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 cracking down use of aerial camera drones

A still image from a video posted to YouTube shows Old Faithful erupting as seen from a camera drone in 2013, before Yellowstone National Park and the National Park Service banned unmanned aerial vehicles.

Just weeks after a visitor crashed a drone into Yellowstone National Park's largest hot spring, park officials have filed criminal charges against the alleged pilot, and are stepping up their efforts to publicize and enforce a ban on unmanned aerial vehicles in the park. Theodorus Van Vliet of the Netherlands has been charged in connection with an Aug. 2 incident in which authorities say he crashed his unmanned aircraft into Grand Prismatic Spring. The drone sank into the popular hot spring and has not been found. Van Vliet is cooperating with the ongoing investigation and faces up to $5,000 in fines and/or six months in jail if found guilty. Continue Reading →

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Busy year for Yellowstone supervolcano rumors

Steam rises from Excelsior Geyser Crater and Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park.

Have you heard about what's happening with the Yellowstone supervolcano? The biggest earthquake in more than 30 years hit Yellowstone National Park in March. Bison were seen this winter pushing outside the park's boundaries. Extremely high levels of helium are rushing out of hot springs and fumaroles. Seismic detection gear has gone haywire. The roads are melting! All of this can only mean one thing: an eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano is imminent, right? Continue Reading →

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Cody Wild West River Fest celebrates role of Shoshone River in local life

River Runners guide Larry Boyles, far left, launches a raft full of whitewater seekers into the middle of the Shoshone River, near the Belfry Highway bridge at the north edge of Cody, Wyo. in this June 2008 file photo.

After an inaugural 2013 program that organizers said was "wildly successful," Cody's Wild West River Fest returns this weekend with a wide range of family-friendly events centered around the Shoshone River. The 3-day celebration includes contests, races, demonstrations, parties, concerts and other events aimed at educating attendees about the importance of the Shoshone River to life in Cody and the surrounding area, and promoting outdoor recreation and stewardship focused on maintaining a healthy waterway. Continue Reading →

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Visitor crashes drone into Yellowstone’s largest hot spring

Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. Its colors are the result of different forms of microbial life thriving in different temperature zones.

Officials are considering whether to use a manned helicopter flight to try and locate a drone that has crashed into the largest hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. Several eyewitnesses watched Saturday as a small drone aircraft crashed and sank into Grand Prismatic Spring, and the incident remains under investigation. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone Lake Hotel reopens after $28.5 million renovation

People gather Tuesday for a ribbon-cutting celebrating completion of a 2-year, $28.5 million renovation of Lake Hotel in Yellowstone National Park.

The oldest hotel in the world's first national park had a distinct aroma of fresh paint as summer guests began arriving this week. But the major renovations being wrapped up at Yellowstone Lake Hotel go far beyond new paint, as workers are completing a 2-year, $28.5 million makeover that has focused on restoring the iconic property to its historic elegance. Continue Reading →

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New Grand Teton head to focus on outreach to youth, minorities

Grand Teton National Park Superintendent David Vela plans to focus on youth and diversity during his tenure.

For the past two months, newly arrived Grand Teton National Park Superintendent David Vela has been meeting with staff, elected officials and community members to learn about a host of challenges he'll likely be dealing with in the coming months. That includes a range of natural resource issues like grizzly bear management, elk hunting in the park and river paddling. But as pressing as those matters are, Vela is looking to expand his priorities as superintendent to focus just as much on human resources. Continue Reading →

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Early Yellowstone visitors delayed by Sylvan Pass avalanche control

A great blue heron searchers for food near Trout Creek in Yellowstone National Park.

Early visitors to Yellowstone National Park may sometimes wish they could stay a little longer. And some of the first people touring the park by auto this year got their wish Friday, as a closure of Sylvan Pass stopped traffic on the park's East Entrance road for a few hours. Park officials temporarily closed the 1.5-mile stretch of road between the East Gate and Fishing Bridge to allow for avalanche mitigation. Continue Reading →

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Spring festival in Cody offers early peek at Yellowstone birds, wildlife

A mountain goat peers out from among the rocks along a hiking trail on Bald Ridge east of Cody, Wyo.

Each spring, a diverse range of migratory birds return to the greater Yellowstone area, and tourism promoters in Cody are hoping to capitalize on their migration as a way of luring tourists to the area as well. The second annual Spring Into Yellowstone Birding and Wildlife Festival is scheduled for May 14-18, with a focus on attracting out-of-state visitors interested in seeing the area before the crowded summer season. Continue Reading →

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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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