News

National parks in the Mountain West are seeing a surge in visitors. And while tourism can spell good news for struggling local economies, some are worried not only about spikes in COVID-19 cases but also added pressure on the landscape.

Western Organization of Resource Councils

A new rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will allow power plants to discard coal ash in unlined ponds through April of next year. In some cases, that deadline can be pushed back as far as 2028.

University of Wyoming


When University of Wyoming President Ed Seidel was hired this spring, he had lots of ideas. Then COVID-19 hit and his priorities shifted. Despite budget cuts, he's still excited about the future of UW and how it will impact the state. He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck.

Savannah Maher


This summer, the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers sparked a wave of protests across the country. The first Wyoming community to join that national movement wasn't Laramie or Cheyenne, or even Jackson Hole. It was Riverton.

Since coronavirus began infecting millions of Americans, Wyoming lawmakers have been critical of President Donald Trump's stance on combatting the pandemic. While they never criticize him directly, one of their attempts to tiptoe around the Trump-sized elephant in the room backfired…as Fox News host Bret Baier told his audience last week.

Deborah Lopez

Limitations on in-person gatherings because of the pandemic has led to theatres closing-or rethinking how the show can go on.

Some theatres have, for the time being, moved productions from the stage to the internet. That's the case for Laramie-based Relative Theatrics, and the transition has led the company to hire a Director of Virtual Events. Noelia Berkes spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Micah Schweizer about her new role and how theatre can benefit from a challenging time.

Diesel fuel cars at a trainyard in Morrill.
Alan Nash


The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released a report recommending changes to the agency responsible for keeping mines safe nationwide. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has been under pressure from unions and some federal lawmakers to create temporary emergency standards in response to COVID-19. Taylor Kuykendall, a senior reporter with S&P Global Market Intelligence, begins by discussing what actions MSHA has taken so far.

Mike Gatewood and Erin McDaniel

As COVID-19 puts stress on the country's healthcare system, Wyoming medical workers are heading to overwhelmed places with high amounts of cases to help out. Sheridan VA Health System nurses are being sent on two-week stints to veteran and community facilities. LPNs Mike Gatewood and Erin McDaniel, who work at VA satellite clinics in the state, speak about the toll COVID-19 took at a nursing home for veterans in Maryland.

Jeffrey Denis

Many places around the world have towns with predominantly white populations living in close proximity or directly on tribal land. Dr. Jeffrey Denis is an Associate professor at McMaster University in Canada wanted to see how small border towns like this talk about race. Wyoming Public Radio’s Taylar Stagner talked with Denis about his new book and the connections he made in Northwest Ontario.

Casper College's Facebook


Wyoming has seven community colleges - and each one is preparing for the fall in its own way.

K Kendall

Most of the West has been experiencing drought this year. Bart Miller, with the environmental group Western Resource Advocates, said that the water levels we are seeing this year are nothing new.

United States Drought Monitor / National Drought Mitigation Center

A new report shows extreme drought throughout the Bighorn Mountains.

The latest data from the University of Nebraska's National Drought Mitigation Center shows most of Wyoming is experiencing some level of drought. That ranges from moderate drought in the south and some eastern parts of the state to severe drought in the central region.

Neal Herbert / NPS

In 2019, there wasn't a single human injury caused by a grizzly bear throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. But the number of injuries has already reached eight in 2020 - a new record for the first half of the year, as the Jackson Hole News&Guide reported last week.

Matthias Krumbholz

Afternoon thunderstorms tend to happen in July and August across the mountain west. University of Wyoming Atmospheric Scientist Karen Kosiba said that's because it's monsoon season.

Alan Wilson

Polar bears have been endangered for years, but a new study finds that without a decrease in greenhouse gas emission, almost all polar bears will die by 2100.

Wyoming PBS

At a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Mark Gordon extended statewide public health orders through August 15 following weeks of increasing COVID-19 cases in the state.

In comparison to other states though, Gordon said Wyoming is faring well.

Several state agencies are working together to ensure kids are safe when they return to schools.

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), the Wyoming Department of Education and Wyoming Office of Homeland Security are helping distribute 500,000 face coverings between school districts for when students return in the fall. The coverings were paid for by a donation from clothing company Hanes and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Rig count in Wyoming over the past year
Y Chart

The legislature's Joint Minerals, Business & Economic Development Committee voted in favor of sponsoring a bill they hope will incentivize new oil and gas production in the state.

https://www.shortfor307.com/

In the next several days, Wyoming Public Radio will be chatting with some of the folks seeking Wyoming Congressional seats. We begin the series by speaking with Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Robert Short.

Mr. Short is a Converse County Commissioner, an entrepreneur, and a businessman whose worked in areas such as energy, agriculture and tourism. We begin the conversation discussing energy and some of the things that need to be done to help Wyoming's industry get through tough times.

The Wind River Reservation has been under a strict stay-at-home order since April, requiring non-essential tribal offices and both tribes' casino operations to remain closed to the public. In a Monday morning online address, Northern Arapaho Business Council Chairman Lee Spoonhunter announced plans to begin re-opening.

IEA

Wyoming will once again challenge an Obama-era rule that aims to limit methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.

Navajo Transitional Energy Company

The Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) announced it will be hiring back 73 furloughed employees, who will be able to return to work at the Spring Creek Mine on August 3. The mine in southeastern Montana employs many Wyoming residents as well.

barrasso.senate.gov

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on reducing the spread of zoonotic diseases on July 22. A zoonotic disease is one that spreads from animals into humans.

Elizabeth Abramson, Dane McFarlane, Jeff Brown

The Great Plains Institute and the University of Wyoming have published a new analysis on carbon capture and storage.

Strata Energy is one of Wyoming's users of in situ uranium extraction
Cooper McKim

A new agreement signed in Wyoming hopes to boost domestic uranium production. Alongside Gov. Mark Gordon, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Kristine Svinicki and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a Memorandum of Understanding that shifts certain authorities to the NRC.

USDA photo by Scott Bauer

The Wyoming Game and Fish commission approved a Wyoming Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan with no revisions. Some environmental groups, though, are worried that the plan doesn't address elk feedgrounds.

A male Sage Grouse (also known as the Greater Sage Grouse) in the USA
Pacific Southwest Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from Sacramento, US

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) is asking landowners and outdoor recreationists to report dead sage grouse they find as part of an ongoing effort to track West Nile Virus (WNV) outbreaks in the species.

NASA

Wyomingites have a rare opportunity to look to the skies for rocky and icy remnants left over from when our solar system formed—also known as a comet.

Micha de Vries

A new study finds that rural westerners care about the environment just as much as people in cities.

A unit of the Jim Bridger Power Plant in Sweetwater County, pictured here, could face a 2023 retirement date rather than 2028
The Center or Land Use Interpretation

The Wyoming Public Service Commission (PSC) has wrapped up its week-long hearing regarding its investigation into a western utility's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) released in October. The commission made no decisions or actions before adjourning other than setting a deadline for additional briefs.

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