Willow Belden


Phone: 307-766-5086
Email: wbelden@uwyo.edu 

Willow Belden joined Wyoming Public Radio after earning her masters degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to grad school, Willow spent a year in the Middle East on a Fulbright grant, conducting research in a Palestinian refugee camp, and writing for the Jordan Times and JO Magazine. Upon returning to the U.S., she became a reporter and editor at the Queens Chronicle in New York City and received the Rookie Reporter of the Year award from the New York Press Association. This spring, she received the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship from Columbia University. When she’s not working on stories, Willow spends her time bicycling, hiking, kayaking and traveling. She can occasionally be spotted on a unicycle. And she has a habit of swimming in the ocean with the Polar Bear Club on New Years Day.


11:06 am
Fri November 25, 2011

Forest Service Proposes New Planning Rule

TheU.S. Forest Service has proposed a new national planning rule, which would govern how individual forests around the country draw up land management plans.

Under the current rule, forests draw up new management plans every 15 years. With the new system, they would re-assess and tweak their plans on an ongoing basis.

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5:28 pm
Wed November 23, 2011

Shoshone goat ban disturbs goat pack owners

Forest officials have banned domestic goats from parts of Shoshone National Forest. Officials say they're concerned about goats spreading diseases to wild bighorn sheep. But some goat owners say the Forest Service is over-reacting.

Charles Jennings with the National Pack Goat Association uses goats to carry gear for fly fishing trips and other outings, and he says his animals are closely monitored.

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7:01 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Avalanche Center urges caution, even with moderate slide risk

Parts of the Bridger-Teton National Forest got more than two feet of snow last week, which led to a considerable risk of avalanches.

The Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center has now reduced the risk to “moderate,” which means natural avalanches are unlikely but human-triggered avalanches are possible.

Lead forecaster Bob Comey says avalanches are often a result of people skiing, snowshoing or snowmobiling in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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6:44 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Lummis seeks to enable federal purchase of Grand Teton land

Grand Teton National Park

A bill sponsored by Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis could help the federal government buy a parcel of land in Grand Teton National Park. Wyoming currently owns the land and could sell it for development if the federal government doesn’t buy it. But the federal government needs additional revenue to be able to afford the 107-million-dollar price tag.

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9:14 am
Thu November 17, 2011

An interview with Danish conductor Peter Ettrup Larsen

The UW Symphony Orchestra has a special guest: Danish conductor Peter Ettrup Larsen. He's directing a concert of Nordic music at the University of Wyoming this evening. Among the pieces the orchestra will be playing is a symphony by Danish composer Carl Nielsen, called "The Four Temperaments." Larsen says it has the power to speak to anyone -- even people who aren't usually interested in classical music.

9:10 am
Tue November 15, 2011

Lawmakers propose new state IT department

A legislative panel has proposed creating a state information technology department. Currently, the Department of Administration and Information oversees most IT matters. and some agencies also have their own technical departments. The new system is meant to streamline IT services by creating one big pool of employees who could move around between departments.

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5:45 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

Komen gives its view on new breast cancer screening plan

Wyoming has one of the lowest breast cancer screening rates in the nation.  Now, Susan G Komen for the Cure and G-E are trying launching a million-dollar initiative to change that.

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Natural Gas Vehicles
5:15 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Mead pushes for natual gas vehicles

Gov. Matt Mead is teaming up with the governors of several other states encouraging U-S automakers to develop affordable natural gas vehicles.

The governors signed a memorandum of understanding this week, stating that they will replace vehicles in their state fleets with ones powered by natural gas.

Shawn Reese is Mead’s policy director.

“So what the governor is doing is trying to come up with those economies of scale – a critical mass of fleets that would entice the auto manufacturers in Detroit to manufacture more natural gas-powered vehicles.”

Child abuse
5:13 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Child abuse is a common problem

Penn State University fired both its legendary football coach and its president because they allegedly had known that an assistant coach was molesting boys, but did nothing about it. The assistant coach is accused of sexually abusing eight boys.


Lynn Huylar, who heads a children’s advocacy center in Cheyenne, says this case might be high profile, but it’s not atypical. Abusers are usually people children trust – like coaches, family members, and child care providers.


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4:50 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Bill would require companies to collect online sales tax

Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi introduced legislation that could bring billions of dollars into the federal treasury, but it isn’t a tax increase.

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8:46 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Company is still optimistic about Niobrara Oil Shale

Wells drilled in the Niobrara shale in southeastern Wyoming aren’t producing nearly as much oil as some had expected. But Anadarko Petroleum, one of the big oil companies exploring the shale, expressed nothing but optimism at a Business Expo in Cheyenne Tuesday.

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Wyoming Conservation Voters
5:14 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Conservationists say Wyoming legislators are voting for the environment

The environmental group Wyoming Conservation Voters released its legislative scorecard for 2011.

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Barrett dies
5:10 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Judge James Barrett dies at 89

James Barrett, a federal appeals court judge and former Wyoming Attorney General, died today. He was 89. Barrett was an army veteran, earned his law degree at the University of Wyoming, and was appointed attorney general in 1967. Several years later, President Richard Nixon appointed him to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.   Gov. Matt Mead knew Barrett personally and described him as “a friend, who with common sense and compassion, set an example as a judge and a citizen. ”   A vigil will be held for Barrett at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cheyenne at 8 p.m. on Friday.

Open Spaces on Wyoming Public Radio

A news and public affairs program about Wyoming and the West.  Click here to download the Open Spaces podcast.

8:53 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Cheyenne jury awards record medical malpractice award

A jury in Cheyenne handed down the largest medical malpractice verdict in Wyoming history.  The case centered on Louis Prager, who was rushed to the emergency room after an auto accident in 2008.  The doctor, Brian Cullison, failed to diagnose his broken neck.  As a result,  Prager’s left shoulder remains paralyzed;  he’s unable to work;  and he’s in constant pain.

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6:17 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Wyoming Still Worst In The Nation For Working Women

Wyoming is the worst state in the country for women in the workforce. That’s according to a report in the Atlantic which takes into consideration women’s average wages, their percentage of the labor force and how much they earn relative to their skills and education levels.

Carma Corra with the Wyoming Council for Women’s Issues says one of the reasons women earn less than men is that they tend to hold different types of jobs.

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6:28 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Game and Fish Seeks Input on Declining Mule Deer Numbers

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is seeking public input about how to deal with declining mule deer numbers in the Platte Valley and southern Wyoming. Mule deer populations in southern Wyoming have dropped about 30 percent in the past five years.

This summer, Game and Fish held a series of public meetings to try to figure the reason for the decline. Laramie regional wildlife supervisor Rick King says participants noted habitat health as a key factor.

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