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March 30th, 2018

Bison in Yellowstone
Daniel Mayer via CC BY-SA 3.0

Listen to the full show here. 

Yellowstone Bison Management In Limelight After Multiple Criminal Incidents

Since the beginning of this year, there have been four criminal acts at the Stephen’s Creek Facility in Yellowstone National Park. This facility is the central hub for the management of the Yellowstone Park bison herd. Bison or buffalo once roamed the American plains in the millions but today about 4,200 exist. Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska reports

Inaugural Women’s Antelope Hunt a success, despite snow

Women still only make up a small percentage of all hunters, but that number has increased significantly in recent years. Now, organizations like the Wyoming Women’s Foundation want to encourage more growth through mentorship. The group says hunting is an important way to teach self-sufficiency and economic independence. A few years back, Wyoming Public Radio's Irina Zhorov tagged along on the state's inaugural Women's Antelope Hunt and filed this report which won a national award for the best use of sound.

New Studies Look At How Ravens Affect Sage Grouse Nest Success

When people think of ravens, they often think Edgar Allen Poe…But talk to a sage grouse ecologist and it’s a different story. In the last 50 years, as energy development has moved in, raven numbers have skyrocketed. Several new studies across the West show that these “ominous birds of yore” are feasting on sage grouse eggs and chicks, a species that’s already on the brink of extinction. And so, to protect them, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering upping the number of ravens they’re controlling lethally. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards reports.

Researchers Study The Success Of The Snowy Range Moose Herd

Most moose herds in Wyoming are in decline, but the Snowy Range Moose herd appears to be an exception. After a moose re-introduction in northern Colorado, they started showing up in the Snowy Range Mountains west of Laramie in the 1980s. They’re commonly spotted throughout southeast Wyoming, but there had been little data concerning their exact numbers. Now a joint research project by the University of Wyoming and Wyoming Game and Fish is trying to change that. Bob Beck reports.  

Scientists Regroup After Winterkill Wipes Out Mule Deer Herd Fawns

Life isn’t easy for the Wyoming Range mule deer herd. They face harsh winters and make long migrations over rugged mountains. And for the last 20 years, the herd has been in decline. And nobody really knew why. But five years ago this month a collaborative effort began to radio collar deer, giving scientists a chance to get a closer look at what’s threatening the herd.

To mark that milestone, we have two stories about the efforts of the Wyoming Mule Deer Project. We’ll start by revisiting a story about fawn survival reported by Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards last summer.

After Mule Deer Decline, Human Collaboration Could Bring Herd Back

Turns out winter for those little fawns wasn’t so bad. The smaller herd size meant deer had more to eat last summer, so they got fat and healthy. But winter isn’t the only thing that makes survival hard. Energy development also takes its toll. Wyoming Public Radio’s Tennessee Watson met back up with research scientist Sam Dwinnell at spring captures to learn more. 

How Wyoming Leaders Might Change The Endangered Species Act 

The Endangered Species Act is facing increasing pressure to reform. Momentum in Congress and in western states is building to make changes to the landmark regulation that protects threatened animal and plant species and their habitats. Wyoming Public Radio’s Cooper McKim covered this story last summer. 

Grizzly Death Triggers Park to Weigh Options for Elk Hunt 

The death of a grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park on Thanksgiving Day of 2012 triggered calls for ending the park's annual elk hunt. A hunting party shot the grizzly after the hunters said the bear charged them. The Park Superintendent at the time, Mary Gibson Scott, called the bear's death a travesty. It was the first hunting-related grizzly death in the park. But Scott said her agency, the National Park Service, can't just end the hunt. Rebecca Huntington reported this story in 2013.

Bob Beck has been News Director of Wyoming Public Radio since 1988. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
Before Wyoming, Cooper McKim has reported for NPR stations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and South Carolina. He's reported breaking news segments and features for several national NPR news programs. Cooper is the host of the limited podcast series Carbon Valley. Cooper studied Environmental Policy and Music. He's an avid jazz piano player, backpacker, and podcast listener.
Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
Irina Zhorov is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Wyoming. In between, she worked as a photographer and writer for Philadelphia-area and national publications. Her professional interests revolve around environmental and energy reporting and she's reported on mining issues from Wyoming, Mexico, and Bolivia. She's been supported by the Dick and Lynn Cheney Grant for International Study, the Eleanor K. Kambouris Grant, and the Social Justice Research Center Research Grant for her work on Bolivian mining and Uzbek alpinism. Her work has appeared on Voice of America, National Native News, and in Indian Country Today, among other publications.
A multi-media journalist, Rebecca Huntington is a regular contributor to Wyoming Public Radio. She has reported on a variety of topics ranging from the National Parks, wildlife, environment, health care, education and business. She recently co-wrote the one-hour, high-definition documentary, The Stagecoach Bar: An American Crossroads, which premiered in 2012. She also works at another hub for community interactions, the Teton County Library where she is a Communications and Digital Media Specialist. She reported for daily and weekly newspapers in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Wyoming for more than a decade before becoming a multi-media journalist. She completed a Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado in 2002. She has written and produced video news stories for the PBS series This American Land (thisamericanland.org) and for Assignment Earth, broadcast on Yahoo! News and NBC affiliates. In 2009, she traveled to Guatemala to produce a series of videos on sustainable agriculture, tourism and forestry and to Peru to report on the impacts of extractive industries on local communities.
Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.
In addition to reporting daily on the happenings in Northwest Wyoming, Kamila is also the producer of the Kids Ask WhY Podcast and the History Unloaded Podcast.Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.