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 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. 

Open Spaces July 29, 2016

Jul 29, 2016

On this episode, a father and former coal miner on life after coal. We'll also look into how budget cuts to substance abuse treatment might put Wyoming prisoners at risk for going back to drug abuse. A project on the Wind River Indian Reservation is studying whether backyard gardening could help combat diabetes and other diseases. We’ll also chat with some of Wyoming’s delegates at the Democratic National Convention, learn about a new computer coding school in Cheyenne …and learn how renewable energy industries are creating jobs. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces July 15, 2016

Jul 15, 2016

On this episode, it’s been a tough start for new University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols as she’s spent the first two months on the job cutting $41 million from the UW budget. She’s even more concerned about the future. Researchers say counting moose and their young is tricky business. We’ll hear about a unique program to prevent teen suicide on the Wind River Indian Reservation by teaching a love for horses. Those stories and an interview with the new poet laureate. 

Open Spaces July 1, 2016

Jul 1, 2016


On this episode, U.S. Senator John Barrasso is preparing the Republican Party platform for the upcoming convention. Part of that is trying to get Donald Trump on board. Hard times for coal means hard times for other industries as well. We’ll also hear about how Wyoming is predicted to be the last state to close the gender wage gap and summer is the perfect time for the great American road trip. Those stories more. 

Open Spaces June 17, 2016

Jun 17, 2016

On this episode, we will hear that a surge in democratic candidates will make Wyoming’s general election much more competitive. What does the day-to-day look like for police officers who patrol public schools? We’ll hear how thrilled everyone was to release several hundred endangered toads onto the plains of the Laramie Basin. Plus a look at the job market for recent UW grads and Wyoming’s congressional delegation says that recent gun control efforts are misguided. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces June 10, 2016

Jun 10, 2016

On this episode, poor decision making has led to some tragic outcomes this year in Yellowstone Nation Park. We will profile democratic U.S. House candidate Ryan Greene and Wyoming ranks high when it comes to referring students to law enforcement. We’ll look at the evolving role of School Resource officers in our public schools. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces: Women In Wyoming's Legislature

Jun 3, 2016

On this episode, we welcome you to a special edition of Open Spaces. We bring you a conversation about Women in the Wyoming Legislature…and why there are so few of them. This panel was recorded live earlier this year at the Leap Into Leadership conference, in conjunction with Leadership Wyoming Class of 2016. We’ll hear about some of the barriers that women face when they want to run for office. We’ll discuss why it’s important to have women in the legislature, and how we can better encourage women to run for office. 

Open Spaces May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016


On this episode, a transgender Laramie high student is now running for a seat on the school board. Budget cutting is the topic of the day in state government and the latest debate over the management of wolves. These stories and more. 

Open Spaces May 13, 2016

May 13, 2016

On this episode, we’ll learn how sex education is stirring controversy in Jackson after the school district invited a Christian abstinence speaker into classrooms. We’ll hear from some of Wyoming’s delegation on how they’re feeling about the presumptive nomination of Donald Trump for the GOP’s presidential candidate.

Open Spaces May 6, 2016

May 6, 2016


On this episode, the state's revenues for school funding are drying up, and policymakers say Wyoming’s education future is uncertain.We will discuss energy independence, fracking, coal technology research... we dig deep into the politics and policy of energy. More and more public libraries in Wyoming are starting seed libraries that lend seeds alongside books. Wyoming’s delegation is hopeful that major budget legislation will get passed and a conversation with U.S. House candidate Tim Stubson. These stories and more. 

Open Spaces April 22, 2016

Apr 22, 2016

On this episode, we will review the congressional action of a new energy bill and hear what our delegation has to say about it. We will also look at what’s next for displaced coal miners in Gillette. Plus and energy conversation with U.S. House Candidate Liz Cheney and discussions on sexual assault and Yellowstone National Park. These stories and more. 

Open Spaces April 15, 2016

Apr 15, 2016

On this episode, we’ll talk about the Peabody Coal Mine bankruptcy and learn about Wyoming Game and Fish’s study of wolverines and why tracking them down isn’t easy and how some Native American students say they're lacking support at UW. We will also hear about efforts to save the black-footed ferret…and find out why homes contaminated by methamphetamine is a growing concern. 

Open Spaces April 8, 2016

Apr 8, 2016

On this episode, hundreds of Wyoming coal miners were laid off last week. Now, they're asking... what's next? Wyoming has once again received national attention for its laws concerning Shell companies. The Riverton Police Department has a new employee—tasked with investigating bias. Plus a historical discussion on Grizzlies and an interview with author Erik Larson. These stories and more on Open Spaces from Wyoming Public Radio News.   

10-Year Anniversary Edition Of Open Spaces: Part 2

Mar 25, 2016


In January, we re-aired a number of our top stories from the last decade. This is part two of our series. On this episode, we will once again re-air some of our favorite stories. We will take you where people are looking after children impacted by methamphetamine. Grizzlies are once again up for removal from the endangered species list, the last time the state managed grizzlies they worked very hard to eliminate grizzly-human encounters like this one. And what’s the deal with that Wyoming wind? Join us for a special edition of Open Spaces. 

Open Spaces March 18, 2016

Mar 18, 2016

On this episode, we will look into the debate over what to do about marijuana edibles. And whether someone should be prosecuted over the weight of an edible. We’ll investigate the “cultural exchange” visa that many Jackson area employers rely on to fill seasonal jobs like housekeeping. And a story about how researchers are using technology to peek into the secret lives of mountain lions. Plus conversations about hate crimes, grizzly bears and much more.