Yellowstone Park is celebrating completion of a two year, 29 million dollar renovation of its oldest lodge: Lake Hotel. Now all of the Lake Hotel’s redecorated rooms are ready for guest now. Penny Preston reports people worked through two bitter winters to complete the project.
In 1889, 27 years before there was a National Park Service, construction began on Lake Hotel. It is Yellowstone’s oldest. Two years ago, reconstruction started.
“The old hotel had been touched pretty harshly over the years.
Yellowstone National Park lost two hundred cabins this spring. They were part of the park’s largest lodging complex. No, it’s not in the Old Faithful area, nor Mammoth. Penny Preston reports it’s in Canyon Village, where the park’s biggest hotel once stood.
PENNY PRESTON: The Canyon Hotel was Yellowstone’s largest, from 1910, until 1960. It was created by Old Faithful Inn architect Robert Reamer.
ROBERT REAMER: “My parents used to like to go up there and have dinner.”
A video of bison running down a road in Yellowstone sparked viral internet rumors this week that the park's super volcano is about to explode. The rumors gained so much traction that Yellowstone officials felt the need to respond. Spokesman Al Nash says all is well, and that the animals were simply migrating.
The National Park Service does not wish to start using air guns to vaccinate Yellowstone bison for Brucellosis.
Brucellosis is a disease that can cause bison and other large animals to abort their calves. Currently, the park only vaccinates bison when they leave the park, and even then, only a few animals are vaccinated. But Park Spokesman Al Nash says after some legal disputes regarding bison management over a decade ago, Yellowstone agreed to look into new options.
A study on the Yellowstone area’s grizzly bear population shows that the number of bears is steadily increasing and so far the animals have an adequate food supply.
The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee is responsible for coordinating grizzly bear recovery efforts across agencies in the continental U.S. and Canada. The organization’s Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee submitted the report.
The National Park Service has released Yellowstone National Park’s winter use rule. After 15 years of gathering public feedback and scientific data, the new rule will govern how many over-snow vehicles will be allowed in the park.
Instead of capping traffic with a specific number, the new rule will allow 110 “transportation events” a day, broken down up to 60 snow coach excursions, and 50 snowmobile groups.
Now that the government shutdown is over, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks have re-opened, and local communities are hoping business will pick up again.
Scott Balyo with the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce says the area saw a 25 to 30 percent drop in business while the parks were closed.
“The first couple of days of the shutdown, we probably saw a slight increase in business, because people were hopeful that it would be short lived,” Balyo said. “So we had people who were willing to stay in the area and wait and see if the park would reopen.”
Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks are closed as a result of the federal government shutdown.
Grand Teton Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott says visitors staying at campgrounds and hotels in the park have 48 hours to leave. Most park staffers are being furloughed, except for certain emergency personnel.
In this installment of Wyoming Stories, Stephanie Reutner interviews her neighbor Noel Richardson, both residents of Jelm. Richardson worked for the Forest Service in 1957, spraying trees against beetle kill around Cody and Yellowstone. He remembers a chef that cooked for the camp.
The chef, named Phonograph Jones, was in his 80s then and had also cooked for Buffalo Bill Cody and Prince Albert I on his trip to Wyoming 100 years ago. His great great grandson, Prince Albert II, is in Wyoming this week.
A new wildfire has started in Yellowstone National Park but officials report no issues with any of the fires burning in the park.
Storms on Thursday brought rain to the Alum (AL'-um) Fire burning about 5 miles northwest of Fishing Bridge Junction. However, the storms also were accompanied by lightning that started at least one new fire about a mile away.
The National Park Service says more than 700 lightning strikes occurred in the park Thursday afternoon so additional fire starts are expected. Dry, warmer weather also is expected this weekend.
A new study suggests that flaws in how the government measures Yellowstone's grizzly bear population raise questions about whether the animals have recovered sufficiently to merit lifting federal protections.
Lead author Daniel Doak of the University of Colorado says a major reason more bears have been counted in recent years is that more time is now spent counting bears. He says the population could be in decline even as officials consider revoking its threatened species status.
A study by the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit shows that elk are not especially stressed out by the presence of wolves.
Pregnancy rates among migratory elk herds near Yellowstone have declined, and one theory was that wolves were harassing the elk – causing them to run and hide, and depriving them of grazing opportunities.
Arthur Middleton, the lead author on the report, says elk did move around somewhat to get away from wolves, but only when the wolves were within one kilometer away. And he says wolves only rarely came that close.
A study by the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit shows that elk migrating to and from Yellowstone are raising fewer calves than in the past.
Report co-author Arthur Middleton says hot, dry weather has limited the amount of forage available, so fewer elk have been getting pregnant. Plus, he says wolves and bears are rebounding and killing more elk calves.
He says in contrast, non-migratory elk outside the park are doing well, because land is irrigated, and predators are scarce.
The effects of automatic spending cuts or sequestration are being felt in the Cowboy State. Because of the automatic spending cuts Yellowstone has been forced to cut 1.75 million dollars from their operating budget. That has caused Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk to delay plowing operations within the park, a move that has upset some gateway communities and caused others to find a solution. Cody officials have been working hard to find a way to open the East Gate on time despite the federal government. From Cody David Koch has more
Winter visitors to Yellowstone National Park may soon get to explore the park on self-guided snowmobile tours, according to the new proposed Winter Use Plan released today.
The plan includes guidelines for how many visitors can enter the park on snowmobiles and snow coaches, and also allows for visitors to tour the park without a professional guide, which is currently required.
However, Park Superintendent Dan Wenk says that participants of non-commercially guided tours will still have to meet minimum standards.
Yellowstone National Park will host a climate change educational workshop for teachers this month.
During the four-day workshop, a representative from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will explain how climate change works, and rangers will talk with teachers about where Yellowstone is seeing impacts, including increased wildfire activity and threats to pika habitat.
Katherine Chesson worked with the parks Climate Challenge, which runs similar programs in parks around the country.
This week Yellowstone National Park has held a series of meetings discussing its new proposed winter use plan. Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk joins Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck and they discuss the fact that after several years of reduced numbers, more snowmobiles may soon be allowed in Yellowstone.
The Wild West Balloon Fest draws ballooners from all over the country for a unique festival and competition set in a breathtaking arena. Balloons launch at dawn from a grass covered city park. The public is most welcome to mingle with the pilots and crews-indeed volunteers are welcome to help the crew. The pilots can instruct you on the spot for a new experience and a grand adventure. This is a small, relaxed rally. Safe, conservative flying is their hallmark, fun is the goal.
After a peaceful quarter century, bears in Yellowstone National park killed two visitors last summer. Now, park officials are adamantly warning visitors to forget the sense of security they feel at zoos and amusement parks because Yellowstone is a wild place. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.
It’s Memorial Day Weekend, which means National Parks and forests in the state are gearing up for a flood of tourists. But in northwest Wyoming, the Game and Fish Department is urging visitors to be Bear aware while enjoying the outdoors.
Jackson Game and Fish Spokesman Mark Gocke says people should hike in groups, when possible, and make a lot of noise to alert wildlife of their presence. Gocke says some bears seem to ignore visitors, but Gocke warns visitors never to approach a bear, no matter how harmless it seems.
Government officials plan haze a large herd of migrating bison back into Yellowstone National Park this week - an annual event that is again drawing opposition from wildlife advocates and American Indian groups.
Montana state veterinarian Marty Zaluski says an estimated 400 bison are outside the park in the West Yellowstone area. Government workers could start driving the animals back into Yellowstone using a helicopter as early as Wednesday.
Hundreds of bison leave the park annually during winter to graze at lower elevations.
Yellowstone National Park and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee have released the results of their investigation into a fatal August 2011 bear attack.
Two hikers exploring the Mary Mountain Trail in Hayden Valley last August discovered the mauled body of 59-year old John Wallace of Michigan. Following several months of investigation, two reports released today confirmed that Mr. Wallace died from traumatic injuries following a bear attack.
The Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee has passed a final draft of a wolf management plan. The state must maintain no fewer than 10 breeding pairs or a hundred individuals and would protect wolves in Yellowstone and the Wind River Reservation, designate them as trophy game in parts of the Western Mountains, and allow people to shoot them on sight in the remaining 85 percent of Wyoming.
Beginning Thursday, the National Park Service will call on the public to give its feedback on their latest ideas for winter use of Yellowstone Park. This is part of the Supplemental Impact Statement which will help inform the final winter management plan expected to be ready by December of this year. The most controversial part of the proposal deals with reduced snowmobile numbers. It would require that all snowmobiles be guided and that only between 110 and 330 will be allowed inside Yellowstone. Cody Chamber Director Scott Balyo says he would like to see substantially more allowed.
Officials at Yellowstone National Park are seeking public comment on a draft report about threats the park is facing, as well as progress made addressing those threats.
The report was prompted by the UN's World Heritage Committee after the park became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1978.
Al Nash is a spokesperson for Yellowstone. He says the World Heritage Committee put the park on its list of endangered places in 1095, when a plan to mine gold in an area adjacent to the park was to resume… but, when that plan was scrapped, Yellowstone was removed from the list.