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

Cody Labs parent company faces claims in multi-state price-fixing investigation

The parent company of Cody Labs is laying off at least 80 workers as a result of plans to close its plant by the end of September.

 
CODY, WYO. — Investigations by attorneys general for several states into generic drug price fixing appear to be advancing, and the parent company of Cody Labs is likely to be subject to claims brought as a result of that investigation, according to a recent federal securities filing. Philadelphia-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Lannett, Co. disclosed in a public quarterly report filed Monday that it was notified earlier this month by investigators that the company was among a group of drug manufacturers state attorneys general will be filing claims against in a long-running, multi-state investigation into anti-competitive behavior in the generic drug industry. Cody Labs is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lannett, which also operates drug manufacturing facilities in Carmel, N.Y. and Seymour, Ind. Continue Reading →

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Ancient cultures may have used Medicine Wheel to connect stars, stories

Early residents of the greater Yellowstone region may have used a sacred site to study and predict astronomical events, according to a Bozeman, Mont.-based researcher.

CODY, WYO. — Modern stargazers have a host of sophisticated options for locating and tracking celestial bodies, from charts and books to telescopes and smart phone apps. In fact, the smartphones that run such sophisticated astronomy apps have far greater memory and processing power than the computers that charted a path for Apollo astronauts to reach the moon. But early inhabitants of the greater Yellowstone region may have relied on their own technological tool to chart the stars and track events like the summer solstice, according to one researcher who presented her findings to a packed house Thursday at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Ivy Merriot, a Bozeman, Mont.-based writer focused on indigenous astronomy, theorizes that Native Americans used a series of stones arranged like a spoked wheel to understand, remember and predict astronomical events. 
Merriot has spent a decade studying the Medicine Wheel, a centuries-old site on Medicine Mountain near Lovell, Wyo. Continue Reading →

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Visitors get hands dirty digging, cleaning dinosaur fossils in Thermopolis

 
CODY, WYO. — Colossal dinosaur skeletons are a prime attraction at major museums in big cities like Chicago, Berlin, New York and Washington, D.C. But none of those institutions can match what Wyoming offers for a hands-on, citizen science thunder lizard experience in the heart of dinosaur country. “Paleontology is not accessible to the general public, and it’s paleontology’s fault,” said Andrew Rossi, an interpretive guide at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis. Big museums keep their fossils behind railings and glass as part of a deliberate effort to protect valuable, one-of-a-kind specimens. But visitors crave a personal experience getting their hands dirty on a real dig, Rossi said. Continue Reading →

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Cougar Project uses cutting-edge tech to follow elusive predator

A cougar in Yellowstone.

The young male wasn’t an Olympic athlete in training, but his daily movements were tracked and recorded with amazing precision. He wasn’t on a crash diet, but what he ate was well-known, along with where and when he ate it. He wasn’t a patient with a rare or fatal disease, but his entire genome was sequenced. And he wasn’t a crime victim, although his violent death at a young age was determined by lab work and an arduous field investigation. The young male was M198, one of the first cougars fitted with a special tracking collar that is a cornerstone of the Yellowstone Cougar Project. Continue Reading →

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First-ever atlas charts big game migrations across Wyoming

Elk migrate along a high mountain pass outside Cody, Wyo. (Travis Zaffarano/Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit)

CODY, WYO. — A mule deer doe cautiously makes her way along a riverbank, sniffing the wind before moving out from the cover of willows to cross a busy highway. A passing motorists slows just in time to spot the animal as it hesitates, then bolts across the road. It’s a familiar scenario in Wyoming, but what drivers in the spring and fall may not realize is that road crossing is a small part of a seasonal migration that spans hundreds of miles. And if that doe is wearing a GPS tracking collar, there’s a good chance she’s generating an avalanche of data about her movements. Continue Reading →

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Private businesses chip in to keep Yellowstone open during shutdown

Visitors traverse the snow-covered boardwalk along Excelsior Geyser Crater in Yellowstone National Park. Private businesses have pitched in to keep the park open during the partial government shutdown .

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WYO. — Winter visitors to Yellowstone National Park say they are largely unaffected by the partial federal government shutdown, thanks mainly to private concessioners picking up the slack, and federal workers showing up without pay. After 34 days of reduced operations in the country’s national parks, Yellowstone visitors continue to tour the park by snow coach and snowmobile, much as they otherwise would under normal circumstances. “We don’t agree with the shutdown, but it hasn’t really impaired us,” said Don Stewart, who lives in Georgia and has a summer home in Red Lodge, Mont. Don and wife Karen began planning a Yellowstone tour by snow coach in July after their daughter raved about a winter trip. Continue Reading →

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Plan approved for sale of Cody Labs

The parent company of Cody Labs is laying off at least 80 workers as a result of plans to close its plant by the end of September.

CODY, WYO. — Philadelphia-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Lannett, Co. has approved a plan to sell Cody Laboratories, a wholly owned subsidiary that produces active pharmaceutical ingredients used in prescription opioids. In a US Securities and Exchange Commission statement filed Friday, the company cited an effort to “focus on nearer term opportunities and an overall strategic shift toward the company’s core competencies and optimization of its cost structure” as the basis for the planned sale. Publicly traded Lannett also cited concerns about Cody Labs’ “timeline to profitability,” and significant ongoing investment and operational costs. Continue Reading →

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Federal mining ban extended to protect northern gateway to Yellowstone

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks during a ceremony marking the withdrawal of more than 33,000 acres of public lands from new mining.

EMIGRANT, MONT. — Acting on a recommendation last month from the U.S. Forest Service, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Monday announced the withdrawal from mining for 20 years of more than 30,000 acres of federal lands in southwest Montana. Saying that “there are places to mine and places not to mine,” Zinke said Montana’s Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone National Park, was the kind of place where new large-scale mining wasn’t appropriate. The move extends a two-year moratorium on new mining claims in portions of the Custer Gallatin National Forest put in place by the Obama administration in 2016. Existing claims would not be affected. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone works to cope with crowds as summer season approaches

Jacob Baisley, who recently quit his job and sold his house to travel to national parks, snaps a photo May 4 of two Yellowstone National Park visitors at Artist Point.

 
Canyon Village, Wyo. — Jacob Baisley spent a few minutes taking in the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River at Artist Point during a recent swing through Yellowstone National Park. For many locals, it was the celebrated first day of the season when the East Entrance opens to autos. For Baisley, it was the latest stop on an extended road trip focused on national parks. “This is definitely one of the best parks in the U.S., one of my favorites so far,” said Baisley, 33, a former Florida resident who quit his job and sold his house to spend months on the road, living out of his pickup truck. Continue Reading →

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Photos offer intimate look into secrets of Yellowstone migrations

 

CODY, WYO. — Eagle Pass lies along the southern boundary of Yellowstone National Park, near Eagle Peak, which at 11,372 feet is the highest spot in Yellowstone. It’s not easy to reach, but photojournalist Joe Riis figured it would be a good spot for a remote camera as part of his efforts to document wildlife migrations around the park. Unfortunately, the camera was in operation only a few days before it was disabled. “A grizzly bear had hit it, and the camera was pushed down in the dirt,” said Riis, a National Geographic contributing photographer and photography fellow at the Wyoming Migration Initiative. Continue Reading →

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