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

Pilot Hill Project

Efforts to create a 5,500-acre state park on the mountainside outside of Laramie called Pilot Hill is moving forward. Albany County commissioners recently approved a contractor to develop a land-use plan. SE Group will get paid $70,000 to seek public input and then plan out trailheads and trail systems for the park.

A gas flare, used to burn off flammable gas -- on Highway 59 from Gillette
Cooper McKim / Wyoming Public Radio

Listen to the full show here.

Barrasso Pushes To Get Wyoming Natural Gas Sold Overseas

U.S. House Democrats are taking aim at an issue Wyoming Senator John Barrasso seems to have spent the most time on in the past few years: Exporting American, well – Wyoming energy – abroad. Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.

Flickr Creative Commons/AgriLife Today

United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited the Thunder Basin National Grassland on Wednesday. He took a horseback ride through the area in eastern Wyoming where ranchers and wildlife advocates have been working to find an amicable solution to the question of prairie dogs.

Flickr Creative Commons/Julio Molero

The greater sage grouse narrowly escaped listing as an endangered species because of a 2015 federal plan that kept oil and gas drilling out of its core habitat in the eight Western states where it still exists. But a new report released Monday by the National Audubon Society, The Wilderness Society and The National Wildlife Federation, and authored by Western Ecosystem Technologies, says those obligations haven't been met under the Trump administration.

Wyoming Migration Initiative/Flickr Creative Commons

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has approved spending $1.25 million to build two wildlife underpasses in western Wyoming on Highway 189. Game and Fish's Sara DiRienzo said Wyoming Department of Transportation and other organizations are partnering on the projects because of the high number of wildlife crashes on a 28 mile stretch of road.

Bureau of Land Management

For the last few years, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has been swabbing bats where they hibernate in winter to make sure the deadly white-nose syndrome hasn't spread into the state. But this year, the agency swabbed bats in the spring after they woke up, too.

It's been seven years since passing boaters found Dawn Day's body floating in a lake on the high plains of Wyoming. Sitting next to each other on the couch, a warm breeze coming in through the screen door, her dad Gregory Day and her aunt Madeleine Day miss Dawn's laughter.

"She was crazy," Madeleine Day says.

"Crazy in a good way, huh?" Gregory Day says. "Make you laugh."

"That's what she did. She always wanted everybody to be happy," agrees Madeleine Day. And she says it was trying to make people happy that kept Dawn from leaving an abusive boyfriend.

Bob Wick, BLM

The state's sage grouse stakeholder team has recommended that Gov. Mark Gordon not only keep sage grouse numbers from going down, but increase them. 

Roads Less Traveled

Multiple energy industry trucks have crashed on a stretch of mountain road between Laramie and a booming energy field in Jackson County, Colorado. The trucks spilled fracking fluids and diesel into a nearby creek; one driver was killed.

Melodie Edwards

It's dumping rain the day Patrick Lawson gives me a tour around Wind River Internet's warehouse. Through an open garage door, you can see giant yellow spools of fiber optics lines. He points out a pile of orange plastic signs.

Melodie Edwards

It's been seven years now since Dawn Day was found floating in a Fremont County lake by a passing boat. But, still, every day, her dad Gregory Day and her aunt Madeleine Day still miss her laughter.

Yellowstone National Park

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says it will allow fewer wolves to be killed in the next trophy hunting season because the last one contributed to a dip in their population below the state's objective of 160 wolves; right now, there are 152.

In a rugged canyon in southern Wyoming, a helicopter drops nets over a pair of coyotes. They're bound, blindfolded and flown to a landing station. There, University of Wyoming researchers place them on a mat. The animals stay calm and still while technicians figure out their weight, age, sex and other measurements. Graduate student Katey Huggler fits the coyotes with tracking collars.

Eric Barnes

For the last four years, Green River and Little Snake River basin ranchers have been getting paid not to irrigate in late summer to conserve Colorado River water. But the pilot phase of the program is now over. The next step is developing the technology to measure how much water is actually saved.

Melodie Edwards

It's late May in Wyoming. It snowed last night, and more snow is predicted. That's why it's good that Big Piney Rancher Chad Espenscheid is behind the wheel of the truck. The roads are sloppy and Middle Piney Creek is running high.

Shay Howlin

Hunters often wear orange to stay safe around guns. Now, the public is being encouraged to do the same for Gun Violence Awareness Day this Friday, June 7. 

Renee Silverman via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun said, yes, county clerk employees were confused about where tribal members could register and whether they could use their tribal ID, but he said they did not deter them from voting. He made the judgement after he was asked by the Wyoming Democratic Party to investigate voter suppression allegations.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Construction on the Fontanelle Reservoir won't get started until extreme drought strikes because officials say the unfinished bottom won't be accessible until then.

Drriss & Marrionn via Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Last week, a bill was introduced in Congress that would require Native American tribes to be included in the management of grizzly bears. The legislation, called the Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act, would permanently place grizzly bears under federal protection much like the bald eagle. 

Kathleen Wetlands

In arid places like Wyoming, wetlands are rare, sometimes only two percent of the landscape. But the organic vegetation breaking down in wetland soils captures as much as 15 to 30 percent of the carbon on that landscape, and it could hold more if restored to better condition. 

NPS Photo / Ken Conger

The grizzly bear is an iconic species to many Native American tribes, and now a bill introduced in Congress would require tribes be included in their management. The legislation, called the Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act, was introduced by Raul Grijalva, the chair of the Natural Resources subcommittee. 

CC BY-SA 2.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

In the 2018 election, Native American communities around the country complained about incidents of voter suppression, and some complaints occurred here in Wyoming.

Melodie Edwards

In a canyon near Rock Springs, a helicopter descends, and two coyotes are handed out, bound and blindfolded. University of Wyoming researchers place them on a mat, the animals calm and still. UW Zoology and Physiology Ph.D. student Katey Huggler oversees this study.

Melodie Edwards / Wyoming Public Radio

University of Wyoming researchers are trying to find out if predators are affecting the low population of mule deer near Rock Springs. Statewide, mule deer have declined by 31 percent since 1991. As part of the project, researchers put tracking collars on 30 coyotes and have been watching their behavior to see if their behavior changes during peak times when fawns are born. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Lynette

A program that helps victims of domestic violence is increasingly having trouble finding safe places for people to stay because of an energy boom that has filled all the housing options in the area. Converse Hope Center Director Lisa Thalken said recently, when a woman sought their help, they couldn't find anywhere to put her.

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