Wyoming People, Places and Policy
WyoFile is an independent, nonprofit news service focused on the people, places and policy of Wyoming. Recognizing the rapid decline in resources among traditional news outlets, WyoFile offers supplemental in-depth coverage of complicated subjects and issues ranging from tax policy to trends in Wyoming culture. Designed as a one-stop venue for Wyoming news, WyoFile produces regular commentary and analysis as well as daily summaries and links to important Wyoming-related stories in the state and national press.
Written and edited by leading Wyoming journalists and educators, WyoFile is a non-partisan public interest site for people who care deeply about the civic and cultural health of our state. The site provides news and information that enables the residents of Wyoming to become informed and engaged contributors to important public issues.
Our name is a play on words that reflects our journalistic purpose and our love for our uniquely beautiful mountain state.
OUR SPONSORS and PARTNERS
WyoFile is supported by grants and donations from the John S. and James Knight Foundation, The George B. Storer Foundation, Christopher Findlater, Marcia Kunstel, Joe Albright, Anne Pendergast and the estate of the late Tom Stroock.
WyoFile is partnered with the Wyoming Community Foundation in conjunction with a 2012 Knight Foundation Community Information Challenge grant. WyoFile also received grants from the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation in 2011 and 2012. These recent partnerships resulted in a project to expand WyoFile’s reporting capabilities, expanding our staff to include one full-time government & policy reporter and one part-time reporter covering the Wind River Indian Reservation and Native American issues. For the Knight Foundation Community Information Challenge grant awarded in 2010, WyoFile was sponsored by the Lander Community Foundation.
WyoFile is also a member of the Investigative News Network, an associate member of the Wyoming Press Association, and works in collaboration with Wyoming’s legacy media, and other news organizations. WyoFile is also supported by reader donations, and we need more of your help. If you support our in-depth reporting on Wyoming’s people, places and policy, please donate what you can.
For additional information on our funding, mission and finances, please consult our 2012 IRS form 990 filing, a federal disclosure statement that is required for all tax-exempt nonprofit entities.
Anne MacKinnon, Board Chair, is former editor-in-chief of the Casper Star-Tribune. Anne researches and writes about Wyoming water history, but also occasionally teaches and puts on conferences on natural resource policy for the University of Wyoming, where she is an adjunct professor for the School of Environment and Natural Resources. Anne lives in Casper.
Gary Scott has lived in Wyoming for approximately 62 years. He was raised in Midwest and Casper, then attended the University of Wyoming where he earned his B.S. in political science in 1973. He worked in Rock Springs then returned to school in Laramie, earning his J.D. in 1981. Not one for change, he was a trial attorney with the Cheyenne law firm of Hirst Applegate, P.C. for nearly 32 years, a job from which he is now semi-retired. Gary was a partner with the firm, and was its managing partner for four years. It is now Gary’s plan to spend a little more time doing those things he enjoys which include golfing, fishing, gardening, and spending time in the Big Horn Mountains. He and his wife, Mary Keating-Scott, also hope to be able to do some traveling, including around the State of Wyoming.
Gene Ruckman was born and raised in Cheyenne and is a graduate of the University of Wyoming. Gene began his career working ten years as a consultant in public policy development, public opinion research, public relations management and coordinating various campaigns of candidates for public office on the federal and state level as well as many issue referendums in Wyoming, Colorado and the mountain west. Through many travels and interactions along many campaign trails Gene developed a love for the variety of newspapers, radio & TV stations and the different flavors of local media personalities he encountered. So, in 1997, Gene switched gears and joined the Gannett Company starting in marketing at the Fort Collins Coloradoan then later to take on the role of Strategic Marketing Manager at the Asheville Citizen-Times in North Carolina and today works at the company headquarters in McLean Virginia as a Senior Analyst with the Customer Insights Team. Gene still considers Wyoming home and can be found traveling frequently from Wyoming to Virginia or setting up office at any coffee shop in between.
Patrick Larvie grew up in Wyoming, went to college in New York then earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He’s a practicing cultural anthropologist, sometimes as a researcher, sometimes in a teaching role, and most recently as a team builder and manager for Google. A self-described news-junkie, Larvie says he’s most passionate about making public life more transparent, the political process more approachable, and to encourage civic participation.
Anne Ladd is the president and founder of Propel Product Management Inc., a product strategy and development firm specializing in high-tech, healthcare and public policy. Born and raised in Wyoming, Ms. Ladd has an undergraduate degree in economics from Williams College a Master’s degree in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration. She spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala and six years as a reporter in Wyoming, Utah, California, Washington state and Washington DC, covering politics, natural resources and business issues.
Nadia White is an associate professor at the University of Montana School of Journalism where she teaches old-school journalism in the new media model. Her students, for instance, provided extensive coverage of the environmental crimes trial ever held, using Twitter and Blogspot and old-fashioned seat time. White was an editor and reporter at the Casper Star-Tribune for many years, working from both Casper and Washington D.C. She worked as press secretary to Kathy Karpan’s U.S. Senate bid in 1996. She is currently writing a book project that blends biography,memoir and adventure travel, all from a desk in Missoula, Mont.
Lorena Garcia, executive director. Driven by her passion for justice and equality, Lorena Garcia believes that everyone should have equal access to information about the issues, environment, politics and economy that surrounds their daily lives. Her experience includes organizing for social justice in education, LGBTIQ rights, and workers rights, curriculum development and youth leadership development, and a cumulative 8 years of senior and executive leadership of statewide advocacy organizations. She served on the National Advisory Council for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and the Center for American Progress’ Women’s Health Advisory council. She has presented a TEDx talk on Latina Leadership and have been quoted by news outlets including the New York Times, NBC, FOX, and many local and non-profit news outlets. Lorena is a graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a 2008 Progressive Leadership and Advocacy Network Fellow with the National Women’s Law Center. She is also a recipient of the 2011 Female Cesar Chavez Award in Colorado and most recently received recognition as a sex ed champion by the Healthy Colorado Youth Alliance. Lorena has a passion for film and believes that it is the best medium to reach the masses for social justice. She is very active out doors and often takes on athletic challenges that will push her mentally and physically.
Dustin Bleizeffer, editor-in-chief. From 2000 to 2010, Bleizeffer was energy reporter for the Casper Star-Tribune, covering the coal, natural gas and oil industries. He detailed the socio-economic and environmental issues of the coal-bed methane gas boom in the Powder River Basin from the onset of the development in the late 1990s. Bleizeffer’s investigative work includes a 2008 series on the failings of Wyoming’s workers’ compensation program. In 2009 he traveled to Shanxi Province in China to write about international efforts to address climate change and coal mine safety. In 2010 Bleizeffer traveled to Berlin with the American Council on Germany to participate in a study of German and European energy strategies. He writes a weekly energy column; WyoFile Energy Report. Bleizeffer is a 1998 journalism graduate from the University of Wyoming. He lives in Casper with his wife and two sons. Contact: email@example.com or (307) 267-3327. Follow Dustin on Twitter @DBleizeffer.
Guy Padgett, business manager. Padgett has long been interested in public life in Wyoming. During his time in Casper, Padgett served on numerous non-profit boards, volunteered as an election judge, and served on the Casper city council, including a term as mayor. He has worked as an Assistant Curator of Education at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, as well as the Executive Director of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra. Padgett is a graduate of the University of Wyoming, and completed a Master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Denver in June of 2011. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado, with his partner and their cat. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Angus M. Thuermer Jr., reporter. Angus has reported about Teton County and surrounding areas for more than 30 years. He was the editor of the Jackson Hole News&Guide and the Jackson Hole News before joining WyoFile as the natural resources reporter. He has ink in his blood; his parents met while working for the AP in Chicago. He was graduated from Yale in 1974 with a BA in English and came straight to Wyoming to climb in the Tetons. He served on the board of the Wyoming Press Association and was its president in 1998. He is an angler and backcountry skier and enjoys other outdoor pursuits.
Gregory Nickerson, reporter. Greg hails from Big Horn, and has a lifelong interest in Wyoming history and civics. He graduated from Carleton College in 2004 with a degree in American Studies, then worked as assistant curator during the expansion of the Sheridan County Museum. He also served as historical consultant for the Wyoming PBS film Drawn to Yellowstone, and spent two years in Philadelphia working as associate producer of a documentary series that won an Emmy from the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Nickerson completed an MA in western history at the University of Wyoming in 2010, taking courses with Wyoming scholars Pete Simpson, Phil Roberts, and Sam Western. As a historian, he has written about Wyoming agriculture, aviation, and railroads, and made public presentations for the Wyoming Humanities Forum. An avid elk hunter, Nickerson has worked as a guide in the Gros Ventre Mountains. Contact Greg at email@example.com Follow Greg on Twitter @GregNickersonWY.
Kerry Drake is a veteran Wyoming journalist and the editor-in-chief of The Casper Citizen, a nonprofit, online community newspaper. It can be viewed at www.caspercitizen.com.
Kelsey Dayton is a freelancer and the editor of Outdoors Unlimited, the magazine of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. She has worked as a reporter for the Gillette News-Record, Jackson Hole News&Guide and the Casper Star Tribune.
Lindsay Linton is based in Jackson, Wyoming, where she specializes in portrait, editorial and commercial photography. Her multi-faceted background includes documenting the generational farming families of her hometown in Powell, Wyoming, Been Here For Generations, through environmental portraiture and historical narratives, to assisting world-renowned headshot photographer, Peter Hurley, in New York City. She is also a dancer and designs performances for events and other projects.
Samuel Western of Sheridan is a university lecturer, poet and U.S. regional correspondent for The Economist. Author: Pushed Off the Mountain Sold Down the River: Wyoming’s Search for Its Soul (2003) and A Random Census of Souls (2009).
Patrick Dawson performed reporting assignments for TIME for more than 25 years, ranging from New Mexico to Alaska, including covering the Unabomber arrest, Freemen standoff, Yellowstone issues, the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping in Utah, energy and Native American issues. He is the author of non-fiction books, including “The Montana Cowboy” (photography by David Stoecklein) and “Mr. Rodeo: The Big Bronc Years of Leo Cremer.” His essays are included in several regional literary anthologies, including “Ring of Fire: Writers of the Yellowstone Region” (Rocky Mountain Press, Cody.) He wrote and co-produced the documentary video, “The Great Wyoming Wagon Train of 1990.” He is based in Billings, Montana.
Laton McCartney was born in Denver, Colorado and grew up on cattle ranches in Colorado and Wyoming. He is the author of the national bestseller, Friends in High Places: The Bechtel Story—The Most Secret Corporation and How It Engineered the World; and Beyond the Great Divide: Robert Stuart and the Discovery of the Oregon Trail. His most recent book, The Teapot Dome Scandal: How Big Oil Bought the Harding White House and Tried to Steal the Country, published by Random House, is currently in development as a four-hour miniseries for AMC. McCartney has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Today Show and numerous other television and radio programs. He and his wife Nancy divide their time between Dubois and Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Geoffrey O’Gara is a longtime Wyoming journalist. He was a Wyoming Public Television producer and host of the influential Capitol Outlook and Wyoming Chronicle programs. He is the author of What You See in Clear Water: Indians, Whites, and a Battle Over Water in the American West (2002) and A Long Road Home, Journeys Through America’s Present in Search of America’s Past (1989) and several other books. O’Gara served on the Fremont County District One school board for eight years. An avid cyclist, basketballer and fly fisherman, he lives in Lander.
Jeffrey Lockwood is a renowned entomologist and accomplished writer/philosopher who first arrived at the University of Wyoming in the 1980s to conduct groundbreaking research on grasshoppers, insecticides and biological controls. In 2000, Lockwood turned his attention to the arts and became a professor of philosophy and creative writing. He is the author of Locust: the Devastating Rise and Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect that Shaped the American Frontier (Basic Books 2004), Grasshopper Dreaming: Reflections on Killing and Loving (Skinner House 2002), Six-Legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War (Oxford University Press 2008), and many other works. In February 2012, Lockwood was featured on WNYC’s RadioLab for the podcast episode “Killer Empathy.”
Rone Tempest, A former national and foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, Rone covered wars, natural disasters, politics and culture on six continents. In 2004 he was part of a team of reporters to win the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the massive wildfires in Southern California. From 2000-2007 he was a lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism of the University of California, Berkeley. Rone lives in Lander.
Ben Gose is a Lander journalist who writes frequently for The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The Chronicle of Higher Education, and contributes to programs on Wyoming Public Television. He also coaches the sprinters on the Lander Valley High School track team.
Susan Gray Gose is a freelance writer who lives in Lander with her husband and two children. She has been managing editor of the Lander Journal, a correspondent for People magazine, an assistant editor for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and a reporter for The News & Observer (N.C.) She also writes fiction.
Ruffin Prevost is editor of Yellowstone Gate, an independent community news site covering Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and their gateway communities. He is the Wyoming correspondent for Reuters international news service, and worked previously as managing editor of WyoFile. He worked from Cody for The Billings Gazette from 2005 to 2010, and his reporting also regularly appeared in the Casper Star-Tribune.
Tom Rea lives in Casper. He worked as an editor and reporter for the Casper Star-Tribune for 11 years, covering education and politics. Since leaving the paper he has written two prize-winning books, Bone Wars: The Excavation and Celebrity of Andrew Carnegie’s Dinosaur and Devil’s Gate: Owning the Land, Owning the Story. Most recently he finished a third book, about a historic ranch near Hole in the Wall for the Wold family of Casper.