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.

Renee Bright / KUER

 

The details on the lengthy federal investigation exonerating Chris Lehnertz of creating a hostile work environment were released Tuesday.

Coal
oatsy40 / Flickr

As the demand for coal continues to plummet in the United States, state legislatures in the Mountain West are coming up with creative ways to either save the industry or transition away from it.

Mohan Sudabattula, a senior at the University of Utah, shows posters he found on campus from the white nationalist group Patriot Front.
Nate Hegyi / KUER

 


When University of Utah senior Mohan Sudabattula found the posters hanging recently from the side of the art building on campus, the first-generation son of immigrants from southeastern India was surprised but not shocked. He’d seen similar posters – the red, white and blue lettering – popping up all over campus.

Starting March 1, the Idaho Fish and Game is offering a bounty for anglers who hook walleye, also known as yellow pikes. The invasive fish is persistent in lakes across the Mountain West.

 


The closest that Travis Rupp came to getting fired, he says, was the time he tried to make chicha. The recipe for the Peruvian corn-based beer, cobbled together from bits of pre-Incan archaeological evidence, called for chewed corn partially fermented in spit. So, Rupp’s first task had been to convince his colleagues to gather round a bucket and offer up their chompers for the cause.

A bacterial infection that infects Canada geese called "new duck disease" has turned up in the Mountain West.

Paleontologists have found a new species of tyrannosaur based on fossils in Emery County, Utah.

Lindsay Zanno found the fossilized leg bone sticking out of a grey hill in a part of Utah where landmarks get names like "Cliffs of Insanity" and "Suicide Hill."

Renee Bright / KUER

MILFORD, Utah — The San Francisco Mountains in southwestern Utah were once home to one of the richest silver mines in the world. When it comes to mining today, they stand mostly quiet — for now — with only a handful of rock mines operating in the area.

The Office of Government Ethics just released guidelines for federal employees during government shutdowns, about three weeks after the government reopened.

 


Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

The conservative sportsmens’ group Hunter Nation is offering people the chance to go elk hunting in Utah with President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr.

Photo of Ryan Zinke.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Former U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke might be the first member of President Trump’s cabinet to join a lobbying firm after leaving office.

A new study includes an interactive map that shows how your home will be affected by climate change in the next 50 years. No surprise —Idaho and the Mountain West will get hotter.

 


Last year the nation was shocked when a 9-year-old Colorado boy took his own life. A recent report says youth suicide is a public health crisis in Colorado and the numbers in the Mountain West as a whole are staggering, with some of the highest rates in the nation. At the same time, there’s a significant shortage of mental health professionals -- at crisis levels in some communities. Often, it’s mental health workers in schools who work on the front lines of this crisis.

Imagine a swarm of big, black birds flying overhead at dusk. No, it’s not a scene from a Hitchcock film. This is Nampa, Idaho — a small community that’s become the winter home for tens of thousands of crows. They are noisy and messy, and Nampa residents are pushing back.

 


photo of Lenhertz.
Grand Canyon National Park

The head of Grand Canyon National Park is returning to her job after a four-month federal investigation found unspecified allegations against her were “unfounded.”

Photo of closed road at Arches National Park.
Judy Fahys/KUER News

U.S. House Democrats are holding a hearing Wednesday to look at how the Interior Department paid to keep national parks open during the partial government shutdown.

Flickr Creative Commons / Bureau of Reclamation

Updated 6:36 p.m. MST

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to nominate David Bernhardt as the nation’s next Interior Secretary. The former oil industry lobbyist and longtime government employee has been acting Secretary since Ryan Zinke stepped down last month amid questions about his ethics and conflicts of interest.

The 2019 State of the Rockies report says 70 percent of western voters identify as "outdoor enthusiasts." The annual bipartisan poll surveys how voters across the Mountain West feel about public lands, water, wildlife, and energy expansion. 

Photo of redacted documents.
Renee Bright / KUER

The U.S. Interior Department’s controversial plan to put new limits on Freedom of Information Act requests has received more than 61,000 public comments in the Federal Register.

Photo of Theda New Breast with missing persons sign.
Nate Hegyi / KUER

Landmark legislation that would address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate on Monday.

Steven Rinella is star of the Netflix series "MeatEater."
MeatEater, Inc.

 

 

Under the Trump administration, hunters and anglers have become a loud voice in the battle over how we use federal public lands. This includes Steven Rinella, who is fast becoming a big name among sportsmen and women.

U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo. argues that putting states in charge of managing resources will remove excess red tape and make it easier for companies to drill responsibly on federal lands.
zhengzaishuru / istockphoto.com

A group of Western lawmakers have reintroduced legislation that would give states control of oil and gas projects on federal lands.

The Mountain West has some of the fastest aging populations in the country, which could have some serious implications for the region's economy. 

Photo of construction.
Brian Albers / KUER

Home sales in the American West tumbled to a three-year low in December, as higher interest rates and rising home prices gave buyers pause, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors.

The trucking industry is facing a record shortage of drivers. However, over the last couple of years, one demographic has been gravitating towards the industry by the thousands: Indian-American Sikhs.

Winter is when the federal government starts spending dollars to prepare for the wildfire season, but the ongoing shutdown has put some of this preparation in limbo.

Photo of Joshua Tree entrance sign.
National Parks Service

As the partial government shutdown stretches toward a third week, both the public and public employees alike are feeling the pain. But there’s another casualty: public information.

Photo of craft beers.
iStock.com / EddieHernandezPhotography

If the impasse over President Trump’s proposed border wall makes it to Saturday morning, this will be the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. And it has an unlikely victim — craft beer.

Photo of old faithful.
Nate Hegyi / KUER

Unlike previous administrations, President Trump’s Interior Department has directed national parks to keep their gates open while furloughing most workers during this latest government shutdown. But as the partial shutdown enters its third week, critics argue the parks are becoming unsafe.

Photo of Lisa Murkowski.
Office of U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, may try to re-introduce landmark legislation that would address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women in the U.S.

Pages