Today, the long awaited ground breaking for the 41 million dollar Wind River Job Corps took place. The project was first conceived in 2005 and thanks to support of Senator Mike Enzi it finally received federal approval. It’s the first Job Corps for Wyoming which is the only state without such a facility.
Sandy Barton of the Fremont County Board of Cooperative Education Services or BOCES spearheaded the effort from the start. She told Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that it will have a major impact on Fremont County and the state.
Science has long been something we look to for answers. But when it comes to policy making, science can’t always provide the clear solutions lawmakers and the public want. That has to do with how science works and the politics that sometimes infiltrate. Two issues in Wyoming demonstrate uncannily well the shortcomings of science when it comes to decision making in the environmental sphere.
From Mountain West Voices, Clay Scott tells about Laramie’s Paul Taylor.
Paul Taylor has been on walkabout for most of his adult life. He is an incredibly gifted storyteller and musician, and I met him as he was travelling from Laramie, Wyoming, to a school in Eureka, Montana to hold a week-long story-telling and art workshop.
Stephen Watt and Mark Farnham are best friends. But it’s a friendship that came out of violent circumstances. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov spoke to both of them at the Torrington Medium Correctional Institution, where Farnham is an inmate. In the first part, Watt and Farnham talk about how they met. In the second, they discuss how their friendship has changed their lives, they say, for the better, and their desire to work towards more restorative justice programs in the criminal justice system.
Loggers from Saratoga Forest Management cut down Lodgepole and Ponderosa pine trees. The saw mill can use both live and beetle-killed trees to make two-by-fours.
Credit Rebecca Martinez
About half of the Lodgepole and Ponderosa pines on Elk Mountain have been killed by bark beetles, which carry a fungus that leaves blue rings in the trunk. Saratoga Forest Management can use both live and beetle-killed trees to make two-by-fours.
Credit Rebecca Martinez
About half of the Lodgepole and Ponderosa pines on Elk Mountain have been killed by bark beetles. Saratoga Forest Management can use both live and beetle-killed trees to make two-by-fours.
Credit Rebecca Martinez
Saratoga Forest Management uses a machine called a feller-buncher to cut and stack trees on Elk Mountain. The Wyoming State Forestry Division says private saw mills own the heavy equipment necessary to clear large swaths of highly-flammable beetle-killed
Credit Rebecca Martinez
Saratoga Forest Management’s saw mill uses large circular saws cut pine logs. They are then cut into two-by-fours.
Saw mills are re-opening in Wyoming and Colorado after a decade of being shuttered. They’re harvesting and processing trees that have been killed by beetle infestation. Still, many are suitable for lumber. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports that this uptick in the timber business is helping with forest fire management.
One of the main things that threatens sage grouse is human development and fragmentation of their habitat. But another big worry is West Nile Virus.
The disease is carried by mosquitoes, and researchers are now testing a new method for keeping mosquitoes in check. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with Brad Fedy, who’s leading the project. He says West Nile Virus is a major concern for sage grouse.
Trona mining is a widely forgotten part of the state’s extraction industries. But in Sweetwater County, it’s a big deal. Just west of Green River, there’s a hidden labyrinth of tunnels far below I-80. And the industry is a major part of the county’s economy. But some worry that environmental issues could be a major burden for trona mining. Amanda Le Claire has more.
Kurt Johnson of Wilson is the author of a new field guide for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with Johnson about the book. He says that while there were already a lot of field guides for those parks, he felt he could still add something.
Laramie residents have been noticing more rabbits than usual in town this year. Some experts say it’s because there are fewer predators, but others aren’t so sure. Wyoming Public Radio’s Chelsea Biondolillo reports.
CHELSEA BIONDOLILLO: Melissa Gelwicks has had a backyard garden next to Undine Park for about 7 years. She grows everything from squashes and herbs to cabbages, beets and greens. She’s used to rabbits frequenting her garden, but this year there seem to be more of them.
This week Wyoming’s senior senator, Mike Enzi, was surprised to learn he’ll be facing off against Liz Cheney in what’s expected to be one of the most heated Republican primaries in the nation. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that right now, the Republican Party is wrapping its arms around Enzi.
Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov caught up with Governor Matt Mead to check in about some big changes in the state in the coming months. Her first question was about the Environmental Protection Agency’s report on contaminated water in Pavillion and the state’s takeover of the study.
Though the entities involved in the study have previously expressed skepticism over the EPA’s findings, Governor Mead says he has no doubts that the state’s study will be unbiased.
Unless you are new to the state or have lived under a rock, you are aware that the state legislature passed a law that changed the powers of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and placed a Director in charge of Education. Now lawmakers are investing a report that suggests possible wrong doing by Superintendent Cindy Hill…charges she denies. It might lead people to worry about education in the state. But lawmakers want you to know that they continue to try and make change for the better. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has the story…
Although millions of visitors will flock to Yellowstone National Park this summer, Atlantic City-based author and journalist Marjane Ambler is one of the few people who’s lived there when the park is buried in snow.
The former High Country news editor lived with her husband – who drove a snow plow – inside Yellowstone for nine winters during the 1980s and 90s. In her new book, “Yellowstone has Teeth,” Ambler recounts stories of terror and wonder during her time there. She talks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez in the studio.
The grazing land of Wyoming is currently filled with young calves out to pasture. Calving season lasts through the spring and early summer in Wyoming and once the calves are born ranchers have to brand them to identify which ranch they belong to. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov attended a branding and found that in the 21st Century, some ranchers are happily keeping up old, social customs during their brandings.
IRINA ZHOROV: Scott Sims’ ranch in the Rock Creek Valley in Southeast Wyoming branded a batch of their calves at the end of June.
Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President and Wyoming Congressman Dick Cheney, formally announced her candidacy for the U-S Senate during press conferences in Casper and Cheyenne. Cheney will face off against incumbent Mike Enzi in next summer’s Republican primary.
During a news conference Cheney attacked President Obama and what she called his liberal agenda. She complained that too many Republicans have compromised with Democrats.
The 9th Annual Big Horn Mountain Festival was held July 12, 13, and 14, at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Buffalo Wyoming. Wyoming Public Media's Morning Music hosts Grady Kirkpatrick and Paul Montoya traveled to the festival and enjoyed the summer sun and the many bands that played. Here are a few pictures from their weekend at the Big Horn Mountain Festival.
Take a look at the many on-goings during StoryCorps Opening Day in Cheyenne on July 12. Everyone at Wyoming Public Media had a role to play in the StoryCorps launch and the event went off without a hitch. From the press that were invited, to the live interviews and the conversations held, there was never a dull moment.
Governor Matt Mead is hoping to create a ten-year plan to address homelessness in Wyoming. As a first step in the process, the Department of Family Services has appointed a homelessness coordinator. Her name is Brenda Lyttle.
Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with her. Lyttle says her first task will be to identify what services are already available to homeless individuals in different communities in Wyoming.
This month, the University of Wyoming will host a field course where students will explore the geographic, historical and religious significance of Heart Mountain in northern Wyoming.
Two educators will split the teaching of the course, one focusing on history, and the other on religion. The latter, Mary Keller, is a historian of religions and a lecturer at U-W. She spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez from the Big Horn Radio Network in Cody about what makes Heart Mountain so special.
More than 50 years ago residents of Rock Springs were shocked to learn that many of their houses, schools, and churches were in danger. The coal mines built underneath the town were beginning to collapse due to neglect and some environmental factors. It’s called subsidence and it’s happening in older mining towns all over the West. Wyoming Public Radio’s Amanda Le Claire has more on how the city is dealing with the problem now.
The Sheridan WYO Rodeo in will host the return of some special guests this year. The Miss Indian America pageant was held during the rodeo from 1953 until 1984 and several past winners will reunite this weekend.
ARCHIVAL TAPE: [Drumming] There’s a town out west where the eye can stretch over the plains from mesa to mountains, where the heart warms in the sunshine of friends and the townspeople can see buffalo from their own backyards. Such a place is Sheridan Wyoming!
Rancher Tim Kellogg uses a variety of local ingredients, including huckleberries, Wyoming Whiskey, and homemade pine needle extract at his chocolate shot. The Meeteetse Chocolatier is celebrating his ninth year in business this month.
Rancher and former saddle bronc rider, Tim Kellogg of Meeteetse, began selling homemade chocolates on weekends to bankroll his rodeo passion in 2004. Known by many as the “Meeteetse Chocolatier,” Kellogg now runs a shop on the little town’s main street seven days a week, drawing locals and tourists back again and again for his rich and creative flavor pairings. Rebecca Martinez interviewed him and produced this piece.
Waiting For A Chinook will close out the Snowy Range Summer Theatre season this year. The story follows a reporter from the city who returns to his Western hometown to search for meaning in the writings of his late father.
I spoke to author Gregory Hinton, who, like his hero, returned to Wyoming from California to seek out his own father’s writings in archives of the Cody Enterprise, where G.C. Kip Hinton was an editor.
This week President Obama announced he's going to attempt to combat climate change from the Oval Office. Wyoming's three Republicans in Congress are none too happy with his plan. As Matt Laslo reports, they say it could cripple the state's economy and hit your pocket.
MATT LASLO: Climate change wasn't really a part of the 20-12 election, so the president surprised many when he promised to deal with global warming in his second inaugural address. Now he's coming out swinging again...charging Republicans with being deaf to the scientific community.
Next week the annual Grand Teton Music Festival gets underway at the Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck spoke with Andrew Palmer Todd, the New Executive Director of the event. He says this event has become well known.
The congressionally mandated budget cuts called sequestration continue to have an impact on Wyoming. And while the state’s Republican lawmakers say those cuts aren’t having as big of an impact as predicted by Democrats, Matt Laslo reports from Washington that the delegation still isn’t happy with the sequester.
Last year, we reported on a new project to restore sage grouse habitat that’s been disturbed by energy development in the Powder River Basin. The Bureau of Land Management, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other agencies are participating in the effort.