Yellowstone

The Modern West #1: The Year Yellowstone Burned

Jun 30, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

  

In 1988, Yellowstone National Park was engulfed in flames. Hear what it was like—and whether an inferno like that could happen again.

The state of Wyoming paid a school district in Montana $438,000 this year to educate 35 children who live on the Wyoming side of the border in Yellowstone National Park.

Administrators in both states say the arrangement has worked well.

The federal government had paid for these students for decades—but it stopped last year due to budget cuts.

Students in the Mammoth Hot Springs area previously did not belong to any school district. Now, they attend school in Gardiner, Montana, but live within the expanded boundary of Wyoming’s Park County School District One.

Shoshone National Forest

The long awaited Shoshone Forest Plan will be signed into law soon. The Shoshone Forest is the nation’s first national forest. The plan for the forest has been more than ten years in the making.

After forest managers presented a plan last year, that would allow off road vehicles and bicycles to expand in areas that had previously been off limits, several parties objected.

Forest Supervisor Joe Alexander said, “We had 72 objections to our plan.”

Yellowstone National Park/Creative Commons

Researchers with the University of Utah have discovered a large magma reservoir underneath the Yellowstone National Park caldera. In a report released Thursday, they say the new area lies 12 miles underground, below a shallower well-known magma chamber.

Researcher Robert Smith is a co-author of the study and says his team used a geologic CT scan to discover the reservoir that’s filled with a mass of hot porous rock, rather than the typical magma. He says the new finding solves a puzzle of the Yellowstone volcano system.

Wikimedia Commons

Yellowstone National Park is partnering with area businesses to throw an Earth Day celebration on Saturday.

April 22nd was the forty-fifth anniversary of Earth Day. Yellowstone Environmental Coordinating Committee representative Rebecca Owens says the park will celebrate with community cleanups, children’s activities, and environmental education. She says this year there will be local vendors too.

Kim Seng, Flickr Creative Commons

The senior wildlife biologist at Grand Teton National Park is retiring after 26 years on the job. During his tenure, Steve Cain worked with state and other wildlife managers to improve conditions for wildlife, not just in the park, but across the 22-million-acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Rebecca Huntington has more.
 

HUNTINGTON: When Steve Cain first came to Grand Teton in 1989, he was the only biologist, alongside a fisheries expert, overseeing the park's wildlife. The tools he had to work with were pretty limited.

John Hebberger

Grand Teton National Park is joining up with a National Parks initiative that would raise the cost of entrance fees.

The proposal would double the price of a 7-day entrance fee to access both Grand Teton and Yellowstone. The parks would also have separate 7-day entrance fees. The fifty-dollar annual pass to Grand Teton and Yellowstone would also be eliminated, instead offering a sixty-dollar annual pass to Grand Teton alone.

Penny Preston

Cody – Grizzly bears, moose, bison, and many other Yellowstone area animals are hit and killed by speeding motorists every year. But now, a baby moose that made newspaper and magazine headlines when it survived a raging river, has been photographed all alone. Locals fear it is orphaned and unlikely to survive, because a motorist killed its mother. It’s led to a renewed discussion over speed limits and signs in forested areas of northwest Wyoming.

A heavy snowpack swelled the Shoshone River this spring.

Marjane Ambler

My husband and I turn Wyoming Public Radio on from the time we get up and leave it on until we go to bed. When traveling around the state, we keep the guide to different translator numbers handy.

I like the locally produced news programs, such as the recent Open Spaces segment on how education has helped prisoners in Wyoming and specifics on how much money it saves by reducing recidivism. Thanks to Bob Beck for his legislative coverage and for recruiting and training strings of good reporters.

Thanks for the new cultural programming by Micah Schweizer.

National Park Service

Millions of people visit Yellowstone each year to see its geysers, fumaroles, hot springs, and mud pots. It's the largest concentration of thermal features in the world. The park sits on top of the world’s largest active volcano. Called the Super Volcano. Its most recent eruption was more than 600,000 years ago. All that remains is the top, or caldera.

When you come into the Park they’ll give you a map and it has an overlay of the caldera. It’s huge.

A proposal to list the wolverine as an endangered species was formally withdrawn by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wednesday. A coalition of wildlife advocacy groups says it's planning to sue the government over the decision. Drew Kerr with Wild Earth Guardians, one of the groups, says the wildlife service’s decision to withdraw the proposal shows they are caving to political pressures.

“Their own biologists and a panel of experts convened to review the matter were unanimous in concluding that climate change is a significant threat warranting listing.”

Olly Moss, blog.camposanto.com

Picture this. You're a park ranger living in a watchtower in the Wyoming wilderness. No cellphone, no internet, no co-worker to keep you company. Your only human contact is with your boss on a handheld radio. But when unexpected events occur, you’re faced with exploring a wild and unknown environment…and that's where a new video game set in Wyoming begins.

Andreina Schoeberlein via flickr

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park have seen a growing number of people operating personal drones inside park territory.

Last week someone crashed their drone into Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Hot Spring. Park spokesperson Al Nash says the park has struggled to recover the device.

“So far we haven’t been able to spot it. We are actually considering flying an authorized manned helicopter over it to see if we can spot it from the air.”

Last week an employee of Grand Teton issued a citation for drone use, a first for that park.

yellowstonenationalparklodges.com

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.

Xanterra Changes Will Impact Cody Tourism

May 30, 2014
Penny Preston

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.”

Yellowstone Denies Super Volcano Rumors

Apr 4, 2014

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.

Sydney Dalis was given the opportunity to speak with musician Shakey Graves about his experiences in Wyoming, specifically Yellowstone Park. This aired during Morning Music with Grady Kirkpatrick.

Wikimedia Commons

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.”

Government shutdown forces national park closures

Oct 1, 2013
Wallpaperslot.com

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.

Micah Schweizer

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.

ucumari / Creative Commons

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.

Wikipedia

Yellowstone National Park has invited acclaimed geological experts from around the world to discuss Old Faithful’s geothermal system, and file a report on what is – and is not yet – known about it.

Park personnel will also speak about the needs of tourists, historic buildings and other infrastructure.

Park Geologist Hank Heasler says the goal is to create a report that will help park managers decide what to look at when considering future infrastructure management plans.

A new study shows that the decline in native cutthroat trout has had dramatic impacts on the migratory elk herds in the Greater Yellowstone Area. 
 

Lead Researcher Arthur Middleton and others were studying the decline of elk herds in the region, and they determined that grizzly bears were playing a greater role in those deaths than they realized. 
 

The illegal introduction of lake trout into Yellowstone Lake has harmed the cutthroat trout population. 
 

Cody to plow east entrance to Yellowstone

Mar 15, 2013
David Koch

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

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