October 15th, 2010 - Open Spaces

Nov 8, 2011

Listen to the whole show

A listing of today's stories:

US Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis speaks.
Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis is wrapping up her first year in Congress. Lummis is seeking re-election at a time when she is very concerned about federal spending and what efforts in Washington could do to Wyoming's energy industry. She speaks with Bob Beck.

Wyoming Health Care reform efforts move forward.
Long before the passage of federal health care reform, entities in Wyoming were looking at new ways of delivering health care. They were also looking to reduce rising health care costs due to cases that were allowed to become catastrophic. The solution that many have settled on is called the medical home. That's where patients get comprehensive care that ranges from prevention to follow-up care. It's one way that entities in the state are trying to bring about their own health care reform. Bob Beck reports.

Construction is impacting Wyoming's economy.
The loss of construction jobs has been a big contributor to high unemployment across the nation, and in Wyoming. Here, construction employment is about 26 percent below its peak level of a couple of years ago. Ken Simonson is the chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. He met with industry representatives in Wyoming recently, and Molly Messick asked him about the outlook for construction jobs in the state.

Street gangs are growing in Wyoming
When most people think about Wyoming, they think about outdoor activities, or bison or national parks - not violent street gangs. Over the last year, there's been a rise in gang activity and violence around the state with members claiming affiliation with national and international gangs. Wyoming Public Radio's Tristan Ahtone reports.

An interview with NPR staff.
NPR's Senior Vice President for News, Ellen Weiss, and NPR's Ombudsman, Alicia Shepard, discuss news and ethics.

The BLM rounds up wild horses.
Each year, the federal Bureau of Land Management spends millions of dollars rounding up wild horses. The animals are protected by an act of Congress that declares them "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West." The BLM says there are more than 4500 wild horses in Wyoming - about a thousand more than it wants to see on the ground. And the bureau has an agreement with the state to keep numbers down. Helicopter roundups are the main way of keeping the herds' size in check, but there's a growing consensus that the system doesn't work.

Research shows that bark beetles may not be causing fires.
At the beginning of October a bipartisan coalition of western senators came together to ask for more money to fight bark beetles. Colorado's senators led the charge, calling the beetle outbreak a national emergency, in part because of the risk of catastrophic fire. But, this letter went out at the end of a wildfire season that was particularly mild. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports there is growing research showing that there is not an imminent risk of fire because of beetle killed trees.