Ecologists say the sub-zero temperatures Wyoming has been experiencing probably are not extreme enough to kill off bark beetles in the area.
One of the reasons the beetle kill epidemic has been so severe in recent years is that the region has not experienced cold enough weather to freeze out the beetles. UW botanist Dan Tinker says this cold snap is no exception. He says temperatures would need to be 30 degrees below zero for several days in a row to kill the beetles.
After a slow start, the University of Wyoming volley ball team went on a strong run and finished with a seven match win streak. The Cowgirls struggled adjusting to first year Head Coach Chad Callihan, but once things clicked the team opened some eyes.
Pollutants have been showing up in water wells in the Pinedale Anticline gas field since 2006. Until recently, no one knew where the contamination was coming from. Now, the Bureau of Land Management and Department of Environmental Quality have released a report indicating that most of the problem was not caused by energy production. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
Wyoming’s biggest export is soda ash, which comes from trona mines in Sweetwater County. Last year, the trona industry produced 17 million tons of soda ash for which the state received nearly $90 million in various taxes and royalties. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov report, the industry has a dirty side, too.
IRINA ZHOROV: Wyoming is used to superlatives. The biggest coal bed, the largest mine, the most wind! Here’s another:
[VIDEO PLAYING: The silver retreats of Wyoming, USA is home to the largest reserve of trona. ]
It’s been a long year for State Superintendent Cindy Hill. After legislators determined that she was undermining some of their education reform efforts, they voted to take away her ability to run the state department of education and assigned her to less essential tasks.
Later a report suggested mistreatment of employees, possible misuse of the state aircraft, and misuse of Department of Education money. That last piece is being investigated by a legislative committee who is trying to determine if impeachment charges should be brought against Hill.
More than half the U.S. population uses smartphones and apps. And as the appetite for mobile information continues to grow, some Wyoming entrepreneurs are poised to cash in, for the sake of conservation. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington has more.
REBECCA HUNTINGTON: When Story Clark gets into her Prius, she doesn't just start her engine. She also revs up a new mobile app that she's developed with her business partner Madi Quissek.
STORY CLARK: So I'm hooking it up. It's TravelStorysGPS. The app is hands-free. And we're going to get going right now.
Last week Wyoming governor Matt Mead released his proposed budget for the next two years. The governor joins us to discuss something he did not recommend and discusses other topics, such as whether he will run for re-election.
Pine and spruce beetles have killed millions of trees across Wyoming and the West. To many, the dying forests are visually unattractive. But there’s a bigger issue. Researchers in the Medicine Bow National Forest are finding that beetle kill has had a major impact on how the forest processes carbon dioxide. Wyoming Public radio’s Willow Belden reports.