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

Yellowstone, Grand Teton seek local input on plan to reopen parks

By Ruffin Prevost
CODY, WYO. — Two of the country’s busiest national parks are expecting to reopen to visitors at some point this year, but details are still far from final on when that will happen, or how that process will unfold. On a conference call lasting nearly two hours Monday with Wyoming civic and business leaders in Cody and Jackson, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly and Grand Teton National Park Acting Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail stressed a cautious approach to reopening their respective parks. They were joined on the call by Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, and billed the discussion as a listening session, saying it would take time to develop a plan for reopening the parks. A similar call is planned this week for participants in Montana. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone, Cody summer road work on schedule despite virus concerns

CODY, WYO. — A range of road construction projects scheduled for this summer around Cody and Yellowstone National Park are currently expected to remain on schedule, with no reports yet of COVID-19 affecting workers, budgets or work progress. Work is scheduled to resume May 4 in Yellowstone on improvements to a 3.5-mile section of the East Entrance Road between Fishing Bridge and Indian Pond, said park spokeswoman Linda Veress. Work on the project is still expected to be completed substantially by late October, and the East Entrance Road will be fully accessible to visitor traffic for the duration of the 2020 summer season, Veress said. Visitors should expect delays of up to 30 minutes around Fishing Bridge, and some turnouts and trailheads may be inaccessible during construction. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone’s historic Mammoth Hotel reopens after $30 million renovation

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly greets visitors during a celebration Aug 30 marking the reopening of the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel folowing a $30-million renovation. (NPS photo/Jacob W. Frank)

 
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WYO. — A beloved, historic hotel in Yellowstone National Park has reopened following a $30 million renovation that included room upgrades and major work to overhaul its electrical systems and stabilize the structure in the seismically active park. While the Mammoth Hotel has already been reopened and hosting guests for several days in August, the National Park Service made it official Friday, with a ribbon-cutting, room tours and a morning celebrating the history of the hotel that serves as the hub of Mammoth Hot Springs, where the Park Service’s Yellowstone headquarters are located. “We’ve got some of the most important cultural resources in the world in this park, and this is one of them,” Superintendent Cam Sholly said of Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel during Friday’s festivities. The multi-year renovation and upgrade was in the planning stages for nearly 20 years, and preserved the building’s late 1930s art moderne style, as originally designed by architect Robert Reamer, who also designed the Old Faithful Inn and redesigned Lake Hotel. Continue Reading →

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VP Pence visits Old Faithful in push for park maintenance funding

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — Relying on a spectacular display of mother nature to drive his point home, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday called for additional funding for America’s national parks, saying they are “extraordinary treasures in the life of our nation.” Pence was joined in Yellowstone National Park by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly. The Vice President spoke in front of a well-timed, routine eruption from the reliable Old Faithful Geyser to push for a Congressional appropriation to address deferred maintenance in America’s national parks. The Trump administration is backing a bipartisan bill that would set aside an estimated $6.8 billion over 10 years to be spent on a $16 billion maintenance backlog at Interior. Nearly $12 billion of that is needed by the National Park Service to repair campgrounds, roads, bridges, visitor centers, trails and other infrastructure. Continue Reading →

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At least 80 jobs lost as Cody Labs to close by October

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. — Approximately 80 people employed at active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer Cody Labs will lose their jobs over the next 100 days, after parent company Lannett Co. Inc. announced plans this week to close the facility by the end of September. Cody Labs is a wholly owned subsidiary of Philadelphia-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Lannett, which also operates drug manufacturing facilities in Carmel, N.Y. and Seymour, Ind. Lannett had been seeking a buyer since last fall for its Cody plant. Continue Reading →

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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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