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

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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Winter season begins in Yellowstone and Grand Teton

The winter season has kicked off in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, but limited snow in Yellowstone means that travelers will face some restrictions until more snow builds up on park roads. Recent warm weather and limited snowfall has resulted in very little snowpack on many of the Yellowstone's interior roads, park officials said. Continue Reading →

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Study: Ranger interaction key to bear safety for Yellowstone visitors

Yellowstone National Park managers are looking for ways to more effectively deliver safety messages about watching bears, wolves and other wildlife at roadside traffic jams.

Most visitors to Yellowstone National Park rank the chance to see a grizzly bear at or near the top of their vacation wish lists. But park managers struggle with how to best keep humans and bruins safe when crowds gather to view wildlife along the roadside. When it comes to educating visitors about the risks and rules of watching bears, it turns out the most effective communication method is the one used least often. Visitors who received an oral explanation from a park ranger were "much more likely" to correctly remember safety advice and regulations than those who got information from any other means. Yet that was the method of communication encountered by the fewest respondents. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone among 60 sites proposed for major long-term climate change study

An image from a promotional video by the National Ecological Observatory Network shows what a sample monitoring station might look like. Yellowstone National Park has been selected as one of 60 proposed NEON sites.

A site in Yellowstone National Park has been proposed as one of 60 key monitoring stations in what is shaping up to be the largest long-term study of climate change in North America. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Ecological Observatory Network will gather a wide range of data at sites spread among 20 distinct eco-climatic domains across the United States. The project, budgeted at $60 million for the 2013 fiscal year, is designed to run for 30 years or longer in an effort to help researchers track the long-term effects of climate change across the entire continent. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone faces winter season without 3 key leaders

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk has accepted a temporary position as interim president of the National Park Foundation in Washington, D.C.

With only a month until snowmobiles and snow coaches begin entering Yellowstone National Park, three of the park's top managers will be tending to new duties in other locations. Though the timing is coincidental, and two of the moves are temporary, the circumstances will mean a big change in Yellowstone's daily leadership for the 2014-15 winter season. Yellowstone's superintendent, a top management assistant in charge of winter use and the park's lead scientist have all recently taken assignments in other states. Continue Reading →

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Proposed hike for Yellowstone entry fees draws mixed reviews

The experiences and memories gained from a trip to Yellowstone National Park my be priceless, but they don't come without a cost. And that cost will go up next year under a proposal being presented this week by park leaders. Yellowstone officials are meeting with residents in gateway communities this month as part of the public comment period on a proposal to restructure and raise the park's entrance fees, as well as to establish a new permit fee for overnight backcountry camping. Currently, visitors in a single, non-commercial vehicle entering either Grand Teton National Park or Yellowstone pay $25 for a 7-day pass valid at both parks. Under the newly proposed fee structure, Yellowstone visitors would pay $30 for a 3-day pass, or they could opt for a 7-day pass good at both parks for $50. Continue Reading →

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Fashion, furniture shows from Cody’s ‘art week’ face uncertain future

Liz Holmes, left, looks on as furniture designer John Gallis helps Hilary Heminway build a stool during a 2008 workshop as part of the Cody High Style show. Gallis coached a dozen students at his Norseman Designs West workshop on how to create a stool in the style of Western design pioneer Thomas Molesworth.

A long-running showcase for local and regional designers of Western furniture and fashion faces an uncertain future after organizers announced they are stepping away from the program, which they say is costly to produce and has not met expectations for attendance and revenue. The Cody Country Chamber of Commerce announced Friday that the organization would not produce the annual Cody High Style show for fall 2015. The group had organized the series of events since 2011 as part of Cody's annual Rendezvous Royale. Continue Reading →

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Study: grizzly bears can adapt diet to changing climate

A grizzly bear digs in wet dirt near Cub Creek in Yellowstone Na

For years, many conservationists have worried what grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem will eat as changing climate and habitat conditions bring fewer whitebark pine nuts, cutthroat trout and other prime food sources. A recent study offers an answer: almost anything else. Research by several state and federal wildlife biologists found that grizzlies across the Yellowstone area eat a total of 266 different species of plants and animals, and display an amazingly adaptable diet that ranges from moths to algae. Continue Reading →

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Elk hunt set to begin in Grand Teton

A seasonal elk hunt is set to begin in Grand Teton National Park.

Elk hunting is set to begin Saturday in Grand Teton National Park, and one area of the park where hunting was previously allowed will remain closed to hunters following violent conflicts there with grizzly bears in recent years. In 2011 a hunter was mauled by a grizzly bear, and in 2012 a grizzly was fatally shot when it charged three elk hunters. No charges were filed in that case after investigators determined the hunters acted appropriately in self-defense. In both cases, the bears were found to be protecting elk carcasses which they had been feeding on. The area where both incidents happened—a section of the Snake River bottom between the Deadman’s Bar river access road and Ditch Creek—will be closed during future hunts. Continue Reading →

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