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.

As the Mountain West continues to see a disproportionate number of youth suicides, one tribe in Southwest Colorado is opening up a new mental health center on its reservation to deal with alarming rates there. 

The newly-minted head of the Bureau of Land Management is defending himself after attracting the ire of environmental groups. They are concerned about potential conflicts of interest and his views on public lands. 

Electric bikes are coming to national parks and other public lands managed by the Interior Department. 

Drones are increasingly being used to study the effects of wildfires. This drone is collecting data from a large prescribed burn earlier this year at the Fishlake National Forest in Utah.
Desert Research Institute

From more intense wildfires to prolonged droughts, climate change is impacting the ecology of the American West. That’s got researchers in our region looking at a new way to fight some of these impacts: drones.

You might not know it but there’s a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture whose job includes killing wild animals – to the tune of millions each year.  It used to be called Animal Damage Control. Now it’s simply called Wildlife Services. Depending on who you talk to, the agency is controversial and secretive or, well-managed and essential.

For a lot of people, when they hear about forensic science that's used to solve crime, they think of the CSI television franchise that's set in places like Miami, New York and Las Vegas. But in fact, one of the most advanced forensic laboratories in the country is here in the Mountain West.

The recent court ruling that held the pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson, accountable for its role in Oklahoma’s opioid crisis could influence some of the pending lawsuits seeking to hold energy companies accountable for their role in the climate crisis. That includes one case in the Mountain West.

A checkboard pattern of public land occurs along the I-80 corridor in Nevada, dating back to the U.S. Government's decision to subsidize construction of railroads by giving companies land in this pattern.
onX

Millions of acres of public land throughout our region are inaccessible to the public. A new law in Nevada is trying to fix that.

A new trade deal with Japan could soon help out dairymen, cattlemen, corn and wheat farmers, among many others.


A new species of tumbleweed is more vigorous and invasive than ones we've seen in the past. Its range could spread throughout the Mountain West. 

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.

A shot of a prescribed burn taking place earlier this year at the Fishlake National Forest in Utah.
Desert Research Institute

A recent study says the American West should be doing more prescribed burns to keep forests healthy and to help lessen the impacts of wildfires across our region. It also concluded that there needs to be a change in how we perceive the practice out here for that to happen.

Highlander Beer

A conservation group and a Mountain West brewery are teaming up to raise money to preserve public lands. Their idea? A new pale ale, called "Public Land Owner."

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


Wildfires are still burning across the Mountain West, but far fewer than in the last few years.


Civil rights groups have filed a class action lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement for failing to treat the medical and mental health needs of detainees. Two of the plaintiffs are being held in the Mountain West. 

Noah Glick

Wild animals are protected within dozens of wildlife refuges across the Mountain West. But some of those areas are contaminated, because they used to be nuclear sites.

Pew Charitable Trusts

Since the Great Recession, personal income and jobs have grown across the country and throughout our region. But that growth is uneven.

A bipartisan bill is moving forward through the Senate. It specifically tackles the impacts of climate change on our nation’s roads and bridges. 

The U.S. Forest Service wants to cut out parts of its environmental review process. The agency says it's a way to speed up certain projects. But that has conservationists worried.

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