Open Spaces: Podcast


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

You can subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts or find us on Stitcher

Open Spaces June 7, 2019

Jun 7, 2019

In March – Shopko – a small town version of Walmart. There is potential for it to hit Wyoming communities hard. But some communities are fighting back. We’ll have three stories on how Upper Colorado River Basin states, including Wyoming, are building more dams and pipelines to stave off coming droughts. Wyoming is more racially homogenous now than it’s ever been. We will also looking into issues surrounding the availability of public defenders. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces May 31, 2019

May 31, 2019

On this episode, the state is working to build a new nursing home for veterans. Kemmerer has an uncertain economic future. It’s power plant could be closing and town leaders are looking for ways to address the problem. Kids in Casper are using circles as a way to resolve conflict at their school, and they think adults should try it too. Those stories and an interview with the head of Yellowstone National Park.

Open Spaces May 24, 2019

May 24, 2019

On this episode, we will hear from a Native American representative and from the Wyoming game and fish department regarding legislation being considered in Congress that would require tribes be included in decisions regarding Grizzly Bear Management. We will also revisit a clergy abuse investigation. We will also look at efforts to enhance wind energy in Wyoming. And learn why lawmakers are bullish about Blockchain. Those stories and a StoryCorps from Jackson.

Open Spaces May 17, 2019

May 17, 2019

On this episode, we'll take a look at why you might want to double check on whether or not you have an outstanding warrant. An owner of two coal mines in Wyoming is now bankrupt and we’ll find out why Thousands of coyotes are killed every year to protect livestock and big game, but does it work? Those stories and much more.

Open Spaces May 3, 2019

May 3, 2019

On this episode, Capitol Hill may soon start discussing some building projects, but Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi says the deficit is too high. President Trump lifted what’s commonly known as the “coal moratorium.” Now, a court is saying that needed an environmental review. An artist residency in northeastern Wyoming uses its location to inspire visiting artists and writers. Those stories and a discussion about a controversial proposal involving prairie dogs are coming up. 

Open Spaces April 26, 2019

Apr 26, 2019

On this episode, a story exploring how Cloud Peak got to where it is today. It's fought hard, but a bankruptcy is likely approaching. We're hearing more reports of student-on-student sexual assaults. Coming up, two stories about how schools could handle such cases differently. Also, there are more craft breweries than ever, but that might not be a good thing for producers. Meanwhile, crafted spirits are on the up on up. We'll also get a tour of the newly remodeled state capitol. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces April 12, 2019

Apr 12, 2019

On this episode, Chronic Wasting Disease continues to be a growing problem in Wyoming and the mountain west. We take a closer look at how mentally ill patients are transported to and from hospitals…it turns out some patients have a long drive. While Wyoming’s thermal coal market struggles, two big players in the Powder River Basin are enjoying a different kind of success. It's also our fund drive and we encourage you to support Open Spaces and all of our Wyoming news with your pledge of support.

Open Spaces April 5, 2019

Apr 5, 2019

On this episode, workers are flooding into Douglas as oil and gas production takes off. The small area is still figuring out how to handle it. April is Sexual Assault Awareness month. So how well does Wyoming handle this crime? Two Wyoming congressional leaders want to do away with the Affordable Care Act, but they say they are fighting a narrative. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces March 29, 2019

Mar 29, 2019

On this episode, University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols joins us to discuss the trustee’s decision to not renew her contract. It also caught the campus off guard. A major inpatient psychological unit in northwest Wyoming closed its doors and now people with serious mental illness have nowhere to go. Some want a new plan for managing ozone in western Wyoming. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces March 15, 2019

Mar 15, 2019

On this episode,  a collaboration with the Casper Star Tribune on Natrona County's approach to child sexual abuse. The state legislature is looking at solutions to the "race to operator-ship" problem. Oil and gas developers are flooding the state with permit requests. There's growing bipartisanship behind the idea of charging a fee for producing carbon. And we will find out what it's so difficult to get new information about an officer related shooting in Laramie. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces March 8, 2019

Mar 8, 2019

On this episode, legislators are seeking to keep coal-fired power plants running a little longer, but some are doubtful that’s possible. Wyoming's legislature passed Blockchain legislation that seems to be paying off. And as the climate warms, ice fishermen are tiptoeing on thinner and thinner ice. Some advice from the pros on staying safe. Plus stories about moose, condors, and grizzlies. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces March 1, 2019

Mar 1, 2019

On this episode, the Wyoming legislative session has ended and Governor Gordon has some concerns about bills that may be taking away local control. We dig deeper to see if a bill just signed by the governor would run afoul with federal law. One of the largest coal companies in North America - Westmoreland - has gotten permission to cut healthcare from hundreds of retirees... and Wyoming’s delegation weighs in on the President’so-called emergency for the wall. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces February 15, 2019

Feb 15, 2019

On this episode, Wyoming has the most dangerous workplaces in the country. But a Wyoming law could be making it worse by making it hard for undocumented immigrants to get worker’s compensation. And we’ll hear about why the University of Wyoming is concerned about proposed changes to the federal guidelines concerning campus sexual assault. Also…acclaimed Mexican-American writer Luis Alberto Urrea tells the story of how he came to write his latest novel. And a bipartisan plan to make a land and water conservation fund permanent and a conversation with longtime lawmaker Eli Bebout.

Open Spaces February 8, 2019

Feb 8, 2019

On this episode, it seems like more anti-abortion bills are getting traction in the legislature, the question is why? Wyoming’s population has been decreasing for the past couple of years but we find there is a population that is growing in Cody. Kids can't vote but they can lobby for policy change. Those stories and the next edition of Story Corps from Jackson.

Open Spaces January 25, 2019

Jan 25, 2019

On this episode, how oil and gas permitting continued to occur on public lands while the shutdown was in full swing. Agencies that distribute food and food stamps say all the uncertainty about the government shutdown could mean people will get lost in the system. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and CBD but Wyoming hasn't followed suit... will the legislature change that? We'll also hear about the efforts of lawmakers to improve Wyoming elections and hear an interview with the publisher of Native American comic books. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces January 18, 2019

Jan 18, 2019

On this episode, a decision at legislature about how to zone a new private school in Jackson and a uranium mine’s pursuit to solve its financial woes using acid. Following an officer-involved shooting, Laramie reckons with whether lethal force was really necessary. We'll join some bird lovers on one of the last rural bird counts in the U.S. And we’ll find out how Wyoming communities are recycling now that China is opting not to buy U.S. recycling materials. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces January 11, 2019

Jan 11, 2019

On this episode, during the partial government shutdown, the oil and gas industry says it’s feeling the impact but critics say the industry is still getting a better deal than most. The legislature is back in session and it's considering changing the way it raises taxes. And we will look at how the gender wage gap extends to some of Wyoming's pro skiers. Those stories and our latest I Respectfully Disagree.

Open Spaces December 21, 2018

Dec 21, 2018

On this episode, we will hear from Governor-elect Mark Gordon as he prepares for office. We will go to Cheyenne for a story about how trauma impacts sexual violence investigations. Wyoming is testing out new technology—a digital driver’s license. But not everyone is excited about it. Join us for these stories and more.

Open Spaces December 7, 2018

Dec 7, 2018

On this episode, Governor Matt Mead is wrapping up his final weeks and he’ll discuss some topics including his biggest disappointment. Farmers have been turning to Twitter to have conversations about mental health and depression. State lawmakers are looking at ways to reduce the prison population and if they don't… it'll be costly. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces November 30, 2018

Nov 30, 2018

On this episode, Wyoming is looking at the high cost of health care and insurance. Mistrust between environmental groups and local government is keeping the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear in limbo. And we’ll explore why Washington DC lawmakers could learn from local collaborators working to solve wildlife and other controversial issues. Those stories, plus reports on oil prices and the 3rd annual conference for violence prevention and response in the state.

Open Spaces November 16, 2018

Nov 16, 2018

On this episode, Cloud Peak Energy is thinking of selling its company. Defense Secretary James Mattis visits Wyoming to meet with the Philippine Ambassador to U.S. about a pair of bells. In October, the Department of Workforce Services released a study on the gender wage gap in Wyoming. Now, legislators will have to decide what to do with that information. And the Albany County attorney discusses her release of a video to the media. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces November 9, 2018

Nov 9, 2018

On this episode, a story about the rise of oil and gas in Wyoming and why it’s happening. Does the presence grizzly bears actually affect the outfitter and guide industry? And a look at how one Wyoming School district is responding to the recently released school performance reports Those stories and a conversation with U.S. Representative Liz Cheney.

Open Spaces October 26, 2018

Oct 26, 2018

On this episode, we take a deeper look into how the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is funded and whether it needs to change. The coroner who attended Matthew Shepard’s funeral has never spoken to the media…until now. She says she has good reasons to believe it was a hate crime. We’ll also hear about reduced transparency in the Fish and Wildlife Service and less access to documents relating to the Endangered Species Act. We’ll also talk to the Libertarian candidate for governor and hear a spooky Halloween tale. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces October 19, 2018

Oct 19, 2018

On this episode, we will revisit the story of the Westmoreland coal bankruptcy and what that means for the future. Republican candidate for Governor Mark Gordon joins us to discuss a variety of subjects including reducing spending in education. A one-hundred-year-old squabble between Wyoming and the Philippines over a pair of bells may finally get resolved. Plus stories on climate change and our latest "I Respectfully Disagree."

Open Spaces October 5, 2018

Oct 5, 2018

On this episode, we’ll bring you a special edition of Open Spaces, where we examine the legacy of the Matthew Shepard murder 20 years later. We’ll hear from three people who were involved in the case and what they think happened. Wyoming is known as the Equality State, but we’ll talk to LGBTQ folks about the homophobia they encounter on a daily basis. And we’ll find out how the arts have become so intertwined with the legacy of Matthew Shepard - starting with the Laramie Project and continuing to new works today. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces September 28, 2018

Sep 28, 2018

On this episode, we will look at an effort to reduce the numbers of people going to prison. A story on to what degree is the Hathaway Scholarship is actually increasing access to higher education in Wyoming. A new kind of toilet may be coming to a national park near you. But be prepared for something different. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces September 14, 2018

Sep 14, 2018

On this episode, Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Mary Throne will join us and talk about her plans for the state. Around 30 million dollars will be removed from Bank of the West following its turn away from fossil fuels. But one city, surrounded by oil and gas, is not planning to punish its local branch. As young people move away in greater numbers from Wyoming, a new study shows there might be a trend helping to save some small towns…an influx of Latino families. We will also have a feature on an opera whose theme is locusts. 

Open Spaces September 7, 2018

Sep 7, 2018

On this episode, we’ll have a couple of discussions on the topic of civil discourse and about the roots of civility’s decline. We'll hear from the Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne about justice for child sexual abuse victims in Wyoming. And we’ll learn more about a small, brown insect that could disappear with climate change. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces August 24, 2018

Aug 24, 2018

On this episode, the Trump administration's version of the Clean Power Plan was released this week and many are skeptical it will actually help coal. But some in the industry are hoping for the best. Coming up, what Albany County is doing to better serve juvenile offenders and reduce costs. And we'll hear about an unlikely solution fo drought in the West - the walking, talking ecosystem that is the beaver. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces August 17, 2018

Aug 20, 2018

On this episode, Governor Matt Mead signed the Indian Education For All Act into law. And Wyoming Humanities Council plans to help get that education into schools and libraries right away. We will have a special report on migrant education in the state. The Colorado Sun is a newspaper that cropped up after a number of journalists left the Denver Post. We will also re-visit our story on a new tourism at the University of Wyoming. And a special interview with musician Herb Alpert.