Montana man found dead along Yellowstone ski trail

The body of a Montana man was discovered Saturday along a ski trail in Yellowstone National Park. Snowshoers called 911 around noon on Saturday, after spotting what they thought was a body in the snow along a groomed ski trail in the northern part of the park. Park rangers responded to the Frog Rock Trailhead, which is south of the Grand Loop Road, eight and a half miles east of Mammoth Hot Springs, according to a statement released by the park's public affairs office. They discovered the body of Merik Morgan, 52, from Belgrade, Mont., lying near the ski trail along the Blacktail Plateau Drive. While initial indications are that the man succumbed to hypothermia, park officials said the incident remains under investigation. Additional details were not immediately available. Continue Reading →

Hikers report possible fatality in Yellowstone

Authorities in Yellowstone National Park are following up on information received Saturday from hikers who reported seeing the body of an individual who apparently died along a trail in the park’s northern range. Park spokesman Al Nash said Monday that he did not yet have details on the incident, but that additional information could be available later in the day. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone seeks proposals for guided horse trips

The National Park Service (NPS) has released a prospectus soliciting proposals from businesses interested in providing guided saddle and pack stock trips in Yellowstone National Park. The NPS plans to award up to 42 new concession contracts. Proposals are due by 4:00 p.m. March 17, 2015. The NPS anticipates awarding the ten-year contacts in fall 2015 with an effective date of January 1, 2016. Each contract has a preferred offeror. Continue Reading →

Grand Teton sees record visitation in 2014

Grand Teton National Park experienced record numbers in 2014 for both total visitation and recreational visits, according to final statistics tallied for the year. Over 4.29 million people entered the park during the year, with over 2.79 million of those making a recreational excursion. Visitation peaked during July with over 686,000 people touring Grand Teton. Continue Reading →

Grand Teton riverbank restoration project moves forward

Grand Teton National Park is moving forward with a riverbank restoration project to remove approximately 13 tons of old angle iron beams from the Buffalo Fork of the Snake River. Motorists traveling Highway 26/287 past Moran Junction may see heavy equipment along the riverbank as this restoration project continues. The Buffalo Fork project is the third in a series of recent riparian restoration projects that benefit park resources. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone science efforts to include greater focus on public opinion

Yellowstone National Park's departing top scientist says his staff has long conducted "world-class" research on animals like gray wolves and grizzly bears, but that there is room for improvement in learning more about public opinion on key issues. David Hallac, who has spent the past three years as division chief of the Yellowstone Center for Resources, said it is important for park managers to continue to work closely with state wildlife experts, and to develop more hard data about public perceptions of wildlife and park policies. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone east entrance open to snowmobiles

Commercial and non-commercially guided snowmobiles and all types of snow coaches may now travel from the park’s East Entrance over Sylvan Pass to Fishing Bridge Juction. Due to various road restrictions in place, travelers should consult the current road conditions online.. Road status can change with little warning due to adverse weather conditions which could require temporary road closures to all oversnow travel. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone opens more routes to snow vehicles

Yellowstone National Park is opening additional groomed roads after seeing snowfall every day this week. Commercial and non-commercially guided snowmobiles and commercial snow coaches with rubber tracks or large tires may now travel all the way from Mammoth Hot Springs south through Norris to Madison, and from Norris east to Canyon Junction continuing south all the way to West Thumb. Snowmobiles and all types of snowcoaches may travel from the park’s South Entrance through West Thumb to Old Faithful. Continue Reading →

Inspection prompts changes at mismanaged Yellowstone jail

Completed in 2008, the $6.8 million Yellowstone Justice Center was initially planned to include detention cells. But due to budget constraints with the new building, prisoners in Yellowstone National Park are still housed in a century-old facility that federal inspectors found was mismanaged and lacked proper security.

The National Park Service has changed how it manages a short-term detention site in Yellowstone National Park after a review of operations there found serious deficiencies, and even recommended a temporary closure of the facility. Following inspections of lockups at Yellowstone and Yosemite National Park conducted a year ago by the Department of the Interior Office of Inspector General, auditors determined that the Yellowstone lockup "did not provide effective security." An OIG management advisory issued Jan. 13 and based on health and safety concerns recommended closure of the Yellowstone jail until changes could be implemented. Continue Reading →