The Mountain West News Bureau

Left to right: Matt Frank, Digital Editor (Missoula, MT); Rae Bichell, Reporter (Greeley, CO); Nate Hegyi, Reporter (Salt Lake City, UT); Kate Concannon, Managing Editor (Seattle, WA); Noah Glick, Reporter (Reno, NV); Ali Budner, Reporter (Colorado Springs, CO); Maggie Mullen, Reporter (Laramie, WY) and Amanda Peacher, Reporter (Boise, ID).
Credit Matt Bloom / KUNC

The Mountain West News Bureau is a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, 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 MediaKUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

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

Science

A study published this week in the journal Science found that the bird population in the U.S. and Canada has fallen by nearly 30%, or 3 billion birds, over the past 48 years.

Area 51, the mysterious military installation on the edge of the Mojave desert in Nevada, has fascinated people for decades. But that fascination may come to a head as thousands of people are expected to descend upon the site to take part in a viral event called “Storm Area 51.” KUNR’s Paul Boger reports from Rachel, Nevada.

For the second time this year, kids around the world are striking from school to demand action around climate change. And it’s happening just before world leaders gather at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City. There were only a handful of strikes in our region last time but this time there are several dozen.

drought, field, agriculture
Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

California is king of U.S. agriculture. But on a per capita basis, no state brings in more farm revenue than Idaho.


Morgan Gorris / University of California, Irvine

Researchers say the fungus behind a disease called Valley fever may spread in the Mountain West as rain and temperature patterns change.

Along with its new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado, the Bureau of Land Management is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to our region. But, there is some confusion on the specifics.

Much of the Mountain West saw record breaking snowfall last year which was great news for the mountain resort industry. This year's snowfall may be less intense. 

A prominent climate change denier resigned from the White House Friday after he was blocked from establishing a committee questioning the findings of the most recent national climate assessment. 

Money
401 K / Flickr

Pharmaceutical companies are facing scrutiny over the opioid crisis, but that hasn’t stopped them from giving millions of dollars to members of Congress, including many in the Mountain West.

Capitol, US Capitol, Congress
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Federal agencies are trying to tackle the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women after years of extremely limited record-keeping and uncoordinated attempts to address these crimes. 


Immigrants make up more than ten percent of the population in our region. And according to a report, that can provide big economic benefits.

The House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing today on the Bureau of Land Management's plans to move headquarters out west. Congressional Democrats are among those skeptical that the move is the right choice. That includes Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva.

Ammon Bundy, who led an armed standoff with the federal government in an Oregon wildlife refuge, took to Facebook this past weekend. He said he failed a background check to buy a firearm -- and then things took a turn.  

Lawmakers in our region are meeting Thursday to discuss the potential economic windfalls from nuclear waste storage. It's the first meeting of Wyoming's Spent Fuel Rods Subcommittee, which was created earlier this year.

As the Mountain West continues to see a disproportionate number of youth suicides, one tribe in Southwest Colorado is opening up a new mental health center on its reservation to deal with alarming rates there. 

The newly-minted head of the Bureau of Land Management is defending himself after attracting the ire of environmental groups. They are concerned about potential conflicts of interest and his views on public lands. 

From more intense wildfires to prolonged droughts, climate change is impacting the ecology of the American West. That’s got researchers in our region looking at a new way to fight some of these impacts: drones.

Courtesy of Naima Dido

Warning: This story talks explicitly about female anatomy and traumatizing procedures.

A district court judge ruled last year that a federal law banning female genital mutilation was unconstitutional. He said it’s up to the states to make laws about this cultural practice. While we don’t know how many people undergo the procedure in the Mountain West, many hope to amplify the conversation as some states pass laws and others don’t.

Millions of acres of public land throughout our region are inaccessible to the public. A new law in Nevada is trying to fix that.

A recent study says the American West should be doing more prescribed burns to keep forests healthy and to help lessen the impacts of wildfires across our region. It also concluded that there needs to be a change in how we perceive the practice out here for that to happen.

Bill Green / Flickr

A new trade deal with Japan could soon help out dairymen, cattlemen, corn and wheat farmers, among many others.


A new species of tumbleweed is more vigorous and invasive than ones we've seen in the past. Its range could spread throughout the Mountain West. 

Public lands that used to be a part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah will lose many of their environmental protections, according to a final federal government management plan released Friday.

Anthonut / Flickr

A mountain lion attacked an eight-year-old boy in Colorado on Wednesday, bringing the total attacks in that state to three this year – the most Colorado has seen since 1998.

Civil rights groups have filed a class action lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement for failing to treat the medical and mental health needs of detainees. Two of the plaintiffs are being held in the Mountain West. 

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