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Open Spaces: Podcast

A news and public affairs program about Wyoming and the Mountain West.

Latest Episodes
  • Today on the show the University of Wyoming head football coach is retiring after 10 seasons. Craig Bohl brought consistency and toughness to the program and delivered some huge wins. We’ll have more on Craig Bohl’s legacy. Wyoming has the most people who take their own life per capita in the country. Getting help for mental health problems is not easy for firearms owners. Driving an electric vehicle requires battery chargers…kind of like gas stations. And Wyoming is a bit of a desert for the chargers. Those stories and more, coming up on Open Spaces from Wyoming Public Radio News.
  • Today on the show, an alleged child assault in a Cody elementary school has parents saying the safety systems that are set up aren't working. Wyoming Rocky Mountain Power customers will see their bills go up again in January. But state officials are still figuring out just how much is fair. The Municipality Equality Index scores cities on how well they serve LGBTQ+ residents. Some of those cities are using their scorecard as a blueprint for progress. And a conversation with Wyoming Representative Harriet Hageman about her reflections from nearly a year in Congress. Those stories and more.
  • This week, we reach beyond our studios and bring you interviews from Wyoming PBS' Wyoming Chronicle. At one point, the Wyoming Cowboys were an NCAA Division One baseball team. And Jeff Houston was one of the best players they had. He came to Laramie from Arizona. Fossil fuels are an important industry for the state. But as the nation is trying to move away from relying on oil, the state says it's important to diversify. An interview with a historian on the history of oil in Wyoming from 2010.
  • Today on the show, we’ll talk with a Palestinian student at the University of Wyoming who lives in dread of phone calls bearing bad news about his family from the war in Israel. Plus we check in with a University of Wyoming Ukrainian student who has ramped up her advocacy here in the States. Money from federal spending packages like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is hitting the ground in Wyoming. And some people are noticing. But is this enough to make a political difference in the red rural West? Those stories and more.
  • Today on the show we hear the first of many stories that we’ve compiled from last summer when the nonprofit Storycorps hosted an oral history project in Cheyenne with veterans. We’ll hear a mom and daughter remembering their family member Scott, who was a veteran. We visit Lander, where a new center for veterans wants to provide a space for community and connection. And we switch gears to an award-winning podcast that discusses hard, intimate topics. It recently featured Wyoming’s speaker of the house and his wife – Albert and Sue Sommers. The host speaks to us about why she wanted to talk to them. Those stories and more, coming up on Open Spaces from Wyoming Public Radio News.
  • Today on the show, a companion film to Ken Burns' "The American Bison" series follows the return of bison to Indigenous land. Mike Rowe, of Discovery Channel’s "Dirty Jobs" fame, recently spoke at Casper College about the importance of trade jobs. Farmers and ranchers face a lot of outside pressure, from the high price of hay to the allure of early retirement. Why some cattle producers are choosing to keep their lands working. Plus, we learn more about the new season of our podcast "The Modern West." Those stories and more.
  • This week we reach beyond our studios and bring you interviews from Wyoming PBS’ "Wyoming Chronicle." Almost everyone in the state has a story of hitting wildlife while driving or a really near miss. How some in the state are working to make that less common. And, back in 2011, Palestinian-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye came to Wyoming. We revisit that interview as a new conflict in the region flares up.
  • Today on the show, the Endangered Species Act became law 50 years ago. Since then, hundreds of species have been put under its protection. Wyoming and the West are home to many of them. We’re taking time this week to tell the stories of a few of the fish, insects, and mammals that call the state home. We’ll learn about a tiny fish that only lives in a thousand-foot stretch of stream in Western Wyoming and nowhere else. A small toad that was thought to be extinct is now making a comeback thanks to partnerships between conservationists and landowners. Grizzly bears are expanding outside of the ecosystems set aside for them and some communities are preparing for their arrival. Those stories and more.
  • The bison, also known as the American buffalo, is an iconic animal of the West. But its path has been a fraught one. We’re going to take a look back at reintroducing bison in Wyoming. We look at why the bison quarantine program started. We go back to when we attended the first bison release on the Wind River Reservation - a long time goal for both the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes. We look at what the current management of the bison looks like now and its plan for the future. And we’ll wrap up with an exclusive interview with filmmaker Ken Burns on his most recent documentary, "The American Buffalo." Those stories and more.
  • On today’s show, we remember Mathew Shepard - a gay University of Wyoming student murdered 25 years ago this month. His death impacted Laramie, Wyoming, and the nation, symbolizing the oppression and violence faced by gay and other marginalized Americans. We’re going to do things a little differently by playing stories from Wyoming Public Radio’s 10th and 20th anniversary coverage and new reporting from this year, including checking in on the impact this coverage had on an AP reporter, 20 years later, the autopsy was released and we spoke to the coroner, and we go around the UW campus to see if college students think Laramie has changed. We also speak with Judy Shepard, who is Mathew’s mother. Those stories and more.