wyoming

News
5:14 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Pine Beetle Spread Slows Dramatically

The spread of mountain pine beetles is slowing in Wyoming, according to a survey from the U.S. Forest Service.

Beetles killed 180,000 new acres of trees in 2012, but only 82,000 acres in 2013.

The Forest Service’s Aaron Voos says it’s not surprising.

“They’ve kind of eaten themselves out of house and home,” Voos said. “All of the trees that were susceptible to attack … have been either eaten and are now dead and dying, or they were able to fend off the epidemic and have developed some sort of resiliency.”

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News
4:54 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

EPA Puts Hold On Wind River Border Decision

The Environmental Protection Agency has decided to put a hold on its decision to grant the tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation status as a state for the purpose of air monitoring.

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Single Shot Live
4:48 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Doug Balmain: Home

Credit Anna Rader

Wyoming singer-songwriter Doug Balmain blends  genres from Americana, rock, blues, to red dirt country. With a personal fusion of styles and honest lyrics, Doug performs his tune "Home" at the Wyoming Public Media studios.

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Legislative
5:56 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Legislature Kills High Profile Bills

Wyoming lawmakers killed a number of high profile bills Tuesday that failed to meet the requirement that legislation receive two-thirds support before it can be considered. 

One of those bills would have decriminalized marijuana.  Casper Representative Steve Harshman strongly opposed the bill. 

"What’s going on south of us with an all cash business, and with cartels moving in, this is a real serious issue," Harshman said. "I’d vote no on this, I’d say no on this, I’d send the right message to our kids. "

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Legislative
3:56 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Mead Calls State Strong, Pushes Water Policy

Governor Matt Mead said that Wyoming is strong and getting stronger.  During his annual State of the State address before the legislature, Mead urged lawmakers to invest in Wyoming.

"This investment should include increased support for local government, funding to complete a unified network, increased funding for school and courtroom security, for the elderly and those with developmental disabilities and for upgrading state institutions and facilities.  Pay raises for teachers,UW, and other state employees."

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News
5:16 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Michigan Musher Shares His Obsession With Wyoming Sled-Dog Racing

www.magnussonracing.com/blog/

Sixteen sled dog teams are racing more than 300 miles this week across western Wyoming and neighboring states. This is the nineteenth year for the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race. This weekend is the end of the 8-day race that started in Jackson and finished in Evanston. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington caught up with one of the racers, Bruce Magnusson.

CROWD: Go dogs, go!

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Open Spaces
4:33 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Federal Courts’ Distance From Wind River Reservation A Hardship

Federal Court House in Cheyenne.

Major crimes committed on the Wind River Indian Reservation end up in federal court. But federal courthouses in Wyoming are really far from the reservation, which leads to logistical, constitutional, and social problems. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.  

IRINA ZHOROV: John Crispin’s son was murdered in 2011. He told me about it on a snowy night in the parking lot of a convenience store in Ethete, Wyoming, on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

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Open Spaces
4:25 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Author Blames Drugs For Matthew Shepard Murder

The common story behind the murder of Matthew Shepard is that he was targeted in Laramie’s fireside bar because he was gay and was the victim of a robbery.  Law enforcement authorities say that Shepard was driven to the edge of Laramie and tied to a fence by Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney. 

He was then pistol whipped and left for dead.  But for years some say there was more to the crime then that and author Steve Jimenez has explored those rumors.  His book called “The Book of Matt.  Hidden Truths about the murder of Matthew Shepard” paints a different narrative.

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Open Spaces
4:22 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Law Professor Discusses Report Claiming Federal Coal Lease System ‘Out Of Date’

Mark Squillace
Credit colorado.edu

The Government Accountability Office released a report earlier this week that outlined problems in the federal coal leasing system. The report called the Bureau of Land Management’s process ‘out of date.’

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Open Spaces
4:16 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid To Be Featured On American Experience

Credit Courtesy of PBS

On Tuesday the latest PBS American Experience will explore the lives of the famous western Outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Writer and Director John Maggio looks closely into their lives.

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Open Spaces
4:08 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Outdoor Enthusiasts Lock Horns Over Emerging Sport Of Snow Biking

Bikers take off on the first ever snow bike race in southeast Wyoming.
Credit Willow Belden

If you’ve been out snow shoeing or cross country skiing this winter, you may have noticed bicycle tire marks on the trails. That’s because of a new sport called snow biking. It’s gaining popularity fast, and cyclists and bike shops are thrilled. But some skiers feel the bikes present safety risks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Features and Interviews
3:42 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

A personal conversation with Wyoming Governor Matt Mead

Governor Matt Mead talks about his Jackson roots, family influences as the grandson of  Senator Cliff Hansen and life in the governors mansion. His conversation is light-hearted as he talks about his Mom and her run for governor in 1990, how he met his wife, Carol and raising their two children.

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Single Shot Live
2:32 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Melanie Devaney: Greenville

Credit Paul Montoya

LA-based singer-songwriter Melanie Devaney’s heart-felt music draws inspiration from her travels.

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Wyoming Stories
1:14 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Wyoming Stories Podcast #4

Stories from Jackson Hole about historic skiing, an indestructible skirt, and overcoming obstacles.

Subscribe to the Wyoming Stories podcast here.

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News
7:47 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Mead Says Wyoming's Energy Future Must Balance Economy And Environment

Governor Matt Mead

Governor Matt Mead and other elected officials made the case during a Jackson forum Wednesday that Wyoming's future depends on energy. They said that tapping state's energy resources, from coal to natural gas, is what pays the bills when it comes to building schools and other vital infrastructure.

But the governor said that doesn't mean producing energy should come at the cost of the environment. And that impressed Paul Hansen, who moderated
the forum.

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News
2:29 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Wyoming Senators Unimpressed With Obama's Plans

Wyoming Republicans aren’t too happy with the vision President Obama laid out in his State of the Union address.  The President laid out an ambitious agenda. He wants to invest to increase the minimum wage, spur investments in infrastructure, and continue taking steps to address climate change.

Democrats are cheering on that agenda while Republicans are bristling because the president says he’ll use executive orders whenever possible to bypass G-O-P opposition. Senator John Barrasso says the president missed an opportunity to reach across the aisle.

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Single Shot Live
2:28 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

BeatGrass: Everlasting Home

Credit Anna Rader

We were saddened to hear that BeatGrass banjo-picker Pete Mergard passed away last week. Here’s a song from the Cheyenne-based band’s December 2013 visit to the WPM studios.

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Open Spaces
4:26 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Author Discusses America’s First Everest Expedition

Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with author Brot Coburn. He lives in Wilson, and his book “The Vast Unknown” is about America’s first expedition up Mount Everest. Coburn says many of the members of the expedition honed their climbing skills in Wyoming.

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Open Spaces
4:22 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

A New Book Of Family Letters Looks At Wyoming Living In The Early 1900s

Cathy Healy
Credit Chris Windhauser

An Improbable Pioneer is a collection of letters by Edith Sampson Holden Healy. Edith was from a prominent Boston family, but moved to Wyoming in 1911 after she married a sheep rancher from the state. The letters describe daily life in Wyoming in the early 1900s. The book was edited by Edith’s granddaughter, Cathy Healy, who’s a writer and editor. It’s the first imprint of the Washakie Museum’s Legacy Collection, which is an initiative that hopes to encourage the preservation of family archives.

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Arts
9:20 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Cowgirl In A Bluegrass Band: Della Mae's Wyoming Connection

A bluegrass band with Wyoming connections will be holding its breath at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. That’s because Della Mae’s recording ‘This World Oft Can Be’ is up for Best Bluegrass Album. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer reports.

MICAH SCHWEIZER: Late last year, late at night, the band was on the road in Tennessee when they heard the news. Shelby Means, who plays bass and sings harmony, says the band was packed into a van with their soundman at the wheel.

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Open Spaces
5:27 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

DEQ Director Todd Parfitt Says Agency Following Its Missions To “Protect, Conserve And Enhance”

Todd Parfitt

We start off today’s show with a look at the agency that’s in charge of protecting the environment in Wyoming. Many of our reporting in the past has led us to conversations with angry landowners, and folks who have concerns about industry’s effects on the environment and human health.

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Open Spaces
5:07 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Wyoming’s Little Talked About Pollution Source: Trona Mines

FMC

Wyoming’s biggest export is soda ash, which comes from trona mines in Sweetwater County. Last year, the trona industry produced 17 million tons of soda ash for which the state received nearly $90 million in various taxes and royalties. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov report, the industry has a dirty side, too. 

IRINA ZHOROV: Wyoming is used to superlatives. The biggest coal bed, the largest mine, the most wind! Here’s another:

[VIDEO PLAYING: The silver retreats of Wyoming, USA is home to the largest reserve of trona. ]

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Open Spaces
5:02 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Wyoming Doesn’t Often Fine Industry For Spills

Credit Credit Wyoming Associated Press

Wyoming regulators recorded hundreds of spills by the oil and gas industry last year, but issued just a handful of fines. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, that’s actually not unusual.

STEPHANIE JOYCE: ‘Genie McMullan knows when there’s been an oil spill from the production wells on her goat farm in the Big Horn Basin.

'GENIE McMULLAN: When there’s a spill there’s a sharp smell, it’s a burning smell to my senses, my nose, my eyes, my lungs.

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Open Spaces
4:58 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Economist Discusses Whether Regulations Scare Off Industry

Credit University of Wyoming

For many years, Wyoming lawmakers have been reluctant to impose new regulations on industry.  At the national level, the congressional delegation has been highly critical anytime the Environmental Protection Agency proposes new regulations on energy production, saying that it costs jobs. 

State leaders have echoed those statements, and over the years many legislators have even expressed concern about adding staff to the Department of Environmental Quality, fearing that it could lead to over regulation. 

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Open Spaces
4:54 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Wyoming Works With Companies To Clean Up Contamination

Evanston Chamber of Commerce
Credit Evanston Chamber of Commerce

There are a number of contaminated sites across the state that are expensive to clean up.  The contamination comes from a variety of sources including industrial sites and businesses that use chemicals. 

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News
10:28 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Representative Sue Wallis may pursue full marijuana legalization

Representative Sue Wallis has drafted a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Wyoming. She’s even considering revising it to include recreational marijuana, as well. Wallis toured facilities in Colorado where recreational marijuana is packaged and labeled and says she was impressed with how smoothly everything is going. 

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Wyoming Stories
11:02 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Making A Difference In The Lives Of Students

Teffany Fegler
Credit Micah Schweizer

Teffany Fegler coordinates the University of Wyoming’s  Student Educational Opportunity Center in Ethete, WY. The daughter of two educators, she continues her family's legacy by helping students achieve the dream of going to college.

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Wyoming Stories
3:17 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Well-known Wyoming newspaper columnist writes and talks about the wonders of Wyoming

Bill Sniffen

Bill Sniffin is a journalist and entrepreneur who has lived in Wyoming for 42 years.  He has received acclaim far and wide for his work.  In his newest book, Wyoming's 7 Greatest Natural Wonders, we discover his love affair with Wyoming's many fascinating places he set out to discover.

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Topic of the Week
12:32 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

What infrastructure projects should be among the top priorities for Wyoming?

What infrastructure projects should be among the top priorities for Wyoming?

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

Wyoming Stories
1:47 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Pam Spencer-Hockett Recaptures The Pioneer Spirit

Pam Spencer-Hockett
Credit Micah Schweizer

Pam Spencer-Hockett was one of Wyoming's first woman architects. The cabin she built with her husband in Atlantic City ties into her family's pioneer heritage.

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