Grand Teton road opens to bikes before summer auto season

Bicyclists and others may use roads in Grand Teton National Park starting Friday, March 27. Roads open to cars May 1. (NPS photo)

Grand Teton National Park road crews cut through the snow cover on the Teton Park Road between the Taggart Lake parking area and Signal Mountain Lodge—a distance of 15 miles—and completed this portion of the annual spring plowing operations on Friday, March 27. The Teton Park Road has melted down to pavement in most places and is now open to non-motorized recreation such as walking, biking, and roller-blading.. Springtime visitors can look forward to access on this park road for nearly five weeks before it opens to private vehicles for the summer travel season on Friday, May 1, 2015. Continue Reading →

Speakers chosen for April 17 TEDx conference in Cody

A collared deer leaps away from conservation biologist Matthew Kauffman after being captured and processed this month as part of the Wyoming Migration Initiative. Kauffman will be among eight speakers featured April 17 during TEDx Cody, a conference focused on short presentations centered around a theme of "Depicting the West."

A diverse roster of speakers will explore topics ranging from Wyoming's big game migrations to leadership secrets of the Wild West next month as part of Cody's first TEDx conference. TEDx Cody is a local, self-organized event licensed under the nonprofit TED organization that holds globally heralded conferences featuring short talks aimed at communicating powerful "ideas worth spreading." Cody's conference will feature eight speakers discussing the event's theme: "Depicting the West." Conference organizer John Wells said the April 17 event will "reflect a cultural shift under way at the heart of the Western experience." Continue Reading →

Pneumonia kills dozens of bighorn sheep north of Yellowstone Park

Wildlife officials in Montana are concerned about a pneumonia outbreak killing bighorn sheep near the North Gate of Yellowstone National Park.

Wildlife officials in Montana remain concerned about an ongoing pneumonia outbreak among bighorn sheep near the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park, and have canceled the lone permit that would have been issued for a fall sheep hunt in the area. The move came after wildlife biologists conducted an aerial survey Sunday of the area near Gardiner, Mont., just outside Yellowstone's North Gate. After counting 89 healthy sheep last year, Sunday's count yielded 55 sheep, as well as another dead animal and a number of sick ones. Continue Reading →

Public input sought for Yellowstone bison management plan

A bison stands near road signs in downtown Gardiner, Mont. in January 2006. (Jim Peaco/NPS - click to enlarge)

The National Park Service and the State of Montana will begin preparing an Environmental Impact Statement for a new plan to manage a wild and migratory populations of Yellowstone-area bison, while minimizing the risk of brucellosis transmission between bison and livestock to the extent practicable. A Notice of Intent has been published in the Federal Register. The new plan is needed because conditions have changed since implementation of the Interagency Bison Management Plan began in 2001, including agency experience in managing bison and new science. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone opens to bicyclists during snow plowing

A bicyclist rides past freshly plowed snow along the road between Norris and Canyon Village in this 2012 file photo.

Bicyclists willing to brave the often unpredictable elements of spring in Yellowstone National Park are now able to travel 49 miles of park roads from the West Entrance at West Yellowstone, Mont., to Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. There is no bicycle access to Old Faithful or Canyon until the first interior park roads open to public motorized vehicle access on Friday, April 17. Park officials advise that a bicycle trip into Yellowstone this time of year is not to be undertaken lightly, because the quickly changing weather can be challenging. Snow and ice may still cover sections of road which may be lined with tall snowbanks. Pullouts may remain snow packed. Continue Reading →

Spring snow plowing set to start in Grand Teton

Road plowing along Teton Park Road in Grand Teton National Park is set to begin April 1. (NPS photo - click to enlarge)

On Monday, March 23, 2015 Grand Teton National Park road crews will begin their annual spring plowing of the Teton Park Road from Taggart Lake parking area to Signal Mountain Lodge. As plowing operations get underway, recreation on this winter trail will cease for the season. Visitors may continue to use other winter trails, and/or areas adjacent to the Teton Park Road, for skate-skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing until conditions are no longer favorable. Snow removal will also begin on the Moose-Wilson Road, once work is concluded on the Teton Park Road Continue Reading →

Plan aims to restore native trout to protected creek east of Yellowstone

Wildlife officials are working to restore native fish species like Yellowstone cutthroat trout to waters across the region/

Efforts to restore native Yellowstone cutthroat trout have made headlines in recent years, with a focus on reducing invasive lake trout in Yellowstone Lake, the largest body of water in Yellowstone National Park. But a new front in the war against non-native trout could be developing just east of the park next year, if the Wyoming Game and Fish Department moves forward with a plan to create a safe harbor for Yellowstone cutthroats in the Shoshone National Forest. Continue Reading →

Presenters sought for 7th Annual Yellowstone Winter Photo Festival

Ice forms along sections of the Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River as frigid temperatures gripped the park during much of January. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

Photographers are invited to share their favorite winter images of the region with the public during the Seventh Annual Yellowstone Winter Photo Festival to be held next week in West Yellowstone, Mont. The festival will be held at the West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:00 p.m. The festival is sponsored by the National Park Service and the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. Continue Reading →

Happy Birthday to Yellowstone Park

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President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill that created Yellowstone National Park on March 1, 1872. The act put the federal government in the business of managing public land for recreation and marked the culmination of the national park idea that had been percolating for some time. There were several rationales for setting aside the area surrounding the headwaters of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers “for the benefit and instruction of the people.” First was the determination that the area wasn’t good for anything else. The U.S. Geological Survey lead by Ferdinand V. Hayden in the summer of 1871 had determined that the area was not fit for agriculture and it was not likely that there were any mineral deposits worth mining there. Setting the area aside, proponents of the bill said, “would take nothing from the value of the public domain.” Continue Reading →