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 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.

Utah, Colorado and Montana have some of the lowest rates of childhood obesity in the country.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Mountain West states have some of the lowest rates of youth obesity in the country, according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Utah's rate of 8.7% was found to be the lowest in the country, while Colorado and Montana, with rates of 10.7% and 10.8%, respectively, were also among the six states with obesity rates statistically significantly lower than the national average of 15.3%.

As Turkey launched attacks in Syria on Wednesday, cracks emerged in Republican support for the Trump administration, even from reliable Trump supporters in the Mountain West.

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the fate of the DACA program. Meanwhile, several dozen child-advocacy groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently filed an amicus brief in the case.

Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch takes the judicial oath of office in 2017. Gorsuch may be the deciding vote in a case over whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Franz Jantzen / Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday began hearing cases on employment protections for LGBTQ workers, and conservative Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who hails from Colorado, is likely the deciding vote.

A radical environmental movement that originated in the UK is now going international, with several chapters in the Mountain West. 

The University of Colorado Boulder Folsom Field
The University of Colorado Boulder

States in the Mountain West could follow California’s lead in allowing student-athletes to seek sponsorships and other business deals while in college.

Map of federal public lands in the West. BLM lands shown in yellow. The red pin marks Grand Junction, Colorado.
Headwaters Economics / headwaterseconomics.org

The Bureau of Land Management is moving more staff and—perhaps most significantly—its headquarters to the Mountain West.

Depending on who you ask, relocating the BLM’s headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Grand Junction, Colorado will make the agency more efficient, give preferential treatment to the fossil fuel industry—or even functionally dismantle it.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Personal income is on the rise across the country, and some of the biggest increases are in Mountain West states, according to data published last week by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

David Vela, the former superintendent of Grand Teton National Park, is now the acting director of the National Park Service.

Off-road vehicles such as ATVs and UTVs will soon be allowed on roads in Utah’s national parks after a controversial policy change last week.

 


U.S. Geological Survey

Chronic Wasting Disease is a wildlife illness similar to Mad Cow Disease.  It’s rooted itself in the Mountain West and is thinning herds throughout the region.

Nevada and Idaho are the only states in our region with no confirmed cases of the highly contagious and fatal wildlife infection. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t made it there.

U.S. Department of Energy

Waste from the nation's worst nuclear accident could remain in our region for another 20 years.

In 1979, a nuclear reactor had a partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Pennsylvania. And the waste from that incident has been living in Idaho since the 1980s.

Researchers are looking into what may be a peaceful solution to the timeless struggle against a Mountain West rodent. They’re giving prairie dogs birth control. 

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