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Stephanie Maltarich

  • Our region has some of the nation’s largest producers of winter wheat – states like Colorado, Idaho and Montana. Persistent drought threatens millions of acres of the crop. And a small, native bug has become a huge problem. As farmers battle the wheat stem sawfly, scientists are trying to develop a more resistant crop. And new federal legislation proposes a National Conservation Area in areas of the Dolores River Canyon.
  • The Canyonlands Research Center offers summer internships to Native American students interested in conservation for the second year. Students visit and tour the land in and around Canyonlands National Park to learn about issues such as watershed health. The initiative is a part of the center's NATURE program, which stands for Native American Tribes Upholding Restoration and Education. Plus, activists call on federal water managers to update antiquated plumbing at Glen Canyon Dam.
  • A group of goat farmers in La Plata County in Southwest Colorado are working to tackle noxious weeds. The farm, Durangoats, attends farmers markets each weekend to talk about how goats can assist with land management and fire prevention. The county is looking into partnering with the farm and the goats in new noxious weed management. And, Capitol Coverage reporter Scott Franz reports on a new federal bill that will protect Coloradoans from surprise hospital bills. Plus other stories from the Mountain West News Bureau report on living wages and inflation and a federal at-home care that assists with births in rural communities will soon expire.
  • Many states in the region have banned abortion. But in Colorado, providers are seeing a sharp rise in demand from out-of-state patients, including some who are in desperate situations. And, as negotiations continue in the Colorado River basin, a group of tribes is asking for more of a voice about conserving the river’s water amid historic drought.
  • The Rocky Mountain region is experiencing more wildfires in the midst of drought and high temperatures. And more of those blazes are being caused by people as our population grows. The job of fire investigators has never been more important. They track down the spark that can lead to prosecutions and their work provides crucial data for studying fire causes. Plus, Colorado ramps up its monkeypox response and Colorado republicans file a complaint against Governor Polis regarding a letter he wrote accompanying TABOR refund checks.
  • Lake Powell is the nation’s second-largest reservoir. But climate change and overuse have shrunk it to a record low, leaving the water supply uncertain for tens of millions in the Southwest. KUNC’s Luke Runyon took a boat trip to report on the changing landscape. Plus, a lightning strike killed a 22-year-old student participating in a National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) educator course last week in northwest Wyoming.
  • President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday, he says will make it easier for people to travel to other states for abortions. A bill to improve the country’s road and mountain biking infrastructure passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week. And, a sound rich visit to hear The Casper Trooper's new show. The nation's oldest drum and bugle corps reunite after taking two years off due to the pandemic.
  • Nearly 7,000 Coloradans pushed into onerous student loan repayment terms can expect checks in the mail as soon as this week as part of a settlement agreement. Navient, one of the country’s largest student loan servicers, has been ordered to provide 1.85 billion dollars in relief to borrowers nationwide. Navient will forgive around 35 million dollars of student loan debt of more than 1300 Coloradans and send out restitution payments to around 7000 more.
  • Mountain towns in Colorado have seen an influx of development in recent years. Much of it has been concentrated in luxury tourism or housing, which has driven up costs and pushed out many locals. One town near Telluride on Colorado’s western slope has largely avoided that fate, and is proud of it. But, as KSJD and Rocky Mountain Community Radio’s Lucas Brady Woods reports, a new land sale could change that. Emma Gibson of the Mountain West News Bureau looks into a recent poll that asked Mountain Westerners in swing states about land issues and the outdoors. Their answers indicate their votes may follow candidates supporting the environment.