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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1127 episodes

The annual Audubon bird count is a feat of citizen science. Plus, the Weekly News Reel!

The Audubon Society's annual Christmas Bird Count is a fun activity for birders that happens to contribute tremendously to the field of ornithology. Plus, the Weekly News Reel! Doug McMurdo of The Times-Independent explains how an unusable boat ramp at Lake Powell is affecting river guiding businesses in Moab, the city’s new green burials program at the cemetery, and Moab’s forthcoming rock climbing gym. Alison Harford of the Moab Sun News covers a local author’s new book and the future of USU Moab. Photo: A Steller's Jay perches on a branch in Bryce Canyon National Park. Photo via Flickr.

Dec 02
Lift Up: Josh Patterson

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 Joshua Patterson. A two-year transplant, Josh hopes to one day be considered a full Moabite. He is currently working on a degree in history in hopes to be a history teacher. He lives with his husband, and enjoys reading, video games, and eating as much Filipino food he can get. // This episode of Lift Up was produced by Ginger Cyan with support from KZMU. // Image Description: Joshua Patterson, a person with short hair, wears sunglasses in a blue suit. Joshua dips a person in a dark suit, his husband, and they both smile at the camera. They are in front of a brightly colored mural reading ‘Greetings from Moab.’ // Find Lift Up Season 2 here: // Show Notes:

Nov 30
Development in Kane Creek will break ground next week

Construction on a stormwater system will begin at a development in Kane Creek next week. Concerned residents held a meeting with the Utah Division of Water Quality on Monday to discuss flood risks. Plus, we hear from KGNU about what really happens to most clothes donated to thrift stores in the U.S. //Photo: Construction on a housing and shopping development near the Colorado River is set to begin next week. Photo by Rob Lucas via Flickr. //Show Notes: Recent coverage on the Kane Creek development: //

Nov 29
Bells are back! Volunteers raise money for emergency needs

If you experienced an emergency in Moab and had nowhere else to turn, Moab Solutions is an organization that could help. All year long, the nonprofit fields calls for emergency lodging, gas, food and even medicine. About one third of the funding Moab Solutions needs to support these calls is raised over the next few weeks by bell ringers. Today on the news, we have an audio portrait of long time bell-ringing volunteer, Bruni Mason. Plus, our radio partners report on winter supply runs to Black Mesa and holiday artisan markets.  // Photo: Bruni Mason, a longtime volunteer with Moab Solutions, raises money for the organization’s emergency needs fund. Volunteers will be bell-ringing at City Market through Christmas Eve. // Moab Solutions Emergency Needs Fund Contact Sara Melnicoff: 435-401-4685 // Music in today’s audio portrait is ‘Plants’ by HoliznaCC0

Nov 28
Regional Roundup: Navajo language class, Bird Names and more

On the latest Regional Roundup, we hear about a high school in Durango teaching the Navajo language. Plus, an interview about supporting a group of migrants from Venezuela in our region, a feature on a new move to stop naming birds after people, and author Betsy Gaines Quamman examines the myth of the American West.

Nov 27
Moab's Living Room

“The library is the place where you don’t have to ever believe something or buy something to come in here and stay and enjoy the space. Everyone is welcome.” –Meg Flynn, Grand County Public Library Assistant Director

Nov 24
A Hopi farmer is using ancient practices to grow crops in Arizona — with no irrigation

In the West, ongoing drought is forcing us all to think about how we use water differently. Hopi farmer and University of Arizona faculty member Michael Kotutwa Johnson is using ancient practices to grow food. Our radio partners visited Johnson in his fields, and learned more about the ways he grows corn, squash and beans and why he wants native seeds repatriated back to Indigenous communities like his.

Nov 23
Myers, Topper, and Knuteson-Boyd elected in Moab city council race

Kaitlin Myers, Colin Topper, and Tawny Knuteson-Boyd won seats in the Moab city council during Tuesday's election. Plus, we hear from our partners at Aspen Public Radio about the blessing of the skis. And from KSJD about hydropower developments on the Navajo Nation. Show Notes: Election results:

Nov 22
City considers upgrades to ‘parks and rec’

The first-ever Parks & Recreation Master Plan recommends an estimated $22.3 million dollars worth of improvements for Moab City’s parks and recreation facilities. These include getting public parks into ADA compliance, redesigning the Center Street Ballfields, and improving trail connections. Plus, WabiSabi’s free, in-person community Thanksgiving meal returns. And later, our radio partners report on Telluride, Colorado’s unique claim to Thanksgiving fame: the tofurkey. // Show Notes: // Moab City 2024 Parks & Recreation Master Plan

Nov 21
Regional Roundup: Visual Thinking, Mountain Lion Hunting and more

On the latest Regional Roundup, an interview with professor Temple Grandin on her new book about visual thinking. Plus, revisit KZMU's reporting on mountain lion hunting in Utah as Colorado voters seek to ban the practice. Plus, high speed broadband comes to a rural town in our region. Tune in!

Nov 20
Digitized Channel 6 News provides ‘invaluable’ record of Moab in transition. Plus, the News Reel!

A lot happened between the years 1989 and 2000 in Moab. There were near-seismic shifts in the economy, people and the character of this town. And Channel 6 News caught it all on tape. That’s right, Moab’s local television news station captured the people and the politics that shaped the experience of this place at a seminal moment. Now, with the help of the Moab Museum, over 2,000 news broadcasts will be digitized from this period and available for the public to access. Today on KZMU News, we speak with those behind this effort. // Plus, the Weekly News Reel! Gwen Dillworth of The Times-Independent discusses the county’s final decision on the high density housing overlay ordinance, the botched chip seal job on Mill Creek Drive, and where to get COVID-19 vaccines this year with and without health insurance. Alison Harford of the Moab Sun News covers the timed entry program at Arches National Park, Moab’s new plan for city parks, an upcoming charity bike race, and a woman’s climbing club.  // Show Notes:

Nov 17
Native fish numbers are up in Moab after high water this spring

The native fish nursery in the Matheson Wetlands Preserve in Moab had a boom in razorback suckers this year — 51 juveniles this fall compared to zero last year. The wetlands is managed by The Nature Conservancy. Plus, we hear from KGNU about a biodynamic farming conference in Boulder County, Colorado. //Photo: Razorback suckers are native to the Colorado River and need to spawn in protected ponds out of reach from invasive predators. Photo via Flickr. //Show Notes:

Nov 16
Utah Avalanche Center forecaster talks local snowpack, conditions

The team at the Utah Avalanche Center is back in the Moab office – and the field. As they gear up for the winter recreation season, we check in with avalanche forecaster Eric Trenbeath about our local snowpack and typical conditions. Plus, a rally honoring Great Salt Lake brought Native and youth voices to Utah’s Capitol Hill. And later, the latest National Climate Assessment shows the impact of water shortages in the Colorado River basin. // Show Notes: // Photo: October 29th snowfall in the La Sal Mountains, captured by the local team at the Utah Avalanche Center. They are gearing up for the winter recreation season. // Winter Recreation with the Utah Avalanche Center // Utah Avalanche Center Moab Forecast // UPR: Great Salt Lake rally brings Native and youth voices to Utah’s Capitol Hill

Nov 15
Utah sponsors wildlife crossing infrastructure to protect drivers and animals

Today, we hear from the Utah News Connection about the state's recent decision to allocate more funds for wildlife crossing infrastructure. We also hear from KOTO about the federal government's program to identify rare earth minerals at former mine sites near Telluride via helicopter. Plus, we hear from the Mountain West News Bureau about how algal blooms can be identified using satellite imagery. Photo: November is the most common time to hit a deer while driving in Utah. Increased funds for wildlife crossings could help reduce animal-related car accidents. Photo by Utah News Connection.

Nov 14
Regional Roundup: Colorado River Compact, Jingle Dress Project, Sandhills

On the latest Regional Roundup from the Rocky Mountain Community Radio Coalition: an interview with a regional senator on the Colorado River compact, a feature on a naturalist who won a book award for writing about the sandhills, and a feature on the Jingle Dress Project.

Nov 14
Gourd-esses grace Castle Valley festival in 20th year. Plus, the Weekly News Reel!

For two decades, the town of Castle Valley has celebrated the beauty and versatility of the hard shelled gourd. During the 20th year of the Castle Valley Gourds & More Festival, the many gourd-esses of the past joined the festivities for a retrospective of gourd regalia. Plus, the Western megadrought is getting some attention from an unexpected music icon. And later, our radio partners report on managing the buffalo herd on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. // Plus, the Weekly News Reel! Sophia Fisher of The Times-Independent discusses the homicide suspect who was arrested south of Moab following a four hour barricade on Highway 191. She also talks about Lynn Jackson, a Grand County resident, who plans to run for the Utah House of Representatives in District 69 once Phil Lyman vacates his position. Gwen Dillworth of The Times-Independent discusses the hold ups with the Walnut Lane affordable housing project and commercial honey bees in national forests. Alison Harford of the Moab Sun News covers the Moab Police Department’s new data system and the University of Utah’s record-breaking enrollment this year.  // Show Notes:

Nov 10
Forest Service rejects changes to mountain goat herd, grazing, and mining in new Manti-La Sal plan

The Forest Service is drafting a new plan for the Manti-La Sal National Forest. One local conservation group proposed alternatives to the plan earlier in the process that would reduce the amount of grazing and mining, and encourage the Forest Service to remove the herd of non-native mountain goats in the La Sals. These alternatives were rejected even though comparable alternatives have been adopted by other National Forest plans recently. The public comment period for the plan ends November 16. We also hear from KSJD about discrepancies in how much federal aid Indigenous people receive as compensation for mining-related black lung disease. Photo: A herd of non-native mountain goats were transplanted to the La Sal mountains over 10 years ago by the Division of Wildlife Resources for hunting. This photo of mountain goats in the Tushar Mountains in Utah was taken by Bryant Olsen via Flickr. Show Notes: //Submit comments on the Manti-La Sal National Forest Plan here:

Nov 09
First trail system for Class 1 e-bikes, adaptive cycles proposed for Moab area

The Mud Springs Trail System will be a ‘first’ for the Moab area, bringing roughly 10 miles of single-track south of town built with Class 1 e-bikes and adaptive cycles in mind. Today on the news, we speak with a planner from the Bureau of Land Management, who says the trail system will be inclusively designed for mountain bike riders of diverse skills and abilities. Plus, a preliminary report found no sign of mechanical problems with an aircraft that crashed outside Moab, killing the four people on board. And later, our radio partners talk with climate and water management experts about what this winter will bring for the Colorado River. // Show Notes:

Nov 08
Human trafficking investigation at Moab hotel spurs bigger questions about trafficking in Utah

Is human trafficking a problem in Moab? Law enforcement and victim advocates say it's probably happening more often than we think. A recent human trafficking investigation at a Moab hotel drew new attention to the issue. //Photo: Highway 191 and Interstate 70 are both major corridors for drug and human trafficking, according to the Moab Police Department. Moab is close to the intersection of both thoroughfares. Photo via Flickr. //Show Notes: // //

Nov 07
Regional Roundup: Censorship in Libraries, Day Without Water and More!

It's Regional Roundup Monday! As censorship increases in the US, libraries are under growing pressure. We hear more from regional librarian and author Jamie LaRue, who wrote the new book "On Censorship: A Public Librarian Examines Cancel Culture in the U.S." Plus, we hear about the recent 'day without water' event and learn about hauling water in our region.

Nov 06
Plan updates data on housing, the ‘backbone’ of every community. Plus, the Weekly News Reel!

The 2023 Moab Area Affordable Housing Plan outlines the state of housing in our community. It’s an important document filled with data that will be used by local government and community organizations to set policy around this fundamental need. Today on the news, we speak with Moab Area Housing Task Force Chair Laura Harris about what’s new and different in the latest plan. // Plus, the Weekly News Reel! Sophia Fisher of The Times-Independent discusses the ongoing trial of a local man who was arrested for allegedly vandalizing Moab with stickers protesting tourism and UTVs. Sophia also talks about the town of Castle Valley’s response to a wedding fiasco that took place near Castleton Tower a few months ago. We also hear from Gwen Dillworth, a new reporter with The Times-Independent, about daycares in Moab that will soon lose federal pandemic-related funding. Gwen also talks about two sisters at Grand County High School who placed at a recent cross country event. Alison Harford of the Moab Sun News covers the Grand County High School’s upcoming musical, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and a new preschool in La Sal. // Show Notes:

Nov 03
State of Utah appeals the BLM's recent closure of off-road vehicle trails in Labyrinth Canyon

The BLM's recent decision to close a third of off-road vehicle trails in Labyrinth Canyon near Moab has caused a major controversy. The State of Utah and motorized recreation groups appealed the decision earlier this week. The appeals come just a few days after Utah Senator Mike Lee proposed a bill in protest of the closures. We also hear from KSJD about a new store on the Navajo Nation that sells drinking water to a community with limited access to potable water. We also hear from KHOL about the status of Wyoming's abortion ban. Plus, KSUT and KSJD reports on the Southern Ute Tribe's response to a new movie called "Killers of the Flower Moon." //Photo: Labyrinth Canyon is still the site of over 800 miles of OHV trails. Photo by Ray Bloxham for SUWA. //Show Notes: //KZMU: BLM closes over 300 miles of roads to OHV use

Nov 02
KZMU & LWV Candidate Debate: City Council 2023

Hear from local candidates before filling out your ballot! There are five candidates running for three seats on Moab's city council. Tune in for their thoughts on a number of important local issues, including water, housing, property tax, strategic planning and much, much more. KZMU's 2023 candidate debate was produced in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Southeast Utah.

1h 8m
Nov 01
Rep. Phil Lyman makes run for Governor of Utah

Phil Lyman will challenge Governor Spencer Cox next year. Lyman currently represents Utah’s House District 69, covering the southeast corner of the state. He says his gubernatorial campaign will focus on several conservative pillars, including natural resources, infrastructure and election integrity. And later on KZMU News: Moab’s municipal voters should see their ballots in the mail soon. And, we get to know the five candidates running for three seats on Moab’s city council. Plus, our radio partners interview a USU professor running the shores of Great Salt Lake to bring awareness to its shrinking water levels. // Show Notes: // Photo: Republican Phil Lyman is the first candidate to announce his intention to challenge Governor Spencer Cox in next year's gubernatorial election // Phil Lyman For Governor // KUER: Rep. Phil Lyman is running for Utah governor, challenging Spencer Cox next year // Moab City 2023 Election

Nov 01
Wildlife advocates sue the state of Utah over changes to mountain lion hunting laws

Wildlife advocates filed a lawsuit against the state of Utah following changes to hunting laws that now allow for unlimited, year-round mountain lion harvest. We also hear from our partners at KSJD about a former president of the Navajo Nation who is now running for Congress in Arizona. Plus, we hear from Aspen Public Radio that Colorado will be receiving up to 10 gray wolves from Oregon for its wolf reintroduction program. Finally, we hear from KSUT about a lawsuit filed by Chinese immigrants over forced labor violations on a cannabis farm on the Navajo Nation. //Photo: Mountain lions are spotted on a trail camera in Zion National Park. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service via Flickr. //Show Notes: //KZMU: Changes to mountain lion hunting laws just went into effect. What will it mean for the state's cougar population?

Oct 31
Regional Roundup: Competing sheepdogs & Indigenous maternal healthcare

It's Regional Roundup Monday! In this episode, we hear about a sheepdog competition in Carbondale, Colorado. Plus, we hear about a controversy over a 600-acre solar energy proposal near Norwood, Colorado. We also hear about one Utah doctor working to improve maternal healthcare for Indigenous women.

Oct 30
News Break!

Hi listener, we are away this week attending the Rocky Mountain Community Radio Coalition conference. We’ll be back on the podcast soon with fresh reporting (and a local candidate debate!) See you then and thank you for supporting KZMU, community powered radio.

Oct 24
Regional Roundup: Annular Eclipse, 'Wild America' author, Hot Springs

It's Regional Roundup Monday! In this episode, an interview on the recent annular eclipse that captivated the Four Corners region. Plus, we hear from a regional author on his book 'Atlas of Wild America' and learn about the Maple Grove hot springs on the Utah/Idaho border.

Oct 23
Feds prosecute Moab residents for allegedly stealing over $1M in dinosaur bones

Two Moab residents are under arrest for allegedly stealing over $1 million dollars of dinosaur bones from public lands in Southeastern Utah. Prosecutors allege the Moabites, along with two others, were involved in a conspiracy to steal, sell and export paleontological resources. In a press conference Thursday, a US attorney categorized this case as an environmental crime. And later, tribal advocates are trying to repeal a prohibition of same sex marriages on the Navajo Nation. And, a free, outdoor – and makeshift – wedding venue gets shut down in Park City. // Plus, the Weekly News Reel! Sophia Fisher of The Times-Independent gives us the latest on traffic-reducing projects in Moab City, a deep dive on constraints related to housing solutions and re-defining glamping in Grand County. Alison Harford of the Moab Sun News keeps track of pika in the La Sal Mountains, and has updates on restaurant 98 Center’s kitchen renovation. // Show Notes:

Oct 20
Event proposal to bring 380 UTVs into Moab divides county commissioners

On Tuesday, Grand County commissioners made their first round of decisions for upcoming special events, including the Redrok Roundup, which would provide a weekend of guided tours to 380 UTVs. The organizer's Intent to Apply was approved by the county in a 4-3 vote. Plus, we hear from our partners at KUNC about the Department of Reclamation's recent report regarding Colorado River management. And we hear from the Utah Public News Service about the state's controversial redistricting maps. //Show Notes: //Grand County Commission Meeting 10.17.23 //Photo: An event at the end of June could bring 380 UTVs into Moab if the proposal is approved by the county. Photo by Chris Draper via Flickr.

Oct 19