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 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. 

Open Spaces March 4, 2016

Mar 4, 2016

On this episode, we’ll hear a story on how coal companies are declaring bankruptcy one after another... but in the Powder River Basin, mining continues. We’ll also hear about what it’s like to be the only woman in Wyoming’s State Senate. We’ll also hear the second part on a story of a doctor’s investigation of oilfield worker deaths, an interview about a program to stop lead poisoning in eagles and ravens, and a wrap up of this year’s legislative budget session. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces February 26, 2016

Feb 26, 2016

On this episode, we have two stories about Native American Boarding Schools, one taking a look at their their dark past and another about the role of Indian Boarding Schools nowadays. Also, Fremont County is sending kids who have committed crimes into a classroom... instead of a jail. We’ll also talk to legislators about the possible need to raise taxes to fix the budget shortfalls and hear a story about a doctor’s quest to solve the mystery of several oil field worker deaths. These stories and more. 

Open Spaces February 12, 2016

Feb 12, 2016

On this episode, in many parts of the West, new development is bumping into old oil and gas fields. But that hasn't stopped people from doing just that... Stay tuned for that story just ahead. And we’ll hear how National Geographic writer Mark Jenkins thought he’d never get a second chance to climb Burma’s highest peak. But that was before Aung San Suu Kyi [ahn-sahng-soo-chee] brought peace and democracy to the region.

Open Spaces February 5, 2016

Feb 5, 2016

We’ll hear how decades of oil and gas drilling in the West has left behind thousands of abandoned, largely forgotten wells. And how Wyoming recently attempted to count its entire population of homeless people. But some advocates say the count isn’t getting everyone who is really homeless in the state. We will hear from the Wyoming basketball great who invented the jump shot. We’ll also find out how wildlife biologists are trying to save cutthroat trout, and hear an interview with Laramie artist Tara Pappas. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces January 22, 2016

Jan 22, 2016

On this episode, we will hear about how Wyoming doesn’t follow federal guidelines meant to keep dangerously mentally ill people from buying a gun. The only safe shelter on the Wind River Indian Reservation recently closed down when it’s funding dried up. A story about how a county shelter is trying to fill that need in a community where sexual assault rates are overwhelming. The Head of Wyoming’s Taxpayers association is calling for a reform of the state’s current tax structure. Join us for those stories and more. 

10-Year Anniversary Edition Of Open Spaces

Jan 15, 2016

On this episode, we celebrate the ten year anniversary of the multi-award winning program Open Spaces. The show began in January of 2006 and since that time, the show has won 37 regional and national awards for reporting excellence. Today we will hear a number of those award winning stories.

Open Spaces January 8, 2016

Jan 8, 2016

On this episode, we’ll hear about how cops are training to deal with people in a mental health crisis. It’s part of our new series on suicide in Wyoming. Jackson is considering moving its dual language immersion program into a single magnet school. We will meet new University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols and a story on the responsibility of headwater states to protect the health of the Colorado River in times of drought. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces December 11, 2015

Dec 11, 2015

On this episode, Lawmakers debate how to deal with a decline in school construction money. We’ll go inside what used to be one of the most secretive places in the country: a former nuclear missile launch facility outside of Cheyenne. We’ll also hear about Obama’s new education law. And hear a new idea for what to do with all Wyoming’s Wilderness Study Areas. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces December 4, 2015

Dec 4, 2015

On this episode, Governor Matt Mead explains that while he proposed budget cuts some spending…there will not be deep cuts. Wyoming has special responsibilities as the headwaters of the Colorado River. Things get confusing when extreme drought takes its toll downstream. We’ll hear about a new program to help Wyoming’s low-income inventors. And stories about distance education, refugees, and climate change denial. These stories and more. 

Open Spaces November 20, 2015

Nov 20, 2015

On this episode, Wyoming’s Congressional delegation lacks enthusiasm for the Paris climate talks. The University of Wyoming football team has been plagued by an inordinate number of concussions this season. As mule deer numbers drop, scientists are wondering if the problem doesn’t have a lot to do with disturbed migration routes. We will also have a discussion on school funding. These stories and more. 

Open Spaces November 13, 2015

Nov 13, 2015

On this episode, the coal industry is struggling nation-wide to put up money for clean-up costs. It could be a serious financial burden on coal companies. We’ll look at how kids going to school on the internet has become more mainstream. We'll hear about the University of Wyoming Black 14, and two interviews on how to leverage taxes for some of the state’s funding woes. And talk to the author of a new biography on Red Cloud. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces November 6, 2015

Nov 9, 2015

On this episode, UW’s President Dick McGinity is working to smooth things over after the questionable detention of some campus visitors. And about how law enforcement in Sweetwater County is turning to a powerful addiction treatment drug to keep offenders sober, and out of jail. And how Torrington may lose its iconic sugar factory, but local officials are optimistic that they will overcome the blow. We’ll also hear an interview with animal welfare advocate Temple Grandin and talk to a researcher about the melting of Greenland’s glaciers. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces October 23, 2015

Oct 23, 2015

On this episode, the Wyoming legislature will have a lot less money to spend on its next budget, but some hope they don’t just cut. We’ll visit the northern Red Desert where two Laramie artists have created an open air studio near an energy field. We’ll learn about the surprising second act of the TV Antenna. And we’ll hear about efforts to combat truancy on the Wind River Reservation. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces October 16, 2015

Oct 16, 2015


On this episode, Natrona County School District will soon launch a new education model for high school students. We’ll hear about the controversial electronic  betting games known as “historical horse racing machines.” These games bring in tens of million of dollars a year in Wyoming, but were shut down last month by state officials. And we will learn that coal can be made into all sorts of things- from gas to ammonia to products that are wearable. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces September 25, 2015

Sep 25, 2015

On this episode, we’ll hear about why many in Wyoming are celebrating the decision not to list the greater sage grouse as an endangered species…and why some are not. We also will explain why Wyoming continues to hold its annual sage grouse hunt. We will hear about the latest clean coal efforts and when the boom goes bust, who is going to be left on the hook?

Wyoming ranchers who depend on seasonal foreign workers say new regulations could cripple their industry. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces September 11, 2015

Sep 11, 2015

On this episode, we’ll talk to Governor Mead about his Endangered Species Act Initiative. And we’ll visit the town of Pinedale, where the Mayor is at the center of a political firestorm. 

We’ll hear about the challenges of personal finance in a boom and bust economy. And we’ll hear from members of the University of Wyoming’s marching band as they take the field for the cowboys’ first home football game. One rookie player is feeling…jittery.

Open Spaces August 28, 2015

Aug 28, 2015

On this episode, we will hear how nine respected women on the Wind River Indian Reservation are taking a unique approach in an effort to help victims of sexual assault. Meanwhile Wyoming state officials are looking at whether they should keep putting minors on the sex offender registry. We will talk about the EPA saying that Ozone levels have improved in the Pinedale area. And we will look at Wyoming’s two outstanding running backs Shaun Wick and Brian Hill. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces August 21, 2015

Aug 21, 2015

On this episode, Wyoming is fighting back against proposed updates to the federal coal program. We will hear what our congressional delegation has to say about same-sex marriage and we’ll climb a mountain with landscape artist Joe Arnold. Plus a visit to H+S specialty coffee roasters in Laramie. Those stories and more! 

Open Spaces August 14, 2015

Aug 14, 2015

On this episode, Pope Francis’ environmental message is challenging some Wyoming Catholics because of what it says about the future of coal. Gillette examines its future in light of the coal industry's troubles, a debate over the water quality downgrade of thousands of the state’s alpine streams.

We’ll also hear an interview with Governor Mead on the Clean Power Plant rule, learn about fake businesses known as “shell companies,” and take a run in the shoes of an ultra marathoner. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces July 31, 2015

Jul 31, 2015

On this episode, we’ll hear how Wind River Tribes went to Washington this week to ask to classify a recent shooting there as a hate crime. And a story about Wyoming Grown, a new state program designed to convince Cowboy state expats to move back home. Wyoming lawmakers are moving forward on a multi-year plan to renovate the state capitol and Herschler building. We’ll also hear about threats to the grid from solar storms, and new research at the University of Wyoming on polar bears, and take a wildflower walk with author Susan Marsh. 

Open Spaces July 24, 2015

Jul 24, 2015

On this episode, we will take you to the "Daddy of Em All", Cheyenne Frontier Days for a number of stories. We will also talk to the Director of a group who is trying to get medical marijuana on the ballot and we will hear from our Inside Energy team. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces July 10, 2015

Jul 13, 2015

On this episode, a new vaccine could set the stage for the return of the Black-Footed Ferret, youth crisis centers and a jail, Jackson's housing troubles and its relation to keeping teachers around. Those stories and an interview with Wyoming’s Bishop on climate change are all coming up. 

Open Spaces July 3, 2015

Jul 6, 2015

On this holiday edition, we will hear how a billionaire is trying to become the biggest alternative energy giant in the country by investing in a project in Wyoming. We'll also revisit a story about school lunches. We will talk about how hospice care has changed the world for family caregivers, and recently we've heard about how religious beliefs and politics mix in Wyoming. Those stories and more!

Open Spaces June 19, 2015

Jun 25, 2015

On this episode, we will look into financial issues facing Wyoming’s hospitals, a teacher who gets kids thinking about sage grouse through the topic of mathematics, new summer activities cropping up at our state's ski resorts. And we will hear what Wyoming’s congressional delegation wants to do about fire funding. These stories and more!