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

yooperann/Flickr Creative Commons

A 25-year-old immigrant got a job working for a landscaping company in Jackson. One day, he was out mowing a lawn.

"I had an accident. A coworker drove over my foot with a machine," he said.

As an undocumented worker, he was immediately worried.

Melodie Edwards, Allie Gross

Allie Gross of the Jackson Hole News and Guide and Melodie Edwards of Wyoming Public Radio collaborated on a story about worker's compensation for undocumented immigrants. They joined Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard to discuss why they decided to co-produce this story.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Several western states have spent the last five years trying to count the shy and rare wolverine, a high mountain scavenger in the weasel family. Wildlife agencies in Wyoming, Washington, Idaho and Montana set up camera traps and collected hair samples from the alpine scavenger in 183 locations and the findings are gratifying, said Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologist Nichole Bjornlie.

Flickr Creative Commons/Joseph B

In the early days of psychology, therapists thought mental health disorders were mostly experienced by one gender or the other: for instance, anorexia by women, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by men. But in the last couple decades, the thinking has swung hard the other way with attempts to ignore the role of gender in mental health studies.

Flickr Creative Commons/Ruby T

A series of seminars have been organized around Wyoming to educate the public about how to spot human trafficking. According to a state-by-state report by the National Human Trafficking Hotline, as many as 110 cases of people sold for labor or sex have occurred in Wyoming since 2007.

Flickr Creative Commons

A Native women's advocacy group says they haven't seen any of the royalty money they were promised by the director of the 2017 film, Wind River. The Weinstein Company distributed the film, but since then, that company has been bought out.

pixabay

Wyoming is the latest state in the Mountain West region to be sued by conservation groups over how a federal wildlife kill program is conducted in the state.

Melodie Edwards

The Wyoming Department of Family Services has been working overtime to issue Wyoming families their SNAP food benefits a couple weeks early. That's because with the government saying they'll reopen, but for only three weeks, it's unclear when they'll get benefits again.

Flickr Creative Commons/Meal Makeover Moms

Three schools on the Wind River Reservation are offering free lunches to people affected by the government shutdown.

Two bills are currently moving through the legislature that would give the Wyoming Game and Fish Department more flexibility to manage the collecting of antlers on the landscape. Right now, people can collect them anytime between January 1 and May 1 in designated areas of the state.

Wyoming Legislature

Every year the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault gives out what they call PEACE awards ("promoting excellence in advocacy for change and empowerment"). Back in November, they gave one out for best leadership in policymaking. It went to six Wyoming lawmakers who worked to pass six news laws to better protect victims of violence.

Conniemod, Wikipedia Creative Commons

Drought conditions are becoming more common across the West, and Wyoming lawmakers are looking at some ideas for how to conserve and replenish water resources. Last year, lawmakers failed to fully fund an $80 million dam project on the Wyoming-Colorado border, instead, giving about $5 million to try to persuade Colorado to join forces since ranchers there could benefit, too.

Flickr Creative Commons

When the government shuts down, it can't carry through on its historic commitments to Native American tribes. The Wind River Reservation's tribes signed treaties with the government in the late 1800s, giving up vast expanses of land in exchange for health care, police services and other basic needs like food. Eastern Shoshone councilor Leslie Shakespeare said, already some seasonal transportation employees had to be laid off because of the shutdown.

Last year, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that the state can't force air ambulance companies to charge the same rate as a ground ambulance. The cost of a ride in an ambulance is about $5000 while a helicopter ride can cost nine times more.

Flickr Creative Commons/Jimmy Emerson

Earlier this month, the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church released a list of priests who have credible accusations of sexual abuse against them. Two of the priests—Paul Pilgram and Anthony Short—served at Saint Stephens Mission on the Wind River Reservation in the 1970s and 80s. 

Yellowstone Wolf Tracker

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has been inundated with concerns that the killing of a famous wolf known as #926F was illegal and unethical. The wolf roamed out of Yellowstone National Park during trophy hunting season into an area where it is legal to hunt them. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Jimmy Emerson

A list of Jesuit priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse against them include two clergymen that served at St. Stephens Mission, a school and church on the Wind River Reservation. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Jon Nelson

We're used to thinking of beavers as ecological engineers, but a new study shows that mountain lions may modify their environments in a similar way.

NPS / Kira Cassidy

Recently, a Montana hunter legally shot a well-known Yellowstone wolf from the Lamar Canyon Pack after she wandered a few miles outside the park into a hunting zone. The incident raises questions about the best way to manage park wolves that become habituated to people. 

Flickr Creative Commons/momo go via Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Western states are likely to be affected most by the Trump administration's proposal to roll back parts of the Clean Water Act. The Environmental Protection Agency would no longer give special protections to thousands of miles of seasonal streams and millions of acres of wetlands that often go dry by late summer in the arid West. That would leave states to decide whether to protect such waters themselves. 

OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS

The last few years have brought revelation after revelation about just how long and complex the migration routes are for Wyoming's elk, pronghorn and mule deer. Everyone involved in wildlife agrees these routes need special protections. But there hasn't been a comprehensive set of maps showing this maze of routes zigzagging all over the state. Until now.

Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down with Matt Kauffman and Emilene Ostlind, two of the editors of Wild Migrations: Atlas Of Wyoming's Ungulates.

JASMINE BELL

Hoop Dancer Jasmine Bell of the Crow Creek Dakota Sioux tribe in South Dakota has danced for Mohamad Ali and for all the presidential first ladies. Even the actor Kevin Costner. 

Flickr Creative Commons/carfull...in Wyoming

A bill that would lift wilderness study status on lands in Bighorn, Lincoln and Sweetwater counties in Wyoming passed through a Congressional committee with a 19 to 11 vote along party lines. Dozens of these wilderness study areas around the state have been stuck in limbo for decades.

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