The Mountain West News Bureau

In addition to a full news department serving just Wyoming, Wyoming Public Media is a founding partner in the Mountain West News Bureau, a partnership of public media stations that serve the Rocky Mountain States of Wyoming, Colorado Idaho, Neveda, New Mexico, and Utah. Our mission is to tell stories about the people, places, and issues of the Rocky Mountain West.

Many of these stories and issues are regional and affect all people living in the Mountain West. From land and water management to growth in the expanding West to our unique culture and heritage, the Bureau addresses issues that define us as a region. Part of the Bureau's charge is to submit stories to NPR and other national and global distributors, thus sharing the Mountain West culture more broadly.

The Mountain West News Bureau is a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico with support from affiliate stations across the region.

The editor for the Mountain West News Bureau is Kate Concannon, a long-time NPR regional editor. Maggie Mullen is the lead Wyoming reporter for this partnership, with contributions from all Wyoming Public Media reporters.

The Mountain West News Bureau is supported in part by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Regional Journalism Center program. Matching or contributing donations for the support of this initiative or for general WPM reporting are welcome. For more information, contact Christina Kuzmych, Wyoming Public Media General Manager at ckuzmych@uwyo.edu.

Spring bird migration is underway and will continue in the Mountain West for the next few months. 


Many oil, gas and coal-dependent communities around the Mountain West are concerned about the Biden administration's aggressive stance on climate change. But a recent survey of hundreds of economists around the world suggests that reducing emissions now will save us financially in the long run. 

The pandemic prompted a ton of people who were stuck at home to explore the world of gardening for the first time, and an upcoming webinar series aims to cultivate even more budding backyard growers.

Parts of the Mountain West are still seeing snow and frost and sleet – but there's one sure sign that spring is actually here: the songs of migrating birds. 


Not enough jurors showed up for a trial last week in a case that could have implications for avalanche safety in the Mountain West.


This is the second in a two-part series about the vaccine rollout in Indian Country. Part one looks at the success of the rollout on rural reservations.

 

 

This is the first in a two-part series about the vaccine rollout in Indian Country. Part two looks at the challenges of vaccinating our region's urban Native population. 

 

It's been a traumatic year. The pandemic. Social justice protests in response to police brutality. An insurrection at the nation's capital. Now our nation is dealing with two mass shootings.

At least one extremism expert is sounding the alarm about far-right actors using the mass shooting at a Boulder King Soopers to sow division and propagate misinformation.

Eric Ward, executive director of Western States Center, which focuses on extremism movements, hate crimes, and ways to strengthen democracy, says far-right figures have weaponized the tragedy after reports emerged that the suspect is Muslim.

A new study shows that listening to nature could have significant health benefits.  


As health officials battle vaccine hesitancy and a reluctance to follow safety guidelines, they could turn to employers for help. 


Stephanie Joyce


The last time the state of Wyoming executed someone was in 1992.

"When that execution actually occurred, I felt it," said Sen. Cale Case. "And people all over Wyoming felt it, 'cause we were part of it."

Montana's newly-elected Republican governor violated state hunting regulations when he trapped and shot a collared wolf near Yellowstone National Park in February, according to documents obtained by the Mountain West News Bureau.


A new campaign is putting pressure on Facebook to combat Spanish-language misinformation.

Amid a sharp rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, some Asian Americans living in the Mountain West say they are not surprised by the recent mass shootings at Atlanta-area spas that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent.

Authorities have not ruled the incident as a hate crime yet, but many observers feel otherwise.

The suspect, a white man, blamed his “sex addiction.”

The Mountain West saw a dramatic increase in white supremacist propaganda last year, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League. 

Chip Redmond / InciWeb

Gains in air quality had been hailed as a silver lining amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But according to new data out this week, those improvements in the U.S. were negated by last summer's wildfire smoke.

After last year's COVID-19 cancellations, the NCAA basketball tournaments are back, and one women's team in the Mountain West is making history.

We’re a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, and while vaccines are finally making the rounds, there’s a lot we’ve been missing. Members of our Mountain West News Bureau bring you this audio collage about what they’ve been missing.

The wind and solar industries made historic gains last year. Both reached new highs in energy production and capacity in 2020.


A salmonella outbreak is killing songbirds around the West, and it continues to spread.


A Western lawmaker faces growing scrutiny over her potential role in the Capitol insurrection.

Yet another study is showing an alarming decline in butterflies across the warming American West.

 

Some Indigenous histories are preserved in stories, songs, ceremonies and elder testimony that are passed down orally - rather than with written records. These histories can constitute important evidence of past events. But they're sometimes ruled inadmissible as evidence in the American justice system.

A new report could help you analyze wildfire risks to homes in your state, county or community.

A Democratic firebrand in Congress has a new role overseeing the oil and gas industry.

California Rep. Katie Porter is known for her hard-hitting style. In her first two years in Congress, she grilled bank executives as a member of the powerful House Financial Services Committee. Now, as chair of the Natural Resources Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, she's doing the same to oil executives. 

 

Most students enrolled half-time or more in college typically aren't eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), sometimes known as food stamps. But temporary changes to the federal program are allowing some low-income students to take advantage during the pandemic.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill into law on Friday. It includes the largest ever one-time federal investment in Indian Country, with $20 billion in direct aid to tribal governments, and another $11 billion set aside for federal Indian programs.
 

The aid comes as many tribal nations in the Mountain West are struggling to stay afloat.

 
Deb Haaland's road to lead the Department of the Interior has been rocky, with some members of Congress using her confirmation process to air grievances with President Joe Biden's climate change agenda.
 

On Tuesday, Montana Sen. Steve Daines and Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis, both Republicans, placed a procedural hold on her nomination, citing concerns about her positions on oil and gas development.

 

There’s high drama in the oil world right now. Last year, we saw prices go negative as a glut took over the world. Annual production fell by record amounts. Last week, though, prices shot up after oil-producing countries decided they would keep production low.


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