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

Statewide research program tracks Wyoming wildlife migrations

Researchers with the Wyoming Migration Initiative work with an elk captured in March near Dubois. The animal will be analyzed, collared and released so its movements can be tracked.

Springtime in Wyoming brings melting snow and the first shoots of green vegetation peeking through a landscape left barren by winter. For deer, elk, moose and other migrating ungulates, the change in seasons prompts a familiar journey in search of greener pastures. But spring is also an exceptionally busy time for wildlife researcher Matthew Kauffman and his colleagues, as they fan out across the state in an effort to track and document as many of those migrations as possible. For nearly three years, biologists with the Wyoming Migration Initiative have followed elk around Dubois, trailed moose through the Snowy Mountains, pursued mule deer across the Red Desert and worked to chart the movements of other herds on the move. Continue Reading →

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Researchers offer inside look at wildlife captures

Researchers with the Wyoming Migration Initiative post images form their work on social media channels.

Wildlife researcher Matthew Kauffman leads the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and works on the Wyoming Migration Initiative. Kauffman and his fellow researchers go to great lengths to share their work via social media outlets, allowing anyone to follow along as they capture and release animals, or go behind the scenes to see the gear, preparation and technology involved in their research. “The idea is to give the public a closer view of how the work is done. The captures and the action that go with them are a pretty exciting part of the research,” he said. “But we’re trying to create a story that people can follow along with and also learn more about the objectives of the studies.” Here are a few selected postings from Twitter showing spring captures that are part of Kauffman’s research. Continue Reading →

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Mysterious cave in Yellowstone at center of legal dispute

A cave found along the boundary of Yellowstone National Park was revealed after a shift in basalt columns similar to those found in the park's northern range.

Court filings made public on Monday reference a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind artifacts described as an "American Pompeii" at the center of a legal dispute between the federal government and a Montana rancher, lifting the veil on a long-secret research project at the edge of Yellowstone National Park. At stake is ownership of hundreds or perhaps thousands of well-preserved animal remains, including fossils of long-extinct mammals, as well as what researchers believe are among the earliest tools and ceremonial objects ever found in the region. Human remains may also be present at the site, based on motions filed on behalf of tribal interests. Continue Reading →

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Departing Yellowstone spokesman reflects on decade tackling park’s tough issues

Al Nash has left the National Park Service after 9 years as the spokesman for Yellowstone National Park.

One of the first things Al Nash can remember about Yellowstone National Park is the smell. "I remember how stinky it was—that sulfur smell," Nash said, recalling a trip to Yellowstone with his parents when he was a young child, more than 50 years ago. "I remember my mom shooing my sister and I into the car while my dad was trying to get a photo of a black bear in a pull-out," he said. Those early Yellowstone memories came flooding back this month as Nash, the chief of public affairs for Yellowstone since 2006, reflected on nearly a decade in that role just before his last day on the job March 18. Continue Reading →

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Speakers chosen for April 17 TEDx conference in Cody

A collared deer leaps away from conservation biologist Matthew Kauffman after being captured and processed this month as part of the Wyoming Migration Initiative. Kauffman will be among eight speakers featured April 17 during TEDx Cody, a conference focused on short presentations centered around a theme of "Depicting the West."

A diverse roster of speakers will explore topics ranging from Wyoming's big game migrations to leadership secrets of the Wild West next month as part of Cody's first TEDx conference. TEDx Cody is a local, self-organized event licensed under the nonprofit TED organization that holds globally heralded conferences featuring short talks aimed at communicating powerful "ideas worth spreading." Cody's conference will feature eight speakers discussing the event's theme: "Depicting the West." Conference organizer John Wells said the April 17 event will "reflect a cultural shift under way at the heart of the Western experience." Continue Reading →

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Pneumonia kills dozens of bighorn sheep north of Yellowstone Park

Wildlife officials in Montana are concerned about a pneumonia outbreak killing bighorn sheep near the North Gate of Yellowstone National Park.

Wildlife officials in Montana remain concerned about an ongoing pneumonia outbreak among bighorn sheep near the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park, and have canceled the lone permit that would have been issued for a fall sheep hunt in the area. The move came after wildlife biologists conducted an aerial survey Sunday of the area near Gardiner, Mont., just outside Yellowstone's North Gate. After counting 89 healthy sheep last year, Sunday's count yielded 55 sheep, as well as another dead animal and a number of sick ones. Continue Reading →

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Plan aims to restore native trout to protected creek east of Yellowstone

Wildlife officials are working to restore native fish species like Yellowstone cutthroat trout to waters across the region/

Efforts to restore native Yellowstone cutthroat trout have made headlines in recent years, with a focus on reducing invasive lake trout in Yellowstone Lake, the largest body of water in Yellowstone National Park. But a new front in the war against non-native trout could be developing just east of the park next year, if the Wyoming Game and Fish Department moves forward with a plan to create a safe harbor for Yellowstone cutthroats in the Shoshone National Forest. Continue Reading →

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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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