Mountain West News Bureau | KUER 90.1

Mountain West News Bureau

Matt Frank, Digital Editor, Missoula MT, Rae Bichell, Reporter Greeley CO, Nate Hegyi Reporter Salt Lake City UT, Kate Concannon Managing Editor, Seattle, WA Noah Glick Reporter, Reno, NV Ali Budner, Reporter, Colorado Springs CO, Maggie Mullen Reporter, Laramie WY and Amanda Peacher Reporter, Boise ID
Credit Matt Bloom, KUNC

    

The Mountain West News Bureau is a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. Our mission is to tell stories about the people, places and issues of the Rocky Mountain West.

From land and water management to growth in the expanding West to our unique culture and heritage, we’ll explore the issues that define us and the challenges we face.

Contributing stations include Boise State Public RadioWyoming Public MediaKUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Photo of the Colorado Springs skyline.
Jasen Miller / Flickr

Note: KRCC is a member of the Mountain West News Bureau. In order to avoid a potential conflict of interest, this story was overseen by an outside editor.

Colorado Public Radio has signed a new agreement with Colorado College to help operate one of the state’s largest public radio stations, KRCC, an NPR member station based in Colorado Springs. 

Photo of Daniel Jorjani.
Courtesy of the Interior Department

The Interior Department has been trying to tackle a growing backlog of public records requests under the Trump administration, and now the agency is creating a new legal team to help with the effort. 

Photo of the Keystone XL pipeline in Montana.
Nate Hegyi / KUER

Many ranchers are applauding President Donald Trump after he announced an overhaul of the nation’s bedrock environmental law on Thursday. 

Screenshot from a video of Mike Lee speaking to reporters.
C-SPAN

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, broke from his own party Wednesday and announced he’ll side with Democrats in support of a resolution scaling back President Donald Trump’s military powers in Iran.

Photo of a dirt road on a stretch of land that was burned.
Nate Heygi / KUER

The Trump administration’s latest National Preparedness Report is the first of its kind to completely ignore climate change

Over the last five years, the Mountain West as a whole has experienced a spike in population, while at the same time every state in the region saw a decrease in the number of people living in poverty, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.

At a rally last November in Las Vegas, a reporter noted Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s experience leading Denver Public Schools, and asked the presidential candidate, “With your experience in the education area, [how] would you use that experience as president to help the education system?”

It’s an unremarkable question—except for the fact that it was posed by a 12-year-old.

The North Cascades Insitute strayed from its mission by hosting expensive wedding packages, the audit from the U.S. Interior Department's Office of the Inspector General concluded.
North Cascades National Park via Twitter

Since the 1960s, the National Park Service has partnered with nonprofit organizations to provide environmental education services to the public. But a recent audit from the U.S. Interior Department’s Office of the Inspector General found that some of these Residential Environmental Learning Centers have strayed from their original mission .

On a recent sunny afternoon, I'm loading up my Subaru before heading out to the Snowy Range Mountains in southern Wyoming to cut down a Christmas tree.

Photo of a drilling rig on Bureau of Land Management lands in Wyoming.
Bureau of Land Management

After a long hiatus, a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to rescind regulations on hydraulic fracturing on public lands is moving forward. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is scheduled to hear oral arguments in January after prominent conservation groups, including the Sierra Club, filed suit in 2018.

Photo of a blue plate with a colorful meal.
Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

The holidays often mean Christmas hams, mulled wine and potato latkes. But in the Mountain West, our food occasionally comes from the forest and not the grocery store. Tom Healy is a hunter living in the small town of Wisdom, Montana. This holiday season, he tried a gamey twist on traditional, eastern European cabbage rolls, called halupkis. Check out his recipe below. 

Photo of symbol in an arch over transom window.
Matt Frank / Mountain West News Bureau

Students and faculty leaders at the University of Montana are calling for the removal of swastika-like symbols from a historic building, sparking a debate over its use across the West. 

Photo of board with posts showing banished women.
Nate Heygi / Mountain West News Bureau

Four women from the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in northeastern Utah have turned to the federal court system after they were banished by Ute tribal leadership last year. 

Photo of the Bureau of Land Management's Salt Lake field office.
Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management

A group of retired top officials from the Bureau of Land Management is in Washington, D.C., this week criticizing the agency’s planned relocation out West.

On a recent walk along a trail north of Boise, Idaho near dusk, photographer Glenn Oakley stopped and pointed.

“Oh, over there. See that owl?”

A great horned owl was flying out over one of the hills.


Photo of downtown Salt Lake City.
Pinpals / Pixabay

The United States added more than 200,000 jobs last month, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While wages and jobs are growing in the Mountain West, they aren’t outpacing the skyrocketing cost of housing. 

It's already been a noteworthy season for Steamboat Ski Resort in Northern Colorado. In October alone, the mountain saw 63 inches of snow, a record high. And that's why the resort's Loryn Duke said it was an easy decision to open on November 15it's earliest opening ever.

Photo of a wolverine.
zoofanatic / Flickr

A nonprofit conservation group is launching what it says is one of the largest lawsuits ever brought under the Endangered Species Act. 

Photo of Gov. Steve Bullock.
Gov. Steve Bullock via Facebook

Another one bites the dust. 

Gov. Steve Bullock, D-Mont., is the latest candidate from the Mountain West to drop out of the 2020 presidential race.

A steap climbing wall is brightly lit in a dark room.
Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

Rock climbing is making its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the U.S. national team is training in Salt Lake City. For the eight elite athletes who make up the team, the games will represent a high point in their career.

After nearly two weeks of protest, Brigham Young University-Idaho is apologizing and reversing its decision that would’ve barred students from enrolling if Medicaid was their only form of health insurance.


An extraordinary discovery in the backyard of Colorado Springs has created a window into an evolutionary period we previously knew very little about.

Photo of desert with a State Trust Land sign.
Headwaters Economics

A new white paper from the non-profit Headwaters Economics says transferring public lands from the federal government to Western states would generate more revenue, but also comes with high economic costs.

Photo of smog over Salt Lake City.
Eltiempo10 / Wikicommons

A new draft proposal by the Trump administration may throw both current and future clean air and water laws into question.

Last year, on a warm Saturday evening in Boise, Idaho, Timmy Earl Kinner Jr. walked into the birthday party of a family. In a random attack, he stabbed nine people, including the birthday girl Ruya Kadir. That little girl died at just three years old.


Bureau of Land Management

Reintroduced legislation incentivizing more renewable energy projects on public lands is getting rare bipartisan support.

Photo of William Perry Pendley on a bike.
Eric Coulter / Bureau of Land Management

A government watchdog on Wednesday filed suit against the Bureau of Land Management to find out why it hired a one-time, anti-public lands advocate to run the agency. 

There's been a lot of criticism of the Bureau of Land Management’s plan to move hundreds of positions from Washington D.C. to Western states. But the agency’s acting director is giving a new reason for the move.

William Perry Pendley told the Mountain West News Bureau that it’ll be easier to hire people in the West in part because people want to live here.

The Salt Lake Tribune masthead.
Chelsea Naughton / KUER

Kathy Stephenson has worked as a reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune since 1982. She’s taking this fellow journalist on a tour of its downtown newsroom and points to a row of empty, gray cubicles.

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to roll back Obama-era rules governing how coal-fired power plants store and release toxic waste.

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