Mountain West News Bureau

The Mountain West News Bureau covers four states with five partner stations.

  

KUNC is among the founding partners of the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado Idaho, Utah and Wyoming.  Our mission is to tell stories about the people, places and issues of the Rocky Mountain West.

From land and water management to growth in the expanding West to our unique culture and heritage, we’ll explore the issues that define us and the challenges we face.

Other contributing stations are: Boise State Public Radio, Wyoming Public Media, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC in Colorado Springs.

The editor for the Mountain West News Bureau is Kate Concannon. Rae Ellen Bichell is the reporter based at KUNC.

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Forecasters in Colorado are warning of “very destructive” avalanches as heavy snowfall and strong winds are expected Wednesday.

Avalanches have already buried cars, killed skiers and left chunks of forest scattered across highways —  even dangling from power lines — in what’s considered a historic avalanche season. But Colorado isn’t alone.

In wide open spaces like the rural parts of the Mountain West, there's sometimes little known about the secret lives of plants and animals. There are too many square miles and too few scientists. That's where citizen scientists can come to the rescue.

Antonio Grosz / Unsplash

A study in the medical journal BMJ found a strong association between the strength of a state’s gun laws and its rate of mass shootings.

Paul Reeping is an epidemiologist with Columbia University and first author on the paper. He says researchers had already looked at the relationship between gun laws and outcomes like suicide or homicide.

The details on the lengthy federal investigation that exonerated the embattled head of Grand Canyon National Park of creating a hostile work environment were released Tuesday.

Park Superintendent Christine Lehnertz was cleared in February of any wrongdoing following allegations she bullied and retaliated against some male leaders at the park and misspent funds, according to a report from the Interior Department's inspector general.

 


When University of Utah senior Mohan Sudabattula found the posters hanging recently from the side of the art building on campus, the first-generation son of immigrants from southeastern India was surprised but not shocked. He’d seen similar posters – the red, white and blue lettering – popping up all over campus.

Waterkeeper Alliance Inc. / Flickr

A report out Monday from environmental groups looked at groundwater contamination from coal-fired power plants. Three of the worst sites are located in the Mountain West.

Coal ash is the solid waste leftover when you burn coal. It often gets mixed with water and washed into a pit — an ash pond. If the base of a pond isn’t properly sealed, pollutants in the mix can make their way into groundwater.

An environmental group sent a letter to Governor Mark Gordon asking him to intervene in last week's lease sale of some parcels of land native to sage grouse.

Cattle ranchers got a break this week. Their grazing fees on public lands just dropped to the lowest amount allowed under federal law. The average savings per rancher will be just $32 a year, but the decision is still controversial.


What do you get when you put together a horse, a pair of skis, and two daredevils? It's an old sport that's being revived across our region.

Brewtography Project

The closest that Travis Rupp came to getting fired, he says, was the time he tried to make chicha. The recipe for the Peruvian corn-based beer, cobbled together from bits of pre-Incan archaeological evidence, called for chewed corn partially fermented in spit. So, Rupp’s first task had been to convince his colleagues to gather round a bucket and offer up their chompers for the cause.

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