water in the state suffered contamination. Reclamation has improved the landscape, and regulation is catching up with the industry  but it’s not perfect yet. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.

REBECCA MARTINEZ: Ore from Wyoming’s rich uranium deposits was refined and concentrated into yellowcake at mills in the state before being sent to processing and enrichment facilities elsewhere. The mills produced large amounts of sandy waste called tailings, which still contained uranium.

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Open Spaces
4:41 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Land Grab: What Happened on the Wind River Reservation?

Mark Soldier Wolf once owned the farm land where the Susquehanna Western uranium mill and was built and where the Chemtrade sulfuric acid plant stands.
Tristan Ahtone

HOST: As we just heard, the uranium industry may have a long way to go in earning back the public’s trust, especially on the Wind River Reservation. In 2010, the Department of Energy released well monitoring data from the Wind River Reservation. What they found was that uranium levels in a number of their wells had spiked up to 100 times the legal limit. In early May the Department of Energy released tap test results showing uranium levels nearly twice the legal limit, but later said the results were anomalies.

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Open Spaces
12:52 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

Wyoming’s delegation opposes increasing the debt limit

All three members of Wyoming’s congressional delegation voted to raise the nation’s debt ceiling last year. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that some lawmakers are saying ‘never again,’ which critics say puts the U-S economy at risk. HOST: All three members of Wyoming’s congressional delegation voted to raise the nation’s debt ceiling last year. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that some lawmakers are saying ‘never again,’ which critics say puts the U-S economy at risk.

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Open Spaces
12:49 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

Wyoming’s economy is not all bad

A lot has been said about falling gas prices in the state and how that is hurting the state budget.  But a quick look at the most recent economic numbers shows that the Wyoming economy may be better than you think.  Jim Robinson is a senior economist with Wyoming’s Division of Economic Analysis.  This is the last month of the fiscal year and he tells Bob Beck that things look good.

Open Spaces
12:48 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

A conversation with Wyoming’s new occupational epidemiologist

Wyoming’s new occupational epidemiologist is Mack Sewell. He’s tasked with helping the state improve workplace safety. That’s been a topic of discussion for some time, since Wyoming has one of the highest rates of workplace deaths in the nation.  Sewell is currently the state epidemiologist in New Mexico, and he says there, he’s worked extensively on issues such as infectious diseases and drunk driving. He tells Willow Belden that he’s not sure yet what will be first on his agenda here in Wyoming.

Open Spaces
12:45 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

A new film portrays the history of a Jackson Hole bar

This month a movie will debut featuring an iconic bar in Jackson Hole.  It’s called The Stagecoach Bar: An American Crossroads.  To many in the valley it is more than a bar.  For years it has featured live music on Sunday nights and has been the host to Cowboys and millionaires.  It’s been there for more than 70 years.  The premier will be June 27th at the Center for the Arts in Jackson.  Jennifer Tennican is the filmmaker and she joins Bob Beck.

Open Spaces
12:43 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

Wyoming continues to be among the leaders in kids behind bars

Wyoming imprisons more juvenile offenders than just about any other state.  Part of the reason has to do with the lack of funding to find alternatives to jail and the other has to do with the law enforcement philosophy in a particular community.  Lawmakers have been reluctant to take a firm stand on the issue.  In a story first prepared for the program State of the Union, Laura Starcheski reports.

Open Spaces
12:41 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

Wyoming tests new method for counting deer, hopes to restore herds

Mule deer have been dying off in parts of Wyoming for some time. But until recently, it was unclear how acute the problem was. That’s because the Game and Fish Department wasn’t getting an accurate count of how many deer there were. Now, the agency is trying out a new method for estimating deer populations. It’s much more expensive … but officials say it’s worth the cost because it will help them maintain a healthy deer population. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
12:37 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

Game and Fish launches partnership to restore mule deer habitat in Platte Valley

It’s tough to say exactly how fast the mule deer population in the Platte Valley is declining. But we know it IS declining – and whatever the rate, it’s substantial. One of the reasons the animals are dying off is that their habitat is deteriorating. So now, the Game and Fish Department is trying to come up with a plan for restoring it.  Tom Ryder, assistant chief of the wildlife division at Game and Fish speaks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden.

Open Spaces
12:34 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

The Jackson Hole Fire Festival blends cultures.

One of the newer traditions in Jackson Hole is an event called the Jackson Hole Fire Festival.  It runs June 14th-20th.  It came from the idea developed by Candra Day of Vistas 360 degrees in Jackson.  She joins Bob Beck to explain the event and her organization…

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