Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?

Yellowstone National Park; 'oh_candy' photo via Flickr.
Run a breathtaking, and alarming, video of brown bears about to be slaughtered and there's an outpouring of emotion, angst, and vitriol against the National Park Service for allowing such a hunt. Mention that the National Park Service is fully behind snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park, where science has demonstrated they're a blight on the landscape, and there's a collective shrug of the shoulders. Has apathy settled in on this issue?

NPS' Washington Headquarters Supports Snowmobiles in Yellowstone

Yellowstone Snowmobiles, March 2000; Photo, Jim Peaco NPS
The decision by Yellowstone National Park officials that up to 540 snowmobiles a day should be allowed in the park come winter is supported by the National Park Service's Washington headquarters, which more than likely means another round of court battles is in the offing.

Is the Centennial Initiative Really Needed to Drum Up Support for the Parks?

Is there really a need for the Centennial Initiative to generate private dollars for the parks? That doesn't seem to be the case for the Yellowstone Park Foundation, which is recently raised $3 million for things like trails improvements, fisheries work, and curatorial work with park archives.

Photo Shoot: Today's Cameras Make It Easier to Capture the National Parks

Terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs. Copyright, Pat Cone.
Not everyone is a painter, musician, or sculptor, but it seems that everyone is a photographer. Whether tracking Yellowstone wolves, following Glacier’s goats, or watching Yosemite waterfalls, all it takes is a camera. And that’s exactly what camera manufacturers count on: Making it easier and easier, especially in the new digital world, to produce quality photographs.

Fall Into Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Kills California Woman

Yellowstone National Park officials are trying to figure out how a 32-year-old Californian fell to her death into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone just north of Tower Falls. The accident was reported Friday night and rangers spent the night in the canyon with the woman's body.

Olympic National Park Ready for Wolves?

Gray Wolf; USFS Photo, Gary Kramer
Wolves in Olympic National Park? I thought that issue was played out in the late 90s. I was glad to learn that the spark of idea had not died, and during a recent meeting on the Olympic peninsula the general attitude of the public surprised me. Instead of fear, there was excitement for the idea. "Bring them back," they said.

Two Drown on Yellowstone's Shoshone Lake

Two elderly Idaho men who planned a three-day fishing trip on Yellowstone National Park's Shoshone Lake have drowned, apparently victims of waves kicked up by gusting winds.

Around the System: Yellowstone's Snowmobiles, Everglades' Restoration, Glacier's Party, Valley Forge's Developers

There's plenty of news around the national park system, if you take a look. Newspapers are questioning Yellowstone planners on their snowmobile decision, politicians are making hey with the Everglades, Glacier is celebrating its Peace Park status, and Valley Forge is facing development on its doorstep.

Landscape, Not Wolf Numbers, Govern Wolf Hunts in Yellowstone

With Yellowstone's healthy wolf population, you might think that elk, their main prey, would be on the dinner menu pretty much anywhere in the park. However, a University of Alberta wildlife biologist says topography, not wolf distribution, governs elk predation by wolves.

Zion Fire Complex Nearing 10,000 Acres, Yellowstone Fire Grows

Continued dry, windy conditions have allowed the Dakota Complex of fires in Zion National Park to grow to nearly 10,000 acres in the park's backcountry. Fire bosses say they've contained just 10 percent of the fires, and the current weather conditions, the rugged terrain the fires are located within, and the possibility of thunderstorms are compounding efforts to get better control over the blazes.

Top 10 Most Visited National Parks

Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance sign; Jimmy Wayne photo.
Ever wonder what the most visited parks in the system are? How about least visited? The NPS office of statistics answers this question once a year with an ordered, ranked table cataloging recreation visits to each of the NPS managed units across the USA. So, what is the most visited park? Read on for the answer.
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West Yellowstone: A Gateway Town Worth Hanging Around

Of Yellowstone's five gateway towns, West Yellowstone is my favorite. It's the closest to the park, as Yellowstone's West Entrance is at the end of Yellowstone Avenue, and it has this wonderfully funky vibe flowing through it.

Who is Gen-Y and Should the Park Service Care?

Computer animations can bring 18th-century cannon fire to life, but can they bring Gen-Yers to the national parks? Can an audiocast leading teens across a battlefield entice them enough to set foot in Saratoga National Historical Park? Can tracing a hike in Glacier National Park from the comforts of their homes convince this generation to beg their parents to visit Glacier on their next vacation? Those are questions that have more and more park managers searching for answers.
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The Political Blotter

Too often politics and management of the national parks are entwined. Doubt it? The fingerprints of Vice President Dick Cheney are all over the Yellowstone snowmobile fracas, as well as on failed efforts to safeguard the park's famed cutthroat trout populations.

Repairing Rainier: A Question of Values

Road repairs in Mount Rainier National Park; NPS Photo
While park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga wants to rebuild a section of the road, the storm redesigned the Carbon River, in some places sculpting deep pools valuable to bull trout, a species protected by the Endangered Species Act.
Backcountry Bear Basics: The Definitive Guide to Avoiding Unpleasant Encounters (Mountaineers Outdoor Basics) One of the most direct books I've read on avoiding bears in the backcountry is Dave Smith's Backcountry Bear Basics, which just came out in its second edition.
The Last Season I'm so impressed with Eric Blehm's "The Last Season," an accounting of the disappearance of Randy Morgenson, a backcountry ranger who spent 28 seasons in Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks before vanishing into a void. It's a mystery that perhaps will appeal largely only to parkies, but it's one masterfully told.
Thomas Moran: Artist of the Mountains As Adams was a master with film, Moran was a master with canvas. Perhaps the definitive biography of Thomas Moran, this book traces his upbringing, his introduction to art, and his time spent in the parks.
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