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

Video captures Yellowstone bison ramming parked vehicle

A video screen capture shows a bison in Yellowstone National Park as it rams a parked vehicle in the Lamar Valley.

Two frequent visitors to Yellowstone National Park ended up on the losing end of a close encounter with a lumbering bison last month when the agitated beast rammed their parked sport utility vehicle. The unexpected collision was captured on video, and the footage has gone viral, as it shows the amazing power of Yellowstone's 2,000-pound behemoths. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone thermal regions offer unique home to rare plants

Roy Renkin, a vegetation specialist with the National Park Service, points out sections of a forest in Yellowstone National Park that were the subject of a prescribed burn in 2007 during a 2008 media tour looking back at the summer fires of 1988.

Gift shops in and around Yellowstone National Park are filed with postcards, videos and guidebooks featuring grizzly bears and gray wolves. But you'd be hard-pressed to find a photograph—or even a passing mention—of three much rarer species found only in Yellowstone. Thanks in part to unique microclimates created by the park's hot springs, fumaroles and other thermal features, Yellowstone is the only place on earth where you'll find Ross's bentgrass, Yellowstone sand verbena and Yellowstone sulfur wild buckwheat. But most visitors to the park will never see these obscure plants. Continue Reading →

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Historic Yellowstone novel offers romantic view of park from bygone era

Visitors take in the view from atop the Old Faithful Inn in this undated Yellowstone National Park archival photo, likely from around 1910.

You don't have to go far in Yellowstone National Park to find a romantic spot that would be the perfect setting for an epic love story. From sweeping overlooks to hot springs and waterfalls to historic hotels and cabins, the park is full of beautiful places that would inspire passion in even the coldest heart. So it should come as no surprise that Yellowstone has been a popular place not only for marriage proposals and weddings, but also for many fictional romance tales, ranging from a contemporary series of popular stories to a florid yarn published more than a century ago. In fact, there have been at least three or four series of Yellowstone romance novels published over the years, along with many standalone stories. Continue Reading →

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Gateway towns gearing up for 2016 Park Service Centennial

Bill Berg, president of the Greater Gardiner Community Council, speaks in front of the Roosevelt Arch during the Gardiner Gateway Project kickoff event Thursday. Joining him on stage were, from left, Daniel Bierschwale, President, Gardiner Chamber of Commerce; Clara Conner, Division Engineer, Western Federal Lands Highway Division; Marty Malone, Commissioner, Park County, Mont.; Brian Schweitzer, Governor of Montana; and Dan Wenk, Superintenden of Yellowstone National Park. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

With winter still firmly entrenched across Yellowstone country, some tourism industry leaders are already planning a few special events for the summer. That's the summer of 2016. The National Park Service celebrates its centennial in 2016, and is planning special events and observations across the country, including at Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Gateway towns are gearing up as well, looking to capitalize on what is likely to be an increased focus on national parks during the centennial year. Continue Reading →

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Cowboy hats out of fashion in Wyoming sheriff’s office

License plates on vehicles all across Wyoming feature the silhouette of a rodeo rider atop a bucking bronc, holding aloft a cowboy hat. The iconic image is Wyoming's official logo, a state-owned, registered trademark that serves as a ubiquitous symbol of the Cowboy State's cultural identity. But sheriff's deputies riding in cruisers—or on horseback—in Sublette County, about 80 miles south of Grand Teton National Park, won't be sporting cowboy hats any longer under. A new dress code in the department prompted one longtime local lawman to retire early, saying he'd rather quit than give up his beloved hat and boots. Continue Reading →

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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 →

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Thermal imaging offers high-tech look at disease among Yellowstone wolves

Thermal imaging reveals a bright blue patch near the shoulder of a captive wolf, whose fur was shaved to simulate the effects of sarcoptic mange.

A high-tech method for detecting disease in domestic cattle is helping researchers in Yellowstone National Park learn more about how sarcoptic mange effects gray wolf survival and behavior during the park's long, cold winters. For Paul Cross, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, a moment of insight came when he learned how thermal imaging was used in the cattle industry to detect cows infected with foot-and-mouth disease. The heat-sensitive cameras can pick up on the heat caused by related inflammation in a cow's hoof within a day or two of contracting the disease. Heat-sensing videocameras could help show the metabolic costs of mange in specific wolves, Ross realized. Continue Reading →

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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 →

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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 →

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Pneumonia kills bighorn sheep north of Yellowstone Park

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

Wildlife officials in Montana are closely watching a herd of bighorn sheep near the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park after several of the animals have been killed by an outbreak of pneumonia. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks workers have collected 10 dead bighorn sheep over the last two weeks—a mix of rams, lambs and one adult ewe. Analysis at the state wildlife lab in Bozeman determined all the sheep died from pneumonia. Continue Reading →

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