Mountain West News Bureau | KUNC

Mountain West News Bureau

Bureau of Land Management Montana and Dakotas / Flickr

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that the U.S. life expectancy continues to decline. This trend is driven in part by an increase is drug overdoses and suicide. The Mountain West is especially vulnerable when it comes to suicide.

We’ve had a brutal fire season this year. The fires still burning across California have left more than 80 dead, and hundreds are still missing. Amidst the flames, a seemingly new trend has emerged – a two-tiered system with private firefighting resources for those who can afford them, and a system stretched thin for the rest.


Eric Allix Rogers / Flickr

Two Mountain West states are part of a dozen across the country that allow people to select non-binary gender on legal documents.

Colorado residents, who do not identify as male or female, will be able to choose "X" as their gender on driver's licenses starting on Nov. 30.

"It's really important that Colorado is now allowing another opportunity for male, female and non-binary -- people who identify as neither male or female -- to also have an identity document who matches who they are," said Daniel Ramos, executive director of One Colorado, an LGBTQ advocacy organization.

Chris / Flickr

Almost half of eligible Americans voted nationwide in this year's midterm elections, making it the highest voter turnout in almost 50 years.

Colorado ranked fifth in the nation in voter turnout with 59.7 percent of eligible voters casting ballots. Montana came in tenth with a 56.6 percent voter turnout.

Nathan Heffel / KUNC

The words “record-breaking” and “unprecedented” are commonly used to describe the scale of the modern-day west’s wildfires. But a new study suggests those terms leave out some important historical context.

Sakarri / Flickr

In Wyoming 19 wolves have been killed during the first seven weeks of this year's hunting season. It's a much smaller number than last year, when 12 were harvested in just the first few days and trophy game kills overall totaled 43.

One possible explanation could be the warm fall weather. This year's hunting season started on Sept. 1, a month earlier than last year.

Scott Becker, the northern Rocky Mountain wolf coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said it can be easier to hunt wolves in the winter.

A million new registered nurses will be needed to meet the country's health care needs by 2022.
stjohnsdallas / Flickr

Denver is hosting one of the country's biggest nursing conferences. One issue on the agenda is the ongoing, nationwide nursing shortage.

Flickr Creative Commons

The Rocky Mountain News. The South Idaho Press. The Lone Peak New Utah.

These long-gone newspapers range from a Pulitzer-winning metro-area daily to small weeklies in rural towns. All are victims of an ongoing trend that’s pummeling the local American newspaper.

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