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June 17th, 2022

A drilling rig in Jonah Field in Sublette County.
Caitlin Tan
Wyoming Public Media
One drilling rig remains on the Jonah Field in Sublette County.
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  • On this episode, Wyoming is holding its first oil and gas lease sale next week. They typically happen quarterly, but this is the first sale to take place since Biden took office. And neither environmental groups nor industry are happy. Group facilities like nursing homes and prisons had a hard time keeping COVID-19 out of their halls, leading to illness and death. But as it turns out, many state psychiatric facilities report having better luck containing the virus. And we will speak with two Republican candidates for Governor James Scott Quick and Rex Rammell. Those stories and more.
  • Political newcomer James Scott Quick of Douglas is a Republican candidate for governor. Mr. Quick came to Wyoming in 1969 and graduated from Douglas High School. After serving in the Marines, he's worked in the energy industry and currently operates an oilfield service company. He told Bob Beck that he's concerned about losing freedoms in the country and the state and that's what got him into the race. Quick said he has some priorities he'd like to work on.
  • Republican candidate for governor Rex Rammell has been in a number of political campaigns as he continues to push his top priority of getting federal lands into state hands. Rammell is a veterinarian and grew up near Yellowstone National Park. He said if Wyoming could get control of federal lands, a lot of problems would be solved.
  • Standing out on the Jonah Field in Sublette County one sees a sea of sagebrush - it's 24,000 acres. Back in the 90s, it was regarded as one of the largest onshore natural gas discoveries in the world. Things have leveled out now. There is now just one active drilling rig in the area. But, there are plans to steadily expand in the future. And expansion like that is what a lot of environmental groups take issue with.
  • Lander will play host to a statewide summit on climate change next week. The organizers, the Lander Climate Action Network, hope to elevate Indigenous voices, explore renewable energy and green transportation, and inspire more sustainable living in a rapidly changing Mountain West. Wyoming Public Radio's Jeff Victor spoke with organizer Ariel Greene about the upcoming summit.
  • A new film that will air on Wyoming PBS in August, focuses on golden eagle research in the Big Horn Basin. Lead researcher Dr. Charles Preston began looking at the raptor's populations way back in 2010. "Golden Eagles: Witnesses to a Changing West" shows how the results of his research can tell us a lot about the rest of the environment in the West. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska asked Preston why he got interested in the golden eagles.
  • State-run psychiatric hospitals have dozens of people coming in and then leaving days, weeks or months later. Surprisingly, most of these facilities in the Mountain West reported having far fewer COVID outbreaks and deaths than other group facilities.
  • When Julie Burkhart learned about the Supreme Court draft opinion that would end abortion protections, she let out an involuntary shriek from her airplane seat. “Because it felt like such a gut punch,” Burkhart said. “And then after that, getting into the opinion and reading that — it was chilling.”

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
Caitlin Tan is the Energy and Natural Resources reporter based in Sublette County, Wyoming. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2017, she’s reported on salmon in Alaska, folkways in Appalachia and helped produce 'All Things Considered' in Washington D.C. She formerly co-hosted the podcast ‘Inside Appalachia.' You can typically find her outside in the mountains with her two dogs.
Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.
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.
Madelyn Beck
Madelyn Beck is Boise State Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. She's from Montana but has reported everywhere from North Dakota to Alaska to Washington, D.C. Her last few positions included covering energy resources in Wyoming and reporting on agriculture/rural life issues in Illinois.
Robyn Vincent