Losses Mounting For Yellowstone Association Due To Closure Of Yellowstone National Park

With the fall travel season in Yellowstone falling victim to the government shutdown, the Yellowstone Association is hoping to see a lot of interest in their winter field schools in the park. NPT file photo.

The Yellowstone Association, a non-profit cooperating association that conducts field schools in Yellowstone National Park and runs gift shops there, is losing tens of thousands of dollars due to the ongoing government shutdown.

Since the national parks closed last week the association, which has stores at Mammoth, Canyon, and Old Faithful, has lost at least $60,000 in lost sales and cancellation of programs it runs inside the park.

The Yellowstone Association headquarters in Gardiner, Montana, remains open, however, and Association Executive Director Jeff Brown reports that "we are doing everything we can to support our partners at the National Park Service during this difficult time."

"The employees and volunteers at our Gardiner and Bozeman airport information desks are greeting disappointed visitors and helping them make alternate plans," he went on in a newsletter sent out Monday. "Our Institute instructors continue to conduct educational programs at our Yellowstone Overlook Field Campus, which is located outside of the park."

To reduce the financial impact on the organization, Mr. Brown said the decision was made to "furlough employees who are unable to work at their stations inside the park. If the shutdown continues, our losses will continue to mount and we will not be able to give the park as much financial support as we had hoped to provide."

The executive director also suggested that supporters of the Association can help the organization by increasing their membership donations, purchasing educational products, and/or signing up for winter programs on the group's website.