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.

The last time the royalty rate for oil and gas production on federal land changed was in 1920. Proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives would address that, but the industry stands opposed.

Multiple proposals from Democratic presidential candidates are calling for a full transition from fossil fuels to renewables over the next 10 years. Independent analytics firm Wood Mackenzie was interested in the numbers behind those proposals. It found a transition would take closer to 20 to 30 years. Dan Shreve, head of global wind energy research at Wood Mackenzie, co-authored the report.

HEBER CITY — Tucked below the jagged, snowy Wasatch range 20 miles south of Park City, the Heber Valley looks like a miniature Switzerland. Dairy cows graze in bright green pastures and a small farm sells artisan cheeses and milk. 

Medical and public-health groups are calling climate change "a health emergency," in a new report released Monday. Organizations like the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association are demanding elected officials and other leaders to prioritize action.

The Trump administration may soon push for more uranium mining in the Colorado Plateau, arguing the mineral is critical for national security. The potential move prompted criticism from Democrats during a hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on Tuesday. 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

As we head into the dog days of summer, 2019 is projected to be among the top five hottest years on record. That's according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

simianwolverine / Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Parks across our region are seeing dramatic increases in visitation. Land managers are trying to balance visitor experience with conservation, including at the popular Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, just west of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Planning a climbing trip in the West? The federal government wants to help.

About a century ago, African-American settlements sprang up across the West. Now, one of those sites in northern Colorado is set to host new houses.

The Black American West Museum, based in Denver, owns a number of properties in what used to be the town of Dearfield, Colorado. But a national homebuilding company, CMH Homes, Inc., also known as Clayton Homes, is now taking steps to turn other parts of the town into new residences.

Richie Bedarski / Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Most people in the United States can't see a full night sky that's not affected by light pollution. But, in a remote corner of Nevada, the Milky Way Galaxy shines bright enough at night to cast a shadow.

The area is known as Massacre Rim and it was recently designated as a Dark Sky Sanctuary.

The Rocky Mountain region continues to face some of the highest suicide rates in the country. A recent panel of experts in Colorado addressed what they said was one of the biggest hurdles to mental health: social stigma. 

Headwaters Economics

The Mountain West is home to huge swaths of public land. A new web-based tool is now showing people exactly where that land is and which agency is managing it.

According to a new analysis, proposed changes to the federal poverty line could mean big changes for low income people in the Mountain West.


If you’re in the market for a new tent or fleece jacket, you could see prices for those products go up. The Trump Administration is proposing new tariffs on items like these that are produced in China.

 


World Economic Forum

Robots and other automated machines will work more hours than humans by 2025.

That's according to the World Economic Forum. And the Mountain West is particularly vulnerable.

The Nature Conservancy just appointed Obama’s former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell as its new interim CEO.  The leadership change comes in the wake of an investigation into sexual harassment and misconduct at the organization. Several top executives were implicated and have stepped down, including the CEO and the President.

A neurodegenerative illness called chronic wasting disease is spreading among deer and elk in our region. Now, researchers at Colorado State University say they’ve found a new way to study the disease -- and another indication that it might eventually become capable of sickening people.

Top politicians are in Vail, Colorado, this week for the annual meeting of the Western Governors Association.

Protesters dressed as swamp creatures kayaked down a river while others marched along a bike path, past private tennis courts and swanky swimming pools outside the hotel where governors met with Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

“My shirt says keep your oily hands off of Colorado's public lands,” says Chelsea Stencel, who was among the protesters. “David Bernhardt, the ultimate swamp monster.”

It’s not every day you get a true Eureka! moment in science. But Andrew Alfred, chief scientist at the Denver-based cannabis company, LivWell, recently did. The company grows marijuana in a giant indoor “farm” for sale at their dispensaries in Colorado and Oregon.

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