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.
One of five scientists retained by the federal government says he sees shortcomings in Wyoming's proposed wolf management plan.
While four of the scientists generally approved of the plan, wolf researcher John A. Vucetich of Michigan says it's vague on how to reconcile conflicts between wolves and elk and may overestimate the mortality wolf populations can sustain.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service retained the five scientists to evaluate Wyoming's wolf plan.
Yellowstone National Park officials say an agreement with neighboring Montana that limits wolf hunting along the park's northern border is protecting the park's wolves from excessive hunting.
Yellowstone wolf biologist Doug Smith said Wednesday that Montana's 2011-12 wolf season so far has had less impact than the inaugural hunt in 2009. That year hunters killed four wolves from Yellowstone's Cottonwood pack, which had been studied for years by scientists and was popular among wolf watchers from across the country.
Scientists say in a new study that the return of gray wolves has dramatically altered the landscape in portions of Yellowstone National Park, by curbing foraging elk herds that prevented new aspen, willow and cottonwood trees from taking root.
Study author William Ripple from Oregon State University said tree stands are expanding in areas where for decades dense elk populations prevented new growth.
Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and 1996 after being killed off early last century. About 100 now roam the park and elk numbers have dropped sharply.