Yellowstone National Park

Patricia Lavin

Scientists at the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center are analyzing 250 tissue samples of elk, wild bison, and livestock in an effort to better understand how the disease brucellosis spreads.

Brucellosis sickens large mammals like elk and cattle, and can cause them to abort their young.  U.S. Geological Survey ecologist Pauline Kamath says a commonly held theory has been that Yellowstone’s wild animals have been infected with brucellosis by elk on Wyoming feed grounds. But her data shows that may not be as common as previously thought.

Rebecca Huntington

In the summer of 1988, 36 percent of Yellowstone National Park was on fire. To this day, it remains the largest wildfire since Yellowstone became a national park. Yellowstone's spokesperson at that time, Joan Anzelmo remembers what it was like to be at the center of the firestorm.

Wyoming’s Congressional Delegation is drafting legislation that would remove wolves from the endangered species list in the state. 

Montana and Idaho had their wolves de-listed via federal legislation and U.S. Senator Mike Enzi says the delegation is gathering support for its own bill. The proposed legislation would put Wyoming’s wolf management plan into law. That plan allows wolves to be shot on sight in most of the state. 

A federal judge has denied requests from the state of Wyoming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and pro-hunting groups to change a decision last week that reinstates federal protections for wolves in the state.
 
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday denied requests to change her ruling.

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.

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.

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.”

Tyler Nordgren

An exhibit opening this weekend at the University of Wyoming Art Museum is among the first major displays of astrophotography as art. ‘Starstruck: The Fine Art of Astrophotography’ is a dazzling exhibition, ranging from night skies and landscapes to deep space photography.

National Parks Could See More Money

Apr 7, 2014

President Obama wants to add 55 million dollars to the National Park Service budget, including ten million dollars to get parks ready for their centennial celebration in 2016.   John Garder with the National Parks Conservation Association says the money is needed to address billions of dollars in maintenance.

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A report by the National Park Service indicates that parks are major economic drivers for surrounding communities.

The report shows that park visitation generated more than $700 million in Wyoming in 2012 and supported thousands of jobs and local businesses. Nation-wide, tourists spent more than $26 billion when visiting parks.

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.

Bill Sniffin is a journalist and entrepreneur who has lived in Wyoming for 42 years.  He has received acclaim far and wide for his work.  In his newest book, Wyoming's 7 Greatest Natural Wonders, we discover his love affair with Wyoming's many fascinating places he set out to discover.

Snowest Magazine has ranked the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail the fifth best trail in the West.  Wyoming State Trails Program’s Ron McKinney says the reason the Continental Divide Trail is so popular is that it offers 490 miles of very diverse mountain riding.  The trail starts at South Pass and ends at West Yellowstone. 

Micah Schweizer

Ruth Michels lives in Cody, but she grew up in Laramie. Here, she remembers a childhood encounter with a black bear at Yellowstone National Park.

Erik Petersen / For The Washington Post

Warm weather tourist traffic is winding down in Yellowstone National Park, and they’re getting ready for winter tourists. The National Park Services bans over-snow vehicles in all national parks, unless individual parks pass rules permitting and regulating them.

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.”

Trespassing citations have been issued to several people attempting to enter Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks since the federal government shutdown closed the parks.

 Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash says that the park is running on minimal staff, with hundreds of employees furloughed due to the shutdown.

 “We have just over a hundred national park service employees on duty on any given day during this shutdown” explains Nash “Across 2.2 million acres mind you, and hundreds of miles of road.”

Visitors are turned away from Grand Teton National Park due to government shutdown
Rebecca Huntington

HOST INTRO: As the government shutdown continues, the impacts are evident in Teton County where the economy is closely tied to federal lands and federal workers. Rebecca Huntington has more from Jackson. 

REBECCA HUNTINGTON: Foreign visitors inspect a three-D model of Jackson Hole and use the public restrooms at the Home Ranch welcome center, located on the main highway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. This is where the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce has set up a temporary table to help tourists locked out of national parks by the government shutdown.

Wesley Fryer / Flickr - Creative Commons

Yellowstone National Park has begun a series of renovations on the Albright Visitor Center and Museum at Mammoth Hot Springs, near the north entrance to the park.

The building’s upgrades will include a steel frame to protect the building from the area’s seismic activity and accessibility improvements for disabled park visitors. The finished facility will also include new museum exhibits, a book store and a back-country permit office.

Park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett says that visitors will still be able to access all necessary help during construction.

Dcrjsr / Creative Commons

A shortage of whitebark pine seeds could mean more human-bear interactions in western Wyoming this fall.


When whitebark pine seeds are plentiful, Yellowstone bears spend the fall gorging themselves on the fatty, protein-rich morsels, up in the high alpine. But not every year is good.


“It’s a boom-bust cycle, and there’s not always a high amount of pinecones available, so they just find other foods to eat,” says Wyoming Game and Fish Large Carnivore Supervisor Dan Thompson. 

Wildlife deaths from vehicle collisions are on the rise in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. That’s according to records obtained by the group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

The group’s executive director, Jeff Ruch, says one of the reasons , at least in Yellowstone, could be road improvements.

“Yellowstone designs its road projects for basically commuting into the park,” says Ruch. “They’ve invested a lot of money in recent years into making roads wider and straighter.”

Although millions of visitors will flock to Yellowstone National Park this summer, Atlantic City-based author and journalist Marjane Ambler is one of the few people who’s lived there when the park is buried in snow.

The former High Country news editor lived with her husband – who drove a snow plow – inside Yellowstone for nine winters during the 1980s and 90s. In her new book, “Yellowstone has Teeth,” Ambler recounts stories of terror and wonder during her time there. She talks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez in the studio.

Photo courtesy Arthur Middleton

Since the 1990s, elk that migrate between Yellowstone National Park and Cody have been raising fewer calves. But the elk that stay in the foothills near Cody year round and don’t migrate have been doing very well. A new study looks at why that’s the case. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with the lead author on the report, Arthur Middleton. He says they spent years looking at the elk’s predators and habitat, and how those corresponded to elk pregnancies and overall wellbeing.

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.

Wildlife interest groups and agencies in Wyoming and Idaho are working to increase the populations of trumpeter swans in the region. Loss of habitat has limited numbers within the species. The Teton Regional Land Trust is working with the Wyoming Wetland Society, local offices of US Fish and Wildlife Services, and the Idaho Fish and Game departments to build a nesting colony in Teton valley.

The Cody Chamber of Commerce is trying to raise 50 thousand dollars to be used to pay for snow plows to clear off the east entrance into Yellowstone National Park. 

Park officials have said they needed to delay the plowing due to federal budget cuts and that would likely mean delaying the opening of Yellowstone by two weeks.   Chamber Director Scott Balyo says it’s a serious issue for the Cody business community.

Gov. Matt Mead is telling communities in northwest Wyoming to go ahead and raise money to hire state snow plows to clear roads inside Yellowstone National Park.
 
     Spring plowing in Yellowstone is postponed due to federal budget cuts. Plowing was scheduled to begin March 4 but is delayed two weeks to save money.
 
     Business owners outside Yellowstone fret that Yellowstone won't fully open to automobiles until one to two weeks later than usual this May. Officials in Cody and Jackson have been discussing other options.
 

Gov. Matt Mead is telling communities in northwest Wyoming to go ahead and raise money to hire state snow plows to clear roads inside Yellowstone National Park.
 
     Spring plowing in Yellowstone is postponed due to federal budget cuts. Plowing was scheduled to begin March 4 but is delayed two weeks to save money.
 
     Business owners outside Yellowstone fret that Yellowstone won't fully open to automobiles until one to two weeks later than usual this May. Officials in Cody and Jackson have been discussing other options.
 

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.

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