Warm weather tourist traffic is winding down in Yellowstone National Park, and they’re getting ready for winter tourists. The National Park Services bans over-snow vehicles in all national parks, unless individual parks pass rules permitting and regulating them.
Hydrogeophysicist Steve Holbrook marks the GPS coordinates of points where he and his team will seismically measure the subsurface. Holbrook co-directs the Wyoming Center for Hydrology and Geophysics, which hopes to better understand snowpack and aquifers in the state.
In such an arid state as Wyoming, water is precious. Last year, the University of Wyoming created the Wyoming Center for Hydrology and Geophysics, combining field experts and state-of-the art technology to better understand where water goes in after it falls from the sky, since much of it ends up in snowpack or underground.
There isn’t too much information available about that, but it’s important to state and local water managers, who need to know just how much water they have to work with. Rebecca Martinez reports.
Many retired people take up a hobby -- knitting, bird watching, bingo. But two Laramie retirees have decided to spend their days in pursuit of a decidedly less mainstream pastime: solving the energy challenges of our time. Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce has the story.
STEPHANIE JOYCE: It’s a sunny fall day, and Dave Earnshaw is standing outside the central energy plant at the University of Wyoming, staring out over the empty field that sits next to it.
The Continental Divide Trail is a hiking path that runs from Canada to Mexico, along the great divide. It’s more than 3,000 miles long, and only a handful of people hike the whole thing in a single year. Marc Koeplin of Cheyenne is one of them.
He and his hiking partner finished the trail a few weeks ago, and joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden to talk about the trip. He says his first long-distance hike was the Appelachian Trail, which he did 12 years ago.
Ranchers have always planned for the next season and the next generation…and as such have been natural conservationists. But new management tools in the conservation toolbox are making it easier for land owners to be successful stewards of their land. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that ranchers are up for the challenge.
Wyoming might not be the first choice for grape growers and aspiring vinters, but a group in Sheridan is working to change that. Professors, graduate and undergraduate students at UW and Sheridan College are using advanced techniques to identify traits in different grape varieties that make them well suited to Wyoming. Wyoming Public Radio’s Chelsea Biondolillo reports.
Playwright William Missouri Downs says Ayn Rand’s rational, objective philosophy helped him through college. But in Downs’ newest play, certainty is lacking. Writer and philosopher Ayn Rand is put on trial, and the audience is the jury. Wyoming Public Media’s Micah Schweizer spoke with William Missouri Downs.
Nina McConigley is a lecturer in the University of Wyoming’s English Department. Her new book is a collection of short stories called Cowboys and East Indians.
Her book tells the stories of a variety of Indian characters living in Wyoming, and explores what, often, reads as an unusual combination. McConigley’s father is an Irish-born petroleum geologist, and her mother, Nimi McConigley, was the first Indian-born person to serve in the Wyoming Legislature. Nina tells Rebecca Martinez she grew up in Casper.
We’re going to hear now from a woman who was blind for the first 38 years of her life. At that point, a doctor told her he could make her see. After four surgeries, she finally gained her vision.
The woman’s name is Pat Logan, and we’ll hear a conversation she had with Dave Stratton, the chaplain for the Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly, in Cheyenne. The interview was recorded as part of StoryCorps, a project that records conversations between loved ones.
Wyoming’s minerals revenue is expected to stay steady, even while natural gas and coal production fall. That’s according to the latest projections from the state’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Group – or CREG.
State geologist Tom Drean is a member of the group. He says the declining production will likely be offset by rising prices for natural gas, as well as increased oil production.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation may be one of the state agencies that benefits from the better than expected earnings Wyoming brought in this fiscal year. The state’s general fund is about $333 million over what the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, or CREG, predicted.
Governor Matt Mead says he’s gone through WYDOT’s budget once, but may review it again.
Governor Matt Mead says there’s no question that Taiwan and South Korea want Wyoming coal. Mead just returned from a trip to those countries where he met with government leaders, trona industry representatives, and attended events promoting tourism in Wyoming. He says exporting Wyoming coal is still a good idea.
Wyoming is aggressively working to attract data centers to the state. The industry magazine Expansion Solutions recently recognized the Cowboy State’s efforts to accommodate companies looking to build or expand their computing operations.
Wyoming Business Council CEO Bob Jensen says his organization targets trade shows, real estate directors and data management industry publications to promote Wyoming’s offerings, including a cool climate, cheap power, and lots of space to build.
Jensen says Wyoming has a lot of competition to attract these businesses.
State parks are seeking legislative approval to use fees for general operations and maintenance. Parks generate about two million dollars per year, but right now that money can only be used for capital construction and interpretation.
Director of State Parks and Cultural Resources, Milward Simpson, says funding for his agency is like a three-legged stool that’s getting wobbly.
The National Park Service has released Yellowstone National Park’s winter use rule. After 15 years of gathering public feedback and scientific data, the new rule will govern how many over-snow vehicles will be allowed in the park.
Instead of capping traffic with a specific number, the new rule will allow 110 “transportation events” a day, broken down up to 60 snow coach excursions, and 50 snowmobile groups.
Douglas residents are concerned about emissions from a proposed natural gas processing plant on the outskirts of town. Texas-based Crestwood Midstream Partners’ Douglas facility would process 120 million cubic feet of raw natural gas per day. Residents wrote to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, worried about carbon dioxide and formaldehyde emissions, among other things.
Cole Anderson is in charge of Wyoming’s air quality permitting process. He says the DEQ has reviewed the company’s proposed emissions, and found them to meet state standards.
As part of the University of Wyoming Law Week, the College of Law is bringing in Walter Echo-Hawk to speak about human rights in Native America. Echo-Hawk is a lawyer and advocate for Native American rights and culture.
He says with the passing of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations, there’s hope for optimism.
The US Department of Agriculture has funded a grant for the University of Wyoming to study the business of beekeeping. The grant is just under $50,000 and will be used to study methods to maximize the economic impact of bee keeping in Wyoming.
Associate professor in agriculture and applied economics, Mariah Ehmke, was one of the researchers awarded the grant. She says that colony collapse disorder has contributed to declining honey bee numbers in the US, but that isn’t the only issue facing the beekeeping industry.
Wyomingites who want to quit tobacco have new tools available to them.
Wyoming Department of Health has partnered with National Jewish Health, a Denver hospital specializing in respiratory health, to beef up the Cowboy state’s tobacco cessation program.
The health department already offers nicotine patches and gum, coaching, and some financial help to cover smoking-cessation drugs. Now, it also offers counseling for pregnant tobacco users and people who chew.
Hillery Lynn, Birgit Burke, and Pryce Taylor make up the local Laramie band Whiskey Slaps. Hillery has been playing guitar, singing and writing songs most of her life. Birgit has been writing songs, singing, and playing various musical instruments most of her life as well. Their songwriting, guitar playing and mandolin playing lift elements from 1920’s blues, old-time, Appalachian folk and country western. Pryce Taylor joins on electric and upright bass, grounding the songs with solid rhythm.
Mary Kelley is the author of Coal in Campbell County, a book that traces the lineage of each of Gillette’s major coal companies in the area. It’s her second book about the coal industry in Gillette. She and her husband both worked for the AMAX coal company for many years. Kelley told Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov that she wanted to preserve the history of the coal companies, but also show how they helped create a good life for people like her in Campbell County.
Last year, we reported on research that’s being done at the University of Wyoming regarding coyote contraception. The idea is to use birth control to reduce coyote numbers, and in particular, to keep coyotes from killing livestock. The project now has some preliminary results, and Marjie MacGregor, who’s leading the study, joins us now to talk about what they’ve found, and what’s next.