Yellowstone National Park

Henry Mulligan; https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:American_bison_on_the_National_Bison_Range,_Montana.JPG

A federal judge ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider its decision to deny Endangered Species Act protections for the Yellowstone bison.

 

AMY MARTIN

The Yellowstone National Park has initiated a criminal investigation into the release of bison from a quarantine facility. Early Tuesday morning, park officials discovered 52 bison missing. Park officials said the bison were able to leave the containment area through a cut fence, suggesting someone explicitly freed the bison.

 

Yellowstone National Park Emblem Sticker
National Park Service

A coalition of tribal and conservation groups is asking a judge to restore federal protections for Greater Yellowstone grizzly bears, as it also asks the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), to restore federal protections on their own.

Kamila Kudelska

In 2006, Montana granted permission to two tribes to hunt on federal public lands near Yellowstone National Park. This was due to a treaty that was agreed upon in 1855 that includes tribes from the Pacific Northwest. The Yakama Nation is the first tribe from Washington state to join in on the hunt. Those tribal members drew tags in November and recently traveled to Yellowstone to exercise their right to hunt buffalo on public land for the first time.

The sign at the entrance to Yellowstone National Park
Wikimedia Commons: Guerillero

 

Researchers at the University of Montana have found that the proposed hike in entrance fees to Yellowstone National Park will harm the economy of local gateway communities and decrease the number of visitors.

 

The National Park Service announced it is raising entrance fees to 17 popular national parks, including Yellowstone National Park. Officials are suggesting increasing the seven day car pass from $30 to $70 during May through September, the park’s most popular months.

 

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Very few of the elk that winter every year on the National Elk Refuge outside Jackson are making their traditional long migration all the way to Yellowstone National Park for generations, and wildlife biologists are worried they’ll eventually forget the route altogether.

(NPS Photo/ Tim Rains)

Federal officials are reviewing the June decision to take grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem off the endangered species list.

This comes after a court decision prevented the delisting of Western Great Lakes wolves. The court found that the service had not evaluated how delisting the Western Great Lake gray wolf could affect other populations of gray wolves still on the Endangered Species list.  

(NPS Photo/ Tim Rains)

The National Rifle Association and the Safari Club International - a sport hunting group - joined forces this week to intervene in a lawsuit. The groups want to make sure their members are allowed to hunt grizzly bears in the three-state region around Yellowstone National Park but not within the park itself.

CC0 Public Domain

Half of the 12 wolf hunting zones in the Greater Yellowstone area have closed earlier than the December 31 deadline because quotas were already met. Meanwhile, 25 wolves were killed just outside that protected zone where no quotas are enforced.

Wyoming Game and Fish large carnivore biologist Ken Mills said one reason so many wolves are getting shot is that it’s the first hunting season most have experienced in their lives. 

Joe Riis

It’s only been in the last few years that scientists have realized that pronghorn, elk and mule deer are migrating rugged terrain over hundreds of miles to reach the best grazing around Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

It’s almost impossible to conceive what these animals endure on those journeys. But that’s what wildlife photographer Joe Riis set out to document through pictures.

Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards talked to him about his new book, Yellowstone Migrations…and how he got into photography in the first place.

National Park Service

The National Park Service is considering raising entrance fees at 17 popular parks during peak visitor season in order to pay for improvements to aging infrastructure, including roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, and bathrooms.

 

Right now, that entrance fee per one private, non-commercial vehicle is $30 at both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. If the increase is implemented, the fee would be $70 during peak season—that’s over a 100 percent increase.

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Employees of Yellowstone National Park and park concessions company Xanterra will have easier access to some Wyoming Department of Transportation services next year.

WYDOT Director Bill Panos said his department is currently working to make it easier for employees living at Yellowstone National Park headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs to get Wyoming driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations.

Bison Population Count Shows Decline

Oct 16, 2017
Bear River State Park

The bison population in Yellowstone National Park has been a longstanding subject of interest for state biologists. From the ground and also from air, biologists have been working to record the age and sex of the bison they see for an annual count.

Biologist Rick Wallen did a live interview on Facebook to share the 2017 population numbers and to explain the importance of tracking changes.

Jim Peaco / Wikimedia Commons

Two studies put out by Yellowstone National Park reveal that traffic and parking are major issues for both visitor enjoyment and for the park’s infrastructure going forward.

Alexis Bonogofsky

Yellowstone National Park plans to use a temporary bison quarantine facility in the upcoming winter/spring for 54 animals it kept separate from the rest of the herd.

Park Supervisor Dan Wenk said last spring the herd was 5,500 strong but the bison management plan required it be whittled down to 3,800.

“Because we have a large population that necessitated we removed over 1,200 animals last year,” Wenk said. “That is not, unfortunately, unusual.”

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Yellowstone National Park will begin taking actions against employees accused of sexual harassment in the park’s maintenance division in the coming week.

The sign at the entrance to Yellowstone National Park
Wikimedia Commons: Guerillero

The Department of Interior will contribute $53 million to the National Park Service this year with funds going to 42 parks including Grand Teton and Yellowstone. The goal of the incoming money will be to address high priority maintenance projects. For Yellowstone, that means improving trails, retaining walls, and overlooks for the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Department of Interior Logo
U.S. Department of Interior

Grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone National Park have been removed from the endangered species list. The bear has been considered endangered since 1975 when there were only 150 of them remaining. Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke said, with a population now close to 700 in the area, the species has been sufficiently recovered. Governor Matt Mead agreed saying it's been true since 2003. 

The decision will put management into the hands of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and local tribes in about a month. 

Steve Horan

A new book focused on the people who live and work in Yellowstone is out. Called People of Yellowstone by Steve Horan and Ruth W. Crocker, it features wonderful photography by Horan with prose by Crocker. Horan photographed 120 people who work in and around the park. It features 87 photographs and stories of people who have a number of jobs and roles. Horan says the idea was pitched to him by his brother and it took several years to complete.

Photo Doug Smith via nps.gov/yell

A national tribal conservation group is proposing that Wyoming create a 31-mile “sacred resources protection zone” around Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks where wolves can’t be hunted.

The group, Protect the Wolves, has reached out to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho in Wyoming for support. Both tribes told Wyoming Public Radio that they are still evaluating the proposal.

Charles Preston

People taking pictures of themselves doing dangerous things cost lives in Yellowstone last year. One man died in a hot spring. Park officials have found a way to turn things around, with camera phones.

Yellowstone National Park had record visitation for the last two years, and in 2016, several illegal, and deadly incidents. In May, a Canadian tourist picked up a baby bison, that later had to be euthanized. Another group of Canadian tourists took pictures of themselves jumping on Grand Prismatic Spring. They were fined after facing criminal charges.

daveynin via Flickr

A new report released Tuesday said while some claims of sexual abuse at Yellowstone National Park were exaggerated or untrue, the park does have a serious problem with quote, a “men’s club” culture.

Yellowstone National Park - Bike Trails

Apr 3, 2017
National Park Service

Bicyclists willing to brave the unpredictable elements of spring in Yellowstone National Park can travel 49 miles of park roads from the West Entrance at West Yellowstone, Montana, to Mammoth Hot Springs. There is no bicycle access to Old Faithful or Canyon until the first interior park roads open to public motorized vehicle access in late April.

Henry Mulligan

  

 

Yellowstone National Park officials said at a meeting in Nevada last week that their wild bison population is larger than ever, with over 5,000 animals in the herd. This could be a challenge for the park, which is charged with controlling the numbers that migrate into Montana. The park met with a group of federal and state agencies to discuss updates to their Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP). 

 

Winter Is The Time For The Best Wolf Howling

Dec 2, 2016
NPS / Neal Herbert

Winter in Yellowstone National Park has become a time for people to get a better look at Yellowstone’s wolf population. It’s also a great time to hear the wolves howl. Jennifer Jerrett produced this piece from Yellowstone.  

Daniel Mayer

The man who died in a Yellowstone hot spring last summer was apparently looking for a place to soak in the park. Yellowstone officials released the final report on the accident following a Freedom of Information Act request. The victim’s sister recorded the incident on her cell phone.

The accident happened in Norris Geyser basin on the afternoon of June 7. Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress says it is a very dangerous area with boiling acidic waters.

UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

This week, a survey will begin to map the underground hydrothermal features of Yellowstone National Park for the first time.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with the Aarhus University in Denmark and the University of Wyoming, will use a helicopter carrying electromagnetic technology that resembles a giant hula hoop to record tiny voltage signals.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park officials will close most of the park’s roads Monday to prepare for winter. The East, South, and West gates will also remain closed for the remainder of the season.

The North and Northeast entrances and the road that connects them will remain open. Park spokeswoman Morgan Warthin says that people who live in the area use the road throughout the season, as do visitors hoping to see wildlife in the Lamar valley. She adds that travelers should visit the park’s website to stay informed about weather-related closures.

SKYGLOW

 

 

A man who fell into a hot spring and died at Yellowstone National Park earlier this summer is being remembered by the producers of a nature video series. 

Penny Preston

While the National Park Service celebrated its 100th year of existence recently, the beloved federal agency is trying to figure out how to make it through the next century, while protecting the national parks “unimpaired for future generations”. Some people are concerned new funding sources may put corporate logos in the parks.

144 years after Yellowstone National Park was established, people from around the world still gasp and cheer when Old Faithful erupts.

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