Ali Budner

Ali Budner is KRCC's reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, a journalism collaborative that unites six stations across the Mountain West, including stations in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana to better serve the people of the region.  The project focuses its reporting on topic areas including issues of land and water, growth, politics, and Western culture and heritage.

Ali came to KRCC from the San Francisco Bay Area, where her award-winning reporting covered the state of California on a range of topics from health and the environment to homelessness and immigration. Her resume includes work with The Kitchen Sisters, KPFA radio in Berkeley, California, and KALW radio in San Francisco, where she served as a managing producer for the daily live public affairs call-in show, "Your Call."

Ali also reported and co-produced an hour-long documentary, "The Race To An Emergency," about the 9-1-1 emergency response system in Oakland, California.  It received several national awards, including the Edward R. Murrow award for best radio news documentary in a large market. Her reporting has appeared on PRI's The World, NPR's Latino USA, and WHYY's The Pulse, among other prominent outlets. 

She is excited now to live in Colorado and report on issues important to the Rocky Mountain West.

 

  

 

As the Mountain West grows and hunter numbers decline, states are finding ways to bring in more revenue to fund conservation.

Colorado and Utah are two of just six states nationwide that have laws allowing political campaign funds to be used for childcare expenses. But that number’s likely to climb, potentially freeing up more parents to run for office.

Heat pumps offer one of the best ways to cut carbon in homes and commercial buildings, energy and climate experts say in a new report.

The House’s newly passed defense bill will establish a new armed services branch, the United States Space Force, which will be headquartered in Colorado Springs.

An extraordinary discovery in the backyard of Colorado Springs has created a window into an evolutionary period we previously knew very little about.

A new study shows that global wind speeds have increased in the last decade, and that may allow wind turbines in the Mountain West to generate more clean energy.

Moody’s Analytics just looked at the economic consequences of a report by Blue Cross Blue Shield on millennial health. And it’s not good.   

Just outside Durango, Colo., archeologist Rand Greubel stands on a mesa surrounded by juniper trees. He points to a circular hole in the ground, about 30 feet across and more than 8 feet deep. There's a fire pit in the center of an earthen floor, ventilation shafts tunneled into the side walls and bits of burned thatching that suggest how the structure once continued to rise above the ground. It's a large pit house from what's known as the Pueblo I period.

"We knew right away that it was highly significant just because of the sheer size of it," Greubel says.

A new report shows youth suicide rates have spiked alarmingly in recent years, especially in the Mountain West.

A new study suggests huge fire blankets can help protect homes during wildfires.

As the Bureau of Land Management pilots a new livestock grazing initiative on public lands in six Western states, a conservation group is suing to get the agency to release more information about the program.

We know the climate crisis affects public health. But what do those health impacts cost us?

Our region is leading the way on training helicopter pilots to fight fires at night.  There are costs and hazards involved but the move could also help firefighters get the most threatening blazes under control more quickly.

Last month, the Trump administration said it would start deporting gravely ill immigrants here temporarily for medical care. This week, it backtracked a little. But 20 Attorneys General sent a letter to the administration saying they’re not satisfied. 

The recent court ruling that held the pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson, accountable for its role in Oklahoma’s opioid crisis could influence some of the pending lawsuits seeking to hold energy companies accountable for their role in the climate crisis. That includes one case in the Mountain West.

You might not know it but there’s a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture whose job includes killing wild animals – to the tune of millions each year.  It used to be called Animal Damage Control. Now it’s simply called Wildlife Services. Depending on who you talk to, the agency is controversial and secretive or, well-managed and essential.

Around 100 peaceful demonstrators gathered Saturday morning near downtown Colorado Springs to march in protest against police brutality. 

For the first time ever, a congressional committee held a field hearing on the climate crisis. And it happened this week right here in the Mountain West — in Boulder, Colorado. 

It’s no secret that wildfires are getting worse in the West. They’re threatening lives, homes and ecosystems. And they are also threatening our already-precarious watersheds. It’s all becoming a vicious cycle  — especially for the drier parts of our region. 

Outdoor recreation offices in the West are spearheading a national network to promote the industry along with The National Governors Association.  

It’s well-established that injecting wastewater from oil and gas operations deep into the ground can cause earthquakes. New research shows that in some cases those earthquakes can keep happening long after an injection. 

Some state birds across our region are in peril, according to a new report on the condition of North American Grasslands.

A recent study shows planting a trillion trees worldwide might be one of our best options for fighting climate change. 

Federal prosecutors have decided to bring border activist Scott Warren to trial for a second time. His case puts a spotlight on the murky legal boundaries of humanitarian aid at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The last place you might expect to find a wolf is inside a public library, a place that doesn’t even allow pets in the door. 

But on an early summer day, Shaya, a so-called “wolf ambassador” was pacing the 4th floor of the downtown library in Pueblo, Colorado, surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd.

The law that governs today’s hardrock mines on public lands in the West is nearly 150 years old. New legislation this week from House Democrats would enact significant reforms. 

The Islamic Society of Colorado Springs meets in a one-story brick building in a residential neighborhood. No domes or minarets. No eye-level windows either.

The group's president, Kamel Elwazeir, says preparations for weekly prayer are key.

"We try to get in early on Friday just to inspect the building on the outside make sure everything is fine," he says. "Nothing has been broken into or nothing suspicious."

The backlog in U.S. immigration courts is now over 850,000 cases long. People can wait years for their hearings. And that can be a long time to pay for a lawyer and to make appearances in court. Both of these things can be much harder for immigrants living in rural and mountainous parts of the West.

According to the Census Bureau, Western towns with fewer than 5000 people have grown on average in recent years. Meanwhile, populations in similar sized towns in the Northeast and Midwest have gotten smaller.

As the U.S. Senate holds gun control hearings, Colorado legislators are pushing forward with their own plan to remove guns from people who are deemed unsafe to themselves or others.

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