Natural Resources & Energy

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Fewer federal land workers are being threatened and assaulted on the job, according to a new analysis by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. 

Westerners in many states are using less water.  However that’s not the case in the Mountain West. In Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho, home usage went up; in Montana it stayed the same. Experts say these figures are based less on population growth and more on state water policies.

Separate bills are active in Congress to alternately strengthen or weaken the law used to create national monuments.

Cathalee La knows more about Idaho hummingbirds than your typical teenager.

 


Drought monitor outlook of Wyoming
Brian Fuchs / National Drought Mitigation Center

Wyoming is seeing slightly less drought now than this time last year, from 24 percent down to 20. But it’s still having an effect, especially since the state has experienced drought conditions for the last 20 years. Southern Wyoming is getting the worst of it, particularly in parts of Sweetwater and Carbon counties with abnormally dry conditions.

U.S. Senate committees will hold hearings this week on the Trump administration's plan to reorganize the government. It includes a department that manages millions of acres of public lands in our region.

mybighornbasin.com

Despite criticism, Yellowstone National Park is pushing forward on improving cell service in the park. The service improvement comes after Verizon Wireless applied to develop its five existing telecommunication sites in the park.

Caroline Ballard

The North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association, or NAWEOA , kicked off its annual conference in Cheyenne Monday.

Kimberly Fraser / USFWS via Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The third and final planned black-footed ferret release near Meeteetse will happen sometime this September.

A Wyoming toad about to be released
Cooper McKim / Wyoming Public Radio

A wildlife refuge near Laramie is expanding by nearly 600 acres. The Mortenson Lake National Wildlife Refuge is one home to reintroduction efforts of the endangered Wyoming toad, whose population crashed in the mid-1970s. The amphibians have since been brought back to the area where they are beginning to breed in the wild.

Four U.S. Senators are objecting to a program that teaches TV weathercasters about the science of climate change. As the Mountain West region deals with record high temperatures, that’s left meteorologists here figuring out how to report on the science of the weather.   

Pikas are fluffy mammals that live at high altitudes across the West. They squeak when danger nears. The squeaky fluff-balls are considered indicators of climate change because they’re so sensitive to heat. Scientists say they have found some of animals in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are behaving strangely.

Jessica Castillo Vardaro, a wildlife biologist with the University of California, Berkeley, studies pika genetics, a field that can involve some unusual data collection methods.

Yellowstone National Park

Hunters will be allowed to kill more wolves in Wyoming this fall. The state game and fish commission voted to increase Wyoming’s wolf hunt by 14 animals up to 58 total this year. That’s after determining that there are more wolves in the state than previously thought. 

Bureau of Land Management

Earlier this year, Federal Officials in Utah posted the confidential location and description of about 900 artifacts - by mistake. Reveal News reported the Bureau of Land Management’s error this week. Now archaeologists are worried that these artifacts are now vulnerable to looters.  

Wyoming Wildlife Federation


It will soon be impossible to get oil and gas leases on 24,000 acres of the Wyoming Range. Conservation non-profit the Trust for Public Land bought out existing leases within the Wyoming Range to maintain the area for wildlife and recreation. It’s the second time the groups have done this in the western part of the state – bringing the total number of retired acres by the trust to 80,000. Chris Deming, a project manager with the Trust for Public Land, who helped lead the way for both acquisitions.

Tennessee Watson

Farmworkers feed us, and to do so they travel around the country following the harvest. For their kids, that means moving from school to school. Wyoming Public Radio's education reporter Tennessee Watson found there’s a system in place to help these students, and brought us a story from North Dakota. To learn more about why we heard about one kid in North Dakota, Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard spoke with Tennessee about her reporting.

Tennessee Watson


Angel, a tall, lanky 14-year-old, dribbles down the basketball court of the school gymnasium in Manvel, North Dakota. Realizing he’s unmarked he goes for the three-pointer. It’s a nice arching shot, but the ball bounces tenuously on the rim and doesn’t go in.

Steve Mattheis

Steve Mattheis is a Jackson native and a wildlife photographer. A couple of years ago, he fell in love with photographing great gray owls. It turns out, they aren’t that easy to find. But he got a hang of it. And this year, one of his striking photos of the owl won the Audubon Society, Grand Prize award. Mattheis speaks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska on how he’s learned to spot great gray owls. But first Kudelska asks about the story behind the winning photo.

A controversy over the names of two landmarks in Yellowstone National Park highlight a forgotten genocide in the U.S. and how historical awareness, conflicting narratives and misinformation help muddy the waters.


Nathaniel Reed
The Everglades Foundation

Nathaniel Reed, who helped craft the Endangered Species Act and other crucial environmental legislation, passed away Wednesday at age 84. 

Hundreds of veterans are calling on Congress to scrap a seemingly unrelated attachment to this year’s defense spending bill.

According to the Western Governors Association, species like the Canada thistle and common carp aren’t just nuisances -- they’re a matter of western biosecurity.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department logo
Wyoming Game and Fish Department

More and more people are applying for hunting licenses in Wyoming, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The 2018 application rate went up by over six-percent for the May 31 limited quota draw and that’s after a similar rise last year.

The Bureau of Land Management planned to lease about 18,000 acres of land in southern Colorado for oil and gas drilling. Now, the bureau says it’s holding off so it can consult with the Navajo Nation.

This week President Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers serving five-year prison terms for arson on federal lands. The two men had become a cause celebre in the ongoing fight between ranchers and the federal government over water and grazing rights.

 


A house subcommittee is focusing on grazing on public lands on Thursday. Republican leaders want to discuss what they call the regulatory burdens on the industry.


Black Hills Energy

Park County natural gas customers will be receiving a rate hike of 22-percent over a one-year period.

U.S. Forest Service

The official nonprofit for Yellowstone National Park has new grant money devoted to a three-year effort to protect the native cutthroat trout population in the park. The National Park Foundation gave Yellowstone Forever a $500,000 grant from the Argyros family.

Federal Register Banner
National Archives and Records Administration

Wyoming has taken a step towards complete responsibility for the handling of radioactive materials involved in uranium operations. It's been a shared duty, with Wyoming covering the mining operations, and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) taking over once the product entered processing. Ryan Schierman, Uranium Recovery Program Manager for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, said that caused discontent within the uranium industry. He’s managed the transition process.

Steve Mattheis

Jackson native won a national award for a photo of a great gray owl taken in Teton County. The Audubon Society awarded Steve Mattheis the 2018 Grand Prize Winner.

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