In the next half century, scientists are predicting more extreme weather for Wyoming with bigger winter storms and hotter, dryer summers. That’s according to the latest National Climate Assessment out this month. Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers are skeptical about climate change, but some of them have been forced to adjust their methods of production.
Sixty years ago a group of women in Casper whose husbands were always leaving them for long shifts out on the oil patch got together to commiserate and lunch. The group became known as the Geowives - wives of geologists - and it’s celebrating its diamond anniversary this spring. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov attended the Geowives’ monthly luncheon and has this story.
IRINA ZHOROV: Bette Faust is one of the charter members of the Geowives, and a Wyoming native who came to Casper in the 1950s.
The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation - including here at home - if action isn’t taken to combat climate change. But Matt Laslo reports from Washington that Wyoming’s Republican senators still aren’t buying it.
The newly discovered abundance of domestic oil and gas is creating a shortage of something else: the petroleum engineers who regulate drilling activities. Government petroleum engineers approve companies’ drilling plans and inspect wells after they’re completed to make sure they’re not at risk of contaminating water or blowing out, but as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, there just aren’t enough petroleum engineers to go around.
As the Oil City Casper has seen its fate is closely tied with the energy industry and the recent boom in production is seeing Casper's population expand at an astounding rate. One thing not expanding fast enough however is affordable housing. Wyoming Public Radio's Jordan Giese reports.
JORDAN GIESE: Despite new commercial development one thing in Casper you'll struggle to find are for-sale and rent signs. With all the new energy work, people have poured into Casper, sometimes leaving little for the residents already there.
The Mountain West Conference Track and Field Championships are taking place in Laramie this weekend. Shot Putter and Discus thrower Mason Finley is certainly a headliner. While Finley wants to do well this weekend…he also has his eyes on some upcoming meets. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.
Author Tamara Linse grew up on ranch in northern Wyoming. She channels that experience in a new collection of short stories, ‘How to Be a Man.’ As Linse explains to Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer, the stories grew out of her own struggles with identity and gender.
On a routine winter patrol, Powder River Ranger District officials discovered over 100 trees carved with deep one-foot-sized arrows. District recreation staff member Craig Cope says very rarely has he seen such large-scale vandalizing of trees. And, he says, it was completely unnecessary.
“There’s much more minimum impact ways of route finding through the woods,” Cope says, “from G-P-S to the nylon ribbon flagging that you can put up temporarily and take down when you’re done.”
Gretchen Wheeler grew up in Nebraska and moved to Wyoming to teach in the Communications Department at Casper College. As a “non-native” Wyomingite, Gretchen shares her observations of the cultural differences between Wyoming and Nebraska.
WPM’s Ranch Breakfast show recently had a visit from the Grammy Award-winning bluegrass sextet the Steep Canyon Rangers. Here’s a live performance of an original song from their newest album, Tell The Ones I Love.
Wyoming is getting hotter and drier, according to the latest National Climate Assessment. The report says by mid-century, the number of extremely hot days Wyoming experiences will increase considerably.
Mark Shafer is with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey and was one of the lead authors of the report. He said that the impacts will be wide-ranging, from changes in growing seasons to stress on the region’s water supply.
Now until August 31, take a photo of you (and your friends) at a Wyoming music festival, use the hashtag #wyofest and post it to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. We'll collect all of the photos taken this summer and feature them on our website!
An effort to enhance Wyoming’s broadband effort and bring higher speed internet access to the state is moving forward. The Governor’s office announced that Advanced Communications Technology and CenturyLink have been awarded contacts to build out what is being called the Unified Network.
Mead said he’s excited about the opportunities it will open up for Wyoming.
The tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation run their own family services agencies, funded by the tribes themselves, federal grants and contracts with the state. But the Northern Arapaho Department of Family Services and the larger family welfare system on the reservation has some work to do.
Reviews over the years have pointed to big problems and some of them have gone years without being addressed effectively. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov has the story.
IRINA ZHOROV: 22-month Marcella Yellowbear died on July 2nd, 2004.
BOB BECK: When a crude oil train derailed and exploded in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia this week, it wasn’t the first or even the second time that’s happened this year. As growing domestic production of oil strains pipeline capacity, railroads have been picking up the slack. Crude-by-rail, as it’s known, has grown 500 percent since 2011. But a recent string of accidents has led to concern about its safety. Wyoming Public Radio energy reporter Stephanie Joyce joins us now to talk about how those concerns are playing out in Wyoming, and what’s being done about them.
Some of the best paying jobs in Wyoming are in the oil and gas industry, but only ten percent are held by women. Energy companies are trying to attract more women to fill open positions. But women who do want to enter the field for the higher-paying jobs face a lot of barriers. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards reports.
When there’s an energy boom, it usually brings an influx of workers into the area. And that leads to more demand for housing. That’s great for landlords who are looking to rent out their properties. But as some communities in Wyoming are finding, oil and gas drilling can actually be a problem for people who are looking to sell. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
WILLOW BELDEN: Rhonda Holdbrook owns a real estate firm in Douglas, and she’s exceptionally busy these days. Oil production in Converse County is booming, and energy workers have flocked to town.
Next week the U-S Senate is expected to have a debate on a bipartisan bill aimed at increasing energy efficiency in the U-S, but it could get derailed by an oil pipeline in the Midwest. Matt Laslo has the story from Washington on Wyoming Senator John Barrasso's role in the ongoing debate.
The Continental Divide Trail is a 3,000-mile path that stretches from Canada to Mexico, passing through Wyoming and several other states. It was designated a National Scenic Trail in the 1970s, meaning that a mile-wide corridor is protected, for the entire length of the trail.
But the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, which maintains the trail, says the trail still faces threats from nearby development. We’re joined now by the Coalition’s director, Teresa Martinez. She says protecting the trail’s view shed is particularly crucial in Wyoming.
Final numbers show that nearly 12-thousand Wyoming residents have signed up for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
The U-S Department of Health and Human Services says 93 percent of those who enrolled in Wyoming received financial assistance, which is the highest percentage in the nation.
Wyoming was also ahead of the national average in another category. Officials say that 29 percent of enrollees are in the 18 to 34 age group. Experts say it's those healthy, young people, who will help pay for the Affordable Care Act.
Last week, one of the nation’s largest suppliers of fracking chemicals said it would fully disclose the ingredients of its products. But Wyoming’s top oil and gas regulator says until he sees more information from Baker Hughes about the format of its disclosure, it’s hard to say whether it goes far enough to comply with Wyoming’s disclosure laws.