Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park Releases Winter-Use Proposal

Yellowstone National Park officials, having had their initially preferred winter-use plan shot down by a federal judge, are back with another proposal. This one would allow up to 318 commercially guided snowmobiles, and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches, into the park each day.

Thanks to the California Desert Protection Act, Death Valley National Park is the Biggest Park in the Coterminous U.S.

On October 31, 1994, the California Desert Protection Act redesignated Death Valley from National Monument to National Park and added 1.3 million acres to the new National Park’s holdings. In one fell swoop, Congress had transferred bragging rights for “biggest park in the 48-state U.S.” from Yellowstone to Death Valley.

National Park Quiz 26: Frightful Places and Scary Stuff

Halloween is the day after tomorrow, so let’s turn to the scarier side of national park visitation for this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end, but please don’t peek. Cheaters never prosper – unless, of course, they work on Wall Street.

National Park Quiz 24: Old, Older, Oldest

Are you chronologically challenged? Take this week’s quiz and find out. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write 100 times on the whiteboard: “Isotopic stratigraphy, a branch of chemostratigraphy, should not be confused with lithostratigraphy or cyclostratigraphy”.

Imagine the Impacts of Climate Change on the National Park System

Waterless Yosemite Fall, Kurt Repanshek photo
Imagine Yosemite National Park without Yosemite Fall. Or Glacier National Park without glaciers. Or Old Faithful becoming less faithful. Across the National Park System, the effects of climate change could be quite dramatic.
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Wyoming Congressional Delegation Pushing Interior Secretary To Move on Yellowstone Snowmobile Plan

Wyoming's congressional delegation, concerned about the winter economies of Cody and Jackson, have asked Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to, essentially, order Yellowstone National Park open to snowmobiling this winter.
Hawks Rest: A Season in the Remote Heart of Yellowstone Eleven weeks spent in what arguably is the most remote corner of the continental United States taught writer Gary Ferguson that, sadly, some who pass through the landscape take it too much for granted.

Updated: Groups Claim Yellowstone National Park Officials Abdicating Responsibility Over Snowmobile Access Issue

Officials for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks announced Wednesday that they would prepare yet another environmental study to clear the way for recreational snowmobiling and snowcoach traffic in the parks this winter.

National Park Quiz 21: Railroads

You don’t need to be a railfan to do well on this week’s railroad-focused quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you polish the brass in Traveler’s private rail car.

Musings From Yellowstone National Park

Lower Falls. Kurt Repanshek photo.
Despite all the issues that constantly swirl around the National Park System -- funding constraints, staffing woes, rising fees -- there's still more to be proud about than disappointed.

Yellowstone, Grand Teton Officials Searching For Snowmobile, Snowcoach Solution

Officials at Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, concerned about a judge's ruling that blocks recreational snowmobiling and snow coach use in the parks, are searching for a way to get around that ruling.

The Wild Side of Yellowstone National Park

Bigger than a saucier pan, the paw print held in the wet sand of a beach deep in the South Arm of Yellowstone Lake was unmistakable: here was the home of Ursus arctos horribilis, aka grizzly bear.

Federal Government to Back Off on Wolf Delisting In Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Federal wildlife authorities who once were so confident the gray wolf could survive without Endangered Species Act protections now say they didn't do all their homework as completely as they should have.

How Did The National Park Service Err So Badly On the Yellowstone Winter-Use Plan?

How did the National Park Service err so badly in developing a winter-use plan for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks? According to a federal judge who blocked the plan from taking effect, the agency overlooked its own science and its own mission.

Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park

A federal judge, ruling that Yellowstone National Park's decision to continue recreational snowmobile use in the park runs counter to science and the National Park Service's conservation mission, has tossed out the park's winter-use plan.
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Greening the National Parks: Environmental Achievement Awards Highlight Sustainable Design, Energy-Efficiency, and Recycling

To encourage eco-friendly operations, the National Park Service presents Environmental Achievement Awards each year to parks and concession companies that have excelled in incorporating high environmental standards into their operations. The 2007 awards were presented to Blue Ridge Parkway, Yosemite National Park, Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts, and Xanterra Parks & Resorts.

National Park History: “The Spirit of the Civilian Conservation Corps”

The year was 1932, and America was in the midst of the worst economic downturn in history. Unemployment stood at 25 percent; homelessness at two million people. When Americans went to the polls, they overwhelmingly elected Franklin D. Roosevelt president. FDR immediately sought 'relief, recovery, and reform' to rebuild America's tattered economy. FDR was not interested in merely handing out money to people. Instead, he wanted to put them to work.

National Park Quiz 19: Trails

You’ll have fun with this week’s quiz, even if you don’t stride or ride the national park trails. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you remove the meadow muffins from our favorite hiking trail.

Fall Colors: What Can We Expect Across the National Park System?

A Labor Day weekend cold front dropped snow levels in some parts of the Rockies to below 10,000, which is a pretty good indicator that fall is not far off. And so, with that warning, it's only natural to wonder how the fall color displays will be in the national parks.

Is Climate Change Driving A New Forest Regimen in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem?

As ecological drivers go, you wouldn't think an insect roughly the size of a rice grain would be that significant in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. And yet, the mountain pine beetle, aided by a warming climate, is poised to send quite a shudder through the ecosystem.

Yellowstone National Park Reporting Bullish Visitation

Ahhh, Yellowstone National Park. Its magic captures just about anyone who visits, or reads an article about this incredible park. Perhaps that's why, when other parks are reporting dips in visitation, Yellowstone is reporting strong tourist traffic.

Brucellosis Solution: Kill All Elk and Bison in Yellowstone National Park

Here's a novel solution to the woes Montana's livestock industry suffers from elk and bison in Yellowstone National Park: Kill them all. Yup, that's the panacea being promoted by an Oklahoma newspaper.

National Park Quiz 18: A Potpourri of National Park Trivia

While past quizzes have focused on specific genre involving the National Park System, this week's quiz is a more wide-open, undefined quiz of national park trivia. Answers are at the end.

Reclaiming Ground in Yellowstone National Park

Crews in Yellowstone National Park are working on turning back the clock on some lands that had once been used as agricultural fields. A pilot project getting under way north of Mammoth Hot Springs aims to restore native vegetation on 22 acres.

National Park Quiz 16: Waterfalls

A waterfall is defined as a steep descent of water from a height. Whatever you call these falling waters, they delight the senses. This week’s quiz will see how much you know about waterfalls in the national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, you’ll be assigned plunge pool cleaning duties.

That Booming You Hear in the Skies Over Yellowstone National Park? It Soon Could be the Sound of Artillery

Ahh, the sounds of winter in Yellowstone National Park. The raspy rustle in the wind of dried leaves that forgot to fall from aspens. The trickling of a creek beneath its sheath of ice. The eruption of a geyser, the gurgling of mudpots. The explosion of a howitzer round as it smacks into a mountainside.

Toyota's Donation to Yellowstone National Park: Corporate Greenwashing, or Good Partner?

What do you say about Toyota giving an $800,000 check -- along with the keys to five rigs -- to the Yellowstone Park Foundation? Thank-you-very-much, or thanks, but no thanks? Was this corporate green-washing at its worst, or a wonderful gift that will benefit Yellowstone National Park and children who know too little about the natural world?

Seventy-Five Years Ago, the Reorganization of 1933 Impacted the National Park System Like No Other Event Before or Since

What’s the single most significant date in the evolution of the National Park System? It’s hard to argue with August 10, 1933. That’s when the Reorganization of 1933 took effect, and no other event in the history of the national parks before or since can match it for the sheer scale and portent of its long-lasting impacts.
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