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 July 14, 2017

Jul 14, 2017

On this episode, we'll hear about a show that depicts a white settler getting skinned alive by Native Americans — who are played by white actors. Even though Wyoming has the most lenient food regulations, grass fed cattle producers are struggling to get their meat out to urban markets...even though ranchers say the state has the best quality beef around. A local school district has opened up a clinic to make sure kids have year round support. They did it in hopes of curing a trend. We'll also learn about a debate over a proposed coal mine...

Open Spaces June 30, 2017

Jun 30, 2017

On this episode, Wyoming Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzie defend the Senate Healthcare Bill against criticism. In June, there’s a voluntary climbing closure of Devils Tower to respect Native American ceremonies, but more climbers are ignoring the advisory. And we’ll learn why a coal company wants to dig the first new Wyoming mine in decades — and how it has nothing to do with electricity. We’ll also take a look at the Wyoming band Teenage Bottlerocket. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces June 16, 2017

Jun 16, 2017

On this episode, like in the rest of the country, investigating and prosecuting alleged sexual assaults in Wyoming is complicated. We'll take a look at how budget cuts are affecting suicide prevention efforts in the Wyoming, where rates are stable but still high. We will hear about a new teaching tool being used in Arapaho and new methods are being used to keep invasive species from taking over. These stories and more. 

Open Spaces June 9, 2017

Jun 9, 2017

On this episode, jobs are coming back to coal country in Wyoming, reuniting families and boosting the economy. The job numbers aren't as high as before the crash, but things are starting to even out. Superintendent Jillian Balow sees opportunity as Wyoming transitions to new federal education guidelines. And a story about how Wyoming leaders may change the Endangered Species Act. Plus, we'll hear about a Cheyenne program to develop more service dogs. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces May 26, 2017

May 26, 2017

On this episode, some legislators and communities are discussing whether communities should be allowed to raise more local money through fees or taxes. We'll find out how a group of middle schoolers is helping Laramie restaurants go green. A Jackson climber who sees friends die by avalanche and addiction creates a common solution. And Wyoming’s congressional delegation discusses the President’s budget. Those stories and much more.


Open Spaces May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017

On this episode, 37 UW workers will lose their jobs following graduation. Wyoming arts organizations remain nervous that federal funding could get eliminated. And we’ll experience the exciting countdown until gates open for antler hunting season. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces May 5, 2017

May 5, 2017

On this episode, Wyoming U.S. Representative cast her vote to do away with the affordable care act this week. Leadership at the Casper Police Department continues to be scrutinized for an alleged hostile work environment. We will look at the debate over concealed carry on the University of Wyoming campus. Plus a look at the return of wolf management to the state of Wyoming and the Importance of Humanities at UW. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces April 14, 2017

Apr 14, 2017

On this episode, as the state reworks school funding, lawmakers weigh politics versus efficient spending. We also talk with award-winning author Timothy Egan and it's been over a month since Uber arrived in Wyoming and they've seen a lot of interest. These stories and more. 

Open Spaces April 7, 2017

Apr 7, 2017

On this episode, we will be joined by Governor Matt Mead who will recap the legislative session and reiterate the need to diversify the state economy. We will be joined by Baroness Catherine Ashton who is visiting Laramie this week. Plus stories on energy and an evocative new play is exploring what the Ku Klux Klan and Native Americans have in common using black humor. Those stories and more.

On this episode, school districts balance the impact of budget cuts and learning. Many women who have filed sexual assault reports in Casper believe their cases have been mishandled or neglected by law enforcement. And a story from Washington about how Republicans are arguing about climate change. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces March 24, 2017

Mar 24, 2017

On this episode, education students are skeptical of their future as teachers in Wyoming. Proposed budget cuts to Meals on Wheels at the federal level have those who depend on the delivery service worried about the future. When congress eventually reforms the affordable care act, the worry in Wyoming is that many could lose their insurance. We’ll also hear how the repeal of the Affordable Care Act will affect Wyomingites and learn about declining moose numbers. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces March 3, 2017

Mar 3, 2017

On this episode, legislative freshmen discuss their experience during this year's session. The Wyoming Legislature resolved a major issue of housing inequality this session all because of one determined citizen. One University of Wyoming College of Law Professor is hoping a study of his will lend facts and sensibility to the immigration debate. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces February 24, 2017

Feb 24, 2017


On this episode, we will revisit the bill that would have allowed guns on college campuses. Wyoming kids are using the state’s newly adopted science standards for the first time this year. We’ll look back at what it took to reach agreement on teaching climate change. We'll hear what ranchers and labor advocates are saying about new wages for foreign sheepherders. Plus stories on health care, avalanches, and former Senator Olympia Snowe. These stories and more. 

Open Spaces February 10, 2017

Feb 10, 2017

On this episode, we will hear about a pair of legislative bills intended to address a $400 million shortfall in education funding. The question is will either pass. If President Trump’s travel ban sticks, it will have a major impact on some of the University of Wyoming’s international students’ studies and personal lives. Wyoming’s Transportation Director went to Capitol Hill to ask for more highway funds. Plus a conversation about wage gap legislation and education issues. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces February 3, 2017

Feb 3, 2017


Open Spaces January 20, 2017

Jan 20, 2017

On this episode, we’ll see how lawmakers are looking at ways to generate more revenue: from new taxes to diversifying the economy. We’ll explore a possible alternative to the controversial land transfer bill that would empower locals with negotiate with the feds. We'll look at what virtual education means for teaching in Wyoming. Plus a look at the lead contamination at Pinedale High School and an update on Liz Cheney’s first weeks in Washington. Those stories and more. 

On this episode, with Trump about to take over the White House, the coal industry’s relieved it won’t have to comply with a new rule curbing carbon dioxide emissions. In Washington, Wyoming’s U.S. Senators are working to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, but Senator Mike Enzi says it will be done with baby steps.We’ll hear how hard it is for Native Americans to find rentals in reservation border communities due to housing discrimination…Those stories and more on Open Spaces from Wyoming Public Radio News.

Open Spaces December 16, 2016

Dec 16, 2016

On this episode, we’ll hear why members of the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee say they believe still more budget cuts are needed. And we’ll learn how the Northern Arapaho are trying to make sure they don’t get left out of grizzly delisting the way the Standing Rock Sioux did on the pipeline. We’ll hear about the strange things that started happening when a UW student was commissioned to paint the sinking of the USS Arizona. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces December 9, 2016

Dec 9, 2016

On this episode, emotions are running high following the 2016 presidential election, so educators in Jackson are helping their large number of Mexican students cope, a housing crisis going on at the Wind River Indian Reservation, we go to a Russian rodeo, where fledgling Russian cowboys are trying to prove that producing beef, and in the last story in the Women Run The West series, Caroline Ballard reports part of the problem still lies in recruitment. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces December 2, 2016

Dec 2, 2016

On this episode, recently some right leaning groups have put a lot of pressure on the Wyoming legislature. The BLM is trying to figure out their next move when it comes to managing wild horses in the Checkerboard. We will have the story of a father and son who worked their entire careers to return wild bison to the Wind River Reservation. And we will have a chat with the famous artist Neltje. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces November 11, 2016

Nov 11, 2016

On this episode, Trump made big promises on the campaign trail about what he could do for coal... and miners voted for him, believing those promises... But can Trump deliver? Wyomingites have been turning out in high numbers to protest a proposed constitutional amendment that would give the state management over federal lands. We’ll also hear from the author of a new book who says humanity is experiencing a key transition point in its development. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces November 4, 2016

Nov 4, 2016

On this episode, we’ll hear about the race for mayor of Cheyenne and how tense it’s become. As Election Day nears, we’ll talk about campaign finance and how money can influence voters. And a gas leak shuts down the school in a tiny Wyoming town... but for months, it's a mystery where the gas came and from. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces October 21, 2016

Oct 21, 2016

On this episode, we will hear why last minute Presidential Executive Orders have Wyoming’s Congressional Delegation Nervous. Constitutional Amendment A would allow the Treasurer to invest state reserve funds in the equities market in an effort to get a higher return. He says it will have legislative safeguards. We will have stories on energy and a conversation with Libertarian U.S. House Candidate Larry Struempf. Those stories and more. 


Open Spaces October 14, 2016

Oct 14, 2016

On this episode, we will hear the views of U.S. House candidate Liz Cheney. The Republican will give her views on energy, education, and health care among other things. U.S. Senator Mike Enzi will also join us. Wyoming has not always embraced renewable energy... but as the state faces a historic bust, could that be changing? In 2014, a building at the Wyoming Women’s Center was renovated for the purpose of housing inmate mothers and their children. But because of staffing issues, it’s been empty ever since. And we will speak with the chair of the national endowment for the arts Jane Chu.

Open Spaces September 23, 2016

Sep 23, 2016


Open Spaces September 16, 2016

Sep 16, 2016

On this episode, we will hear How a small community college in Riverton has been doing big work to study the effects of climate change on one of Wyoming’s largest glaciers. State Superintendent Jillian Balow joins us to discuss the state of education. We will hear about an important restoration in Grand Teton National Park and we’ll follow along with a team of scientists studying Laramie’s raccoon population. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces September 2, 2016

Sep 2, 2016

On this episode, as part of our series on the reservation housing shortage, we’ll find out why it’s so hard for Wyoming’s tribes to build new homes. A new school year is underway, and with it comes a debate over athletics funding at the University of Wyoming. Thanks to new technology, fire lookout towers aren’t as common as they used to be. We’ll hear from the few remaining people who staff them. We will also hear about how both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton plan to win over energy-state voters. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces August 26, 2016

Aug 26, 2016

On this episode, we will hear from a woman who has covered the Muslim Community in Gillette. We’ll hear why Wyoming women got the right to vote first in the nation, and how that legacy of equal rights is at odds with the state’s female political representation today. As the the coal industry weakens, mine clean-up costs are a concern. We will learn about new ways to teach science and the high cost of the University of Wyoming utility bill. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces August 12, 2016

Aug 12, 2016

On this episode, we’ll learn how the Wind River Reservation’s two tribes are struggling with a shortage of housing and how that’s leading to overcrowding. Coal companies in the West have dug up an area the size of New York City to get to the coal underneath. Now, they're trying to put nature back together. And we’ll explore what makes Western Music…Western. We’ll also get an update on the delisting of the grizzly bear and learn why you should have hope for the Wyoming Cowboys football team this season. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces August 5, 2016

Aug 5, 2016


On this episode, we will hear from three candidates for the U.S. House who are battling to get media attention. The Cathedral Home for Children in Laramie is introducing their students to drumming as a coping method. We will also learn about how immigrants have helped the economy and why it’s easier to peek into the lives of wildlife. Those stories and more.