This summer, the Snowy Range Dance Festival is drawing dancers from across the Rocky Mountains and as far away as Florida for a period of intensive dance training. Now in its eighteenth year, the festival has long been an important resource for dancers in the region.
After a peaceful quarter century, bears in Yellowstone National park killed two visitors last summer. Now, park officials are adamantly warning visitors to forget the sense of security they feel at zoos and amusement parks because Yellowstone is a wild place. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.
One of the issues surrounding workplace safety is the number of serious highway crashes related to work. In fact, 2010 statistics show that better than half of the fatalities in Wyoming were transportation related. Colonel Mark Trostel is the former head of the Colorado Highway Patrol. During his time that state went from have one of the lowest traffic safety records to the fifth best. He is currently working to improve Encana’s traffic safety record and so far so good. Trostel has been chosen to help Wyoming find ways to improve its ranking. We caught up with him during a recent pres
Sage grouse have been dying out in Wyoming and across the west for years, and the bird is being considered for endangered species listing. As a result, Wyoming has made a major push to preserve prime sage grouse habitat. But recently, scientists have been warning that conservation may not be enough. Studies have recommended that in addition to protecting habitat that’s still intact, the state needs to restore areas that have been disturbed. So now, a variety of agencies are working to come up with a plan for large-scale restoration. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
As we’ve just heard, there’s a lot of concern over declining sage grouse numbers. And a lot of effort is going into keeping the birds from being included on the endangered species list. Part of that effort involves studying which aspects of human activity are most problematic. A new study published in the journal Conservation Biology examines how human-made noise – particularly the noise associated with gas development – affects sage grouse. We’re joined now by Jessica Blickley, one of the authors of the report.
During this election season candidates for public office are discussing a number of topics. We asked Wyoming Public Radio’s Madison Williams to ask people in Laramie what issues they’d like to hear candidates discuss.
Casper College Political Science Professor Chris Henrichsen is running for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat. He joins us for the first time to discuss his campaign and some of the issues facing the state and nation….
Laramie resident Mark Jenkins recently returned to Wyoming after climbing Mount Everest. Jenkins is a travel writer for Outside Magazine and a contributor to National Geographic … and he joins us now to discuss his experience. He says Everest expeditions are long -- typically two months or even longer.
Intro: For the last several years a number of companies and politicians have expressed interest in getting more actively involved in Wyoming’s Uranium industry. Currently a task force of lawmakers is studying nuclear energy production and companies are testing the waters before they jump into the marketplace. The upside is that Wyoming has a lot of Uranium, the downside is cost and regulations. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.
HOST: Everyone is predicting a uranium boom internationally and Wyoming has the largest deposits in the U.S. The state has a legacy of uranium mining, as well. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov looks at the boom and its history.
HOST: When the Cold War caused a uranium boom in the 1950s, soil and water in the state suffered contamination. Reclamation has improved the landscape, and regulation is catching up with the industry but it’s not perfect yet. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.
REBECCA MARTINEZ: Ore from Wyoming’s rich uranium deposits was refined and concentrated into yellowcake at mills in the state before being sent to processing and enrichment facilities elsewhere. The mills produced large amounts of sandy waste called tailings, which still contained uranium.
HOST: As we just heard, the uranium industry may have a long way to go in earning back the public’s trust, especially on the Wind River Reservation. In 2010, the Department of Energy released well monitoring data from the Wind River Reservation. What they found was that uranium levels in a number of their wells had spiked up to 100 times the legal limit. In early May the Department of Energy released tap test results showing uranium levels nearly twice the legal limit, but later said the results were anomalies.
All three members of Wyoming’s congressional delegation voted to raise the nation’s debt ceiling last year. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that some lawmakers are saying ‘never again,’ which critics say puts the U-S economy at risk. HOST: All three members of Wyoming’s congressional delegation voted to raise the nation’s debt ceiling last year. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that some lawmakers are saying ‘never again,’ which critics say puts the U-S economy at risk.
A lot has been said about falling gas prices in the state and how that is hurting the state budget. But a quick look at the most recent economic numbers shows that the Wyoming economy may be better than you think. Jim Robinson is a senior economist with Wyoming’s Division of Economic Analysis. This is the last month of the fiscal year and he tells Bob Beck that things look good.
Wyoming’s new occupational epidemiologist is Mack Sewell. He’s tasked with helping the state improve workplace safety. That’s been a topic of discussion for some time, since Wyoming has one of the highest rates of workplace deaths in the nation. Sewell is currently the state epidemiologist in New Mexico, and he says there, he’s worked extensively on issues such as infectious diseases and drunk driving. He tells Willow Belden that he’s not sure yet what will be first on his agenda here in Wyoming.
This month a movie will debut featuring an iconic bar in Jackson Hole. It’s called The Stagecoach Bar: An American Crossroads. To many in the valley it is more than a bar. For years it has featured live music on Sunday nights and has been the host to Cowboys and millionaires. It’s been there for more than 70 years. The premier will be June 27th at the Center for the Arts in Jackson. Jennifer Tennican is the filmmaker and she joins Bob Beck.
Wyoming imprisons more juvenile offenders than just about any other state. Part of the reason has to do with the lack of funding to find alternatives to jail and the other has to do with the law enforcement philosophy in a particular community. Lawmakers have been reluctant to take a firm stand on the issue. In a story first prepared for the program State of the Union, Laura Starcheski reports.
Mule deer have been dying off in parts of Wyoming for some time. But until recently, it was unclear how acute the problem was. That’s because the Game and Fish Department wasn’t getting an accurate count of how many deer there were. Now, the agency is trying out a new method for estimating deer populations. It’s much more expensive … but officials say it’s worth the cost because it will help them maintain a healthy deer population. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
It’s tough to say exactly how fast the mule deer population in the Platte Valley is declining. But we know it IS declining – and whatever the rate, it’s substantial. One of the reasons the animals are dying off is that their habitat is deteriorating. So now, the Game and Fish Department is trying to come up with a plan for restoring it. Tom Ryder, assistant chief of the wildlife division at Game and Fish speaks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden.
One of the newer traditions in Jackson Hole is an event called the Jackson Hole Fire Festival. It runs June 14th-20th. It came from the idea developed by Candra Day of Vistas 360 degrees in Jackson. She joins Bob Beck to explain the event and her organization…
Sublette County is home to two of Wyoming’s major oil and gas fields … and emissions from the energy production have caused smog to form – a type of smog called ozone. Ground-level ozone can cause and exacerbate respiratory problems. It’s also a problem for legal reasons: ozone levels in Sublette County have exceeded federal limits several times in the past few years. Now, the Environmental Protection Agency is stepping in. It’s designating Sublette County a “nonattainment area,” which means Wyoming is obligated to fix the problem.
The Wyoming Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has studied those who are in jail or in prison in Wyoming for a number of years. Wyoming is a state that likes to put people behind bars. The U.S. Justice Department notes that in 2010 Wyoming’s crime rate was 17-percent lower than the national average… but Wyoming’s incarceration rate is only four percent lower. Meaning that if you commit a crime, you will probably get some time. Director Linda Burt of Wyoming’s ACLU tells Bob Beck about how those inmates are being treated.