KZMU News features grassroots, independent journalism broadcast from the heart of Moab, Utah. A daily newscast with reliable coverage, local voices, and reporting that empowers community.

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1084 episodes

BLM closes over 300 miles of roads to OHV use; Plus, Weekly the News Reel!

The Bureau of Land Management released a new Travel Management Plan for the Labyrinth Canyon Gemini Bridges area, closing OHV routes that conflicted with other uses, including riparian habitat. The plan was years in the making, and wilderness advocacy groups are applauding the federal agency’s decision. Plus, riparian restoration in the Southeast Utah Group of National Parks is getting some attention - and funding - from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. And later, a new survey of farmers and ranchers in the Colorado River Basin show they’re concerned about water shortages. // Plus, the Weekly News Reel! Sophia Fisher of The Times-Independent discusses the new, eight-passenger planes that will provide service to Salt Lake City, a recap of the city’s workforce housing ordinance, and an upcoming fundraiser put on by the Moab Abortion and Reproductive Rights Network. Alison Harford of the Moab Sun News discusses plans for Utahraptor State Park, which broke ground this week, as well as the legacy of local landscape photographer Tom Till, who is retiring. // Show Notes:

Sep 29
This breed of desert cattle could change the beef industry in the Southwest

A breed of desert-adapted cattle are being studied at Dugout Ranch Researchers working with Dugout Ranch in Indian Creek are studying how a breed of desert-adapted cattle fare in this region compared to Red Angus. So far, they've found the criollo prefer larger, more drought resistant forage. We also hear from our partners at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at CU Boulder about studying grasshoppers in the field. //Photo: Criollo cattle are being studied at Dugout Ranch, as well as other ranches across the Southwest. These criollo are being studied by the Jornada Experimental Range in New Mexico, who partners with Dugout Ranch. Photo by TED by DGAR on Flickr. //Show Notes: //Criollo research at Dugout Ranch, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy

Sep 29
Drag returns to rural Utah: ‘Rural spaces can be safer spaces for all types of people'

LGBTQ+ artist and educator Cal Bulmash says they feel comfortable in rural spaces. But ‘rural’ is not traditionally associated with queer community. So drag performance in rural areas, with its playful exploration of the gender spectrum, is particularly meaningful to Bulmash. This Friday, Moab Pride will host them and other rural drag performers for an all-ages show, bringing the art of drag back to Moab. Plus, our radio partners report on a Black history in Utah and a group of Tibetan monks touring the country. // Show Notes: // Photo: The Moab Pride visibility march through downtown on September 23rd. Drag Show Details: Friday September 29th at Hearthspace 6pm Dance, 7pm Drag UPR: ‘Tell the Story’ conference brings Utah’s Black history to life Aspen Public Radio: With a message of compassion, Tibetan monks share a path to happiness in Aspen

Sep 27
Will hundreds of miles of motorized vehicle roads be closed in Labyrinth Canyon?

After over a decade of deliberations regarding recreation use along the Labyrinth Canyon corridor of the Green River, the Bureau of Land Management will finally make a decision by the end of this week about whether it will close a portion of the motorized vehicle roads, and if so, how many. Plus, we hear from our partners at KSUT about whether an energy company can redeem its bond release after failing to properly reclaim its mine. We also hear from KSJD about a delegation from New Mexico’s Pueblo Tribe that went to Washington D.C. recently to lobby for protecting Chaco Canyon National Park. //Photo: A road used by motorized vehicles runs through Labyrinth Canyon along the Green River. Photo by EcoFlight. //Show Notes: //BLM Land Management Proposal

Sep 26
Regional Roundup: Migrating hummingbirds, the Pony Express and Salt Lake City's mayoral race

It’s Regional Roundup Monday! Today’s show features hummingbirds in the Rocky Mountains, an author interview about the new book 'The Last Ride of the Pony Express,' and details on the Salt Lake City mayoral race.

Sep 26
Abandoned oil shale lease is a ‘win’ for Colorado River Basin, according to environmentalists

An Estonian oil company, Enefit, recently abandoned its plans to mine oil shale on federal land in the Uinta Basin and lost the authority to use its water rights for fossil fuel production. It’s a huge win for environmentalists who were fighting the proposal — the company was hoping to produce 50,000 barrels of synthetic oil daily and use about 11,000 acre feet of water per year from the Green River. And later in the newscast, our radio partners report on a new solar plant in Red Mesa and breakthroughs in geothermal energy in southwestern Utah. // Plus, the Weekly News Reel! Sophia Fisher of The Times-Independent discusses concerns over downtown’s aesthetic conditions, preparing for the upcoming eclipse, a rise in Spanish Valley’s short-term rentals and an 84-year old ‘legendary’ skydiver. Alison Harford of the Moab Sun News explores rabies and bats after two tested positive at Arches National Park. Plus, she discusses the summer reuse arts residency and the upcoming Red Rock Arts Festival. // Show Notes:

Sep 22
Oil and gas leasing poised for first major overhaul since 1980s

The last time the Bureau of Land Management made a comprehensive update to their oil and gas regulations, pop singer George Michael was topping the charts with his new hit song, Faith. So…it’s been awhile. But that’s changing. The federal agency is now poised to reform royalty rates, bonding requirements and even leasing preferences. Today on the news, we report on the local and regional responses to this issue. Plus, a report on the centennial of the town of Blanding’s attacks on the Ute Mountain Ute community. // Show Notes: // BLM Onshore Oil & Gas Leasing Rule,to%20benefit%20the%20American%20taxpayer

Sep 21
Shared dislike of 'the goathead’ continues to build community

In a world where there are near-infinite ways to disagree, there’s one thing that brings Moabites into consensus: a shared dislike of the tube popping, skin tearing noxious weed…the goathead. Today on the news, we check in with community members focused on eradicating puncturevine, also known as ‘goatheads,’ from our shared trails and walkways. And later, we hear from our radio partners on harmful algal bloom detection, a lawsuit centered on the ‘ecological collapse’ of Great Salt Lake, and Utah’s first statewide mariachi competition. // Photo: Community members look for invasive plants near the Mill Creek trailhead. New efforts around town to eradicate puncturevine, also known as ‘goatheads,’ from shared trails are underway. // Goathead Gala 2023

Sep 20
What's living in Utah's inland sea?

Just west of Salt Lake City, there's a tropical fish habitat and scuba diving school called Bonneville Seabase. What will happen to the thousands of marine animals living in natural saline pools when the owners close shop? Plus, we hear from our partners at KUNC about invasive crayfish in the Upper Colorado River Basin. We also hear an audio postcard from KGNU about the country's largest gem and mineral show, which takes place every year in Denver. //Photo: Christine Finch is responsible for taking care of the fish at Bonneville Seabase. Photo by Emily Arntsen // Show Notes: Bonneville Seabase //

Sep 20
Regional Roundup: Book banning and censorship on the rise

The Regional Roundup is a now weekly production of the Rocky Mountain Community Radio Coalition, of which KZMU is a proud member. The latest show features interviews on book banning and censorship, as well as a feature on a book binding school in our region. Tune in!

Sep 19
Health watch at Ken's Lake; Plus, the Weekly News Reel!

Midweek at the large reservoir south of town, a place people enjoy swimming, paddle boarding, and fishing…it was quiet. New yellow signs dotted the shores of the lake reading ‘HEALTH WATCH. Harmful algae in water!’ This harmful algal bloom could be the first documented at Ken’s Lake, according to the Southeast Utah Health Department’s environmental health director Orion Rogers. Today on the news, we speak with him about the bloom and why it could be happening. // Plus, the Weekly News Reel! Doug McMurdo of The Times-Independent discusses extended air service to Denver and Salt Lake City from Canyonlands Regional Airport and the new principals at the elementary and middle schools. Alison Harford of the Moab Sun News explains how Moab city government is trying to prevent frequent turnover in leadership positions. She also previews the Youth Garden Project’s upcoming Harvest Festival. // Show Notes:

Sep 15
Sign language interpreters bring live music to a broader crowd in Aspen

Today we hear from our partners at KSJD about a new store in Cortez, Colorado, that sells seeds that are native to this region. We also hear from KSUT about an ongoing investigation opened by the New Mexico Attorney General into whether Native American students are disproportionately punished at schools compared to white classmates. Plus, we hear from Aspen Public Radio about what it's like to be a sign language interpreter for live concerts. //Photo: ASL interpreter Kirk Neuroth signs a song during Billy Idol’s set at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience on Sept. 4, 2023. Photo by Kaya Williams, Aspen Public Radio.

Sep 14
1970s Cisco comes to life (in miniature) through retired Osaka designer

In the summer of 1971, a young Hiroshi Nakanishi made a visit to the United States from Japan. As his family road-tripped across the West, he became fascinated with old American boxcars, freight equipment, and abandoned railway stations. Now a retired professor of design, Nakanishi wants to restore those personal memories. He’s building an exact replica of a place he passed through in 1971: Cisco, Utah. He says the historical project is his way “of paying respect to the place and the people who lived there.” // Show Notes: // Photo: The Cisco Mercantile's signs are carefully replicated by Hiroshi Nakanishi in a 1970s era diorama. Nakanishi, a retired professor of design, is replicating the entire township in miniature. // Cisco Diorama by Hiroshi Nakanishi // Cisco History by Hiroshi Nakanishi // Cisco Building History by Hiroshi Nakanishi

Sep 13
Biologists establish a native fish nursery at Old City Park

On Monday, state wildlife biologists released 30 roundtail chub into the pond at Old City Park as part of a project to boost native fish numbers. Once the population grows, biologists will release some of the fish back into the Dolores River, where they came from. We also hear from our partners at KHOL about a new mushroom survey happening in northwestern Wyoming. //Photo: Roundtail chub slowly acclimate to the pond water at Old City Park before getting dumped into their new home. //Show Notes: Moab City's plan to introduce roundtail chub to Old City Park

Sep 12
Regional Roundup: Labor history, Veteran stories and silent movies

The Regional Roundup is a biweekly production of the Rocky Mountain Community Radio Coalition, of which KZMU is a proud member. The latest show features stories on regional labor movements, a new podcast on Veterans and an audio postcard about a silent comedy movie festival in our region.

Sep 11
Navigating chronic illness and disability in STEM; Plus, the Weekly News Reel!

Imagine you’re a scientist, doing research in the middle of the ocean. But instead of collecting data, you’re confined to your own quarters with debilitating illness. This is the lived experience of former scientist now turned Moab-based science journalist, Amanda Heidt. Today on the news, we speak to her about a new essay collection titled ‘Uncharted: How Scientists Navigate Their Own Health, Research and Experiences of Bias.’ Essayists from a variety of STEM fields document their own experiences of navigating isolation and ableism in academia. // Plus, the Weekly News Reel! Sophia Fisher of The Times-Independent discusses the tenth birthday of the controversial La Sal mountain goat herd and has updates on the future of WabiSabi as their lease agreement comes to a close. Alison Harford of the Moab Sun News talks about her ongoing investigation into Grand County Sheriff’s dispatch calls and previews the upcoming Moab Festival of Science. // Show Notes: // Photo: Moab-based science journalist Amanda Heidt is one of the contributors to a new essay collection documenting first-person experiences with chronic illness and disability in STEM fields. Courtesy Amanda Heidt. Show Notes: // The Times-Independent: 10 years in, La Sal mountain goats remain a lightning rod // The Times-Independent: WabiSabi is on the hunt for new location // Moab Sun News: 911, What’s your emergency? // Moab Sun News: Accessible local science: Moab Festival of Science returns Sept. 13-17

Sep 08
Courts shut down plans for a new railway to transport oil through Utah

Federal approval for the Uinta Basin Railway was recently revoked by the U.S. Court of Appeals. The proposed 88-mile railway is intended to connect oil fields in eastern Utah to a larger network of railways, including a section of the Union Pacific Railway line, which runs through Grand County. With this new route, oil producers were hoping to transport an additional 350,000 gallons of waxy crude oil out of the Uinta Basin daily. Plus, we hear from our partners at KOTO about how the Telluride Mushroom Festival is acknowledging Colorado’s recent decriminalization of psilocybin. //Photo: A map of the proposed Uinta Basin Railway show where the new tracks would connect to the Union Pacific line, carrying oil through Utah and Colorado on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. //Show Notes: //7 County Infrastructure Coalition: Uinta Basin Railway

Sep 07
‘We are small but we are mighty,' Grand’s schools recruit for a few good bus drivers

School districts across the country are grappling with transportation issues due to a shortage of bus drivers. That’s true even in Grand County, where driver shortages can turn bus scheduling into a ‘juggling act’ for local staffers. Today on the news, we speak to the school district’s director of transportation about what makes the job challenging to fill...but also unique and rewarding. And later, our radio partners report on a Four Corners motorcycle rally honoring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives. Plus, the BLM released a plan for managing recreation across their 245 million acres. // Show Notes: // Photo: A big yellow school bus parked on Moab’s Main Street advertises the need for bus drivers. The school district is increasing pay and conducting a CDL class for new drivers. // Curious about driving a big yellow school bus? Anna Conrad, Director of Transportation Grand County School District (435) 259-5430 and // HopSkipDrive: State of School Transportation 2023 Report // KSJD: Motorcycle rally in Durango honors Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives

Sep 06
Spiked drinks at Wyoming bars spur ongoing investigations

Today we hear from our regional partners at KHOL about ongoing investigations into drink spikings at bars in Jackson, Wyoming. We also hear from KSJD about revived efforts on the Navajo Nation to legalize same-sex marriage. Finally, we hear from KDNK about a new artificial technology that can spot dangerous wildfires. //Photo: Earlier this summer, a woman suspects she had her drink spiked at The Stagecoach Bar in Wilson, Wyoming. Photo by KHOL.

Sep 05
Newscast Archive: Jazmine Duncan of Skate Moab

Getting people on wheels is what the folks at Skate Moab love to do. From all-ages skate nights to themed events like ‘disco’ and ‘burning man,’ the group aims to bring the joy of skating to our local community. Today on the news, we revisit an audio portrait of the skater at the backbone of these community-focused events: Jazmine Duncan. // Original Broadcast:

Sep 04
Does golf have a future in Moab's arid climate? Plus, the Weekly News Reel!

Golf has come under some scrutiny recently in Utah because of how much water the courses use for irrigation. Earlier this year, a house bill was proposed that would have mandated that all golf courses publish how much water they use per year. The bill didn’t pass, but it did bring up some questions about Moab’s golf course, and whether the 18-hole course is worth the water. // Plus, the Weekly News Reel! Sophia Fisher of The Times-Independent talks property tax spikes for business owners, opioid settlements bolstering local recovery-focused organizations, and chair Emily Campbell resigning from the planning commission. Alison Harford of the Moab Sun News discusses the winning formula for Moab’s youth mountain biking teams and one hiker’s attempt to be the first woman to solo the American Discovery Trail. // Show Notes: // Photo: The Moab Golf Course uses 411 acre feet of water per year to irrigate the greens. Photo by Emily Arntsen / KZMU. // The Salt Lake Tribune: Here’s how much water golf courses use in Utah // Weekly News Reel Mentions: // The Times-Independent: Businesses slammed by property taxes // The Times-Independent: Opioid settlements bolster local services // The Times-Independent: Campbell resigns from planning commission // Moab Sun News: Youth mountain biking teams poised for another winning season // Moab Sun News: Hiking the American Discovery Trail through Moab

Sep 01
Lift Up: Kaitlin Myers

Lift Up is a KZMU storytelling project intending to deepen understanding and empathy within our community and reinforce a sense of safety and belonging for all. // Our next Lift Up storyteller is Kaitlin Myers, a housing advocate, rafter, and glitter enthusiast. She moved to Moab as an Americorps VISTA from Tampa, FL and has lived here year-round for 7 years. She is currently the Executive Director of Moab Community Land Trust. When she’s not working, she’s hanging with friends, attending community events, rafting, swimming, or bedazzling. // This episode of Lift Up was produced by Ginger Cyan with support from KZMU. // Find Lift Up Season 2 here: // Music in this interview is Stargazer by Bansheebeat, Adventure, Darling by Gillicuddy, Blue Moment by Koi Discovery, Negative Vortex by Koi Discovery, Shenandoah by Salmon Like The Fish and Zion by Salmon Like The Fish. Lift Up intro music is Chicago by Scott Holmes Music and outro music is Only Knows by Broke for Free. // Image Description: Kaitlin Myers, a person with short hair, looks over heart-shaped sunglasses and holds their hand to their chin.

Aug 31
Tanker spills 3,800 gallons of chip oil on River Road

On Monday, a tanker carrying road chip oil rolled over on State Road 128, locally known as River Road. 3,800 gallons of chip oil spilled near Big Bend campground. Chip oil is the tar-like substance used to repair cracks in roads. No oil reached the Colorado River, according to Moab Valley Fire Chief TJ Brewer, who led the emergency containment crew. We also hear from our partners at KGNU about the latest updates in the court proceedings of the Boulder King Soopers mass shooting case. Plus, we hear from KDNK about Colorado’s efforts to bear-proof their towns. We also hear from a KGNU Report for America Corps Member about the drawbacks of electric bike batteries. //Show Notes: //Photo: A tanker rolled over on State Road 128, spilling 3,800 gallons of chip oil. Photo courtesy of Moab Valley Fire Department. //BLM Moab Field Office Contact: 385-235-4364

Aug 30
Floods to fires: Grand's emergency management plans for the worst

Floods, fires and public health emergencies are just a few of the hazards that have hit Grand County in recent years. Local emergency management is now looking for public input on a plan to mitigate natural and manmade safety threats. Plus, the largest spill of radioactive material in U.S. history occurred 44 years ago in northern New Mexico. Members of the Navajo Nation are commemorating the event as they advocate for more clean up of uranium mining debris. And later, Utah Governor Spencer Cox is using his platform at the National Governors Association to promote his ‘disagree better’ campaign. // Photo: Kerby Lane is one of several roads in Grand County that become inundated with water during high flow seasons, making emergency repairs frequent and necessary. From the 2023 Draft Hazard Mitigation Plan // Hazard Mitigation Plan

Aug 29
Regional Roundup - Burros, butterflies, wolves and more

The Regional Roundup is a biweekly production of the Rocky Mountain Community Radio Coalition, of which KZMU is a proud member. The latest show brings us animal stories across our region from Burrofest to butterflies and beyond!

Aug 28
‘It’s important to be needed,' Moab’s seniors support each other at local center. Plus, News Reel!

Staying connected to friends and neighbors can be important for health, especially for people aging in our community. And creating connections is what the Grand Center is all about. Senior citizens from all over Grand and northern San Juan Counties come to eat lunch, plan activities and just plain hang out. Says senior Ethel Krist, “it’s important to be needed…that makes happiness, is to be needed.” // Plus, the Weekly News Reel! Sophia Fisher of The Times-Independent discusses new research on mountain goats in the La Sal Mountains, the film commission deal falling through, flared tempers over water board nominations at the county commission and West Nile virus in Moab. Alison Harford of the Moab Sun News highlights a new skills-centered pathway to graduation for local students and hands-on paleontology at a local dinosaur-focused club. // Show Notes: // Photo: Dave Lyle cuts a slice of pie during this summer’s ‘pie social’ at the Grand Center. Seniors brought in a plethora of homemade pies to share. // Weekly News Reel Mentions: The Times-Independent: Parsing mountain goats in the La Sals // The Times-Independent: Film commission deal falls through // The Times-Independent: Winfield says commission is ‘manipulating and meddling’ with board nominations // The Times-Independent: West Nile virus is in Moab, but its extent is unclear // Moab Sun News: An alternate graduation path for high schoolers // Moab Sun News: No bones about it: Amateurs learn hands-on paleontology through local club

Aug 25
Conservationists uneasy with lithium mining plan near Moab

The public only has a few more days to weigh in on a proposed lithium mining project near Moab. Lithium helps make electric vehicle batteries, which could help fight climate change. But as our partners at KUER report, there are environmental concerns about the mining itself. Plus, Saturday marks the historic anniversary of the 19th amendment which solidified the right of some women to vote. And later, our radio partners profile new research on goatheads and how PE instructors in our region are learning Native American games to teach in their gym classes. // Show Notes: // Photo: The Canyonlands National Park entrance road as seen from the site of one of the proposed lithium exploration sites in an undated photo provided by the Bureau of Land Management. // KUER: Conservationists are uneasy with a lithium mining plan on public land

Aug 24
Chief Garcia announces departure from MPD; Assistant Chief Bell to take top job

Jared Garcia will leave his position as Moab City Police Chief at the end of September, just fifteen months after he started. In a press release, city leaders praised his efforts to improve officer morale and training as well as build stronger relationships within the community. Garcia will become a deputy executive director at the Utah Department of Corrections. Plus, our radio partners interview a Utah professor who released an emergency briefing on Great Salt Lake. And later, Grand Junction’s mayor will challenge US representative Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s 3rd District. // Moab City: Garcia to leave Moab Police Dept. in September for new role at Utah Dept. of Corrections // The Times-Independent (Opinion): ‘Thorough, Complete, Professional’ - the MPD // BYU: Emergency measures needed to rescue Great Salt Lake from ongoing collapse ​​

Aug 23
LGBTQ+ advocates ‘double down’ on creating safe spaces amid rise in discrimination

In response to a rise in anti-trans and anti-drag legislation across the country, LGBTQ+ advocates are doubling down on creating safe spaces. Our radio partners look at one café in our region where people can gather and be themselves. Plus, two bills making their way through Congress could throw out public comments on the Bureau of Land Management's new rule. And later, the United States’ Second Gentleman is helping announce a $44 million investment in making national parks more resilient to climate change. // Show Notes: // Photo: LGBTQ+ advocate Kaleb Cook, far left, helps lead an American Sign Language class during the weekly “Queers and Coffee” meetup at the Bluebird Café in Glenwood Springs. Eleanor Bennett / Aspen Public Radio // Aspen Public Radio: LGBTQ+ advocates ‘double down’ on creating safe spaces amid rise in discrimination // KHOL: ‘We must act now’: Second gentleman talks climate resilience in the Tetons

Aug 22
79-year-old woman drives in her first demolition derby

At last weekend's demolition derby in Durango, Colorado, all of the drivers were men, except for one, and she was 79 years old. Mary Tate came to the demolition derby last year and realized she "really wanted to hit somebody." Her neighbor, longtime demolition derby driver Ralph Brawley, fixed up a car for her and made her dream come true. //Photo: Cars crashed into the cement barrier during the demolition derby in Durango, Colorado, on August 12. Photo by Emily Arntsen

Aug 17