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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1175 episodes

Regional Roundup: When cities don't want to become a sanctuary

On the latest Regional Roundup, a county in our region recently declared itself *not* a sanctuary city. Our regional reporters unpack what that might mean for local immigrants. Plus: skijoring is becoming an economic plus for many small towns in the Rocky Mountains. And: author Laura Pritchett on her new book Playing with (wild)fire, inspired by Colorado's largest wildfire.

Apr 01
Weekly News Reel: Road closures in Labyrinth Canyon will remain in effect

Today we talk to Sophia Fisher, reporter with the Moab Times-Independent, about the BLM’s decision to keep off road vehicle trails closed in the Labyrinth Canyon area while litigation against the recent closures persists. We also talk about the upcoming departure of Moab City Manager, Carly Castle, as well as Sophia's upcoming resignation from the Times-Independent. We finish off discussing how the animal shelter in Moab is handling capacity issues, and we give a quick update about Seekhaven, a local nonprofit for domestic abuse victims, that just received a $2 million grant. // Show Notes: // Roads closed by Feds near Moab will stay closed – for now // Castle resigns as city manager // Sharing news of my own departure // Like the rest of the nation, Moab’s shelters are packed // Seekhaven receives $2 million award from yield giving organization

Mar 29
Hopelessly clinging to the past with late writer Jim Stiles

Moab is remembering Jim Stiles, the editor and publisher of The Canyon Country Zephyr, an alternative publication covering southeast Utah. Stiles passed away at his home in Coldwater, Kansas earlier this month. He spent over three decades living in the Moab area, first coming out in the 1970s to work as a seasonal ranger at Arches National Park. On today’s news, we hear an excerpt from an archival interview with Stiles, conducted over a decade ago by KZMU’s Christy Williams Dunton.

Mar 27
Regional Roundup: Navajo Nation homes receive official addresses

On the latest Regional Roundup, we revisit KZMU's reporting on how over 3,000 homes on the Navajo Nation received official addresses. Plus: an interview about teen mental health. And: a discussion on people moving back to rural America.

Mar 25
Weekly News Reel: Bears Ears management plan open for public comment

Today we talk to Sophia Fisher of the Moab Times-Independent about a phone scammer who targeted a Moab resident. We also talk about the new superintendent for Arches and Canyonlands Nationals Parks. And we finish off discussing two new management plans for the Bears Ears National Monument and for the Green and Colorado rivers within Canyonlands. // Show Notes: // Dollar General employee foils would-be scammer // Canyonlands seeks input on river management plan // Arches, Canyonlands announces new superintendent // BLM, USFS invite input on Bears Ears National Monument draft plan

Mar 22
Green River residents voice concerns about lithium mine accident

Two weeks ago, a lithium mine in Green River overflowed with more than 400,000 gallons of water. Representatives from the company, A1 Lithium, said no discharge reached the river. But local residents worry larger accidents could contaminate the waterway in the future. // Photo: Green River residents gathered for a public meeting last week about a recent lithium well accident. Photo by Emily Arntsen // Show Notes: // Moab Times-Independent Coverage:

Mar 21
Canyonlands Regional Airport stages fake plane crash for emergency response practice

Last week, the Canyonlands Regional Airport staged a fake plane crash as part of a mandatory emergency response exercise. All agencies included in the airport's emergency response plan were present, plus actors from the Grand County High School drama club, who played crash victims. Photo: Emergency responders carry an actor in a plane crash exercise to an ambulance. Photo by Emily Arntsen.

Mar 20
Regional Roundup: Building Housing on Public Lands

On the latest Regional Roundup: an interview with reporter Susan Shain about her new High Country News article on building housing on public lands. And: how an elementary school in our region is implementing programs to make newly arrived immigrant children feel welcome and safe. Plus: a report on a new cannabis growing enterprise in a tiny Colorado town.

Mar 18
Weekly News Reel: Petito family drops officers in lawsuit against Moab Police

Today we talk to Sophia Fisher of the Moab Times-Independent about the community’s backlash against a truck stop that’s proposed to go in near Sunny Acres Lane, a residential area right off of Highway 191. We also talk about the latest updates in a lawsuit filed by the parents of Gabby Petito against the Moab Police Department. And we finish off with a brief overview of the upcoming Grand County elections. // Show Notes: // San Juan County pushes forward Spanish Valley Love’s travel stop, sparking appeal // Second complaint filed in Petito wrongful death case // Trump, Biden dominate Grand County in Super Tuesday contest

Mar 15
First of its kind plan released for Bears Ears National Monument

Federal agencies and five sovereign tribal nations released a draft plan for Bears Ears National Monument. The federal-tribal partnership is the first of its kind, and so is the preferred draft plan, which would maximize tribal input on 1.36 million acres of public land in southeastern Utah. Plus: a documentary about mountain bikers on the Navajo Nation is screening across our region. And: people gathered in Jackson to bring attention to legislation that may dial back more rights of LGBTQ + people and kids in the U.S. and Wyoming. // Show Notes:

Mar 14
Telluride shows solidarity with Gaza

Today we hear from KOTO about a recent demonstration in Telluride, Colorado, that showed solidarity with the people of Palestine. We also hear from our partners at KSUT & KSJD about the first naturalization ceremony to take place in Durango, Colorado. Finally, we hear from KGNU about the correlation between light snowpack and wildfires.

Mar 13
Colorado aims to make voting easier for Native Americans

Today we hear from our regional partners at KSJD about how Colorado is trying to make voting easier for Native Americans during this election season. We also hear from Aspen Public Radio about a bill that would reintroduce wolverines to Colorado. Finally, we hear from KRCL about some recent wins in the state legislature for Utah's unions.

Mar 12
The Sound Of Rushing Water

The Sound of Rushing Water is a collection of field recordings of Cataract Canyon made during the 2023 river season by Moab river folks Mike DeHoff and Meg Flynn. This project shares an intimate experience of traveling along the last truly wild stretch of the mighty Colorado River. // Photos and more:

1h 6m
Mar 08
Weekly News Reel: New nonprofit with tie to Kane Creek development receives $1M in state funding

Today we discuss an event celebrating the return of Glen Canyon as Lake Powell falls. We also talk about a determination related to allegations of illegal mining brought against the Kane Creek Developers. We also discuss the state legislature funding a new nonprofit with a tie to that same development. And we finish off with an update on the Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission celebrating their 75th anniversary. // Show Notes:

Mar 08
Regional Roundup: Training Forest Workers on Horseback

Forest workers in Western Colorado are being trained on horseback. Tune in to the latest Regional Roundup to hear why. Plus: the complicated history of Buffalo soldiers. And: an investigation into medical debt.

Mar 04
Weekly News Reel: Are the Kane Creek developers illegally mining?

Today on the News Reel, we talk to Sophia Fisher, reporter with the Times-Independent. We discuss a proposal to pave 6 miles of road in the Sand Flats Recreation Area. We also talk about recent allegations of illegal mining brought against the Kane Creek developers as they extract sand and gravel from nearby plots to raise the riverbank along their property. We also discuss a story about local businesses that are hurting now that the Moab Airport no longer connects directly to Denver or Salt Lake City with commercial flights. We finish off with a quick update about this year’s volunteer trail building event, the Moab Spring Spruce-Up. // Show Notes: //Grand County takes another stab at paving Sand Flats Road // No consensus on Kane Creek mining allegations // Change in airline carriers has harmed businesses // Liked last year’s Moab Facelift? It’s returning with a new name.

Mar 01
State of the Station

KZMU News listeners, we have a special interview from our longest-running public affairs show, This Week in Moab. On Monday, host Christy Williams-Dunton interviewed KZMU staff and board members about the 'State of the Station.' It's been a season of discovery, change and recalibration.

Feb 27
Regional Roundup: Diversifying Science

On the latest Regional Roundup: the American Association for the Advancement of Science hosted its annual meeting in Denver this month. We speak with a rep about the work of AAAS, diversifying science and more. Plus: Black history in Colorado, and a Diné musician captures the sounds of the southwest.

Feb 26
Weekly News Reel: Why did the Bears Ears land swap fall apart?

Today on the News Reel we talk to Sophia Fisher, reporter with the Times-Independent. We discuss why a land swap between the state and the federal government recently fell apart within Bears Ears National Monument. We also talk about the Grand County School District’s superintendent, who will retire in July. And we finish off with a story about a local high school wrestling star, who recently won the state championship. // Show Notes: // Here's why the Bears Ears land swap fell apart // Kay reflects on 33-year career with Grand County // Austin Paris repeats as state champ // GCHS swimmers crush states as men take 1st, women 2nd

Feb 23
Over 3,000 homes on the Navajo Nation receive official addresses

For the past five years, the Rural Utah Project has been going door to door on the Navajo Nation teaching people how to use Plus Codes, an addressing system created by Google. Plus Codes are generated based on coordinates and serve as a good alternative to less standardized addresses many on the Navajo Nation were using previously. The project was intended to improve voter registration. But the new addresses also enable faster emergency services and better mail delivery. Photo: Adaline Sneak used her new address to register her Life Alert system. Now, emergency responders will have an easier time finding her house. Photo by Emily Arntsen //Show Notes:

Feb 23
Two Spirit Powwow celebrates Native LGBTQ+ community

Powwows are meant to be safe spaces where Indigenous peoples can socialize and express themselves through song and dance. For some tribes, gender can limit what a person may perform. But those rules didn’t apply at the fourth annual Arizona Two Spirit Powwow held last weekend. Plus: the Moab Museum launches a new exhibit highlighting Japanese American incarceration in Utah, and Sema Hadithi explores the history of Black soldiers and veterans in the state.  // Show Notes:

Feb 21
Feds deny hydroelectric project in Black Mesa

Tribal officials and environmental justice groups have opposed three hydroelectric pumps in the Black Mesa region, saying the project would deplete already small groundwater reserves. Federal officials denied the project last week. Plus: Utahns shut down traffic in Salt Lake City in support of Palestine, conservation groups critique a new plan to help native fish in the Grand Canyon, and the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan offers a potential solution for how to save a shrinking Great Salt Lake.  // Show Notes:

Feb 20
Regional Roundup: Mountain biking on the Navajo Nation

On the latest Regional Roundup: an interview with the director of 'In the Dirt,' a documentary about mountain biking on the Navajo Nation. And, we hear about a weekly community dinner for seasonal workers and a creek that never freezes in winter.

Feb 19
Weekly News Reel: Grand County tops state in domestic violence cases

Today on the News Reel we talk to Doug McMurdo, editor of the Times-Independent. We cover domestic violence in Grand County, which has the highest number of cases per capita in the state. We also discuss a new report that found that short-term rental profits in Moab increased by over 130 percent during the pandemic. And we finish off with a story about the recent fatality on Highway 191. // Show Notes: // Utah’s shelter crisis has gotten worse after a change meant to help domestic violence victims // Short-term rental profits skyrocketed over 130% during pandemic // MRH staff grieves for Relph

Feb 16
Kane Creek developers wield cash, connections

Over recent weeks, community members have raised many questions over potential impacts from a 180 acre parcel along Kane Creek Boulevard slated for development. One question that local journalist Jon Kovash has: where’s the money flowing? Today on the news, we speak with Kovash about his research on developer donations to local politicians and their clout with Utah legislators. And: conservation groups oppose an effort to create a state water council. Plus: the Ute Mountain Ute tribe will open one of the largest solar farms in the United States. // Show Notes:

Feb 15
Audio Archives: 'Charlie-wood' Evictions

Let's delve into the KZMU News audio archives. We zoom back to 2021, when community members living in trailers and other unique dwellings along Kane Creek Boulevard were evicted to make way for new development. // Show Notes:

Feb 13
Regional Roundup: Avalanche Trends

On the latest Regional Roundup, an interview with Dr. Ethan Greene, the Director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, about trends in avalanches and what weather events lead to increased danger. Plus, we revisit our interview with a Moab resident who was a participant from the controversial 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment.

Feb 13
Weekly News Reel: Moab airport offering service to Phoenix

Today on the News Reel we talk to Sophia Fisher, reporter with the Times-Independent, about the mysterious origins of the new Kane Creek development's zoning code. We also talk about the airport’s new service to Phoenix, the local OHV community, and the history of the Old Spanish Trail in Moab, which is receiving new interpretive signage soon. //County is investigating Kane Creek zoning //Moab's off-road community reflects on change and responsibility //Moab's air service just switched — here's what you need to know //The Old Spanish Trail — so much more than an arena

Feb 10
Uinta Basin Railway derailed again

Facing cross-country opposition, the controversial Uinta Basin Railway project has been derailed once again by a recent federal decision. Plus: Moab Regional Hospital mourns employee Annie Relph, who was killed in a head-on collision on Tuesday night. And: protestors criticize Utah Governor Spencer Cox, and private property in Zion National Park will be protected from development. // Show Notes:

Feb 08
Are Utah’s lawmakers changing the way we vote? We hear from the Rural Utah Project

“It would probably take all day to say everything [the legislators] are doing. There are more than 20 bill files now that have to do with voting access or changing elections in one way or another.” --- TJ Ellerbeck, executive director of the Rural Utah Project.

Feb 07