The Mountain West News Bureau

The Mountain West News Bureau team, from left to right: Amanda Peacher, Judy Fahys, Ali Budner, Rae Ellen Bichell, Maggie Mullen, Nate Hegyi and Kate Concannon.

The Mountain West News Bureau is a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, 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.

Contributing stations include Boise State Public Radio, Wyoming Public Media, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

According to a monthly survey, farmers across the U.S. aren’t feeling too optimistic these days.  

Dan Salkeld doesn’t like plunging toilets, filling out tax forms, or clipping his children's toenails. But he loves collecting ticks in Colorado.

Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester is hoping Montanans will give him a narrow victory this fall.

But President Donald Trump isn’t making it easy.

Old Faithful gets all the attention, but a geyser called Steamboat is the world’s tallest active geyser. And it’s acting a little odd.

When federal protections were lifted for the Yellowstone-area grizzly bear last year, conservation groups quickly got to work to reverse that decision. One of those attempts was recently thwarted when U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced they would not restore protections after a months-long review.

Amanda Peacher / Mountain West News Bureau

If you’re looking for a new primary care doctor in states like Idaho or Wyoming, good luck. Our region has some of the worst doctor shortages of all U.S. states.

wild horses, nevada, wildlife
James Marvin Phelps / Flickr Creative Commons

The Bureau of Land Management has presented Congress with a controversial new plan to manage wild horses.

Wyoming is drafting a plan for its first grizzly bear hunt in decades. Conservation groups are accusing the state of not following agreed-upon quotas for how many Yellowstone Grizzly can be hunted.  

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson's recent proposal to triple rent for the lowest income households is part of what’s being called "Welfare Reform 2.0." This change to federal assistance could have a big impact on our growing region.

While Colorado and Utah are prepping for a severe wildfire season this year, Montana, Wyoming and northern Idaho have been counting their lucky stars because all three states had a huge snowpack this season.

“We have the best snowpacks in the country,” said meteorologist Michael Richmond.

When all that snow melts, it’ll keep the forest wet and protected from fire.

However that doesn’t mean the region is free and clear.  Richmond said it may get hotter and drier than usual this summer. A lot of heat and no rain can dry out a forest within a week or two.

  

This is about two very different visions of how we should use land in the American West.

On the Great Plains of Montana, conservationists and tribes want to rewind the clock and return wild bison to the shortgrass prairie. But cowboys and ranchers say if that happens, their way of life – their very culture – will disappear.

What we know about air pollution and health has roots in the mountain valleys of Utah. Winter smog episodes here are legendary.

The U.S. Interior Department wants to repeal an Obama-era rule that reduces the burning of methane gas on federal lands. The public comment period on that plan ended April 23, 2018 and it looks like almost everybody thought it was a bad idea.


The nasty strain of E. coli that’s sickening people across the U.S. has turned up in Idaho and Montana, and health officials remain on alert.

National Forest Service

Environmental groups want to stop sheep grazing on public lands in the region. The issue is playing out in the courts in Idaho and Montana.  

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