How are we to act in a national park? That might seem to carry an obvious answer, but it's not always so obvious these days. As different generations, different racial groups, and different cultures enter the National Park System, not all seem out to enjoy the natural beauty on display in the landscape parks simply by walking about and gazing at the setting, hiking or backpacking, paddling or climbing, or watching wildlife.
Yellowstone National Park
Although grizzly bear attacks on people in Yellowstone National Park are rare, they draw world-wide media attention and can be quite traumatic for park visitors, staff, and the general public both locally and nationwide when they happen. One of these rare attacks occurred in the park during the 2015 summer season, resulting in a human death, killing of the adult grizzly bear, and placement of two cubs in a zoo. This event was tragic, but also very unusual in the ecosystem, especially in light of the number of grizzlies and humans that could overlap in time and space.
The delisting of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear is imminent and this we should celebrate (‘’’’dancing’’’’). Now that our happy dance is complete, we must insure the grizzlies’recovery is permanent. To insure “continuity of achievement,” the grizzlies need a firewall to protect the success of this achievement from human foible.
Books with ties to national parks are too numerous to count. But we did receive a fair number in 2015, and found many of them worth your while. Let's take a look back through Traveler's Fireside Reads for 2015.
For many visitors to Yellowstone National Park, and especially those at Mammoth Hot Springs, the photograph of soldiers in old-fashioned uniforms standing with their heavily loaded bicycles on the white travertine formations of Minerva Terrace has become an iconic image.
From striking craggy pinnacles to cavernous underground lairs, the national parks are renowned for their grand wildernesses. However, the inhabitants of these landscapes – the wilds’ wildlife – are perhaps the most beloved of the parks’ draws. Animals of the national parks, including many threatened or endangered species, also provide a significant scientific service: They are indicators of the overall health of their environments.
Conflicts with hunters and livestock were among the reasons a record 59 grizzly bears died in the Yellowstone ecosystem in 2015, the federal government’s grizzly coordinator said last week.
Yellowstone National Park bison soon are expected to be allowed to roam into parts of Montana under a plan approved by Gov. Steve Bullock, yet it remains to be seen how much relief it provides the iconic animals as they head to their traditional wintering and calving grounds.
My first partner in my first job with the National Park Service was a dark bay mare. I was extremely popular with the kids when I’d show up at the General Sherman Tree or Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia National Park riding Sweets. So you can imagine the shock and horror I felt last August when I learned that three NPS horses were on a feedlot in Colorado, waiting to be shipped to a slaughterhouse in Mexico.