Mountain West News Bureau | KUNR

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, New Mexico and Wyoming. The mission is to tell stories about the people, places and issues of the Mountain West. 

Contributing stations include Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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

New research published in the journal Nature Climate Change finds that snow is melting earlier – often in the winter. That’s a bad sign for the Mountain West. 


The White House recently announced that it would not create a federal “vaccine passport” requirement, or proof that you’ve gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. Even so, leaders in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah have rejected such requirements, using everything from denunciations to executive orders to planned legislation.


Interior Secretary Deb Haaland met with tribal leaders as well as Utah state leaders Wednesday in San Juan County to talk about Bears Ears National Monument. They toured the monument together Thursday morning.

As more Americans get vaccinated, they're finally preparing for long-delayed vacations. But if they want to visit some big-name national parks in the West, they may need a reservation.

 

Last month, Deb Haaland made history as the first Indigenous person ever confirmed by the Senate to serve in a president's cabinet. In her first official trip as secretary of the Interior, she visited the Mountain West with a focus on tribal issues.

Amid a national rise in COVID-19 cases, Colorado is the latest Mountain West state to ease its mask mandate.

Democratic Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement issued April 2 that the loosening of a mask order is “a step toward the light at the end of the tunnel.” It eases restrictions for Colorado counties with low transmission rates. The change comes as the state opens up vaccinations to all people over 16.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has created a new unit to confront the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people, reflecting the first Native American Cabinet secretary's prioritization of the issue in leading an agency that once sought to "civilize or exterminate" Native people.

A close up of a wheat plant in a field of crops.
Scott Butner / Flickr Creative Commons

Heat waves induced by climate change will threaten future agricultural crops at a faster rate than gradual global warming, according to a new study published in the Journal of the European Economic Association. Steve Miller, a UC Boulder assistant professor of environmental studies, was a lead researcher in the study.

Parts of the Mountain West are still seeing snow and frost and sleet – but there's one sure sign that spring is actually here: the songs of migrating birds. 


Many oil, gas and coal-dependent communities around the Mountain West are concerned about the Biden administration's aggressive stance on climate change. But a recent survey of hundreds of economists around the world suggests that reducing emissions now will save us financially in the long run. 

This is the second in a two-part series about the vaccine rollout in Indian Country. Part one looks at the success of the rollout on rural reservations.

 

 

This is the first in a two-part series about the vaccine rollout in Indian Country. Part two looks at the challenges of vaccinating our region's urban Native population. 

 

Aaron Yazzie was born on the Navajo Nation and grew up in Holbrook, Arizona, a town that borders the reservation.

As a kid, Yazzie said he never thought he would one day work for NASA.

“There just weren’t a lot of people that I knew in my community or my family that had gone down a path to get a job like this,” he said. “But I knew I was good at building things and being creative. I think those things pushed me in a path toward engineering.”

A garden of bell peppers.
Suriyun / Shutterstock

The pandemic prompted a ton of people who were stuck at home to explore the world of gardening for the first time, and an upcoming webinar series aims to cultivate even more budding backyard growers.

Not enough jurors showed up for a trial last week in a case that could have implications for avalanche safety in the Mountain West.



The last time the state of Wyoming executed someone was in 1992.

"When that execution actually occurred, I felt it," said Sen. Cale Case. "And people all over Wyoming felt it, 'cause we were part of it."

As health officials battle vaccine hesitancy and a reluctance to follow safety guidelines, they could turn to employers for help. 


An American flag at half staff.
Red Herring / Shutterstock

It's been a traumatic year. The pandemic. Social justice protests in response to police brutality. An insurrection at the nation's capital. Now our nation is dealing with two mass shootings.

Una mujer abraza a su sobrino
Foto cortesía de Rudy Aguilar

La pandemia de la COVID-19 ha cobrado la vida de más de 20,000 personas en todo el Oeste Montañoso. Una de ellas fue la de Belarmina Martínez, madre de ocho hijos y tía de casi 20 sobrinos. Lo que más le gustaba era su familia, la comida — y el baile.

Montana's newly-elected Republican governor violated state hunting regulations when he trapped and shot a collared wolf near Yellowstone National Park in February, according to documents obtained by the Mountain West News Bureau.


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