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.

An archaeological dig in the Mountain West has unearthed several giant sites of Native American ruins. The dig is happening in advance of planned highway construction over the area.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the state of Idaho must provide sex reassignment surgery to inmate Adree Edmo.


Photo of Grand Staircase-Escalante.
Nate Hegyi / KUER

Public lands that used to be a part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah will lose many of their environmental protections, according to a final federal government management plan released Friday.

Many parts of the Mountain West are news deserts -- and it’s getting worse. More than 20 counties in our region have no local newspaper. The ones that are left are struggling. And research suggests news deserts contribute to low voter turnout and increasing partisanship

Zebra and quagga mussels can devastate an ecosystem, and Yellowstone National Park is doing everything it can to keep them out. Most recently, that includes harnessing the power of a dog's snout.

Hundreds of men are hoping to sue the Boy Scouts of America over alleged sexual abuse. Many of those claims are coming out of Mormon communities because, until recently, the LDS church was a huge sponsor of the organization. 

Electric, dockless scooters are showing up across the region, especially in bigger cities like Denver and Salt Lake City. But a new study suggests they may not be as environmentally friendly as you think.

These days, drones are everywhere--from the ones you can buy at your local Costco to news drones giving birds' eye views of sporting events. Soon, you'll even be able to get your Amazon deliveries with the company's "Prime Air" drone fleet.

Environmental activists are calling for a united voice in protesting the Department of Energy's recent shipment of nuclear waste through our region.

Earlier this month, the Department of Energy sent a shipment of nuclear waste from Tennessee to southern Nevada. The shipment was incorrectly labeled as low-level waste, but it was actually mixed with waste that needs treatment before disposal. Nevada officials accused the agency of trying to sneak the material into the state illegally.

The Mountain West featured heavily in a House Natural Resources Committee hearing Thursday looking into issues of scientific integrity in the Interior Department. 

Wyoming is known as the Equality State. So it's fitting that earlier this year one of its Boy Scout Troops was amongst the first in the country to induct girls. The national organization changed its policy in February to be more inclusive. Since then, Troop 221 in Cheyenne has already seen its female scout number double.

Photo of rider changing horses.
Russel Daniels for KUER

  

It’s called America’s first extreme sport. It’s certainly old … and extreme. Each summer on the Fort Hall Reservation in southeastern Idaho, Shoshone Bannock tribal members gear up for Indian relay. KUER's Mountain West News Bureau reporter Nate Hegyi attended the event early this month with photojournalist Russel Daniels.  

The Bureau of Land Management is officially relocating its headquarters to the Mountain West. That’s according to an announcement by Colorado Senator Cory Gardner.

 


A gray wolf was spotted in Northern Colorado this week and Wyoming Game and Fish just confirmed it's a member of a Wyoming pack.

 


Photo of Adree Edmo.
Black and Pink / Facebook

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to rule soon on the case of Adree Edmo, a transgender women who is seeking sex reassignment surgery while serving a prison sentence in Idaho.

Photo of Chuck Grassley
Gage Skidmore

Federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are working on new legislation that would curb the Trump administration’s efforts to clamp down on the release of public records. 

Genetics can tell us a lot about ourselves, from where we come from to our risk of developing disease. In Nevada, researchers are collecting this personal information in the largest health study of its kind in the world.

When it comes to beef, Made in America doesn't necessarily mean it was made here. That's because if the cow was raised in another country it can be labeled with a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sticker as long as it was processed here. That has American ranchers in a beef with each other over what to do about it.

Photo of beetle.
iStock.com / mb-fotos

The U.S. Interior Department may have complied with requests from an oil industry trade association to remove some environmental species act protections for a beetle, according to agency records. 

Illustration of valley construction.
Renee Bright / KUER

HEBER CITY — Tucked below the jagged, snowy Wasatch range 20 miles south of Park City, the Heber Valley looks like a miniature Switzerland. Dairy cows graze in bright green pastures and a small farm sells artisan cheeses and milk. 

US Supreme Court building.
iStock.com / Phillip Nelson

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision Thursday that states and federal lawmakers, not courts, are responsible for ending political gerrymandering.

The last place you might expect to find a wolf is inside a public library, a place that doesn’t even allow pets in the door. 

But on an early summer day, Shaya, a so-called “wolf ambassador” was pacing the 4th floor of the downtown library in Pueblo, Colorado, surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd.

Photo of climbers.
Chelsea Naughton / KUER

Planning a climbing trip in the West? The federal government wants to help.

Most people in the United States can't see a full night sky that's not affected by light pollution. But, in a remote corner of Nevada, the Milky Way Galaxy shines bright enough at night to cast a shadow.

The area is known as Massacre Rim and it was recently designated as a Dark Sky Sanctuary.

People are searching the Mountain West for a hidden chest containing something dubbed the “Fenn treasure.” Some are getting injured trying.

Photo of the White House.
iStock.com / eddtoro

The Trump administration on Friday ordered agencies to eliminate at least one-third of their advisory committees, a move that has government watchdogs and science advocacy groups concerned.

Top politicians are in Vail, Colorado, this week for the annual meeting of the Western Governors Association.

Photo of Grand Staircase.
Nate Hegyi / KUER

The Trump administration is responsible for the largest reduction of federally protected land in U.S. history after it shrunk two national monuments in Utah, according to a recent study published in the journal Science.

Renee Bright / KUER

MOAB — About 40 miles north from the tourist hordes in town and set against a backdrop of tan clay and red mesas, the vista looked primed for a nature magazine cover shoot: early afternoon, the desert bloom in full force, awash with purple and yellow flowers. Quiet.

It's been more than thirty years since Yucca Mountain in Nevada was picked as the nation's nuclear waste site, and the state has been fighting the project ever since. Under President Obama, it got its wish.

Fast forward to the Trump administration, and that long-running debate is back on the table.

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