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Bringing Out the Big Gun: Yellowstone stations howitzer atop Sylvan Pass

Yellowstone National Park maintenance worker Eric Holdren works last month to prepare a howitzer for use this winter in avalanche mitigation along Sylvan Pass. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate)

Shortly after the partial federal government shutdown ended last month, two Lake District maintenance workers performed an annual fall duty that most visitors to Yellowstone National Park never get to see, and is part of one of the park's most controversial management practices. Snow had already begun to pile up on Sylvan Pass by mid-October, requiring workers to clear a road to the platform where a 105-mm howitzer cannon is used each winter to blast snow from Hoyt Peak and Avalanche Peak on the north side of the pass. Continue Reading →

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