KBUT’s West Elk Word covers current and public affairs throughout the Gunnison Valley.
Learn more about the people, places, music and arts, recreation, mountain culture, and everything else Gunnison Valley.
West Elk Word airs Saturdays at noon. Archived episodes are available below:
West Elk Word, 9/25/21 – Actor-Producer Sam Robards, director of “Awake and Sing!”
Sam Roberts shares stories from his acting career, and discusses “Awake and Sing!” an upcoming production of the Crested Butte Mountain Theatre.
West Elk Word, 9/18.21 – Marcie Telander, Founder of Vinotok
Marcie Telander shares the story of Vinotok’s origins and its evolution through the past 37 years to today.
West Elk Word, 9/11/21 – Dr. John Hausdoerffer, Dean of the Clark Family School of Environment and Sustainability
Dr. Hausdoerffer discusses the question posed in the title of his latest book, “What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be?”
West Elk Word, 9/4 – Scott Morrill and Lisa Clay, Gunnison County Emergency Management
Scott Morrill and Lisa Clay share stories and explain the role of Gunnison County Emergency Management.
West Elk Word, 7/24/21- Jennifer Kermode, Executive Director, Gunnison County Regional Housing Authority
Jennifer Kermode discusses the challenges and complexities of the local workforce housing crisis.
West Elk Word, 8/28/21 – Robin Biro on John Biro’s legacy, Afghanistan withdrawal, the intersection of media and politics, and more
Robin Biro on John Biro’s legacy, Afghanistan withdrawal, the intersection of media and politics, and more
West Elk Word, 7/17/21 – Erik Hulm, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory: Atmospheric Research
Erik Hulm is here to discuss a two-year atmospheric research project beginning this summer in Gothic, CO.
West Elk Word, 7/10/21 – Lacie Wise, Western and Pioneer Museum
Lacie Wise is a Senior History major at Western Colorado University. She’s here to talk about a project she’s working on with the Gunnison Pioneer Museum.
West Elk Word, 6/26/21 – Gunnison County Undersheriff Adam Murdie
New Undersheriff Adam Murdie has 25 years of law enforcement experience, and he’s glad to be home in Gunnison.
West Elk Word, 6/12 (part 1) & 6/19 (part 2) – Outgoing CEO Rob Santilli, Gunnison Valley Health
Rob Santilli shares his journey from the time he arrived at GVH 9 years ago, to today.
West Elk Word, 6/5/21 – Ian Billick, Executive Director for Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory
Ian shares what’s in store at RMBL this summer, including some of the most interesting research taking place in Gothic, CO.
West Elk Word, 5/29/21 – Dr. Terry Schliesman on Western Colorado University’s Adult Degree Completion Program
Dr. Terry Schliesman shares the details of Western Colorado University’s new Adult Degree Completion program.
West Elk Word, 5/15/21 – Mountain Words Literary Festival
Literary Arts Director Brooke McMillan gives us the skinny on all things literary and the CB Center for the Arts/Gunnison Arts Center Mountain Words Lit Fest.
West Elk Word, 4/24/21 – Gunnison City Manager Russ Forrest
City Manager Russ Forrest gives us the lowdown on workforce housing, city infrastructure projects, and more.
West Elk Word, 4/17/21: Gunnison County Juvenile Services, Part 2
Part 2 of our conversation with members of Gunnison County Juvenile Services team.
West Elk Word, 4/10/21: Gunnison County Juvenile Services, Part 1
This is Part 1 of a conversation with members of the Gunnison County Juvenile Services team.
West Elk Word, 4/3/21- Avian Researcher, Kristin Ross
Western Colorado University grad student Kristin Ross shares her research on Gunnison Country birds dependent on sagebrush.
West Elk Word, 2/27/21 – Garrett Dimon: entrepreneur and idea-man
Garrett Dimon is a local Entrepreneur who has recently created both a new non-profit and a local job board.
West Elk Word, 2/20/21 – Steve Otero, Gunnison County Director of Veterans Services
Steve Otero shares his experience in the military and how that helps in his role to support local veterans.
Heidi Steltzer: Mountain Scientist on Climate Change and the Power of Narrative
Dr. Heidi Steltzer is an...
West Elk Word, 2/6/21: Bureau of Land Management Sued Over Leasing, Pendley’s Appointment
The State of Colorado and...
West Elk Word, 11/14/20: Joni Reynolds, Department of Human Services and Public Health, Gunnison County
Joni Reynolds gives us an update on where we state in the resurgence of COVID-19, and some valuable information on general, DHS services.
West Elk Word, 10/24/20: Katie Dix, Executive Director, Gunnison Country Food Pantry
Katie paid us a visit in May. She’s back with an update on how the Pantry continues to feed those who are hungry in our valley.
West Elk Word, 10/17/20: Scott Palmer, Executive Director, Crested Butte Center for the Arts
Scott Palmer picked a tough time to take over the reins of the CB Center for the Arts. Learn why he’s so optimistic about the Center’s future in these challenging times.
West Elk Word, 10/3/20: Brett Henderson, Executive Director for High Country Conservation Advocates
Brett Henderson shares HCCAs latest work to protect public lands, water, and Mt. Emmons, and how folks can help through HCCAs Stewardship program.
West Elk Word, 9/26/20: Conor Hagen, Red Lady Films
Conor Hagen is the director of High Country, a documentary film about the history of Crested Butte in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
West Elk Word, 9/19/20: Wendy Buchanan from the West Elk Hockey Association
Wendy Buchanan is here to chat about the Gunnison Valley’s love of hockey, and the upcoming hockey season.
West Elk Word, 9/5/20: Dr. John Hausdoerffer
Dr. John Hausdoerffer shares insights on the value of mountain communities. Learn about the Center for Mountain Transitions, the Mountain Transitions Corp, and the Masters of Environmental Management Program at Western Colorado University.
West Elk Word, 8/22/20: Dr. Jeffrey Taylor, art appraiser, consultant, and forgery expert.
Dr. Jeff Taylor is the Director of Western Colorado University’s Masters in Museum and Gallery Management Program. He’s also an art appraiser, authentication consultant, and expert in art forgery.
West Elk Word, 8/14/20: Dr. Duane Vandenbusche, official Historian for the State of Colorado
Our own Dr. Duane Vandenbusche has been named Colorado’s official historian. Learn what that means and why Dr. Vandenbusche still loves what he does.
West Elk Word, 8/8/20: Jessica Wurtz, Assistant Director for Project Hope of the Gunnison Valley
Project Hope of the Gunnison Valley advocates for and supports victims of relationship violence and human trafficking. Learn how they do this, and how their efforts have been impacted by COVID-19.
West Elk Word, 8/1/20: Cathie Pagano, Gunnison County Director of Economic and Community Development
Learn the history of Gunnison County’s One Valley Prosperity Project, the current One Valley Leadership Council, and how all of that ties in to the county’s economic and community efforts in the face of the pandemic.
West Elk Word, 7/25/20: Chris Rourke, Editor-in-Chief, Gunnison Country Times
A candid conversation with the new Editor of the Gunnison Country Times on what it’s like to cover the story of the century, a journalist’s need to develop a thick skin, solutions journalism, and more.
West Elk Word, 7/18/20: Dr. Dan “The Marmot Man” Blumstein — Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory.
Dr. Blumstein shares his vast knowledge of yellow-bellied marmots, including his observations of marmot social structure, communications, and more.
West Elk Word, 7/11/20: Lauren Kugler & Maryo Ewell, Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley
Lauren Kugler is the CFGV’s new Executive Director, and Maryo Ewell is Director of Community Impact. This week, they discuss the Foundation’s role in providing COVID-19 relief to local non-profits.
West Elk Word, 7/4/20: Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy
General Manager Sonja Chavez (pictured) is joined by board members Julie Nania and JoEllen Fonken to discuss the work of the Upper Gunnison River District and this summer’s Gunnison River Festival.
West Elk Word, 6/27/20: Shelley Popke (smiling here) and Nel Burkett From the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum
Shelley Popke and Nel Burkett From the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum.
West Elk Word, 6/20/20: Erica Vernon, Executive Director, Crested Butte Music Festival
The Crested Butte Music Festival will look a little different this year, but as Erica Vernon explains, the show must go on!
West Elk Word, 6/13/20: Katie Dix, Gunnison Country Food Pantry
Executive Director Katie Dix updates us on the increase in demand at our local food pantry due to the pandemic, and on how local organizations are collaborating to get food to people in need.
West Elk Word, 6/6/20: Dr. Ian Billick, Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory
Executive Director Ian Billick tells us how RMBL is adapting its operations in this summer of the pandemic. He also shares some of the most interesting and important research being conducted in Gothic.
West Elk Word, 5/30/20 – Toxic Stress and its impact on children.
The conversation features Emily Mirza from Gunnison County Substance Abuse Prevention Project and Brad Wheaton from Gunnison County Department of Human Services.
West Elk Word, 3/28/20: Professor Lance Dalleck.
Dr. Lance Dalleck shares his research findings on High-Intensity Interval Training and its implications for improving everyone’s health.
West Elk Word, 3/7/20: Humorist and motivational speaker, Anthony Poponi
Humorist, motivational speaker, and chief happiness officer Anthony Poponi shares his insights on how to be happier at work and in life.
West Elk Word, 2/15/20: Move the Butte
KT Folz and Melissa Mason share the history of Move the Butte. Learn how this annual dance performance has become one of Crested Butte’s most iconic events.
West Elk Word, 2/8/20: Hedda Peterson, Executive Director, Metropolitan Recreation District
First, it was just TV. Today, Met Rec supports all sorts of recreational programs and amenities in Gunnison County.
West Elk Word, 2/1/20: Professor Mike King
Attorney, professor, brewer and perpetual student of life, Mike King shares his perspective on culture, the environment, social justice, and more.
West Elk Word, 1/25/19: Vita Institute for the Arts
Founders Don Seastrum and Paul Edwards share the inspiration for this unique, Gunnison-based Arts school with connections to Italy.
West Elk Word, 1/11/19: John Norton, Executive Director, Gunnison County Tourism and Prosperity Partnership
The Tourism Association has a new role and a new name. Executive Director John Norton shares how TAPP is accomplishing its mission to promote economic prosperity in Gunnison County.
West Elk Word, 1/4/20: Climate Action Conference
Gunnison County and City of Gunnison representatives John Cattles and Russ Forrest discuss the upcoming Climate Action Conference, scheduled for Friday, January, 17th.
West Elk Word, 12/7/19: Maryo Ewell, Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley
Maryo Ewell and a conversation on community, resiliency, and busting the myth of what it means to be a non-profit.
West Elk Word, 11/30/19: Luke Danielson
Mines always close. What happens when they close without adequate preparation? Luke Danielson from Sustainable Development Strategies Group explains.
West Elk Word, 11/9/19: Tim Baker, GM for Crested Butte Mountain Resort
Tim is here to discuss the Epic Promise Foundation, the non-profit arm of Vail Resorts.