Wyoming’s quiet, wild spaces attract adventurers from near and far, but we also hear frequently about adventures gone wrong. Throughout the Mountain West, we hear stories of people who go missing.
By day, Scott Hammond is a management professor at Utah State University, but in his free time, he is a volunteer search-and-rescuer with Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs. Hammond’s spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez about his new book “Lessons of the Lost,” which details his experiences with the search and rescue organization.
Following World War I, veterans were offered land in Wyoming. Laurie Quade's grandfather was one of the veterans who started a Wyoming homestead. Now living in Cody, Laurie remembers the home her grandfather built in Torrington.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service is trying to reduce energy consumption on farms in Laramie County.
Jim Pike is the district conservationist for the NRCS. He says many farms in the area have old, inefficient irrigation equipment that uses so much power it can overload the electrical grid.
“In 2012, the rural electric company had to bring portable, truck-mounted generators that were powered by diesel motors to generate additional electricity because they couldn’t keep up with it in their normal infrastructure,” Pike said.
A high-voltage transmission line, known as Gateway West, has been approved by the Department of the Interior. The power line will stretch 900 miles across Wyoming and into western Idaho and will transport renewable and conventionally-derived energy.
The federal rule on hydraulic fracturing proposed by the Bureau of Land Management came under fire today from state and industry representatives at an energy law conference. The regulations establish nationwide standards for cementing wells and disclosure of chemicals used in fracking fluids.
Wyoming already has regulations in place for fracking and industry representatives say a federal rule would kowtow to environmental groups, infringe on states’ ability to control their water supply, and wear away states’ rights.
A young Wyoming archaeologist has discovered several more prehistoric villages in the Wind River Range, bringing the total up to 19 confirmed villages at the high altitude archaeology site known as High Rise Village. His findings are being published in an upcoming scientific journal article.
Matt Stirn was a 20-year-old undergraduate when he developed a model to predict the whereabouts of new lodge sites in the Wind River Range. Richard Adams was his supervisor. He says Stirn was 13-years-old when he began volunteering on Adam’s crew at High Rise Village.
Conservationists are relieved that migrating animals are using the recently-built overpasses on U-S Highway 191 near Pinedale. The highway cuts across major wildlife migration routes, and vehicle collisions with animals have been a problem in the area for years.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation finished six underpasses and two overpasses for the wildlife last year, inspired by similar structures in Banff National Park. They were the first ever built for pronghorn antelope, which can't jump roadside fences, and they avoid enclosed spaces.
The main revenue forecasting arm for the state of Wyoming called 2013 a solid year economically. Thanks to investments it means the state raised almost 350 million dollars over projections. But the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group or CREG says while this is great news, problems may be on the horizon. The legislative committee tasked with developing the state’s budget wants to be cautious. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports…
Converse County is one of six counties in Wyoming with no land use regulations. When a proposal to develop zoning came up a decade ago, it went nowhere. But as development associated with the oil and gas boom in the Niobrara explodes, the county is struggling with questions of how to make sure it happens responsibly. And as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, some residents are starting to question the costs of not planning.
In her nine years as Superintendent of Grand Teton National Park, Mary Gibson Scott has overseen a number of park improvements from Transportation to a new Visitors Center. But issues from funding for Parks to protecting wildlife continue to be a concern. Gibson Scott retires this weekend, so we asked her about a few key issues, such as reforming the Endangered Species Act.
For Veteran’s Day we have a StoryCorps segment of veteran Ted Gostas telling his wife Jody Gostas about being taken as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War and his years in solitary confinement. Gostas remained a P-O-W for 5 years, 5 months, and 15 days. Of those captured in Northern Vietnam, he was one of only four POWs to stay in solitary confinement for more than four years.
In our occasional “Upstarts” series, we’re going to visit a company called Snowy Range Instruments. It’s based in Laramie, and it makes devices that can identify mystery substances. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
WILLOW BELDEN: In a large warehouse-like room, Tony Eads sits hunched over a workbench. He’s holding a soldering iron, and working on the control board for a high-tech instrument. At this stage, the device looks kind of like what you might see if you took apart a computer: basically, a green board with a maze of tiny copper-colored components.
Several times a year, Laramie hosts square dances that attract dancers from hundreds of miles around. Part of the draw is the hall, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Wyoming Public Radio's Micah Schweizer has a postcard from Laramie's Quadra Dangle Square Dance Club.
Department of Corrections Director Bob Lampert is asking lawmakers to support some proposed prison reforms. He told the Joint Judiciary Committee that Wyoming has one of the most successful correction systems in the nation in terms of its rate of return to prison.
Wyoming’s fourth and eighth grade students outperformed the national average in reading and mathscores in the National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAPE scores.
The test is administered every two years. Wyoming did especially well in 4th grade math where it improved by three points from 2011 and five points from 2009. State Education Director Rich Crandall is pleased.
Salt Lake City-based singer-songwriter Kate MacLeod has a new album coming out at the end of the year. At Ken Sanders Rare Books is a live collection of songs written over the past 30 years, all based on books. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer spoke with Kate MacLeod about the new record and her Wyoming-inspired songs.
Encana broke ground today on a treatment facility for produced water -- the contaminated water that's pulled up along with oil in the drilling process. The Neptune Water Treatment Facility will sit outside of Casper and serve the Moneta Divide field, which currently has about 300 wells but could eventually have more than 4-thousand. The facility will treat some of the produced water from current wells. A controversial plan to inject wastewater into the Madison Aquifer is another water disposal method Encana plans to use in the field.
The Legislature’s Joint Health and Labor Committee took no action on three bills that would address expanding Medicaid Services in the state.
The committee will vote on the legislation in January, although a pilot project that would provide Medicaid expansion on the Wind River Reservation was assigned to another committee that deals with Native American issues.
Wyoming’s newest uranium mine is on the cusp of receiving permits from the federal government.
The Bureau of Land Management released a final environmental impact statement for the proposed Gas Hills Uranium Mine last week. The mine would be located roughly 45 miles east of Riverton, and would supply the Smith Ranch-Highland production facility in Converse County.
Cameco Resources is proposing in-situ mining for the Gas Hills project. That involves using underground chemical washing to extract the uranium.
Born and raised in Sandpoint Idaho, identical twins Katelyn and Laurie Shook make up the Indie Folk-Pop bandShook Twins. They now reside in Portland, Oregon. Kyle Volkman and Niko Daoussis form the core quartet.
With continued weak prices for coal, one of Wyoming’s largest coal companies is planning to reduce production.
During a meeting with investors to discuss third quarter results, Cloud Peak CEO Colin Marshall said the company is looking to cut 10 million tons at the Cordero Rojo mine near Gillette in 2015. That’s roughly 10 percent of the company’s overall production in the Powder River Basin.
Marshall said the plan won’t change unless prices rebound significantly.
“We're going down until things change enough to make it worthwhile going up.”
Nicole Riner is a recitalist, clinician, and freelance flutist. She teaches at the University of Wyoming. Composer Katherine Hoover, who wrote ‘Winter Spirits’, is known for evoking Native American flute sounds in her flute pieces.
Warm weather tourist traffic is winding down in Yellowstone National Park, and they’re getting ready for winter tourists. The National Park Services bans over-snow vehicles in all national parks, unless individual parks pass rules permitting and regulating them.
The Continental Divide Trail is a hiking path that runs from Canada to Mexico, along the great divide. It’s more than 3,000 miles long, and only a handful of people hike the whole thing in a single year. Marc Koeplin of Cheyenne is one of them.
He and his hiking partner finished the trail a few weeks ago, and joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden to talk about the trip. He says his first long-distance hike was the Appelachian Trail, which he did 12 years ago.
Nina McConigley is a lecturer in the University of Wyoming’s English Department. Her new book is a collection of short stories called Cowboys and East Indians.
Her book tells the stories of a variety of Indian characters living in Wyoming, and explores what, often, reads as an unusual combination. McConigley’s father is an Irish-born petroleum geologist, and her mother, Nimi McConigley, was the first Indian-born person to serve in the Wyoming Legislature. Nina tells Rebecca Martinez she grew up in Casper.
We’re going to hear now from a woman who was blind for the first 38 years of her life. At that point, a doctor told her he could make her see. After four surgeries, she finally gained her vision.
The woman’s name is Pat Logan, and we’ll hear a conversation she had with Dave Stratton, the chaplain for the Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly, in Cheyenne. The interview was recorded as part of StoryCorps, a project that records conversations between loved ones.
Hillery Lynn, Birgit Burke, and Pryce Taylor make up the local Laramie band Whiskey Slaps. Hillery has been playing guitar, singing and writing songs most of her life. Birgit has been writing songs, singing, and playing various musical instruments most of her life as well. Their songwriting, guitar playing and mandolin playing lift elements from 1920’s blues, old-time, Appalachian folk and country western. Pryce Taylor joins on electric and upright bass, grounding the songs with solid rhythm.