This week, Gov. Mark Gordon started addressing Wyoming's $1.5 billion shortfalls with $250 million in budget cuts.
The cuts are due to the economic fallout from COVID-19 and a sudden drop in energy prices. Gordon has said he would like to see cuts, reserves, and some new revenue sources used together to address the shortfall, but that remains difficult.
After several months of anticipation, Wyoming has withdrawn its bid for roughly four million acres of mineral rights and a million acres of land owned by the oil and gas company Occidental Petroleum. Gov. Mark Gordon had hoped to use those assets to improve the state's rate of return on investments.
Throughout the process, there were questions about what was going on behind-the-scenes. Gordon put out a statement following the state's bid withdrawal looking to answer some of those questions. Wyoming Public Radio's Cooper McKim spoke with the governor to talk through that statement.
It's been a month of turmoil for the Jackson Police Department. Two officers resigned last week after a post on the department's Facebook page drew community outrage. And an investigation by the Jackson Hole News and Guide uncovered another incident that raises questions about the culture of the department. Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher spoke with investigative and justice reporter Emily Mieure, about what she found.
In his teens, Tate McKinney started coming to terms with his sexual orientation and gender identity. Like many LGBTQ kids in small towns, that led to hard conversations with his family, but then he found out he was related to Aaron McKinney, one of Matthew Shepard's murderers.
Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down with Tate to hear his uniquely Wyoming story. Tate came forward to share his story after hearing the episode "Small Town Drag Queen" on The Modern West about the hardship of growing up LGBTQ in the rural West.
Medicine Bow National Forest is a popular area for recreation in Southeastern Wyoming, covering about one million acres of mountains, lakes, and more.
The National Forest Service is launching a plan for restoration in Medicine Bow. The Landscape Vegetation Analysis , or LaVA project, gives the Forest Service the ability to treat over two hundred thousand acres of the forest with prescribed burns and logging and build up to 600 miles of temporary roads. Although the Forest Service said the goal of the project is to create a healthier forest, environmental groups are critical of the plan.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is considering changes to laws and regulations surrounding trapping. This comes after some encounters that members of the public and pets have had with traps near public areas. Some want trapping near trails banned, and others say pets should always be leashed. A working group has looked into solutions. Lander Region Wildlife Supervisor Jason Hunter spoke with Bob Beck to discuss what they are proposing.
Cody is the first community in Wyoming to have a local chapter of the national mountain bike program Little Bellas. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska explains how the program hopes to teach girls not only mountain bike skills but also friendship and self growth.
The Jackson Hole Center for the Arts has announced a new executive director. A native of Buffalo, Wyo., Marty Camino joined the Center in 2018 as events services director and has served as chief operations officer over the past year.
He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Micah Schweizer about stepping into the executive director role when much of the organization's programming has been rearranged by the pandemic.