Nate Rott | KERA News

Nate Rott

Nathan Rott is a reporter on NPR's National Desk.

Based at NPR West in Culver City, California, Rott spends a lot of his time on the road, covering everything from breaking news stories like the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino to in-depth issues like the future of our national parks. Though his reporting takes him around the country, Rott's primary focus and interest is the ever-changing face of the American West. Whether it's the effects of warmer waters in the Pacific Ocean, the changing demographics of rural towns, or the plight of the prairie chicken, Rott tries to tell the stories of the people that live, breathe, and work in the American West and portray the issues that are important to them.

Rott owes his start at NPR to two extraordinary young men he never met. As the first recipient of the Stone and Holt Weeks Fellowship in 2010, he aims to honor the memory of the two brothers by carrying on their legacy of making the world a better place.

As a Montanan and graduate of the University of Montana, Rott prefers to be outside at just about every hour of the day. Prior to working at NPR, he worked a variety of jobs including wildland firefighting, commercial fishing, children's theater teaching, and professional snow-shoveling for the United States Antarctic Program. Odds are, he's shoveled more snow than you.

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Scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency who want to publish or present their scientific findings likely will need to have their work reviewed on a "case by case basis" before it can be disseminated, according to a spokesman for the agency's transition team.

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The big news coming out of North Dakota and it's about the future of a controversial oil pipeline. The Army Corps of Engineers announced yesterday it will not approve a building permit for the key and final section of the Dakoda Access pipeline.

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It's been a year since Ray Britain lay on the floor of the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif., feeling the vibrations of the gun shots.

He remembers that "constant tremble," he says, the ringing in his ears, the shell casings — "a rainbow of shell casings" — flying from the gun, and the looks of shock on his coworkers' faces.

When Donald Trump offered Sen. Jeff Sessions the position of attorney general, the pick drew criticism from civil rights groups and immigrant advocates. In the fast-growing, multibillion-dollar marijuana industry, it is also raising fears.

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Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence is in "excellent general and cardiovascular health," according to a letter from his doctor that was released by his campaign, Saturday.

The letter, written by Michael Busk, a physician at St. Vincent Health, Wellness and Preventative Care Institute in Indianapolis, goes on to say that the 57-year-old Pence is "medically able to maintain [his] high level of professional work and [his] physical activity programs without limitations."

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Southern Flooding Update

Aug 14, 2016

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There's a popular refrain among National Park Service employees, one that doubles as a reminder, of sorts, after a long, wearisome day: "We get paid in sunrises and sunsets."

For many park employees, the pay is seasonal and not great. The hours are long. The question is usually the same ("Where's the bathroom?"). And no matter how many pamphlets you pass out, instructions you give or "Attention!" signs you put up, people still wander off trails, carve their names in trees and get too close to the bears.

It's pushing 100 degrees outside and the Southern California sun is baking the fields of shattered clay at the Redlands Shooting Range — but it's a training day for Kim Rhode, so she shoulders her 12-gauge over-under shotgun, dumps a few boxes of shells into her pockets and heads out to the skeet field.

When you're this close to the Olympic Games, every day is a training day — even if it's an old, familiar drill.

Michael Jordan is condemning violence against both African-Americans and police. His forceful and emotional statement, released by ESPN's The Undefeated, is a marked change for the NBA legend.

Jordan has been famously apolitical during his career — first as a Hall of Fame basketball player for the Chicago Bulls and more recently as an owner of the Charlotte Hornets — avoiding public statements on politics and civil rights, when other athletes have spoken out.

There's an all-too familiar fight that takes place after horrible events like those in Dallas and Orlando, centered around firearms and how — or even whether — to regulate them.

Gun-control advocates and Democrats call for tighter regulations. Gun-rights groups and Republicans argue that blame shouldn't be put on inanimate objects, but on the people pulling the trigger. Both sides dig in. And it seems that nothing changes.

The streets around the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., are slowly coming back to life — slowly.

Police removed one of the roadblocks a few blocks away from the gay nightclub Wednesday, allowing local traffic to drive past a makeshift memorial of flowers, balloons, candles and crosses for the 49 victims, to within view of the club.

Alex Brehm was standing by the door of a still-shuttered 7-Eleven, watching scores of federal and local law enforcement officials work the scene, thinking about what's next for his home and the city of Orlando.

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Andrew Herrington slips on a battered green backpack, stashes a .308 bolt-action rifle under his arm and steps off a boat onto the steep, rocky shores of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

"It's about a half-mile that we're going to walk up to for those traps," he says.

In almost every circumstance, hunting is strictly forbidden at national parks. But there's an exception to that rule. Herrington's job is to hunt at Great Smoky Mountains National Park for an invasive and hugely destructive species: feral hogs.

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Voters supporting Donald Trump and other candidates turned out in huge numbers yesterday in Arizona, Utah and Idaho, where one line into a caucus site was reportedly longer than a mile. NPR's Nathan Rott waited it out with Arizona voters last night.

When Bernie Sanders took the stage at the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort late last week, he became the first presidential hopeful since 1999 to campaign — in person — on the largest Native American reservation in the United States.

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Transcript

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Transcript

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No matter where you are in Tucson, Ariz., you're no more than 20 miles from Saguaro National Park. The park and its tall, pronged, namesake cacti literally surround Tucson. There's the rounded top of the park's cactus-studded Wasson Peak to the west, the park's desert-to-forest Rincon Mountain Range to the east and about a million people living between.

But if you go around Tucson — to its historic barrio neighborhoods, swap meets or hiking trails — and ask people about their neighboring national park, you might be surprised.

"Saguaro High School?"

Driving through the gold-brown savanna of Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California, past its Dr. Seuss-like trees and water-carved rocks, it's easy to see why the national parks have been called America's Best Idea.

Spend a few hours with some of the park's employees, like Cultural Resources Branch Chief Jason Theuer, and you'll see that national parks are also another thing: expensive. There is a nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog of work that needs be done but isn't because of limited money.

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