Mountain West News Bureau

In an hour-long hearing Thursday, frustrated Democrats on the House Natural Resources committee called out the Trump administration for "blatant favoritism" toward the oil and gas industry. California Congressman Alan Lowenthal complained oil and gas has gone unscathed while all walks of life are feeling the pain.

Bark beetles are continuing to cause widespread damage to Colorado’s forests, according to a new study. The annual aerial forest health survey, jointly conducted by the Colorado and U.S. Forest Services, shows spruce forests are at particular risk.

Despite the government shutdown, there's been a handover at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Former Secretary Ryan Zinke is out, deputy secretary David Bernhardt is in, with a continuance of the Trump Administration policy of energy dominance.

KUER's Diane Maggipinto spoke with Nate Hegyi of KUER's Mountain West News Bureau to sort it out, starting with Zinke's wins and losses.

davesamy26 / Flickr

A Jan. 31 deadline is approaching for the Drought Contingency Plans, a set of agreements between seven states about how to manage dwindling water supplies, including here in the Mountain West.

The region has been in a drought for 19 years now, and water levels continue to retreat in major reservoirs.

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could restore tribal hunting rights in Wyoming, which could affect tribes throughout our region.


If the impasse over President Trump’s proposed border wall makes it to Saturday morning, this will be the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. And it has an unlikely victim — craft beer.

A new study shows US greenhouse gas emissions are going up. The natural gas boom is partially to blame. It’s a big industry in our region.

A new Executive Order posted Monday in the Federal Register is aimed at fire risk reduction. It prioritizes "active management" on about eight million acres of public lands. That's a catch-all phrase that includes logging.

The Mountain West has some of the highest teen suicide rates in the country. A new report out of the region looks at what conditions contribute to the high rate of youth suicide. 

Zach Dischner / Flickr

Jim Schmidt is the mayor of Crested Butte. This mountain town in central Colorado is home to the most recent in a slew of acquisitions by Vail Resorts. Schmidt is quick to clarify.

"They bought the ski resort, they did not buy the town, they did not buy our souls," said Schmidt.

That said, he says locals are a bit nervous.

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