Mountain West News Bureau

KUNR Public Radio is a proud partner in the Mountain West News Bureau, a partnership of public media stations that serve Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Utah. The mission is to tell stories about the people, places and issues of the Mountain West. 

Contributing stations include Boise State Public Radio, Wyoming Public Media, KUER in Salt Lake City, KRCC and KUNC in Colorado, and KUNR Public Radio. 

The editor for the Mountain West News Bureau is Kate Concannon, a long-time NPR regional editor. Noah Glick is the KUNR reporter for this partnership. 

The Mountain West News Bureau is supported in part by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Regional Journalism Center program.

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.

An industry trade group says uphill skiing is one of the fastest growing snow sports in the country, especially in the Mountain West.

Wildfire smoke crosses the U.S. on jetstream
NASA

For much of the last decade, air pollution was decreasing. But it’s now on the rise, particularly in the West.

That’s according to a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. It found that between 2016 and 2018, the levels of fine particulate matter increased 11.5% in the West. California's been impacted the most.

State of Colorado

As the Trump administration begins the process of withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, three states in the Mountain West pledge to follow the tenets of the accord anyway.

Ed Franklin shows one participant how to take a reading on a solar panel, during the Native Waters on Arid Lands 2019 Tribal Summit in Reno, Nev.
DRI / Native Waters on Arid Lands

The climate crisis is threatening traditional ways of life throughout Indian Country. Now, tribal leaders and scientists are working together to help reservations become more climate resilient.

A mountain goat, the basis for the Backcountry.com logo
Glacier National Park

After filing trademark protections last year, the Utah-based e-commerce giant Backcountry.com has filed several lawsuits against organizations with the word “backcountry” in their names.

The Interior Department’s chief watchdog updated Congress Wednesday on the agency’s efforts to curb a long-term pattern of sexual harassment. 

A new analysis from the Bozeman-based non-profit Headwaters Economics shows that the outdoor recreation industry is growing more than twice as fast as the overall economy, and the industry has an especially outsized role in the Mountain West.

  

It’s Saturday night, and I’m in Asylum 49’s basement. It’s actually an old hospital. Heavy metal is blasting from a loudspeaker. The basement’s pitch black except for a single, flickering strobe light. 

This story was supported by the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting

The Promise And Peril Of Environmental Philanthropy | A Privately-Funded Park For The People | Save The Cowboy, Stop The American Prairie Reserve | A Hunter’s Paradise | The Buffalo Is A Symbol of God

The northern Great Plains aren’t much to look at. It’s the drab, boring part of a cross-country interstate drive between Seattle and Chicago. 

No trees in sight. No water. But Sean Gerrity, founder of American Prairie Reserve, has always seen something more out here. 

UNLV Sociology Professor Simon Gottschalk
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

With white supremacist violence on the rise nationwide, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas sociologist is studying how the Internet can turn hateful feelings into deadly actions.

Drew Eggers stood at the edge of one of his stubble fields when he plucked a patch of mint left over from harvest.

“You can smell the spearmint,” he said, offering it up for a sniff.


A new report shows youth suicide rates have spiked alarmingly in recent years, especially in the Mountain West.

In most of the West, a deer killed by a vehicle, such as this one in Idaho, could be harvested for its meat. But not in Nevada and Wyoming.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Most states in the Mountain West allow people to harvest roadkill, and California passed its own “roadkill bill” earlier this week.

But Nevada and Wyoming are holding out. They are the only states in our region that don’t allow the harvesting of meat from animals killed by vehicles.

Rapid population growth in the Mountain West means new infrastructure. Under federal law, potential sites for things like road expansions must be surveyed and possibly excavated to see what’s below the ground. That means cultural artifacts can be disturbed and destroyed. 

UNLV Graduate Student Monserrath Hernandez speaks at a panel event celebrating the launch of a podcast highlighting the work of the Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada project.
UNLV University Libraries

The Latino and Hispanic population is the largest ethnic minority group in the United States. But many of their stories are left out of the historical record.

Across the country, a number of academic institutions are trying to change that, one oral history at a time. One of the latest is in Nevada.

A new study suggests huge fire blankets can help protect homes during wildfires.

Ski and snowboard season is already here.

 


A wildlife overpass on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana
Montana Department of Transportation

This time of year the number of vehicle collisions with deer and other wildlife are at their highest, a problem that’s especially acute in parts of the Mountain West.

On Tuesday, officials in Nevada held a summit to discuss how the state can address an issue that each year results in more than 500 reported crashes, costs taxpayers more than $19 million, and kills an estimated 5,000 wild animals, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation.

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