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.

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. 

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.

As we get ready to chow down on holiday foods over the next couple of weeks, a new study has some grim news. It projects half of Americans will be obese and a quarter will be severely obese in the next decade.

A group of chemicals called PFAS are common in firefighting foams, as well as household products like rain jackets, pizza boxes and non-stick pots and pans. They've been in use since the 1940s and have come to be known as "forever chemicals" because they persist in the environment.

PFAS, which stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have made their way into watersheds around the world, and as a recent study found, even into raindrops. Some are considered a threat to human health. 

Researchers including Jens Blotevogel, an environmental engineer at Colorado State University, are studying ways to get rid of the compounds. 

Epi’s is a Basque restaurant in Meridian Idaho, just west of Boise. In mid-morning, things are still pretty quiet, but owner Eric McFarland and a few others are prepping food.


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.

Nevada Department of Agriculture

The lack of access to nutritious food is a major issue across Indian Country. One program in Nevada is looking to increase healthy habits among youth on reservations and the rural communities surrounding them.

Noah Glick

The first wave of Democratic voters will soon be making their choice for who they think should be the party’s presidential nominee. Nevada is the first state in the West to weigh in. It’s also the most diverse, making the Silver State more of a bellwether than other early voting states.

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. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a new director. The Senate on Thursday confirmed Aurelia Skipwith, making her the first African American to lead the agency.

As Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso made clear to fellow lawmakers on Thursday, he believes Skipwith is well qualified.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

The U.S. economy has been growing at a steady pace for years. But on the county level, across the country and especially in the Mountain West, changes in gross domestic product, or GDP, vary widely.

Nationwide, more and more people are surviving childhood. But researchers found those improvements might not be as big in rural areas. 

A report last year found that child mortality rates had improved. In fact, nationally, it looked like the country had met its 2020 goals. But then researchers took a closer look.

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. 

The House’s newly passed defense bill will establish a new armed services branch, the United States Space Force, which will be headquartered in Colorado Springs.

Researchers from a number of states, including Idaho, Colorado and Nevada, have found that grazing does not help get rid of cheatgrass, a highly flammable weed. 

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.

This summer, the National Park Service came out with a policy allowing electric bicycles in the same places as traditional bikes. A new federal lawsuit is challenging that rule.

There’s wide variability in state policies about what care to give to women who are pregnant and behind bars. That’s according to a new report from the Prison Policy Initiative, a research and advocacy organization focused on mass incarceration.

“Women's populations in prisons have been growing faster than men's for quite awhile now,” said Wanda Bertram, a spokesperson with the Prison Policy Initiative. “So it's a good time to start looking at how women's experiences differ from men's while they're inside.”

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.


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. 

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