Gateway Towns

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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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Yellowstone bison expansion plan still viable in Montana

A bison calf nurses near the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park.

A proposal to dramatically expand the territory available for bison living in and around Yellowstone National Park s still under consideration, despite a decision by the Montana Board of Livestock this week to table the plan pending further analysis. The plan to boost available habitat from about 40,000 acres used mostly on a seasonal basis to 420,000 acres year-round west and north of Yellowstone in Hebgen Lake Basin, the Taylor Fork of the Gallatin River and other areas "remains viable," officials say. Continue Reading →

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Public invited to meet with Yellowstone land managers March 24

The agencies entrusted with managing federal lands within the greater Yellowstone area are asking the public to help them determine which ecosystem issues should be the focus in the future. The Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee is a group of 11 federal agencies working together to manage over 15 million of acres of public land in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. 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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Photo Gallery: Hells Angels 2006 World Run in Cody

A Hells Angels motorcycle club member from Austria and one from Germany watch a mock gunfight at the Irma Hotel in Cody, Wyo. during the group's 2006 World Run this week.

In 2006, an estimated 1,300 Hells Angels motorcycle club members and their associates gathered in Cody, Wyo. for the group's World Run. Cody Police Chief Perry Rockvam said he has been informed by federal officials that the group is planning to return to Cody this summer for its U.S. run, which could draw approximately 600 bikers from the group. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone and Grand Teton near top of list in visitor spending

Only a handful of National Park Service destinations generate the magnitude of spending by visitors in gateway communities as the powerful duo of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. The 241-mile Blue Ridge Parkway cresting the southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina is the only Park Service attraction to fuel more visitor spending than Yellowstone and Grand Teton, according to a Park Service report released this week titled 2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects. 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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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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