Recent Posts

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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Yellowstone manages people instead of grizzlies during bear jams

In Grand Teton National Park just south of Yellowstone, a volunteer wildlife brigade is trained each year to help manage people at bear jams. Both parks' programs run up consideral expense, but a study says roadside bears in Yellowstone bring more than $10 million annually to the regional economy.

Yellowstone visitors would pay an additional $41 to ensure seeing roadside grizzlies, a study shows, and the attraction creates 155 jobs and more than $10 million a year for the regional economy. The $41 visitors would pay is on top of the $25-per-vehicle entrance fee. If Yellowstone no longer allowed grizzly bears to use roadside habitat — and instead chased, moved or killed them — the regional economy would lose more than $10 million a year and 155 jobs according to the paper “The economics of roadside bear viewing.” Continue Reading →

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Grizzly bears find fall feast in well-traveled moths

A raven waits nearby as a grizzly bear digs among rocks on a talus slope while searching for moths to eat.

As aspen leaves turn the gold of fall, grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area endure the final mania of their annual feeding frenzy before winter’s hibernation. The omnivorous bears compulsively pack on the pounds with berries, fish, carrion, whitebark pine seeds and a food unique to the Rocky Mountains—thousands of army cutworm moths. Also known as miller moths, they are the adult form of an agricultural pest, the army cutworm, which migrates to mountain fields in early summer to feed on alpine flowers’ nectar. During the past 30 years, a handful of researchers have established the importance of moths as a food source for bears. Continue Reading →

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Jackson Hole students help with trout research project

Nearly 200 Jackson Hole Middle School seventh grade students joined biologists and others from Grand Teton National Park, Trout Unlimited, Teton Science Schools and Wyoming Game and Fish earlier this week to help with a trout research project. The Adopt-a-Trout Field Days at the Gros Ventre Campground on September 24 and 25 saw students rotate through educational stations conducted by various event partners. Continue Reading →

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Elk migration project wins Camp Monaco prize for biodiversity research, education

An elk pauses in the light of dawn near Sylvan Lake in Yellowstone National Park. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate)

The path to completion for many research and education proposals is often complex and baffling, and a new project to study and document elk migrations around Yellowstone National Park is no exception. It has connections with the most famous man in the world, touches on the inspirational story of a rotting whale and finds fruition through a century-old family legacy involving European royalty. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone’s Heritage and Research Center houses skulls, scooters, skins, sketchbooks

The Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center in Gardiner, Mont. hosts archives and other resources researchers use to learn about Yellowstone National Park science and history.

Most visitors come to Yellowstone National Park to see the abundant wildlife, amazing thermal features or sweeping scenic vistas. But the park also has more than 300,000 cultural and natural artifacts, including skulls, scooters, skins and sketchbooks. Yellowstone's Heritage and Research Center in Gardiner, Mont. is a 32,000-square-foot facility that houses the park's museum collection, archives, research library, herbarium and archaeology lab. Continue Reading →

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Researchers seek more data on role of whitebark pine in changing grizzly populations

Researchers are working to gather more data on the role of declining whitebark pine trees in the slowing growth of grizzly bear populations around Yellowstone National Park.

In the ongoing deliberations over federal protections for Yellowstone area grizzly bears, debate often focuses on a fixed number of total bears living in the region. Counting bears—or more appropriately, estimating grizzly bear populations—is essential to helping determine when government recovery goals have been met. But just as important is tracking trends in population changes, and trying to determine the causes of those changes. Continue Reading →

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Comments sought on planned improvements at historic Grand Teton research ranch

Edith Sargent playis the violin outside of Merymere Lodge at the site of the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

The University of Wyoming and the National Park Service will prepare an environmental assessment for range of proposed improvements to a research center at the historic AMK Ranch on the east shore of Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Planned improvements include replacement of the water and wastewater systems and construction of a new dormitory, according to a statement released by the Grand Teton public affairs office. Continue Reading →

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