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The Modern West
The Modern West
Wyoming Public Media

Exploring the evolving identity of the American West. Produced by Wyoming Public Media and PRX, The Modern West takes you on a... more

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One Size Does Not Fit All - Part Six of High Altitude Tales

Meet Iva, an innovative teacher conducting scientific research with her middle schoolers on the Wind River Reservation. They even set... more

12 Jun 2024 · 30 minutes
The Tamers and the Tamed - Part Five of High Altitude Tales

Recidivism rates in the U.S. are some of the highest in the world, and in Wyoming, 33 percent of inmates... more

29 May 2024 · 39 minutes
Chasing the Dragon - Part Four of High Altitude Tales

In the resort town of Jackson Hole, WY, the housing shortage is so bad that people are finding crazy workarounds... more

15 May 2024 · 42 minutes
Wolves #2101 and #2301- Part Three of High Altitude Tales

The story of two wolves in Colorado’s North Park, a father and a son, and how the community is –... more

01 May 2024 · 40 minutes
The Sixth Boom - Part Two of High Altitude Tales

Take a bike ride into a tiny forgotten historic mining town that sits at the intersection of two beloved through... more

17 Apr 2024 · 37 minutes
Courage is a Muscle - Part One of High Altitude Tales

Exactly 100 years to the day after a woman named Eleanor Davis became the first recorded woman to ever climb... more

03 Apr 2024 · 31 minutes
High Altitude Tales Trailer

Miss us? We're back for Season 8 of The Modern West - High Altitude Tales. High Altitude Tales drops on... more

20 Mar 2024 · 3 minutes
Urban Wildfires: a Burn Scar Bonus

“In Paradise, what the fire didn't take was the sense of community that exists there. Our mission was, ‘look how... more

07 Feb 2024 · 38 minutes
Our Imperfect Human Selves

Ariel makes the trip out to see the new construction of her family home. But it’s nothing like the one... more

24 Jan 2024 · 48 minutes
A Desirable Neighborhood

Ariel’s family and neighbors are starting to rebuild after the Marshall Fire destroyed their homes. But now new green building... more

10 Jan 2024 · 44 minutes
The Burn Scar: Bonus Episode

Listen to a behind-the-scenes conversation with The Burn Scar’s producer Ariel Lavery and The Modern West host Melodie Edwards. Ariel... more

27 Dec 2023 · 16 minutes
Our Safe Place

Ariel’s neighbors all want to know what caused the Marshall Fire. Then a new forensic report comes out, confirming climate... more

13 Dec 2023 · 44 minutes

Ariel returns to see the burn scar that was once her childhood home. She feels strangely…homesick. “Imagining one’s home place... more

29 Nov 2023 · 43 minutes
The Winter Fire

It’s the most expensive fire in Colorado History. Listen now.

15 Nov 2023 · 24 minutes
The Burn Scar Trailer

The Marshall Fire was the most expensive fire in Colorado history. The Burn Scar is a tender yet carefully investigated... more

01 Nov 2023 · 3 minutes
Bison Stories: A Conversation With Ken Burns - Part 4

Filmmaker Ken Burns just released a new series called American Buffalo and The Modern West sat down to talk to... more

18 Oct 2023 · 27 minutes
Bison Stories: Bringing Home the Buffalo - Part 3

We’re re-sharing all of our bison episodes in preparation for the release of the new Ken Burns film, The American... more

11 Oct 2023 · 49 minutes
Bison Stories: Bringing Home the Buffalo - Part 2

Did you know documentarian Ken Burns is coming out with a film on the American buffalo? I’m going to share... more

04 Oct 2023 · 39 minutes
Bison Stories: Bringing Home the Buffalo - Part 1

Bringing Home the Buffalo…part one of our mini series Bison Stories. Find it under podcasts at wyomingpublicmedia.org.

27 Sep 2023 · 29 minutes
Bonus: On Land Podcast from Western Landowners Alliance

You might remember this daunting statistic from our season on ranching: the American West is facing its biggest drought in... more

30 Aug 2023 · 45 minutes
Bonus Episode 3: A Conversation with Lakota Historian Jeff Means

As you might have noticed from previous episodes, Jeff is a committed skeptic. But still, I decide to start by... more

02 Aug 2023 · 20 minutes
Existence As Protest: Mending the Hoop Part 8

I wanted to be part of contributing to identify healing interventions for our community. And also sharing with people that... more

19 Jul 2023 · 55 minutes
Land Back: Mending the Hoop Part 7

It’s popular these days to read a land acknowledgement at public events, but Indigenous leaders and thinkers say that should... more

28 Jun 2023 · 53 minutes
Bonus Episode 2: A Conversation with Lakota Historian Jeff Means

Jeff and I pick up the conversation today where our last one left off. As the 19th century came to... more

15 Jun 2023 · 25 minutes
#MMIW: Mending the Hoop Part 6

Native American women are the most stalked, raped, murdered and exploited of any other race in this country.

31 May 2023 · 42 minutes
Rematriation: Mending the Hoop Part 5

That's the identity for our tribe is our buffalo. So they are our relatives. I always cry when they come.... more

10 May 2023 · 50 minutes
Killing The Indian Inside: Mending the Hoop Part 4

This time on the Modern West…to make sure the Plains Indian Wars don’t flare up again, the U.S. army starts... more

20 Apr 2023 · 48 minutes
Bonus Episode: A Conversation with Lakota Historian Jeff Means

It seemed important to share some of the behind the scenes conversations for this series. As a white woman reporting... more

06 Apr 2023 · 27 minutes
The Broken Hoop: Mending the Hoop Part 3

The Plains Tribes continue their winning streak at the Rosebud and Little Bighorn fights. But it only leads the federal... more

27 Mar 2023 · 44 minutes
The War Pipe: Mending the Hoop Part 2

After the massacre, the survivors flee into the bitter cold night and eventually are rescued by the Lakota. The tribes... more

08 Mar 2023 · 35 minutes
The Witness Trees: Mending the Hoop Part 1

For the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes, the Sand Creek Massacre of November 29, 1864 doesn’t feel like distant history at... more

22 Feb 2023 · 49 minutes
Mending the Hoop Trailer

Recently, you may have noticed a lot of big news coming out of Indigenous America, from protests at Standing Rock... more

08 Feb 2023 · 3 minutes
Bonus: Those Who Can’t Teach Anymore

A few seasons back, we had a series called Cowboy Up that dug into the juvenile justice system in Wyoming.... more

19 Jan 2023 · 43 minutes
Bonus: Reframing Rural

For all you Modern West fans who love our last season about ranching and the cowboy mythos in the American... more

15 Dec 2022 · 57 minutes
Revising the Wilderness Tale

This time on The Modern West, we join an 1896 hunting expedition to America’s first national park. The journey reveals... more

23 Nov 2022 · 37 minutes
The Great Dying: Revisited

November is Native American Heritage Month…and in recognition, we thought we’d re-release the first episode of our third season “Shall... more

28 Oct 2022 · 56 minutes
The Great Individualist Bonus Episode

It's very important when you introduce a new technology, to make sure early adopters don't fail. And I want virtual... more

29 Sep 2022 · 21 minutes
Neighbor Is A Verb: The Great Individualist Part 9

Some think the cowboy has gone riding off into the sunset, never to return. But in our final episode, we... more

02 Sep 2022 · 34 minutes
Slow Waters Run Deep: The Great Individualist Part 8

Wyoming helped develop western water law, including the very idea that public waters belong to all of us. But the... more

17 Aug 2022 · 28 minutes
Bonus: Out There

If Out There isn’t already on your radar, it should be. It’s an award-winning show that uses stories about the... more

11 Aug 2022 · 36 minutes
A Promise Never To Plow: The Great Individualist Part 7

A few years ago, the May family set off on a trailblazing path to protect their land, and the carbon... more

04 Aug 2022 · 33 minutes
Only One Bite: The Great Individualist Part 6

The Rardins are father and son cowboys watching climate change threaten their way of life. They've given up on the... more

21 Jul 2022 · 33 minutes
Big Is Fragile: The Great Individualist Part 5

We follow the cow's journey from the mountain pasture to the feedlot and eventually the slaughterhouse. Along the way, we... more

06 Jul 2022 · 33 minutes
Bonus: Middle of Everywhere

The Modern West brings you heartfelt stories about poignant issues happening today in the rural west. A lot of these... more

29 Jun 2022 · 23 minutes
Nothing Heals: The Great Individualist Part 4

This time, we head to Wyoming's Red Desert - and hear the history of the 19th-century range wars. They led... more

22 Jun 2022 · 34 minutes
Cows = Civilization: The Great Individualist Part 3

The history of how we brought the pastoral cow to live on the arid lands of the West is a... more

08 Jun 2022 · 39 minutes
Se Benefician De Ella: The Great Individualist Part 2

The Abeyta family has been driving sheep down from the mountains of southern Colorado for generations. But it hasn't been... more

25 May 2022 · 34 minutes
The Rolling Stone: The Great Individualist Part 1

For the Elliot family, there isn't just one kind of cowboy. There are guys like Jake who chase the idea... more

11 May 2022 · 27 minutes
The Great Individualist Trailer

The cowboy roaming horseback across the American West is nearly inextricable from what it means to be American. But in... more

27 Apr 2022 · 6 minutes
Heavy To One, Light To Many: Cowboy Up Part 3

Fifteen-year-old Kate just lost her mom. On top of that, her learning disabilities are making it hard to go to... more

02 Feb 2022 · 54 minutes
The Modern West
The Rolling Stone: The Great Individualist Part 1
The Modern West

Listen now on

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For the Elliot family, there isn't just one kind of cowboy. There are guys like Jake who chase the idea of the... more