Yellowstone administrators limit input on proposed fee increases

When administrators at Yellowstone National Park began seeking public input on a proposal to increase entrance fees, something was conspicuously missing: an ability to submit feedback online. Unlike their counterparts in Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Grand Teton and other national parks, Yellowstone administrators chose to only allow comments that are mailed or hand-delivered to park headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs. Written comments also were accepted at meetings in Cody, Jackson and Bozeman. It appears to be the first time in more than eight years that Yellowstone has put forward a notable proposal and not allowed people to weigh in through an online form or email. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone faces winter season without 3 key leaders

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk has accepted a temporary position as interim president of the National Park Foundation in Washington, D.C.

With only a month until snowmobiles and snow coaches begin entering Yellowstone National Park, three of the park's top managers will be tending to new duties in other locations. Though the timing is coincidental, and two of the moves are temporary, the circumstances will mean a big change in Yellowstone's daily leadership for the 2014-15 winter season. Yellowstone's superintendent, a top management assistant in charge of winter use and the park's lead scientist have all recently taken assignments in other states. Continue Reading →

Proposed hike for Yellowstone entry fees draws mixed reviews

The experiences and memories gained from a trip to Yellowstone National Park my be priceless, but they don't come without a cost. And that cost will go up next year under a proposal being presented this week by park leaders. Yellowstone officials are meeting with residents in gateway communities this month as part of the public comment period on a proposal to restructure and raise the park's entrance fees, as well as to establish a new permit fee for overnight backcountry camping. Currently, visitors in a single, non-commercial vehicle entering either Grand Teton National Park or Yellowstone pay $25 for a 7-day pass valid at both parks. Under the newly proposed fee structure, Yellowstone visitors would pay $30 for a 3-day pass, or they could opt for a 7-day pass good at both parks for $50. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone visitation sets record for October

It was another record visitation month for Yellowstone National Park in October. A total of 194,804 recreational visitors came to Yellowstone last month, surpassing the previous October record of 189,072 set in 2010. The dramatic year-to-year difference in visitation figures between October 2014 and October 2013 reflects the 16 day park closure due to last October’s federal government shutdown. There were 3,483,608 recreational visits to Yellowstone in first ten months of 2014, an increase of 10.26% over the same period in 2013. Continue Reading →

Death In Yellowstone: True stories of park’s fatal perils

Yellowstone National Park historian Lee Whittlesey is the author of "Death In Yellowstone," a compilation of true stories about the park's fatal perils.

Don’t bother asking Lee Whittlesey about his favorite Yellowstone ghost stories. He doesn’t believe in ghosts. He doesn’t need to. The Yellowstone National Park historian knows horror stories far scarier than made-up specters. They are haunting, disturbing and particularly terrifying because they actually happened. These are the stories of people falling into boiling water, of wild animals attacking and feasting on flesh, and the unsolved mysteries as to whether a person fell or was pushed. Continue Reading →

Grand Teton set for seasonal road closures

Grand Teton National Park will close some of its roads to seasonal travel in preparation for winter.

Residents of Jackson, Wyo. and park visitors are reminded that two roads within Grand Teton National Park will close to vehicle traffic for the season on the evening of Friday, October 31, 2014. These seasonal closures include the length of the Teton Park Road between Taggart Lake parking area and Signal Mountain Lodge parking lot, as well as the Moose-Wilson Road between Granite Canyon and Death Canyon trailheads. In addition to the annual road closures, the Moose, Moran and Granite Canyon entrance stations will be temporarily closed for the month of November and early December. They are scheduled to reopen on December 15 for the winter season. Continue Reading →

Some Yellowstone roads set to close as season ends

Gardiner, Mont. lies at the northern edge of Yellowstone National Park, and is the historic original entrance to the park.

There are only a few days left to for motorists to drive into most of the interior of Yellowstone National Park before the roads close for the season. Roads to most of the park’s popular locations close to vehicle travel at 8 a.m. Monday, November 3. The exception is the road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Mont., through Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. to the park’s Northeast Entrance and the communities of Cooke City and Silver Gate, Mont. That road is open all year, weather permitting. Continue Reading →

Fashion, furniture shows from Cody’s ‘art week’ face uncertain future

Liz Holmes, left, looks on as furniture designer John Gallis helps Hilary Heminway build a stool during a 2008 workshop as part of the Cody High Style show. Gallis coached a dozen students at his Norseman Designs West workshop on how to create a stool in the style of Western design pioneer Thomas Molesworth.

A long-running showcase for local and regional designers of Western furniture and fashion faces an uncertain future after organizers announced they are stepping away from the program, which they say is costly to produce and has not met expectations for attendance and revenue. The Cody Country Chamber of Commerce announced Friday that the organization would not produce the annual Cody High Style show for fall 2015. The group had organized the series of events since 2011 as part of Cody's annual Rendezvous Royale. Continue Reading →

Study: grizzly bears can adapt diet to changing climate

A grizzly bear digs in wet dirt near Cub Creek in Yellowstone Na

For years, many conservationists have worried what grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem will eat as changing climate and habitat conditions bring fewer whitebark pine nuts, cutthroat trout and other prime food sources. A recent study offers an answer: almost anything else. Research by several state and federal wildlife biologists found that grizzlies across the Yellowstone area eat a total of 266 different species of plants and animals, and display an amazingly adaptable diet that ranges from moths to algae. Continue Reading →

Photographers sue to stop Grand Teton elk hunt

elk-front

Two Teton County photographers filed a lawsuit in Washington, D.C. Monday seeking to stop the annual elk hunt in Grand Teton National Park. Tim Mayo and Kent Nelson, operating as Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, target the “elk reduction program,” in which hunters killed 202 elk last year. The hunt also resulted in the shooting of a grizzly bear, a federally protected species, in 2012. The suit goes beyond hunting alone, challenging supplemental winter elk feeding on the nearby National Elk Refuge. The hunt violates a slew of federal laws, the suit claims, including the Grand Teton Act, the National Park Organic Act, the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act. Continue Reading →