Mark Duggan

Jill Davis

We're kicking off our Spring Membership Drive with "Growers and Gardeners' Day", a great day to pledge your support for KSUT.

Many thanks to our food sponsor Sunnyside Farms Market.

Today's Guests (via Zoom):

Colorado opens eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to every Coloradan 16 years and older on April 2.

In Photos: La Plata County Vaccine Clinic

Mar 29, 2021
Mark Duggan

Vaccine clinics were held on recent Saturdays at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. See a slidehow of photos from the March 20, 2021 event.

By the Numbers: COVID Case and Vaccination Counts

Mar 2, 2021

Here are the latest figures for vaccination rates in Colorado and coronavirus case counts in both the state and region, as of March 1, 2021.

Mark Duggan

The administration is putting the brakes on new oil and gas leases on public lands. The move is being met with cheers from conservation groups and legal threats from the fossil fuels industry. We look at what it means for one large drilling proposal in the mountains east of Bayfield.


Scott Franz/Colorado Capitol Coverage

Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project

A varietal of apple long thought to be extinct is coming back to life in Colorado, thanks to a couple in Montezuma County. 

Mark Duggan

Local groups that address hunger are finding that the coronavirus has a hidden silver lining. It's led to a swell of support and more focus on food resources in the Four Corners.

Wyssen Avalanche Control Co.

A new avalanche control system on Lizard Head Pass southwest of Telluride aims to make it easier and safer for crews to manually trigger slides.


Every winter, sudden avalanches bury roadways and threaten the lives of travelers, both on the road and in the backcountry.

Avalanche control crews are also at risk. They’re out in often-nasty weather, trudging up relatively safe slopes to fire explosives at unsafe ones.

Dig Deep

Most of us take hot and cold running water and a flush toilet for granted. But for some residents of the Navajo Nation, it's a luxury they don't get to enjoy at home. Some studies show up to a third of Navajo households lack indoor plumbing. But several projects now underway are trying to bridge what's known as the “water gap.”

Here are the latest state and regional COVID-19 numbers. The graphs compare data from August and July. County figures indicate total positive cases.

TV pilot being shot in Montezuma County

Aug 21, 2020
Mark Duggan

A television show pilot that will be shot in Montezuma County this fall aims to put the area on the filmmaking map. It's also an opportunity for the show's creators to revel in the Four Corners backdrop they call home.

Novelist Chuck Greaves, who lives southwest of Cortez, and director, Félix Enríquez Alcalá, a recent transplant to Mancos, both say they want to showcase the region's diverse beauty in the show, called “Badwater.”

Mark Duggan

Last week, on the fifth anniversary of the Gold King Mine Spill, we learned that little has been done at the congressional level to clean up abandoned mines in southwest Colorado. But progress is being made locally, as citizens groups work with the Environmental Protection Agency. KSUT's Mark Duggan has a follow-up.


Red Feather Development Group

Up to a third of the households on the Navajo and Hopi Reservations lack access to clean running water. This can be a particular problem for maintaining hygiene, especially during a pandemic. Now an Arizona organization is installing self-contained handwashing stations for tribal members.

Mark Duggan

This week was the fifth anniversary of the Gold King Mine spill. The disaster ignited hope among observers that the many old and abandoned mines around Silverton would finally be cleaned up. Politicians and federal officials promised swift action. But a closer look reveals that at the governmental level, progress is moving very slowly, if at all. KSUT's Mark Duggan has more:

With unemployment rates skyrocketing, more families are facing economic hardship. That means some can’t afford to give their children basic school supplies. One group in Montezuma County is trying to help. KSUT's Mark Duggan reports:

A Colorado man spreads art across the internet

Jul 31, 2020

If you have a social media feed, chances are that you've seen something that was posted by a “bot.” Short for robot, they're little computer programs that automatically post to social media. Sometimes they post highly-polarizing political content that's meant to provoke. But one Colorado man has found a way to use them for good...spreading art across the internet. KSUT's Mark Duggan introduces us to him:

Monsoon moisture is finally arriving in southwest Colorado. But the long-term outlook calls for more drought. KSUT's Mark Duggan explains:

A new program seeks to connect Navajo and Hopi entrepreneurs with micro-loans to help them through the pandemic. It's known as “Kinship Lending” and has helped artists and small businesses.

KSUT's Mark Duggan spoke with Jessica Stago of Change Lab, a Native-owned business resource group that runs the loan program:


Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is issuing a statewide mask order as cases of COVID-19 continue to increase in the state. KSUT's Mark Duggan has more:

A renewed effort is underway to rename some geographic features in Colorado. KSUT's Mark Duggan takes a closer look:



Visitors are flocking to Colorado’s public lands. But large crowds can post a risk of spreading COVID-19. KSUT’s Mark Duggan spoke with Joe Lewandowski of Colorado Parks & Wildlife about their efforts to keep visitors safe at state parks. 

Courtesy State of Colorado

Colorado Governor Jared Polis is putting the brakes on part of Colorado's reopening plans. But he's also touting a new phase to allow some areas to open even more. Mark Duggan explains:




Stasia Lanier/KSUT

Local farmer's markets are adapting to keep customers and vendors safe during the pandemic. Some small agricultural producers are even finding ways to sell their produce through websites and delivery. Mark Duggan spoke with Melanie McKinney Gonzalez, market manager for the Durango Farmer's Market to learn more:


Photo courtesy of Ignacio Community Library

Some libraries in the Four Corners are taking cautious steps at reopening to the public. But visitors will see some changes. And the materials you return will be quarantined before they go back on the shelf. KSUT reporter Mark Duggan takes a closer look:

Mark Duggan/KSUT

Artists find themselves in a unique position during the coronavirus pandemic. Galleries and museums have been shuttered for months, cutting off a large part of the art market. But staying home has also led to a creative outpouring for many artists. People are looking for ways to channel their anxiety and other emotions. Mancos-based blacksmith Alex Bond came up with a way to get small pieces into the hands of art lovers using vending machines.



Mark Duggan/KSUT


COVID-19 cases continue to rise in some parts of the country. But in Colorado, new cases and hospitalizations are trending downward. We wanted to know how one area health care organization is handling the pandemic, from preparing for a possible spike in cases to balancing public health with a desire by some to return to normal. KSUT reporter Mark Duggan reached out to Tony Sudduth to find out more. He's the CEO of Southwest Health System and Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez.

Photo courtesy of Region 9 EDD

COVID-19 is having a big impact on local businesses. Some struggle, others thrive. And employees are caught in the middle. The long-term effect on the area's economy is still unknown.

KSUT's Mark Duggan checked in with two area business boosters to get a report on the state of the Four Corners economy:


courtesy of Colorado Parks & Wildlife

While you worried about the coronavirus, a familiar presence awoke from its winter slumber and went looking for dinner.

Black bears in southwest Colorado have been active since April. They’re foraging for food and sometimes finding it in trash cans. With many people observing Colorado’s “safer-at-home” order, they could come into contact - and conflict - with bears.

Luke Clancy is the Bear Education Coordinator for Colorado Parks & Wildlife's Durango office. We reached out to him to find out more about the health of our ursine neighbors. And what you can do to avoid meeting up with them in your backyard.

Kyle Todichini for KSUT

Darrah Blackwater sees radio waves as a natural resource. The Navajo Nation member and recent law school graduate works to bring high-speed internet to rural tribal lands. Her efforts focus on what she calls “spectrum sovereignty,” or the recognition of tribal spectrum rights.

“That means that the radio waves on the land have been on the land since what we call in federal Indian law, ‘time immemorial,’” she explains. “Which means it’s been there as long as the land, the mountains, the water, the air has been there.”