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.

Vicki Christiansen was sworn in this morning as Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. She’s only the second female to serve in this role in its 113-year history.

John Sellers / Loveland Ski Area

Areas all across the Mountain West, from Colorado's Front Range to Eastern Idaho, have seen their first real snowfall of the 2018-2019 season in the last week.

Utah is poised to legalize medical marijuana this fall, and it could be the first state-run distribution program in the country.

A Texas federal judge just has declared unconstitutional a decades-old law that aims to keep Native American children within their own communities.

On Friday, an intergovernmental organization hosted a hearing in Boulder, Colorado on the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women in the U.S. That group faces some of the highest violence and sexual assault rates in the nation.

A class action lawsuit is alleging the U.S. Olympic Committee headquartered in Colorado Springs tolerated sexual abuse, exploitation and forced labor. 

The U.S. Olympic Committee is not specifically named as a defendant in the suit, but that could change as the suit moves forward. 

The suit involves fifty plaintiffs who allege coaches and leaders from USA Diving knew about and tolerated the abuse. Plaintiffs allege one male diving coach sexually abused teenage female divers as well as a a female coach over the course of at least two years.  

Our region is home to some of the hottest housing markets in the country but that trend may slowing down. 

The Environmental Protection Agency is making $20 million available for states and tribes to voluntarily test drinking water for lead at schools and childcare facilities.

Department of Interior

The nation’s first commercial oil-shale mine could be built here in our region. The Bureau of Land Management issued a decision that allows a mine in Utah’s Uinta Valley to move forward.

USFWS

The Department of Interior just released a new science policy that it says will increase transparency. But conservationists are concerned. 

This week The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meets in Salt Lake City for its bi-annual conference. Meanwhile a report in the Salt Lake Tribune says a new lawsuit claims the Church turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse of children in one of its programs.

In recent years, President Trump has dismissed climate change as a hoax.

“I think it’s a big scam for a lot of people to make a lot of money,” he said on Fox News in 2015.

But a recent report by the U.S. Department of Transportation predicts global temperature will rise seven degrees by 2100. That’s catastrophic.

Bureau of Land Management

An important but little-known public lands fund expired this weekend. 

Fall might be in the air, but wildfires continue to burn across the country. One of the largest is in Wyoming and has reached over 60,000 acres.

A paper published this week reports that a recent fossil discovery in Central Utah is changing what researchers know about the emergence of large flowering trees both here in the Mountain West, and around the world.

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