Wyoming climber killed in Grand Teton avalanche

A helicopter heads toward Garnet Canyon in this file photo from April 2011 taken during a search for two lost skiers in Grand Teton National Park. Two snowboarders were rescued Feb. 13 after mistakenly riding into Granite Canyon. (National Park Service photo by Jackie Skaggs — click to enlarge)

A Wyoming man was killed in an avalanche Sunday while climbing in Grand Teton National Park. Three other climbers were rescued by helicopter, including one who sustained life-threatening injuries. Luke Lynch, 38, of Jackson, Wyo. died when he was struck by an avalanche in the steep Sickle Couloir on the northeast face of Mount Moran. The snowslide swept Lynch and two others downslope for approximately 500 feet over rock and ice covered terrain. Also injured was Stephen P. Adamson, Jr., 42, and Brook Yeomans, 37. A fourth climber, Zahan Billimoria, 37, escaped injury. All of the climbers are from Jackson. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone visitor injured by bison

A group of bison graze and rest near the roadside south of Madison in Yellowstone National Park in August 2013.

A girl visiting Yellowstone National Park sustained serious injuries Friday after being gored by a bison. The 16-year-old Taiwanese exchange student was visiting the Upper Geyser Basin with her host family. While hiking near Old Faithful Geyser, the family joined a group of people watching a bison grazing adjacent to the trail. According to first hand reports, the group was somewhere between three and six feet from the bison. The girl turned her back to the bison to have her picture taken when the bison gored her. Continue Reading →

‘Sidesaddles and Geysers’ offers look at women’s early travels in Yellowstone

A woman feeds a bear during an early visit to Yellowstone National Park.

Any visit to Yellowstone National Park comes with at least some sense of adventure. And packing the car for even a short family trip through the park can be a logistical challenge. But the next time you're flummoxed by packing for a Yellowstone weekend in the RV with the kids, consider Eleanor Corthell. Corthell spent two months in Yellowstone in the summer of 1903. With her seven children. Traveling by horse-drawn wagon. Camping out the entire time. Writing about her trip, Corthell recalled that her husband, a prominent attorney in Laramie, Wy., "offered strenuous objection, of course, to the crazy project, but could only fizz and fume and furnish the wherewithal." Continue Reading →

Yellowstone expert weighs in on who wins in a fight: grizzly or gorilla?

Yellowstone National Park biologist Kerry Gunther weighs a bear cub during field research.

If you've ever wondered who would win in a fight—a grizzly bear or gorilla—one expert from Yellowstone National Park advises betting on the grizzly. That's just one of the fun exchanges from a discussion held Wednesday on Twitter where Kerry Gunther, who leads Yellowstone National Park’s bear management program, answered questions as part of an ongoing Ask a Scientist series. Gunther's Q&A was part of a series Yellowstone has hosted via Twitter allowing anyone to pose a question to some of the park's top biologists. Past sessions have featured Rick Wallen discussing bison and Doug Smith talking answering questions about wolves. Continue Reading →

Black bears on bridge too close for comfort

bear-bridge

The latest viral video out of Yellowstone National Park is a great reminder of why you should stay 100 yards from bears, and exercise special caution around bridges, rivers and other places where moving around gets riskier and more difficult. The video shows a black bear with cubs running around amidst several tourists on a bridge between Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. and Cooke City, Mont. A worker with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks posted the video on YouTube, and it has received more than 220,000 views as of Monday afternoon. Continue Reading →

Parks celebrate migratory birds with weekend field trips

Sandhill cranes are among the birds participants may see during an annual event to count migratory birds across North America.

Visitors and residents across the region are invited to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day in Grand Teton National Parks this Saturday, May 9, and in Yellowstone National Park on Saturday, May 17. Observed each year in May to support avian conservation, International Migratory Bird Day serves as the hallmark outreach event for Partners in Flight—an international conservation program with a goal to reverse dwindling populations of migratory birds by bringing attention to factors that contribute to worldwide declines. Continue Reading →

Spring Into Yellowstone tours cover wildlife, science and even ‘time travel’

Archaeologist Larry Todd, kneeling, shows dozens of artifacts marked with small flags in the Shoshone National Forest during a July field trip sponsored by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

The Spring Into Yellowstone Birding and Wildlife Festival returns next week, offering tours of some of the most scenic and inspiring spots in Yellowstone National Park and public lands to the east of the park. The growing festival is entering its third year, but many of the places highlighted in its tours and events have been popular with wildlife and people for thousands of years. Archaeologist Larry Todd will lead a tour of the Dead Indian Creek campsite area in Sunlight Basin, a favorite spot for modern campers that has been popular with people and animals for centuries. Continue Reading →

Savvy regulars, eager locals cherish Yellowstone spring

Bison dot the landscape in the Lamar Valley as a lack of snow leaves much of Yellowstone National Park open for spring grazing.

For the faithful and fanatical few early visitors to Yellowstone National Park arriving from Cody last week, Friday seemed more like a breezy summer day than the first chance to enter the park by car after another long winter. But it appears there wasn't quite enough winter overall in the park this year, as snowpack was at just a fraction of its usual levels throughout the wide valleys and high mountains that are home to headwaters for much of the surrounding region. A mild and dry winter made for an easy time moving around the park, but could mean limited water for irrigation and the potential for a busy fire season in surrounding areas. Continue Reading →

Artist creates flag mural in Cody as part of 50-state tour of veterans’ posts

Artist Scott LaBaido is painting American flag murals on veterans' posts in all 50 states, including one in Cody, Wyo.

Early Saturday afternoon, as Scott LaBaido toiled away at putting some fresh paint on the exterior of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post 2673, a local house painter pulled his truck into the parking lot and offered his approval and encouragement. LaBaido's tools were nothing special—a ladder and a standard paint roller. But his deft, measured strokes drew a steady stream of new admirers who wanted to chat, snap photos and learn more about the project. Painting with a speed and ease that made his work look deceptively easy, LaBaido was creating a giant American flag mural that covered a huge section of the VFW's front wall facing 12th street. The mural is the 17th American flag LaBaido has painted on a VFW post, as he makes his way across the country on a six-month trip to create a new mural on a veterans' post in each of the 50 states. Continue Reading →

Public warned about grizzly trapping in Grand Teton

A tranquilized grizzly bear lies in a trap similar to those used for capturing and relocating problem bears around the greater Yellowstone area.

Biologists with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) plan to conduct trapping of grizzly bears within Grand Teton National Park as part of ongoing research efforts required under the Endangered Species Act. The trapping allows researchers to collect data and monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Monitoring of grizzly bear distribution, as well as their food selection and other activities, is vital to recovery of grizzlies across the GYE. Trapping operations will begin Wednesday, May 6, and continue through June 30, 2015. Continue Reading →