Ruffin Prevost

Ruffin Prevost is founding editor of Yellowstone Gate, an independent, online news service about Yellowstone and Grand Teton parks and their gateway communities. He lives in Cody, Wyo., where he also works as the Wyoming reporter for Reuters news service. He worked from 2005-10 as the Wyoming reporter for the Billings Gazette and has also been managing editor of WyoFile.

Recent Posts

Yellowstone sued for denying access to bison culling operations

Bison that are destined for slaughter are temporarily crowded into a holding pen at a capture facility in Yellowstone National Park.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Wyoming claims the National Park Service is improperly restricting press and public access to bison culling operations in Yellowstone National Park. The plaintiffs—a freelance journalist and a wildlife advocate—say the seasonal closure of a large section of Yellowstone land around a bison capture and sorting facility amounts to censorship of those working to share details of how hundreds of the park's bison may be shipped for slaughter this winter. Continue Reading →

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Report on fatal Yellowstone grizzly attack stresses importance of bear safety guidelines

Basic safety guidelines can help keep hikers safe in grizzly bear country, according to a new report into the latest fatal bear attack in Yellowstone National Park.

There's no guarantee of safety when hiking in grizzly country, but following a few basic safety guidelines can reduce the odds of having a bad encounter with a bear. Unfortunately, too many hikers either don't know those basics, or ignore the advice that experts offer. That's one of the key findings from a report released Thursday by a panel that investigated the death of Lance Crosby, who was killed in August by an adult female grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park. Continue Reading →

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Plan calls for killing, removing up to 900 Yellowstone bison

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

Wildlife managers in Yellowstone National Park and their partners in a multi-agency group plan to remove or kill up to 900 bison from the park's herds of 4,900 animals. Bison will be hunted and captured for slaughter under the plan, which aims to offset increases in Yellowstone's growing population. Members of the Interagency Bison Management Plan have signed a winter operations plan that calls for culling 600-900 animals over the next few months. This will be done through public and tribal hunting outside the park and capturing bison near the park boundary for transfer to Native American tribes for processing and distribution of meat and hides to their members. Continue Reading →

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Wyoming man makes eight bison coats for Tarantino’s ‘Hateful Eight’

Actor Kurt Russell appears in the upcoming film "The Hateful Eight" wearing a bison hide coat created by Merlin Heinze of Thermopolis, Wyo.

The holiday season is a key sales period for retailers across the country, but Christmas Day marks a major milestone for one Wyoming small business. That's when "The Hateful Eight" hits movie screens, offering audiences an extended look at a custom bison coat created by Thermopolis native Merlin Heinze. Actor Kurt Russell will be wearing the enormous winter jacket in the Quentin Tarantino western set in Wyoming during the 1870s. The story follows a bounty hunter played by Russell, who must wait out a blizzard along with seven other nefarious characters packed together in a cramped stagecoach stop. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone ranks as Wyoming’s top spot among Instagram users

Visitors watch Old Faithful geyser erupt in Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park is always among the perennial favorite tourist destinations in Wyoming, so it should come as no surprise that it's the most popular location in the state among Instagram users. The photo-sharing social network released its 2015 location data to Time magazine, which this week listed Yellowstone as the top Wyoming destination in a state-by-state roundup of "the most Instagrammed places in America." Continue Reading →

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Park Service opposes bill opening Yellowstone rivers to paddlers

A canoeist paddles along the southeast arm of Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park.

The head of the National Park Service is "strongly opposed" to proposed legislation that would open rivers in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks to paddlers, saying the bill caters to "the benefit of a very select few." In a Nov. 13 letter to Rep. Bob Bishop (R-Utah), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said the bill would hamper his agency's ability to properly manage Yellowstone's rivers and other natural resources. Continue Reading →

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U.S. Mint to release commemorative Yellowstone dollar coin in 2016

The design for a new coin commemorating the National Park Service centennial (left) is similar to a Yellowstone National Park quarter (right) issued in 2010.

In a preview of what is sure to be a diverse range of events and promotions next year celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the U.S. Mint on Thursday released designs for three new coins, including one featuring Yellowstone National Park. The commemorative coin designs were showed off at a Washington, D.C. ceremony at the Department of Interior attended by Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis and U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios. Designed to help fund more than 400 national park units around the country, the coins will be marketed to collectors and park supporters willing to pay a premium for them. Proceeds go to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. “When fully realized, the potential impact derived from the commemorative coin sales will be tremendous,” National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth said in a statement released by the U.S. Mint. Continue Reading →

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Record October pushes Yellowstone yearly total visits past 4 million

The record summer season at Yellowstone National Park finished with a bang, as October brought more than a quarter-million visitors, pushing the annual total to more than 4 million people so far—a milestone never reached before at the world's first national park. Numbers posted by the National Park Service show that 252,013 people visited Yellowstone in October, an increase of more than 29 percent over last year, which was previously the busiest October on record, with 194,804 visitors. Continue Reading →

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Record crowds push Yellowstone managers to plan for 2016

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Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk has been making the rounds to gateway communities to discuss the ups and downs of the park's record summer visitation. The good news is that more people are coming to Yellowstone than ever. Which is also the bad news. Or more specifically, that so many autos and buses are rolling through the park. "We saw more vehicles in Yellowstone National Park than we've ever seen before," Wenk said last week in Cody during an informal meeting with tourism industry leaders. Wenk has also met with similar groups as part of what he called "listening sessions" in the Montana towns of Gardiner, West Yellowstone and Cooke City, as well as in developed areas in the park. Continue Reading →

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New Yellowstone housing features green building, design elements

Dylan Hoffman, director of environmental affairs in Yellowstone for Xanterra Parks and Resorts, stands near the entrance to Paintbrush Lodge, a newly completed employee dormitory in Yellowstone National Park.

Staff accommodations in Yellowstone National Park have typically leaned toward the more rustic end of the spectrum, starting with a series of remote cabins built by U.S. Army soldiers in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Guest quarters have at times been only marginally better, with some lodging meant as temporary housing still being used a half-century later. So it was with understandable fanfare that a Yellowstone lodging concessioner earlier this month showed off two new environmentally friendly housing projects, both built using modular construction, and with a focus on sustainable building and design practices. Continue Reading →

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