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

New contracts bring changes to Yellowstone winter tour business

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The business landscape for winter tour operators in Yellowstone National Park saw a shake-up this week as the National Park Service awarded a series of concessions contracts that will remain in effect for the next decade. Some longtime snowmobile and snow coach operators were selected to continue guiding winter visitors into Yellowstone, while many others with decades of experience were not among those awarded new contracts. Continue Reading →

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Panel urges caution in developing, preserving Old Faithful area

Rising steam from Old Faithful hangs in the frigid air as seen from Observation Point in Yellowstone National Park during February 2014 cold snap.

Old Faithful is the most popular destination in Yellowstone National Park, but it's also one of the park's most fragile natural wonders, and one still not fully understood by researchers and managers charged with protecting the iconic geyser and other nearby thermal features. A newly released report written by a panel of scientists advises caution in how the Old Faithful area is developed and managed, and recommends additional research meant to better grasp the complex forces driving the Upper Geyser Basin hydrothermal system. Continue Reading →

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Cody area has timeless connection to diverse wildlife

The region around Cody, Wyo. is home to one of the largest populations of bighorn sheep in the country.

A vast contrast in elevation—along with a wide mix of habitat and large tracts of public and undeveloped private land—are all keys to why Cody, Wyo. boasts an unparalleled diversity of big game, large carnivores and even a surprising array of bird species. Rounding out the picture is a network of blue-ribbon trout waters that criss-cross a sparsely populated region of stark and imposing beauty. It all adds up to an enduring and compelling relationship between the landscape, animals and people, creating a local economy where tourism and ranching are major forces, and a culture that has long celebrated wildlife in ways that are both commonplace and unique. Continue Reading →

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TV crew to follow ‘Bigfoot hunters’ in Yellowstone this summer

From left, Cliff Barackman, James Fay, Ranae Holland and Matt Moneymaker consult a map during an episode of “Finding Bigfoot.”

Yellowstone National Park is home to some of the most photographed wildlife in the world, with tourists on constant lookout for everything from grizzly bears and gray wolves to pelicans and pikas. But this summer, a reality show crew will be adding at least one new species to their must-see list: Bigfoot. As unlikely as it might sound, a four-person production crew is scheduled to spend up to 10 weeks in Yellowstone from mid-June through August taping segments for "Yellowstone Bigfoot Hunt," a new reality TV show. Continue Reading →

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Cody police planning for summer return of Hells Angels

A Hells Angels member from Arizona checks traffic during the 2006 World Run in Cody, Wyo. before pulling onto Sheridan Avenue.

Tourism and business boosters in the Yellowstone National Park gateway town of Cody, Wyo. have long worked to convince travelers to spend an extra day in Cody, and to come back a few years later for a repeat visit. Those efforts may have proven successful with members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club, who last gathered here in 2006, and are reported to be planning a return trip this summer. Continue Reading →

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Summer tourism employers seek workers as federal wage hike looms

Topher Reimers tends bar at the Bear Pit in the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park. Reimers had worked for six years in the park when this photo was taken in June 2006. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate file photo)

Workers looking for a summer tourism industry job in the greater Yellowstone area are likely to have better prospects this year than at any time since the 2008 recession, but job-seekers who act now will be have more options than those who wait until spring. Industry insiders say the employment market for seasonal workers in national parks and gateway communities is increasingly favorable for employees. But it appears too soon to know how a newly announced wage hike for federal contractors is likely to affect the region's seasonal tourism job market over the long term. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone thermal features produce unexpectedly high amounts of helium

Researchers collect gas samples form a fumarole in Yellowstone National Park as part of a study aimed at learning more about the processes at work beneath the park's thermal features.

Scenic vistas, abundant wildlife, and now, new research shows there's yet another uplifting reason to visit Yellowstone National Park. Scientists studying the thermal features in Yellowstone have found that a surprisingly high amount of helium escapes every day through vents, pools and other cracks in the earth's crust. Continue Reading →

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Climbers spar over use of metal tools on popular routes near Cody

A climber scales a rock wall in Shoshone Canyon on Saturday during the 16th Annual Cody Ice Climbing Festival in Cody, Wyo. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate)

Problems with liability insurance and an impromptu decision to send ice climbing students using specialized gear into a favorite rock climbing area have prompted criticism for the organizer of the Cody Ice Climbing Festival, who says he was only trying to make the best of a bad situation. Some local rock climbers are unhappy that ice climbers were using ice axes and spiked footwear over the weekend during a hastily convened beginners climbing clinic held near the Buffalo Bill Dam west of Cody. Continue Reading →

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Cody Ice Fest continues despite avalanche concerns, wild weather

A climber looks for the best route up a rock face in Shoshone Canyon on Saturday during the 16th Annual Cody Ice Climbing Festival in Cody, Wyo.

Climbing frozen waterfalls requires not just physical prowess, but also endurance, versatility and creativity. It was exactly those traits that climbers exhibited during this weekend's Cody Ice Climbing Festival, which persevered despite extreme avalanche dangers and every imaginable kind of weather. Recent heavy snows across northwestern Wyoming have made ice climbing more difficult and risky, prompting festival organizers to move planned climbing clinics to alternate locations, and causing even some experienced climbers to abandon planned backcountry trips. Continue Reading →

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Former Grand Teton superintendent sees need for more civic engagement

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, left, and Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott speak with reporters Wednesday about efforts to complete a deal for the federal government to acquire Wyoming state lands within the park, were the press conference was held. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate)

Mary Gibson Scott retired in November after nearly a decade as the chief administrator for Grand Teton National Park. In a wide-ranging interview last year given shortly after she retired, Scott singled out the chaos brought on by federal budget battles as a major challenge during her tenure, calling federal budget dysfunction an ongoing threat to the health of national parks across the country. Continue Reading →

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