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.

The head of Yellowstone National Park is leaving his post next month after the Trump administration forced him to either take a transfer to D.C. or retire early.

When our Mountain West News Bureau first broke that news in June, Superintendent Dan Wenk said he felt “abused” by the U.S. Interior Department.

But during a press conference Thursday, he mellowed his tone.

A new study shows air pollution like soot, dust and smoke is down around the country with one exception: wildfire prone areas like the Mountain West.  

This summer, the housing market was expected to be extremely competitive, with lots of buyers vying for a limited number of homes. But it turns out, the housing market, including in our region, may finally be cooling down.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors, says home prices have been rising too fast -- much faster than people’s incomes.

A new species of tick, the longhorned tick, has arrived in the U.S.

In other parts of the world it’s been known to carry diseases that can sicken people and livestock. In East Asia the tick can carry a nasty hemorrhagic fever called SFTS. A study in China looking at SFTS cases there found that 16 percent of people who were diagnosed with the disease died of it.

According to The Spokesman-Review, residents in North Idaho are reportedly receiving anti-Semitic robocalls from a prominent neo-Nazi.

This week, a Nazi flag was raised on a flagpole in a public park in Laramie, Wyoming. There are no hate crime laws in Wyoming so it's not a criminal act. Still, police are investigating the incident.

Today’s jobs report that puts unemployment at a low of 3.9%  is not necessarily good news for companies competing for potential workers, especially in rural areas, where it’s already challenging to attract labor. Businesses and governments are coming up with creative solutions.

Starting this fall, our region will host something new: a graduate program in space resources.

“This is the very first program in the world that is focused on space resources,” says Angel Abbud-Madrid, the director of the Center for Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines.

As record wildfires rage across the West, funding for fire prevention science is in jeopardy. Under President Donald Trump's 2019 budget proposal, cuts to various programs will be significant.

A Belgian hiker died from apparent heat-related causes earlier this week at the Utah-Arizona border.

Portrait photographers working in the region have been getting reminders lately of a federal rule that they need permits to shoot on forest service land.

Courtesy Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

We want to hear YOUR questions about wildfire. Click here to submit your question to the Wanna Know Idaho podcast.

Fires across the West are creating a lot of smoke. That means poor air quality in many parts of our region. 

Climate change is causing temperatures to rise, fanning the flames of wildfires across the region. But when it comes to extreme weather in the region, there’s a new kid on the block — tornados.  

A state-by-state analysis of opioid prescriptions for people who visited emergency rooms with a sprained ankle show one in four patients were given opioids for pain.

The study looked at insurance claims for ER visits between 2011 and 2015.

At the low end, prescribing rates were around three percent and at the high end 40. The overall average was 25 percent.

Income inequality has risen in every state since the 1970s. That's according to a new report published by the Economic Policy Institute — a left-leaning non-profit think tank. The most unequal metro area is right here in our region.

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