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The Modern West

English, Cultural, 9 seasons, 91 episodes, 2 days, 2 hours, 26 minutes
Exploring the evolving identity of the American West. Produced by Wyoming Public Media and PRX, The Modern West takes you on a sound-rich journey into some of America's most iconic landscapes. Guided by host Melodie Edwards' personal connection to the region, it's an unflinching look at the American West--its problematic history, its modern-day struggles and resilience, and how its present and future are being shaped.
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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 my interview with him in a few weeks. Meanwhile, we’re re-releasing all of our bison episodes! In Part II: why American settlers chose to wipe out the bison and replace them with cattle.
10/4/202339 minutes, 6 seconds
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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
9/27/202329 minutes, 14 seconds
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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 1200 years. This special episode from the On Land podcast is all about solutions to that water crisis. Geologist Caroline Nash joins for a conversation about building resilience in times of uncertainty, how restoring beavers to our Western landscapes could help with watershed restoration, and the ways landowners across the West are experimenting with innovative land management practices.
8/30/202345 minutes, 44 seconds
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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. If you liked thinking about education in the west, you’re going to love this. We are sharing an episode from the podcast Those Who Can’t Teach Anymore, produced by one of our very own, Charles Fournier. This is a narrative podcast series that takes a look at why teachers are leaving education and what can be done to stop the exodus. In this episode, we’ll hear from Charles’ wife, Jennie and two other former teachers about why they left teaching. From struggles with mental health, to low pay, to a lack of autonomy in the classroom - they give insight into why we are losing good teachers across the country. This episode sets the stage for the series, which will take you through the history, pop-culture, and politics of education.
1/19/202343 minutes, 2 seconds
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Bonus: Reframing Rural

For all you Modern West fans who love our last season about ranching and the cowboy mythos in the American West, have we got a treat for you. We’re going to share an episode from our good pals at the podcast Reframing Rural. It’s now in the middle of its third season “Groundwork,” and they’ve been sharing stories about host Megan Torgerson’s family farm as well as the widening wealth gap in Montana…think towns like Bozeman and Missoula. This episode we’re going to hear about Jeanie Alderson, a fourth-generation Montana rancher and the co-owner of Omega Beef. In the '70s, Jeanie’s parents were among the rural organizers to form the Northern Plains Resource Council. Today, Jeanie continues the council's work standing up for family ranches by fighting against the "Big Four" meatpacking monopoly that's dictating prices and forcing some ranchers out of business.
12/15/202257 minutes, 51 seconds