Open Spaces

Open Spaces
3:02 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

As agencies control invasive species to protect diversity, some worry about side effects

Dee Hillberry removed Russian Olives from his riverbank, opening up the view and creating more usable pasture. Across the river, a Russian Olive grove remains.
Credit Willow Belden

Each year, millions of dollars are spent controlling invasive species in Wyoming. Just about every agency you can think of is involved – from local weed and pest districts, to the Department of Game and Fish, and even the Bureau of Land Management. Many people see their efforts as an important way to protect Wyoming’s diversity. But others worry that removing invasives could sometimes do more harm than good. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
2:56 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

StoryCorps in Wyoming: Bud Decker and Jim Latta

Bud Decker and Jim Latta
Credit StoryCorps

This summer, StoryCorps set up a booth in Cheyenne to record Wyomingites interviewing one another and sharing their stories.

Today, we’ll hear from 95-year old Pinedale native Guy Decker, better known as “Bud”. Decker tells his longtime-friend Jim Latta about what it was like to grow up on the Wyoming Frontier.

Produced by Rebecca Martinez with interviews recorded at StoryCorps, a na­tional nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. (storycorps.org.)

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Open Spaces
2:53 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Mountain West Voices: “On Walkabout”

From Mountain West Voices, Clay Scott tells about Laramie’s Paul Taylor. 

Paul Taylor has been on walkabout for most of his adult life. He is an incredibly gifted storyteller and musician, and I met him as he was travelling from Laramie, Wyoming, to a school in Eureka, Montana to hold a week-long story-telling and art workshop.

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Open Spaces
4:45 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

August 2nd, 2013

Credit Rebecca Martinez

Reviving local saw mills could limit fire danger in the Rocky Mountain Region

Saw mills are re-opening in Wyoming and Colorado after a decade of being shuttered. They’re harvesting and processing trees that have been killed by beetle infestation.  Still, many are suitable for lumber.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports that this uptick in the timber business is helping with forest fire management.

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Open Spaces
4:36 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Reviving local saw mills could limit fire danger in the Rocky Mountain Region

Loggers from Saratoga Forest Management cut down Lodgepole and Ponderosa pine trees. The saw mill can use both live and beetle-killed trees to make two-by-fours.
Rebecca Martinez

Saw mills are re-opening in Wyoming and Colorado after a decade of being shuttered. They’re harvesting and processing trees that have been killed by beetle infestation.  Still, many are suitable for lumber.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports that this uptick in the timber business is helping with forest fire management.

(Firing up engine)

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Open Spaces
4:26 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Researchers try curbing West Nile with fish, to protect sage grouse

One of the main things that threatens sage grouse is human development and fragmentation of their habitat. But another big worry is West Nile Virus.

The disease is carried by mosquitoes, and researchers are now testing a new method for keeping mosquitoes in check. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with Brad Fedy, who’s leading the project. He says West Nile Virus is a major concern for sage grouse.

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Open Spaces
4:23 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Thriving trona industry could face threats from environmental regulations

FMC Corporation
Credit Lee James

Trona mining is a widely forgotten part of the state’s extraction industries. But in Sweetwater County, it’s a big deal. Just west of Green River, there’s a hidden labyrinth of tunnels far below I-80. And the industry is a major part of the county’s economy. But some worry that environmental issues could be a major burden for trona mining. Amanda Le Claire has more.

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Open Spaces
4:20 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Wilson resident authors Yellowstone and Grand Teton field guide

Kurt Johnson

Kurt Johnson of Wilson is the author of a new field guide for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with Johnson about the book. He says that while there were already a lot of field guides for those parks, he felt he could still add something.

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Open Spaces
4:17 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Albany County authorities train together to take on an active shooter

University of Wyoming Police hosted a three-day active shooter training session in the Classroom Building. The purpose was to train law enforcement agencies from across Albany County to collaboratively handle someone who is killing, or trying to kill, people in a confined and populated area.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

Ever since the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, law enforcement agencies across Wyoming have been have been preparing for how they might handle an active shooter situation.  

This summer, authorities from agencies across Albany County gathered in Laramie for some high intensity training… together. Rebecca Martinez reports.

OFFICER: Come out with your hands up.

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Open Spaces
4:14 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

WYOMING STORIES: Former Heart Mountain internees remember life at the camp

View of Heart Mountain from the former internment camp
Credit Willow Belden

During World War II, thousands of Japanese Americans were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, near Cody. Heart Mountain was one of 10 internment camps across the U.S.

There is now a museum on the site, and each year, the Heart Mountain Foundation hosts a pilgrimage. During this year’s pilgrimage, Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden sat down with several former internees and produced this piece.

Click here to listen to other pieces in our Wyoming Stories series.

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Open Spaces
4:09 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Conservationist walks from Mexico to Canada to promote habitat preservation

Erik Molvar

John Davis is a conservationist and co-founder of the Wildlands Network conservation organization. He’s currently on a 5,000 mile international route from Mexico, through the Western US, and up to Canada, mostly on foot. He’s working with various environmental groups as he makes his way across North America. The idea is to promote an international, continuous area where wildlife can move freely. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov caught up with Davis as he made his way across the Red Desert.

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Open Spaces
4:06 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Laramie’s multiplying rabbits: what’s to blame?

Credit Larry D. Moore

Laramie residents have been noticing more rabbits than usual in town this year. Some experts say it’s because there are fewer predators, but others aren’t so sure. Wyoming Public Radio’s Chelsea Biondolillo reports.

CHELSEA BIONDOLILLO: Melissa Gelwicks has had a backyard garden next to Undine Park for about 7 years. She grows everything from squashes and herbs to cabbages, beets and greens. She’s used to rabbits frequenting her garden, but this year there seem to be more of them.

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Open Spaces
4:02 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

July 19th, 2013

National Republican Party Supports Enzi over Cheney

This week Wyoming’s senior senator, Mike Enzi, was surprised to learn he’ll be facing off against Liz Cheney in what’s expected to be one of the most heated Republican primaries in the nation. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that right now, the Republican Party is wrapping its arms around Enzi.

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Open Spaces
3:55 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

National Republican Party Supports Enzi over Cheney

Wyoming’s senior senator, Mike Enzi

This week Wyoming’s senior senator, Mike Enzi, was surprised to learn he’ll be facing off against Liz Cheney in what’s expected to be one of the most heated Republican primaries in the nation. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that right now, the Republican Party is wrapping its arms around Enzi. 

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Open Spaces
3:51 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Wyoming Department of Health administrator discusses Affordable Care Act changes

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, a number of things are changing concerning Medicaid in Wyoming.  Jan Stahl is the eligibility and operations administrator for the Wyoming Department of Health.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck spoke with Stahl, who says the changes will take place January first.

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Open Spaces
3:48 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Gov. Mead speaks about the Pavillion water study, state revenues, doctors in the state, and more

Governor Matt Mead

Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov caught up with Governor Matt Mead to check in about some big changes in the state in the coming months. Her first question was about the Environmental Protection Agency’s report on contaminated water in Pavillion and the state’s takeover of the study.

Though the entities involved in the study have previously expressed skepticism over the EPA’s findings, Governor Mead says he has no doubts that the state’s study will be unbiased.

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Open Spaces
3:44 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

A blind lawyer and athlete will share his story with Jackson’s Jewish community

Attorney Richard Bernstein

Richard Bernstein is an attorney and triathlete who was born blind. He represents disabled clients pro-bono at his family’s law firm outside Detroit, and is an adjunct professor at Michigan State University.

He’s speaking his weekend at the Chabad Jewish Center of Wyoming in Jackson Hole. Bernstein’s talk, called “Vision is Overrated: A Blind Attorney and Athlete” is part of the Chabad Center’s “Distinguished Lecture Series.” He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez from his cell phone in Yellowstone National Park.

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Open Spaces
3:41 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Wyoming Education reforms move forward as the Hill debate continues

Unless you are new to the state or have lived under a rock, you are aware that the state legislature passed a law that changed the powers of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and placed a Director in charge of Education.  Now lawmakers are investing a report that suggests possible wrong doing by Superintendent Cindy Hill…charges she denies.  It might lead people to worry about education in the state.  But lawmakers want you to know that they continue to try and make change for the better.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has the story…

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Open Spaces
3:37 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Wyoming author recounts memories of nine winters in Yellowstone

Although millions of visitors will flock to Yellowstone National Park this summer, Atlantic City-based author and journalist Marjane Ambler is one of the few people who’s lived there when the park is buried in snow.

The former High Country news editor lived with her husband – who drove a snow plow – inside Yellowstone for nine winters during the 1980s and 90s. In her new book, “Yellowstone has Teeth,” Ambler recounts stories of terror and wonder during her time there. She talks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez in the studio.

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Open Spaces
3:35 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Wyoming ranching families look to old traditions for modern brandings

The grazing land of Wyoming is currently filled with young calves out to pasture. Calving season lasts through the spring and early summer in Wyoming and once the calves are born ranchers have to brand them to identify which ranch they belong to. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov attended a branding and found that in the 21st Century, some ranchers are happily keeping up old, social customs during their brandings.

IRINA ZHOROV: Scott Sims’ ranch in the Rock Creek Valley in Southeast Wyoming branded a batch of their calves at the end of June.

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Open Spaces
3:24 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Essay: “There’s Nothing Wilder” by Jessie Veeder

Jessie Veeder
Credit prx.org

Writer, musician, and photographer Jessie Veeder reads her essay about visiting a ranch in North Dakota, “There’s Nothing Wilder.”

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Open Spaces
3:14 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

$5 million budget cut concerns Game and Fish supporters

Credit Bob Beck

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved nearly five million dollars in budget cuts that were necessary after the legislature failed to approved an increase in game and fish license fees.  The department is funded 80 percent by license fees and was already dealing with a deficit when the fee hikes were voted down.  But lawmakers wanted the Game and Fish Department to be more efficient.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.

BOB BECK:    The cuts were approved at a recent Game and Fish Commission meeting in Saratoga and many were unhappy. 

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Open Spaces
3:10 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

New homelessness coordinator takes first steps in creating long-term homelessness plan

Brenda Lyttle

Governor Matt Mead is hoping to create a ten-year plan to address homelessness in Wyoming. As a first step in the process, the Department of Family Services has appointed a homelessness coordinator. Her name is Brenda Lyttle.

Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with her. Lyttle says her first task will be to identify what services are already available to homeless individuals in different communities in Wyoming.

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Open Spaces
3:07 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

UW Field Court to teach students about historical, religious importance of Heart Mountain

This month, the University of Wyoming will host a field course where students will explore the geographic, historical and religious significance of Heart Mountain in northern Wyoming.

Two educators will split the teaching of the course, one focusing on history, and the other on religion. The latter, Mary Keller, is a historian of religions and a lecturer at U-W. She spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez from the Big Horn Radio Network in Cody about what makes Heart Mountain so special.

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Open Spaces
3:00 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Rail transport opens new markets for oil, but draws criticism from some local communities

Rancher Tom Wilson stands at his property line, watching work proceed at the site where the oil loading station will be located.
Credit Willow Belden

A facility is slated to be built in the town of Fort Laramie that would load oil onto rail cars. Assuming the project gets the necessary permits from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, it’s expected to be completed by the end of the year. Transporting oil by train is becoming increasingly popular, and experts say this facility and others like it will help the energy industry thrive. But local residents fear that a new industrial site could bring problems to their community. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
2:53 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Rock Springs still working to fix sink holes created decades ago by coal mines

John Marushak, in his house on D Street in 1967
Credit Johnson and Fermelia Co., Inc.

More than 50 years ago residents of Rock Springs were shocked to learn that many of their houses, schools, and churches were in danger. The coal mines built underneath the town were beginning to collapse due to neglect and some environmental factors. It’s called subsidence and it’s happening in older mining towns all over the West. Wyoming Public Radio’s Amanda Le Claire has more on how the city is dealing with the problem now.

Ambient driving noise

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Open Spaces
2:49 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Author of Traveling the Power Line talks about her journey in energy self-education

Julianne Couch is the author of Traveling the Power Line, a book about the many energy sources we tap into for our power needs – from oil and gas, to wind, to solar and uranium.

Couch teaches at the University of Wyoming and has also written Jukeboxes and Jackalopes: A Wyoming Bar Journey and Waking Up Western: Collected Essays. She now lives in Iowa but stopped by the studio to talk to Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov about her book.

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Open Spaces
2:44 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Miss Indian America winners reunite in Sheridan

Vivian Arviso's future husband first saw her when she appeared as Miss Indian America in the parade at All American Indian Days in Sheridan, Wyo. in 1961.
Credit Lenz Collection, Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library Wyoming Room

The Sheridan WYO Rodeo in will host the return of some special guests this year. The Miss Indian America pageant was held during the rodeo from 1953 until 1984 and several past winners will reunite this weekend.

ARCHIVAL TAPE: [Drumming] There’s a town out west where the eye can stretch over the plains from mesa to mountains, where the heart warms in the sunshine of friends and the townspeople can see buffalo from their own backyards. Such a place is Sheridan Wyoming!  

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Open Spaces
2:34 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

UPSTARTS: “Fear No Chocolate,” The Meeteetse Chocolatier known for his story and original flavors

Rancher Tim Kellogg uses a variety of local ingredients, including huckleberries, Wyoming Whiskey, and homemade pine needle extract at his chocolate shot. The Meeteetse Chocolatier is celebrating his ninth year in business this month.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

Rancher and former saddle bronc rider, Tim Kellogg of Meeteetse, began selling homemade chocolates on weekends to bankroll his rodeo passion in 2004. Known by many as the “Meeteetse Chocolatier,” Kellogg now runs a shop on the little town’s main street seven days a week, drawing locals and tourists back again and again for his rich and creative flavor pairings. Rebecca Martinez interviewed him and produced this piece.

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