Melodie Edwards

Reporter

Phone: 307-766-2405
Email: medward9@uwyo.edu   

Melodie Edwards covers a wide variety of Wyoming topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture. She is currently working on a civil discourse project called, “I Respectfully Disagree,” interviewing people in the state who are modeling how people find compromise to make change. She is the recipient of a national PRNDI award for her investigation of the reservation housing crisis and several regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, two for "best use of sound."

Melodie grew up in Walden, Colorado where her father worked in the oilfield and timber industries and her mother was the editor of the Jackson County Star. She graduated with an MFA from the University of Michigan on a Colby Fellowship and received two Hopwood Awards there for fiction and nonfiction. She is the recipient of the Doubleday Wyoming Arts Council Award for Women and is the author of Hikes Around Fort Collins published by Pruett Publishing. Melodie and her husband own Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse. She also loves to putz in the garden, and hike and ski in the mountains with her daughters and her dad.

Ways to Connect

USFWS Mountain-Prairie

The federal government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding document, agreeing to support efforts to develop tourism opportunities in Indian Country. 

Julie Heggie

Matthew Shepard's murder was a shock to everyone in the city of Laramie…but especially to gay and lesbian couples living there. One couple was especially close to the crime. Julie Heggie was the county coroner and attended Matthew Shepard’s autopsy. Her partner at the time was Gayle Woodsum, a victim's advocate. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down with them to remember when Heggie got a strange phone call at three in the morning. She says it was the only time in her long career that she ever got a call concerning someone who hadn't died yet.

Novelist Alyson Hagy has been a professor at the University of Wyoming for 20 years and her last three novels were set in a realistic American West. But for her eighth novel, Scribe, Hagy ventures into very new territory, a dystopia in the Blue Ridge Mountain of Virginia, an area where Hagy spent her childhood. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards asked Hagy where the inspiration for such a radical new direction came from. Hagy says it all started on a visit home.

Piikani National Administration

Native American tribes are celebrating the decision by a U.S. district court judge to re-list the Yellowstone grizzly bear as threatened. Numerous tribes sued the federal government to stop the de-listing and over 200 U.S. and Canadian tribes signed a grizzly bear treaty to protect the species. Blackfeet member Tom Rodgers is an advisor for the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders. He said efforts to protect the grizzly galvanized tribes around the world.

In numerous counties around Wyoming, collaborative committees are meeting to try to decide what to recommend the U.S. Congress do with dozens of wilderness study areas that have been stuck in limbo for over 40 years. These areas lack the permanent protections of wilderness but are also closed to most kinds of recreation or development.

Jimbo Stevenson

Bull elk keep their antlers for a significantly longer time than moose or deer, and new research shows that might be to help protect them from predators. 

RyanFire2018

Dry hot winds caused two large fires burning in the state to grow over the weekend. The Ryan Fire on the Colorado-Wyoming border is now over 19,000 acres and 30 percent contained. No homes have been lost there. A little rain fell on it Sunday and Monday, but temperatures are expected to remain high through the week. Archery hunters should check with the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest about closures.

Public Domain / Max Pixel

Yellowstone is showing signs of the effects of climate change, according to a "Vital Signs" report by the Yellowstone Center for Resources. Greater Yellowstone Network Program Manager Kristin Legg said the Lamar Valley is now seeing an increase in the invasive species cheatgrass, even though most scientists didn’t think it would invade that high in elevation. Legg said this could lead to more fires in higher elevations. And she said years with more rain and snow isn’t necessarily helping.

Sybille Research and Visitor Center

A U.S. district court has decided to end a long-term permit for an elk feeding ground in the Bridger Teton National Forest in northwest Wyoming, saying the agency did not do enough to analyze the risk of chronic wasting disease to animals there.

Last winter, the Uinta County School Board voted to allow teachers and staff to carry guns in schools. But now a judge has blocked that decision, saying the school board didn’t follow Wyoming’s rules for policymaking under the Wyoming Administrative Procedures Act. Sweetwater County Judge Nena James ruled last week the board should have posted the proposal 45 days before voting on it.

Melodie Edwards

A Tour Of Rawlins

Longtime Rawlins city councilor and former mayor DeBari Martinez gives me a tour around town in his truck. He points out all the Latino-owned businesses we pass: a flower shop, a photographer's studio, a steakhouse.

Norman M

At a legislative meeting in Laramie last week, ranchers called to abandon efforts to introduce the endangered black-footed ferret in Thunder Basin National Grasslands. The ferret’s need a healthy population of its primary food, the prairie dog, but ranchers say too many prairie dogs would compete with livestock for grasses. 

IMDb

The independent film Neither Wolf Nor Dog is set to screen in Jackson this week. Set in Indian Country, it showcases Native actors and explores the history of the Wounded Knee massacre.

Hogan Films

Mountain lion hunting season started September 1 but a new study by the wildlife conservation group, Panthera, shows that fewer mountain lion mothers and kittens would die if the hunting was moved back to December 1 instead. 


The University of Wyoming’s Haub School and the Ruckelshaus Institute recently celebrated 25 years of collaboration in solving problems concerning the environment, natural resources and energy issues. As part of the festivities, the school hosted a panel on civility with some of Wyoming’s most respected political figures: U.S. Senator Al Simpson, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kite, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director and State Senator John Turner and former Democratic Governor Mike Sullivan.

Wyoming Rapid Response Network

An immigrant advocacy organization in Wyoming has joined forces with another in Colorado to create what they’re calling a Rapid Response Network. The groups plan to work across state lines to provide legal services, discrimination reporting and other aid to the region’s immigrants.

Northern Arapaho Tribe

Legislators learned about innovations at the Northern Arapaho Tribe’s health clinic when they gathered in Fort Washakie for a tribal relations committee meeting this week. The tribe took over its health clinic from the federal government back in 2016 in hopes of addressing health disparities they struggle with among their members.

Feeding Laramie Valley

Albany County struggles more than others in the state with hunger and access to healthy food. That’s why a group of AmeriCorps volunteers came to Laramie, to help grow vegetables and deliver them to food banks and soup kitchens in the community. Haley Ammons grew up in Michigan and is considering the idea of pursuing a career working with nonprofits. She said planting crops and harvesting produce for the organization Feeding Laramie Valley is helping her figure that out.

Todd A. Surovell

University of Wyoming anthropologists are putting out a call out for help looking for a lost mammoth. How do you lose a six-ton extinct animal that lived 13,000 years ago? Well, you find a few of its bones but lose track over the decades of exactly where they were found. But now some clues have come to the surface. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards sat down with the University of Wyoming anthropology professor Todd Surovell, the detective trying to put all the clues together. 

St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

A new campaign called “End Family Fire” is working to educate people about the 4.6 million kids that live in homes with loaded and unlocked guns. The Brady Campaign is taking out advertisements on TV, in newspapers and online to teach people how to talk openly about safety and how to store their guns properly.

Albany County community leaders took a sigh of relief Tuesday night when a sixth penny tax, also known as a special purpose excise tax, passed by a wide margin there. 

barrasso.senate.gov

Wyoming’s incumbent U.S. Senator John Barrasso beat out his closest rival with 60 percent of the vote to win the Republican nomination. Investor Dave Dodson took roughly 30 percent even though he poured a million dollars into his own campaign. Barrasso said he came out victorious because Wyomingites gave him credit for the positive direction of the economy.

City of Laramie

Community leaders in Albany County have fingers crossed that voters will agree to renew a sixth penny tax. What's also referred to as a special purpose excise tax would pay for a host of infrastructure needs. Numerous counties also use such a tax in the state. 

Wyoming Humanities Council

For years, Wind River’s tribal advocates have suggested that Wyoming kids lack access to authentic education about the state’s Native American heritage. Some said that has led to insensitive or even racist encounters when tribal sports teams travel to other school districts.

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