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Wyoming celebrates 150 years of women's suffrage

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Rockies Today

December 10 · Issue #49 · View online
The big stories up and down the Rocky Mountains, curated by Mountain West News

Breaking through
“The Equality State” celebrates the pioneering history it made in 1869 as the first place in America to afford female citizens the unrestricted right to vote. Here’s the Casper Star-Tribune’s extensive coverage spanning the last year, its examination of the anniversary itself, and more:
The Star-Tribune celebrates 150 years of women's suffrage The Star-Tribune celebrates 150 years of women's suffrage
Motivated by a variety of factors, Wyoming's passage of women's suffrage fits into a larger movement Motivated by a variety of factors, Wyoming's passage of women's suffrage fits into a larger movement
In 1848, the social order of the United States was shifting underfoot.
A loosely organized confederation of states bound by the Mississippi River, the young nation found itself looking westward with a vision of settling the unincorporated Northwestern territories and the spoils brought by the close of the Mexican-American War. Gold was discovered in California.
And in Seneca Falls, New York, two women named Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony set to work starting a revolution.
Standing out then among a still-conservative nation, Wyoming — known today as “the Equality State” — loves to boast of the pioneering history it made in 1869 as the first place in America to afford female citizens the unrestricted right to vote.
But for all the glory and fanfare tied to the occasion, the territory’s decision to grant women suffrage cannot be seen as Wyoming’s alone. Rather, its success stands as another integral piece of a greater timeline in American history that would culminate with the passing of the 19th Amendment the following century.
“We tend to treat this event as if it happened in a bubble,” said Kristy Griffin, a registrar at the Wyoming State Museum. “And I don’t necessarily think that’s the best take on it. We have to imagine that women’s suffrage and the push for this had actually been happening for quite some time.”
Some in Indian Country still face barriers to voting
WyoFile’s package of stories marking the anniversary:
Wyoming’s nuanced suffrage identity, 150 years on
‘Women in Wyoming’ spotlights Equality State’s heroic females
‘State of Equality’: behind the scenes of new suffrage film
State of Equality: Wyoming Women's Suffrage Trailer
'Oh give me a home'
Federal recognition likely as Little Shell Chippewa Tribe bill moves forward Federal recognition likely as Little Shell Chippewa Tribe bill moves forward
Background:
A multigenerational fight for tribal recognition is almost over
Wolves returning to the Western Slope?
Wolf supporters say they gathered 200,000 signatures, enough for reintroduction question on 2020 ballot Wolf supporters say they gathered 200,000 signatures, enough for reintroduction question on 2020 ballot
Meanwhile…
Could grizzlies be restored to Colorado? Feds agree to review bear’s protections.
Bust a move
Retired BLM leaders head to Capitol Hill to block HQ move Retired BLM leaders head to Capitol Hill to block HQ move
Retired senior Bureau of Land Management leaders are ratcheting up efforts to stop the agency from relocating its headquarters and hundreds of senior positions out West.
A coalition that includes Bob Abbey, who served as BLM director during President Obama’s first term, and Henri Bisson, who served as deputy director of operations during the George W. Bush administration, is visiting with congressional leaders and staffers today through Thursday to express concerns with the relocation plan.
The campaign comes just days before Washington, D.C.-based staffers must decide whether to move or leave BLM.
The coalition organized by the Public Lands Foundation, a BLM retirees’ group, is scheduled to meet with House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), as well as Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner ® — a vocal proponent of the plan to move BLM’s headquarters to Grand Junction, Colo.
The coalition also includes former BLM Wyoming directors Mary Jo Rugwell, who retired in August, and Don Simpson, who retired in 2015; Ray Brady, who retired in 2015 as manager of BLM’s National Renewable Energy Coordination Office; and Jenna Whitlock, who retired in 2017 as deputy director of operations. They are set to meet this week with Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), as well as Reps. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).
The goal of the “outreach meetings” with lawmakers and their staff — including staffers with Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski ®, who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee — is to prompt Congress to add language in any Interior appropriations bill blocking the relocation plan and the use of federal funds to pay for it.
In other Interior Department news…
Interior official broke ethics rules, government watchdog concludes
Bernhardt cleared in ethics probe
Passing the buck
NorthWestern Energy to increase its stake in Colstrip power plant NorthWestern Energy to increase its stake in Colstrip power plant
NorthWestern Energy plans to increase its share in Colstrip Unit 4, by buying out another power plant owner who recently revealed the coal-fired unit needs $20 million in repairs.
Montana’s largest monopoly utility said in a Tuesday press release that it will buy out Puget Sound Energy for $1. The price is identical to what NorthWestern pitched to the 2019 Montana Legislature 10 months ago. Lawmakers rejected the deal, with several expressing worry the utility’s customers would face hidden debts associated with repairs and environmental cleanup costs. In the Legislature, NorthWestern never identified which of Colstrip’s five other owners was offering shares.
NorthWestern currently has a 30% share in Unit 4, for which its customers owe $300 million. Puget’s share would boost NorthWestern’s stake to 55%. In a separate deal, NorthWestern would buy Puget’s capacity on Colstrip’s transmission lines for $2.5 million to $3.7 million.
The utility has the ability to buy Puget’s assets without government approval, but if its customers are to shoulder costs associated with maintenance, operation, taxes and environmental cleanup, the Public Service Commission will have to sign off. 
Meanwhile…
No one speaks in favor of NorthWestern Energy's 20-year plan during PSC hearing
More energy news:
How much should Colorado customers pay for Xcel’s clean energy transition?
Why Denver’s path to clean energy runs through tiny Watkins, Colorado
Protested fringe Yellowstone leases for sale
Wyoming issues construction permit for 780MW, $1B wind development
What else we're reading today
How Western water rights and local billionaires complicated Aspen's renewables path
The bad seeds: Are wildfire recovery efforts hurting biodiversity?
New study highlights impacts of livestock grazing and other variables on cheatgrass occurrence in the Great Basin
First Nations youth protest proposed massive oilsands mine at UN climate conference
Climate change is ravaging the Arctic, report finds
Rockies Today is edited by Matthew Frank, Fellow in Regional Journalism at the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West at the University of Montana.
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O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, 59812