Yellowstone

National Park - ID, MT, WY

Yellowstone National Park is a nearly 3,500-sq.-mile wilderness recreation area atop a volcanic hot spot. Mostly in Wyoming, the park spreads into parts of Montana and Idaho too. Yellowstone features dramatic canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and gushing geysers, including its most famous, Old Faithful. It's also home to hundreds of animal species, including bears, wolves, bison, elk and antelope.

maps

Official visitor map of Nez Perce National Historical Park (NHP) in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Nez Perce - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Nez Perce National Historical Park (NHP) in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official Visitor Map of Yellowstone National Park (NP) in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Yellowstone National Park (NP) in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Highway Map of Montana. Published by the Montana Department of Transportation.Montana State - Montana Highway Map

Highway Map of Montana. Published by the Montana Department of Transportation.

Map of Seasonal and Year-Round BLM Public Land User Limitations in the BLM Cody Field Office area in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Wyoming Public Land - Cody

Map of Seasonal and Year-Round BLM Public Land User Limitations in the BLM Cody Field Office area in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

brochures

The Summer 2021 edition of the Yellowstone Visitor Guide for Yellowstone National Park (NP) in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Guide - Summer 2021

The Summer 2021 edition of the Yellowstone Visitor Guide for Yellowstone National Park (NP) in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The Spring 2021 edition of the Yellowstone Visitor Guide for Yellowstone National Park (NP) in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Guide - Spring 2021

The Spring 2021 edition of the Yellowstone Visitor Guide for Yellowstone National Park (NP) in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The Winter 2020/2021 edition of the Yellowstone Visitor Guide for Yellowstone National Park (NP) in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Guide - Winter 2020/2021

The Winter 2020/2021 edition of the Yellowstone Visitor Guide for Yellowstone National Park (NP) in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Handbook 2019 - Complete Guide

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Handbook 2019 - Table of Contents

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Handbook 2019 - Welcome, Park Facts, and Frequently Asked Questions

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Handbook 2019 - History of the Park

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Handbook 2019 - Preserving Cultural Resources

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Handbook 2019 - Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Handbook 2019 - Geology

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Handbook 2019 - Life in Extreme Heat

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Handbook 2019 - Vegetation

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Handbook 2019 - Fire

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Handbook 2019 - Wildlife - Mammals

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Yellowstone Handbook 2019 - Wildlife - Birds, Aquatic Species, Reptiles, and Amphibians

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Backcountry Trip Planner --  The most important publication for anyone planning to camp in the backcountry --. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Backcountry - Backcountry Trip Planner

Backcountry Trip Planner -- The most important publication for anyone planning to camp in the backcountry --. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Beyond Roads End provides regulations and guidelines for backcountry travel in Yellowstone. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Backcountry - Beyond Roads End

Beyond Roads End provides regulations and guidelines for backcountry travel in Yellowstone. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Booklet on boating regulations and safety in Yellowstone National Park (NP). Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Backcountry - Boating Regulations

Booklet on boating regulations and safety in Yellowstone National Park (NP). Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Tear-Off Maps for Yellowstone National Park (NP) and Grand Teton National Park (NP). Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Backcountry - Yellowstone and Grand Teton Tear-Off Maps

Tear-Off Maps for Yellowstone National Park (NP) and Grand Teton National Park (NP). Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone National Park’s "Natural Resource Vital Signs" report is a valuable tool used to assist park managers and scientists more fully understand the status of important indicators of resource condition. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Nature - Vital Signs and Select Park Resources 2017

Yellowstone National Park’s "Natural Resource Vital Signs" report is a valuable tool used to assist park managers and scientists more fully understand the status of important indicators of resource condition. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Grizzly Bears: Ecology and Conservation of an Icon of Wildness. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Nature - Grizzly Bears

Yellowstone Grizzly Bears: Ecology and Conservation of an Icon of Wildness. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Bison: Conserving an American Icon in Modern Society. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Nature - Bisons

Yellowstone Bison: Conserving an American Icon in Modern Society. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Yellowstone Bird Project - Annual Report 2018. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Nature - Birds

Yellowstone Bird Project - Annual Report 2018. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/yell https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowstone_National_Park Yellowstone National Park is a nearly 3,500-sq.-mile wilderness recreation area atop a volcanic hot spot. Mostly in Wyoming, the park spreads into parts of Montana and Idaho too. Yellowstone features dramatic canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and gushing geysers, including its most famous, Old Faithful. It's also home to hundreds of animal species, including bears, wolves, bison, elk and antelope. On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone became the first national park for all to enjoy the unique hydrothermal wonders. Today, millions of people come here each year to camp, hike, and enjoy the majesty of the park. Yellowstone National Park covers nearly 3,500 square miles in the northwest corner of Wyoming (3% of the park is in Montana and 1% is in Idaho). Yellowstone has five entrance stations, and several are closed to regular vehicles during winter. It takes many hours to drive between these entrances, so be sure to check the status of roads at the entrance you intend to use while planning your trip and before you arrive. Albright Visitor Center Here you can gather park information, orient yourself to the rest of the park (including road conditions, and campground and lodge availability), shop for souvenirs, explore exhibits to learn more about the wildlife and history of Yellowstone, join a ranger program, acquire a permit for fishing or backcountry camping at the backcountry office in the basement, or use the restrooms. This visitor center also has free Wi-Fi. Call 307-344-2263 for additional information. The Albright Visitor Center is located at Mammoth Hot Springs, five miles south of the North Entrance at the northern part of the upper loop of the Grand Loop Road. It is housed in one of the old stone buildings of Fort Yellowstone, a US Army fort built during the early days of the national park. Canyon Visitor Education Center Stop by the Canyon Visitor Education Center to learn more about the geologic story of the area, including the Yellowstone volcano, and view a room-size relief map of Yellowstone. You can also get orientation information, pick up a backcountry or fishing permit, shop for a souvenir, find out what ranger programs are available, watch a 20-minute film, or use the restrooms. Restrooms are available 24 hours a day. Call 307-344-2550 for additional information. The Canyon Visitor Education Center is located in the Canyon Village complex near the center of the Grand Loop Road system. It can be accessed from three different directions. Fishing Bridge Visitor Center and Trailside Museum The distinctive stone-and-log architecture of this old building—known as "parkitecture"—was one of several prototypes for park buildings around the country. Today, the visitor center and museum highlight the ecology of Yellowstone Lake, focusing on birds. Also stop by to visit with a ranger and find out when ranger programs are scheduled, buy a fishing permit, pick up a souvenir, or take in some truly stunning views of Yellowstone Lake and the surrounding mountains. Call 307-344-2450 for more information. Fishing Bridge Museum is situated near the north shore of Yellowstone Lake on the East Entrance Road. It can be accessed from the east and west directions. Grant Visitor Center Fire plays an important, natural role in the ecosystems found in Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding region. Learn more about this and the fires of 1988 in the exhibit hall, gather park information and trip ideas, shop for souvenirs at the park store, join a ranger program, buy a fishing, boating, or backcountry camping permit at the backcountry office next door, or use the restrooms. Call 307-344-2650 for additional information. Grant Visitor Center is located on the western shore of Yellowstone Lake, a short distance south of the West Thumb Geyser Basin. There are two directions from which to access Grant Village. Madison Information Station and Trailside Museum Located about halfway between Old Faithful and West Yellowstone, you can stop here for park information as visitors have been doing since 1930. The structure is an example of "parkitecture" or designing a building in a way that reflects the surrounding ecosystem. You can also shop for souvenirs in the park store, attend a ranger program, purchase a fishing permit, or use the restrooms. Call 307-344-2821 for additional information. Located just south of Madison Junction. Madison can be reached from two different directions, so check your map carefully before driving. Museum of the National Park Ranger Once a US Army outpost built in 1908, this visitor center houses exhibits that celebrate the history of the park ranger profession. To enhance the story of the park ranger experience, this visitor center is staffed by volunteer retired rangers. The current structure replaced previous structures dating back to 1884. Call 307-344-7353 for additional information. Located off the Grand Loop Road at the entrance to Norris Campground. Norris Geyser Basin Museum and Information Station Situated on the ridge overlooking the Norris Geyser Basin, this historic building is staffed during the summer with rangers who provide park information and facilitate ranger programs. Visitors have been seeking information here since 1930 when the museum was built as a "trailside museum" to serve people traveling in their own automobiles without a guide. Restrooms are located in the parking lot. Call 307-344-2812 for additional information. The Norris Geyser Basin Museum is located 1/4-mile west of Norris Junction just off the Grand Loop Road. It can be accessed from three directions so check a map carefully before planning your trip. Old Faithful Visitor Education Center Located near Old Faithful Geyser, this visitor center offers views of the geyser's eruption from the tall, windowed front of the visitor center. Additionally, you can gather park information, talk with a park ranger at the front desk, shop for souvenirs in the park store, delve into the natural wonders of Yellowstone in the exhibit hall, join a ranger program, or use the restrooms. Call 307-344-2751 for additional information. Located in the Upper Geyser Basin, Old Faithful Visitor Education Center can be accessed from two different directions so check your map before traveling. West Thumb Information Station A small facility at the start of the West Thumb Geyser Basin boardwalks, where you can visit with a park ranger and gather park information, shop for souvenirs in the park store, or join a ranger program. The structure was built in 1925 and is an example of historic ranger-station architecture in Yellowstone. Call 307-242-7690 for additional information. A few miles north of Grant Village on the western shore of Yellowstone Lake, West Thumb can be accessed from three different directions. West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center Located in the town of West Yellowstone, Montana, there is a desk staffed by National Park Service rangers (summer and winters only). The building is open year-round and a second desk is staffed by the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce. Stop by for park information or to use the restrooms. Located inside the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce, in the town of West Yellowstone. West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center (NPS Desk) Located in the town of West Yellowstone, Montana, there is a desk and backcountry office staffed by National Park Service rangers (summer and winters only). The building is open year-round and a second desk is staffed by the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce. Stop by to obtain backcountry and fishing permits at the NPS backcountry office, to get park information, or to use the restrooms. Call 307-344-2876 for additional information. Located inside the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce Bridge Bay Campground Bridge Bay Campground—elevation 7,800 feet (2377 m)—is located near Yellowstone Lake, one of the largest, high-elevation, fresh-water lakes in North America. Campers at Bridge Bay will enjoy spectacular views of the lake and the Absaroka Range rising above the lake's eastern shore. Yellowstone National Park Lodges provides reservations for this campground. Nightly Fee 28.00 Rates do not include taxes or utility fees and are subject to change. Interagency Access and Senior Pass holders receive a 50% discount. Hiker/bicyclist Nightly Fee 9.40 This is the per-person cost for a hiker/bicyclist campsite for one night. Group (1–19 People) 136.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 1–19 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Group (20–29 People) 199.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 20–29 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Group (30–39 People) 262.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 30–39 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Group (40–49 People) 336.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 40–49 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Group (50–60 People) 399.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 50–60 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Bridge Bay Campground Sign Bridge Bay Campground is located close to the Bridge Bay Marina and Yellowstone Lake. Bridge Bay Campground Tents at campsite The campground location encompasses woods and meadows and some sites look out on Yellowstone Lake. Bridge Bay Campground Tents at campground site Bison are frequent visitors at Bridge Bay Campground. Bridge Bay Campground Tent at campground Bridge Bay Campground. Bridge Bay Campground Campsite in trees Bridge Bay Campground offers camping sites in the trees and meadows. Bridge Bay Campground RV at campsite Bridge Bay Campground Bridge Bay Campground RV at campsite Bridge Bay Campground Bridge Bay Campground Tent at campsite Bridge Bay Campground Canyon Campground Canyon Campground—elevation 7,900 feet (2408 m)—lies in a lodgepole pine forest at Canyon Village, south of the Washburn range and near the breath-taking Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. Canyon Village offers stores, restaurants, and lodging. Nearby hikes include Cascade Lake, Mount Washburn, and the Canyon Rim trails. Yellowstone National Park Lodges provides reservations for this campground. Nightly Fee 33.00 Rates do not include taxes or utility fees and are subject to change. Interagency Access and Senior Pass holders receive a 50% discount. Hiker/bicyclist Nightly Fee 9.40 This is the per-person cost for a hiker/bicyclist campsite for one night. Canyon Campground Campsite in the Canyon Campground Campsite in the Canyon Campground Canyon Campground RV dump station at the Canyon Campground RV dump station at the Canyon Campground Canyon Campground Campsites Canyon Campground Canyon Campground Large boulder at a campsite Canyon Campground Canyon Campground Campsite at campground Canyon Campground Canyon Campground Tent at campsite Canyon Campground Canyon Campground Tent at campsite Canyon Campground Canyon Campground RV at campsite Canyon Campground Fishing Bridge RV Park Fishing Bridge RV Park—elevation 7,800 feet (2377 m)—is located near the Yellowstone River where it exits Yellowstone Lake on its way toward the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Only campground in Yellowstone to offer water, sewer, and electrical hookups. Because grizzly bears frequent the area, no tents or tent campers are allowed. Yellowstone National Park Lodges provides reservations for this campground. Nightly Fee 79.00 Rates do not include taxes or utility fees and are subject to change. Interagency Access and Senior Pass holders do not receive discounts at this campground. Fishing Bridge RV Park Park structure Fishing Bridge General Store Fishing Bridge RV Park Man dressed inraincoat standing in front of building. Fishing Bridge RV Park has laundry and showers. Fishing Bridge RV Park Recreational Vehicle parked. An RV at Fishing Bridge RV park. Fishing Bridge RV Park Campers and RVs parked in campground. Fishing Bridge RV Park. Fishing Bridge RV Park Hard-sided camper at campground Hard-side camping only at Fishing Bridge. Fishing Bridge RV Park Row of RVs in a campground Fishing Bridge RV Park Fishing Bridge RV Park RV at campsite Located near Yellowstone Lake and Yellowstone River, Fishing Bridge is hard-sided camping only. Grant Village Campground Grant Campground—elevation 7,800 feet (2377 m)—is located in Grant Village, just off the Grand Loop Road at the south end of Yellowstone Lake. It is one of the larger campgrounds in the park. Group and wheel-chair accessible sites are available. Nearby there are stores, a restaurant, gas station, visitor center, and boat ramp. Yellowstone National Park Lodges provides reservations for this campground. Nightly Fee 33.00 Rates do not include taxes or utility fees and are subject to change. Interagency Access and Senior Pass holders receive a 50% discount. Hiker/bicyclist Nightly Fee 9.40 This is the per-person cost for a hiker/bicyclist campsite for one night. Group (1–19 People) 136.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 1–19 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Group (20–29 People) 199.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 20–29 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Group (30–39 People) 262.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 30–39 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Group (40–49 People) 336.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 40–49 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Group (50–60 People) 399.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 50–60 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Grant Village Campground Tent at campsite Grant Village Campground Grant Village Campground Tent at campsite Grant Village Campground Grant Village Campground Restroom at campground Grant Village Campground Grant Village Campground Tent and campers at campsite. Grant Village Campground Grant Village Campground Family picnicking at campsite. Grant Village Campground Grant Village Campground Camp trailer at campsite Grant Village Campground Indian Creek Campground Located about eight miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs on the road to Norris, Indian Creek Campground—elevation 7,300 feet (2225 m)—sits near the base of the Gallatin Mountains and offers breathtaking views of Electric Peak. The area offers easy access to fishing and hiking. The campground is away from the main road and provides a quieter, more primitive, experience than many other locations. This is a first-come, first-served campground run by the National Park Service. Nightly Fee 20.00 Interagency Access and Senior Pass holders receive a 50% discount. Hiker/bicyclist Night Fee 10.00 This is the per-person cost for a hiker/bicyclist campsite for one night. Indian Creek Campground People standing in front of log building Indian Creek Campground Indian Creek Campground Bear Country sign All campgrounds in Yellowstone including Indian Creek Campground is in bear country. Indian Creek Campground RV and people at a campsite Indian Creek Campground Indian Creek Campground Tent at people at campsite. Indian Creek Campground Indian Creek Campground Visitors setting up tent at campsite. Indian Creek Campground Indian Creek Campground Campsite with tent and picnic table. Indian Creek Campground Lewis Lake Campground Lewis Lake Campground—elevation 7,800 ft (2377 m)—is about eight miles from the South Entrance and a short walk from the southeast shore of Lewis Lake. A boat ramp is located near the campground information and registration area. Canoes, kayaks, and motor boats are allowed on Lewis Lake. Boat permits and an aquatic invasive species inspection performed by park staff are required. This is a first-come, first-served campground run by the National Park Service. Nightly Fee 20.00 Interagency Access and Senior Pass holders receive a 50% discount. Hiker/bicyclist Nightly Fee 10.00 This is the per-person cost for a hiker/bicyclist campsite for one night. Lewis Lake Campground A view of Lewis Lake A view of Lewis Lake Lewis Lake Campground Log building at campground Lewis Lake Campground Lewis Lake Campground Wooded campsite at Lewis Lake Wooded campsite at Lewis Lake Lewis Lake Campground Tents and bikes at campsites Lewis Lake Campground NPS/Renkin Vehicle at boat dock Lewis Lake Campground has a boat ramp located near the campground information and registration area. Lewis Lake Campground Tent at campsite Lewis Lake Campground Lewis Lake Campground Tent at campsite Lewis Lake Campground Lewis Lake Campground Tent and camp chairs at campsite. Lewis Lake Campground Lewis Lake Campground Campsite Lewis Lake Campground Madison Campground Madison Campground—elevation 6,800 feet (2073 m)—sits about 14 miles east from the town of West Yellowstone and 16 miles north of Old Faithful. Nearby, the Gibbon and Firehole rivers join to form the Madison River. In early summer, meadows teem with wildflowers and bison. In September and October, you can often hear bugling elk. Yellowstone National Park Lodges provides reservations for this campground. Nightly Fee 28.00 Rates do not include taxes or utility fees and are subject to change. Interagency Access and Senior Pass holders receive a 50% discount. Hiker/bicyclist Nightly Fee 9.40 This is the per-person cost for a hiker/bicyclist campsite for one night. Group (1–19 People) 136.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 1–19 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Group (20–29 People) 199.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 20–29 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Group (30–39 People) 262.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 30–39 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Group (40–49 People) 336.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 40–49 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Group (50–60 People) 399.00 Nightly cost for a group campsite with 50–60 people in the party. All rates subject to applicable taxes and fees. Madison Campground Camping sites Even on a rainy day, there are many things to do at Madison, including having a meal under a canopy. Bench overlooking Firehole River Bench near the Firehole River Bench overlooking Firehole River Madison Campground Parked RV RV at Madison Campground Tent sites at the Madison Campground Tents pitched at campground Tent sites at the Madison Campground Madison Campground Camping site Even on a rainy day at Madison Campground there are many things to do nearby including the Madison Information Station. Madison Campground Campsites Madison Campground is set in a partially woody area. Mammoth Campground The only campground in the park open year-round, Mammoth Campground—elevation 6,200 feet (1890 m)—is located five miles south of the park's North Entrance. Scattered juniper and Douglas fir trees provide shade during hot summer months. The campground is close to fishing, hiking, and the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces. Great wildlife viewing opportunities abound with elk and bison occasionally passing through the campground. This is a reservation-only campground 5/1–10/15 run by the National Park Service. Nightly Fee 25.00 Interagency Access and Senior Pass holders receive a 50% discount. Hiker/bicyclist Nightly Fee 10.00 This is the per-person cost for a hiker/bicyclist campsite for one night. Mammoth Hot Springs Campground Mammoth Campground Mammoth Hot Springs Campground facing north Mammoth Hot Springs Campground Camping Sites Camping sites at Mammoth Hot Springs Campground Mammoth Hot Springs Campground Camping sites Mammoth Hot Springs Campground view of sites looking north Mammoth Hot Springs Campground Tents pitched at the Mammoth Hot Springs Campground Tents pitched at the Mammoth Hot Springs Campground Mammoth Hot Springs Campground Tent pitched at campground Tent pitched at Mammoth Hot Springs Campground Mammoth Hot Springs Campground Pop-up camper in the Mammoth Hot Springs Campground Mammoth Hot Springs Campground can accommodate tents, bikers, hikers, RVs and pop-ups. Mammoth Hot Springs Campground Winter campsite at Mammoth Hto Springs Mammoth Hot Springs Campground is the only campground in the park open year-round. Mammoth Hot Springs Campground Road in campground The Mammoth Hot Springs Campground is the only campground open year-round. Norris Campground This campground–elevation 7,500 feet (2,286 m)–is located near a large open meadow, which provides opportunity for wildlife viewing. Bison frequently walk through the campground. Most sites are shaded by lodgepole pine. The Museum of the National Park Ranger is a quick walk from the campground, as are Norris Geyser Basin Museum and Norris Geyser Basin--the hottest and most changeable thermal area in Yellowstone. This is a reservable campground run by the National Park Service. Nightly fee 25.00 Interagency Access and Senior Pass holders receive a 50% discount. Hiker/bicyclist Nightly Fee 10.00 This is the per-person cost for a hiker/bicyclist campsite for one night. Norris Campground Tent campsite pitched next to nearby stream Norris campground site Norris Campground Small RV parked at a campground Norris Campground campsite Norris Campground Tent pitched at a campground Norris Campground campsite Norris Campground Bison in campground Bison are a frequent visitor at the Norris Campground Norris Campground Campsite Norris Campground Norris Campground RV at campground Norris Campground Pebble Creek Campground Pebble Creek Campground—elevation 6,900 feet (2103 m)—lies against the dramatic backdrop of the Absaroka Mountains near the park's Northeast Entrance and offers a more isolated camping experience. Day hiking opportunities are available nearby. Soda Butte Creek offers fishing opportunities and there are outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities throughout Lamar Valley. This campground run by the National Park Service contains reservable and first-come, first-served sites. Nightly Fee 20.00 Interagency Access and Senior Pass holders receive a 50% discount. Hiker/bicyclist Nightly Fee 10.00 This is the per-person cost for a hiker/bicyclist campsite for one night. Pebble Creek Campground The entrance to the Pebble Creek Campground The Pebble Creek Campground offers partially shaded sites on the edge of the Absaroka Mountains. Pebble Creek Campground Tent and camper at campsite. Pebble Creek campgrund Pebble Creek Campground RV at campsite Pebble Creek Campground Pebble Creek Campground Camping trailer at campsite Pebble Creek Campground Pebble Creek Campground Campsite with stream Pebble Creek Campground Pebble Creek Campground Campsites at the Pebble Creek Campground Campsites at the Pebble Creek Campground Pebble Creek Campground Bear proof food storage at the Pebble Creek Campground Bear proof food storage at the Pebble Creek Campground Pebble Creek Campground Food storage box, picnic table, tent at campsite. Pebble Creek Campground Slough Creek Campground Slough Creek Campground—elevation 6,250 feet (1905 m)—is near some of the best wildlife watching opportunities in the park. Located at the end of a two mile dirt road, this campground is best suited for tents and small RVs. There are plenty of hiking and fishing opportunities in the area, including the Slough Creek Trail which begins nearby. Nighttime offers a quiet, unimpeded view of the stars and the possibility of hearing wolves howl. This is a reservable campground run by the National Park Service. Nightly Fee 20.00 Interagency Access and Senior Pass holders receive a 50% discount. Slough Creek Campground Campsites in the Slough Creek Campground Campsites in the Slough Creek Campground Slough Creek Campground Visitors and tent at campsite. Slough Creek Campground Slough Creek Campground Tent and camp chair at campsite Slough Creek Campground Slough Creek Campground Campsite near stream. Slough Creek Campground Slough Creek Campground Truck with camping trailer, RV at campsite Slough Creek Campground Slough Creek Campground Campsites in the Slough Creek Campground Campsites in the Slough Creek Campground Tower Fall Campground Tower Fall Campground—elevation 6,600 feet (2012 m)—is located on the north side of the steep, winding, road to Dunraven Pass. The campground is near the Tower General Store and Tower Fall. The Lamar Valley, with spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities, is located nearby as are several hiking trails. Roosevelt Lodge, a short drive from the campground, offers dining and horseback riding. This is a first-come, first-served campground run by the National Park Service. Nightly Fee 20.00 Interagency Access and Senior Pass holders receive a 50% discount. Hiker/bicyclist Nightly Fee 10.00 This is the per-person cost for a hiker/bicyclist campsite for one night. Tower Fall Campground A view of the Tower Fall Campground A view of the Tower Fall Campground Tower Fall Campground Campsite at Tower Fall Campground Campsite at Tower Fall Campground Tower Fall Campground RVs at the Tower Fall Campground RVs at the Tower Fall Campground Tower Fall Campground Campsite with bear proof food storage at Tower Fall Campground Campsite with bear proof food storage at Tower Fall Campground Tower Fall Campground Setting up camp in the Tower Fall Campground Setting up camp in the Tower Fall Campground Grand Prismatic Spring Brilliant blues and greens of a hot spring ringed by oranges, yellows, reds, and browns. The bright colors found in Grand Prismatic Spring come from thermophiles—microorganisms that thrive in hot temperatures Aurum Geyser A crowd of people standing along a wooden boardwalk watches a geyser erupt. Aurum Geyser erupting Black Pool A visitor stands on a boardwalk near a hot spring and a lake. Black Pool at the West Thumb Geyser Basin Beehive Geyser People on a wooden boardwalk watch a geyser erupt. Visitors to the Upper Geyser Basin watch Beehive Geyser erupt. Wolf howling A wolf howls while standing on a snowy field. Alpha male of the Canyon wolf pack Fishing Bridge Trailside Museum Visitors walk into a rustic, log and stone building. The stone-and-log architecture of Fishing Bridge Trailside Museum became a prototype for park buildings all around the country Great Fountain Geyser A geyser erupting in the middle of a large pool. Great Fountain Geyser erupts against a blue summer sky Old Faithful Geyser in winter A crowd in front of an erupting geyser during a snowy winter day. Winter is a magical time to watch Old Faithful Geyser erupt Palette Spring Visitors walk in front of a brightly colored, terraced landscape. The vibrant colors of Palette Springs are formed by thermophiles—heat-loving organisms Bighorn sheep Two bighorn sheep laying on the ground. Two bighorn rams rest and chew their cud Lower Falls from Artist Point A river plunges into a steep, barren canyon. Lower Falls from Artist Point Bison herd in a thermal area A herd of bison grazing through a barren and steaming thermal area. Bison near Mud Volcano Grizzly bear A grizzly bear standing on a fallen tree. Grizzly bear in the woods Yellowstone River A greenish river meanders through a hilly river valley. The Yellowstone River near Tower Fall Lone Star Fire Smoke from the new Lone Star fire temporarily closes road in Yellowstone National Park. A lightning-ignited wildfire was reported on Saturday, August 22 at 5:15 p.m. about three miles south of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. As of Saturday evening, the fire was estimated at 300 acres and not burning toward Old Faithful. Currently, staff are implementing protection measures for the Old Faithful area in the event the fire moves in that direction. A Day in the Field, Collaboration is Key to Upper Gibbon Fishery Restoration In September 2017, a collection of 35 biologists and ecologists, interns, and park volunteers from several parks, agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) gathered at a series of lakes in the upper Gibbon watershed of Yellowstone National Park (YNP). The task at hand was to implement an ambitious project. The project area included 16 km (10 mi) of the Upper Gibbon River and Grebe, Ice, and Wolf lakes, totaling over 92 ha (228 surface acres)... Biologists prepare for the application of rotenone at Grebe Lake in September 2017 SHORT: Past Warm Periods Provide Vital Benchmarks for Understanding the Future of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem The wildlife, vegetation, and ecosystems discussed in this issue of Yellowstone Science are vital signs of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) that warrant continued monitoring. Determining which organisms and processes are truly vital ecosystem components requires both an understanding of modern ecological interactions and insight into the resilience of organisms and processes to stressors in the past... Trees rise out of the mist Sneak Peek The grassland and sagebrush-steppe habitats in and near Yellowstone National Park (YNP) have been referred to as America’s Serengeti because they support abundant and diverse ungulates and their predators. Thousands of bison and elk, and hundreds of bighorn sheep, deer, and pronghorn migrate seasonally across the landscape where they interact with black bears, coyotes, grizzly bears, and wolves, thereby providing one of the premier places in the world... Three bison push through deep winter snows. 2014 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2014 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards 2010 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2010 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards 2009 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2009 Environmental Achievement Awards 2011 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2011 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards 2015 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2015 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards 2012 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2012 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards 2008 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2008 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Geologic Overview of a Bison-Carcass Site at Norris Geyser Basin Geologic Overview of a Bison-Carcass Site at Norris Geyser Basin A uniformed person standing near a bison carcass Temporal Variation in Wold Predation Dynamics in Yellowstone Beginning with the pioneering work of Adolph Murie (1944) in Mount McKinley (now Denali National Park) in 1939-1941, ecologists have long been interested in evaluating the factors influencing wolf predation dynamics. Murie, who had just recently studied coyote ecology in Yellowstone National Park (YNP), was hired to assess wolves’ relationship with Dall sheep. .. Figure from Metz paper The Big Scientific Debate: Trophic Cascades Wolves generate controversy. Usually it’s of a cultural kind, like how they should be managed or should we have them at all. Scientific debates tend to take the back seat. Probably the most intense of these is the impact of wolves on their prey because the answer may influence wildlife management. In Yellowstone, a somewhat unique controversy, largely centered within scientific circles, has cropped up and questions how wolves impact ecosystems–if at all... Aspen grove in Yellowstone National Park. The Plight of Aspen: Emerging as a Beneficiary of Wolf Restoration on Yellowstone's Northern Range Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) is the most widely distributed tree in North America and is native to Yellowstone National Park’s (YNP) northern range, a 250,000 acre area including the valleys of Yellowstone, Lamar, and Gardner rivers. Aspen make up a small component of vegetation on Yellowstone’s landscape, and most stands on the northern range are less than five acres in size... close up photo of an aspen leap with water droplets Bear Spray Canister Recycling Bear spray is an important tool for reducing bear-human conflicts and keeping both bears and people safe. To help keep Yellowstone's environment safe please recycle your used, expired, or unwanted bear spray canisters. Bear spray canister is disassembled and all components are laid out. News and Notes (YS-26-1) Yellowstone Science shares information from scientists and researchers with the public to highlight in-depth, science-based knowledge about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The production of Yellowstone Science is made possible, in part by a generous grant to the Yellowstone Park Foundation by Canon U.S.A. Yellowstone Science Volume 26 Issue 1 May 2018 Mine tailings reclamation project improves water quality in Yellowstone’s Soda Butte Creek Contaminated with heavy metals for more than 80 years, Yellowstone’s Soda Butte Creek was recently recommended for removal from Montana’s 303(d) Impaired Waters List. McLaren Gold Mine near Cooke City, Montana. Park Air Profiles - Yellowstone National Park Air quality profile for Yellowstone National Park. Gives park-specific information about air quality and air pollution impacts for Yellowstone NP as well as the studies and monitoring conducted for Yellowstone NP. Signpost at Yellowstone National Park Science Plan in Support of Ecosystem Restoration, Preservation, and Protection in South Florida The Florida Everglades is a complex ecosystem of diverse, interconnected subtropical habitats. Once comprised of over 4 million acres, today the historic Everglades have been reduced by half. The conflict of human versus natural elements in South Florida began in earnest in the early 1900s, when the control of water and the drainage of wetlands were first considered essential for commerce and human safety. A swamp with varying vegetation Sneak Peek: 60 Years of Archeology in Yellowstone Wild, pristine, untrammeled. When thinking about Yellowstone, a vast and amazing backcountry, large carnivores, ungulates, iconic geysers, and geothermal features fill the imagination. However, 11,000 years of Yellowstone’s human history is for most people a hidden text. As we approach sixty years of archeological research in the park, we know a great deal more about how ancestors of today’s Native American tribes lived in Yellowstone... Archeologist working on the shores of Yellowstone Lake A Day in the Field: Of Mice and Hantivirus Yellowstone’s northern range, undoubtedly one of the prime wildlife viewing spots in North America, harbors impressive bison herds, wolf packs, and meandering bears. Visitors are likely to depart from the park’s northern lands with at least one, if not more, checks on their wildlife card. Beneath the awe of the large herds and charismatic megafauna lives a quiet, hidden life... Jessica Richards at work in Lamar Valley Stop Aquatic Invaders Aquatic invasive species, including fish, snails, mussels, algae and disease are primarily spread from water to water by human activity, often on boats, fishing gear or other recreational equipment. The good news is, you as a visitor to park waters, can help stop aquatic hitchhikers. Plastic pipe recovered from infested waters, encrusted with quagga mussels Wildland Fire History — Fire Is Fire—Or Is It? The historic fires in the Greater Yellowstone Area in 1988 brought issues at the wildland-urban interface to the forefront. This article discusses the differences between fighting a wildland fire and a structural fire. The Yellowstone fires were the impetus behind the National Park Service’s current focus on the wildland-urban interface. Two firefighters use a hose to spray foam on the Old Faithul Inn. Wildland Fire History — The Endless Summer of ’88 at Yellowstone: Madness, Macintoshes, and Mail Yellowstone park ranger describes education and outreach efforts to schools in the wake of the historic 1988 wildfires. The park received artwork, letters of concern and gratitude, and offers of help from all 50 states and several countries. They shared with teachers information about the environmental education curriculum, Expedition: Yellowstone, and wrote a primer on the fires and the park’s perspective. They developed the self-guiding Children’s Fire Trail. Wildland Fire History — The History of National Park Service Fire Policy Article presents a short history of fire management policy on NPS lands.Scientists know that fire plays a number of essential roles in some forest types. After the 1988 Yellowstone fires, an interagency team investigating current federal fire management policies found that the objectives and philosophy behind prescribed natural fire policies in national parks and wilderness areas are fundamentally sound, but needed to be refined, strengthened, and reaffirmed. Wildland Fire History — Blazing New Trails for Wildland Fire Management The historic 1988 Yellowstone area fires will have a significant effect on NPS fire management program thanks to widespread public and political interest. Needs include better cooperation among land management agencies with contiguous borders and more funding for and training in prescribed fire. Efforts are underway to meet these goals. (Article originally published in 1989.) Wildland Fire History — Are Your Bags Packed? An NPS interpretive specialist recounts her experiences during the historic 1988 Greater Yellowstone Area fires. SHORT: Aquatic Vascular Macrophytes as Vital Signs Large, readily visible plants (macrophytes) are central species of aquatic ecosystems. Macrophytes have diverse morphological and ecological strategies for living in divergent ecological conditions or niches that span the water column. For example, macrophytes can be free-floating on the surface, entirely or partially submerged, and emergent. Of the 41 vital signs selected for Yellowstone National Park (YNP), nearly two of every five (40%) can be connected to macrophytes... Myriophyllum quitense and Stuckenia x suecica, Firehole River. Assessing the Ecological Health of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Species declines and extinctions are occurring at rates that are unrivaled in human and geological history (Ceballos et al. 2017). Similarly, wild places are also dwindling in area (Watson et al. 2018). Some large, protected areas like the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) have experienced less change than more populated corners of the world primarily because the GYE benefits from a substantial level of federal agency protection... acre-ecosystem wit Satellite image of Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem SHORT: Yellowstone bats important indicator ecosystem health The popularity of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is often gauged by the abundance of wildlife that calls it home, but the ecological health of the park is regularly assessed by a suite of indicator species. Bioindicators are typically species or species groups that are easily observed; however, a silent gray blur darting overhead at twilight may turn out to be an important indicator of environmental health... A Townsend's big-eared batcaptured during a mist net survey in Yellowstone National Park. SHORT: Yellowstone Birds Are Vital Traveling through Yellowstone National Park (YNP), visitors frequently stop to enjoy the park’s birds: small songbirds flitting about the willows, sandhill cranes engaged in their ritual mating dances, or myriad species of waterfowl loafing in one of the park's many wetlands. Typically while driving the roads of YNP, a majority of visitors consider a stopped car and raised binoculars a sure sign of some large mammal sighting... Two blue herons take flight over a wintry landscape Yellowstone Science 27(1) - Vital Signs Download a PDF of the entire issue. Cover of Yellowstone Science 27(1): The Vital Signs Issue A Day in the Field: Citizen Science Engagement Understanding long-term environmental change and documenting patterns in nature requires rigorous protocols, dedicated observers, and a long-term commitment. Increasingly citizen scientists or volunteers from outside the scientifc community are contributing to monitoring programs that are difcult or impossible to carry out (Bonney et al. 2009)... The Montana-Yellowstone Archeological Project at Yellowstone Lake Native Americans who lived within the northwestern Great Plains, the northern Rocky Mountains, and the far northeastern edge of the Great Basin drew on Yellowstone Lake during seasonal subsistence and settlement. Using ethnohistoric (information derived from the study of native peoples from a historical and anthropological perspective) and archeological data, researchers are evaluating questions about the use of Yellowstone Lake in prehistory. Yellowstone knife 2019 Connecting with our Homelands Awardees Hopa Mountain, in partnership with the National Park Service, is pleased to announce the 2019 awardees of the Connecting with our Homelands travel grants. Twenty-one Indigenous organizations, schools, and nonprofits have been awarded travel funds for trips to national park units across 12 states/territories within the United States. An elder and young student talk while sitting on a rock. Lessons Learned from the Yellowstone Wolf Restoration Project Bruce Babbit, former Secretary of the Interior, writes about his role in wolf reintroduction. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbit and Wolf Project lead Doug Smith watch wolves in Lamar Valley Five Questions Three scientists at the forefront of wolf ecology answer the same questions about wolf biology and management. Read more about the interview with L. David Mech, Rolf O. Peterson, & Douglas W. Smith, as interviewed by Charissa Reid.  L. David Mech and Durward Allen examine a wolf kill in the 1960s. Mammoth Hot Spring Historic District Acorn Lights Improvement Project This project improved energy efficiency of lamps in the National Historic District by removing old mercury vapor lamps and replacing them with custom-designed fixtures which both maintain the historic significance of the fixtures, and minimize light pollution. Redesigned lamp fixture with LEDs and shaded top. Sneak Peek (YS-26-1) In medicine, vital signs, such as blood pressure and pulse rate, are simple routine measurements used to assess human health. When tracked over time, vital sign measurements contribute to diagnoses and support decisions concerning the response of patients to medical treatments. Slight abnormalities in vital sign measurements (e.g., elevated body temperature) are usually not critical but may warrant a more careful diagnosis, whereas extremely abnormal vital signs... Illustration of the vital signs concept. The Yellowstone Story Little did Philetus Norris know that when he picked up Native American artifacts and sent them off to the Smithsonian Institution in the latter half of the 19th century, that he launched what would eventually be a complex and dynamic field of inquiry into the archeology of the world’s first national park. For Yellowstone National Park (YNP), archeology provides a compelling counter narrative to the idea that Yellowstone is a wilderness, untouched by humans... Photo of Tobin Roop smiling in ranger attire. A Brief History of Archeology at Yellowstone National Park The fact that Native Americans used the landscape of present-day Yellowstone National Park (YNP) for millennia was evident to the early European-American trappers, prospectors, and explorers, who encountered native peoples during their travels and noted ancient trails and chipped stone artifacts. Carmen Clayton and Elaine Hale in the field. Shorts (YS 26-1) Learn more about ongoing research and findings in this reoccurring series of short articles. Robin Park holds a stone artifact. America's Best Idea: Featured National Historic Landmarks Over 200 National Historic Landmarks are located in national parks units. Some historical and cultural resources within the park system were designated as NHLs before being established as park units. Yet other park units have NHLs within their boundaries that are nationally significant for reasons other than those for which the park was established. Twenty of those NHLs are located in parks featured in Ken Burn's documentary, The National Parks: America's Best Idea. watchtower against blue sky Bat Projects in Parks: Yellowstone National Park If only bats were as easy to see as other wildlife in Yellowstone National Park. Find out how they are monitoring for bats! People watching Beehive Geyser erupt with Lion Geyser in the background Army Couple Visits 59 National Parks When you’re a dual-military couple, it can be a challenge to try to find things to do together, especially when you’re at separate duty stations or on deployment. For one Army couple, what started out as a simple idea to get out of the house turned into a five-year adventure. Couple standing in front of The Windows at Arches National Park. Yellowstone Wolf Project Report 2016 There were at least 108 wolves in 11 packs (7 breeding pairs) living primarily in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) through December 2016 (figures 1& 2). Breeding pairs are defined as an adult male and an adult female with two pups that survive through the end of the year. Overall, wolf numbers have fluctuated between 83-108 wolves and 6-9 breeding pairs from 2009 to 2016... 2016 Yellowstone Wolf Project Report Protecting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from Aquatic Invasive Species Perhaps no greater threat exists to public recreation, infrastructure, and aquatic resources in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) than that from aquatic invasive species (AIS). AIS are aquatic animals, plants, and pathogens that can negatively impact ecosystems, industry, tourism, and even human health when they become established in waters outside of their historic range... Fisheries Staff at Sunset on Yellowstone Lake Yellowstone National Park, 1988: A 25th Anniversary Retrospective August 20, 2013, marks the 25th anniversary of Black Saturday, the most significant single day of fire growth to occur during the 1988 Yellowstone fires. About 36 percent of the park was burned, and 67 structures were destroyed. Across the nation, national parks and forests suspended and updated their fire management plans. The NPS has created a web page with relevant documents. historic image of fire crew working on the Yellowstone fire of 88 NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. [Site Under Development] Crested Pool hot spring SHORT: An Uncertain Future: the Persistence of Whitebark Pine in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem If ever I was to love a tree, this is the tree (figure 1) that would own my heart. Enduring gracefully at the base of a narrow, high-elevation cirque in the Wind River Range, it is a challenging off-trail scramble to be in its presence. My first encounter with this massive whitebark pine was in July 2014. Located just a stone’s throw from our monitoring plot, I felt compelled to pay homage to this incredible specimen that has clearly withstood hardship... Biologists measure the girth of a whitebark pine tree. SHORT: The Yellowstone River Fish-Kill Trout are socioeconomically and ecologically important in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA), yet these fish face numerous threats. Disease may begin to play a larger role in reducing fish populations, partly because many existing threats may interact to exacerbate the frequency, extent, and severity of fish diseases (Lafferty 2009)... Dead mountain whitefish found along the Yellowstone River shore Patterns of Primary Production & Ecological Drought in Yellowstone Photosynthesis converts sunlight into stored energy in millions of leaves, flowers, and seeds that maintain the web of life in Yellowstone. This transformation of energy fixes carbon, supplies organic matter to soils, and creates fuel for wildfire. As the first link of the food chain, new plant biomass is called primary production and provides energy to consumers, including wildlife... A mountain field in bloom Tribute: Tom Henderson Tom Henderson, a friend and colleague of Yellowstone National Park, passed away unexpectedly in October 2018. Tom was a devoted husband and father and a Senior Environmental Project Manager with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Abandoned Mine Lands Program. Many in Yellowstone worked with and knew Tom for his leadership role in the reclamation and clean-up of the abandoned McLaren Mill and Tailings site on Soda Butte Creek... Tom Henderson stands near Soda Butte Creek SHORT: Taking the Pulse of Wetlands Why indeed care about tiny frogs, with so many spectacular and elsewhere-rare animals inhabiting Yellowstone National Park (YNP)?... Male boreal chorus frog inflating throat sac to call at a breeding site. Soda Butte Creek - A Success Story! Soda Butte Creek was removed from the Clean Water Act 303(d) impaired waters list after an extensive reclamation of the McLaren Mill and Tailings site, making this creek the first Montana water body to be delisted after completion of an abandoned mine reclamation. narrow creek with red water on the left and the same creek on the right with clear water PARKS...IN...SPAAAACE!!! NASA astronauts have quite literally an out-of-this-world view of national parks and take some pretty stellar pictures to share. Travel along with the space station on its journey west to east getting the extreme bird’s eye view of national parks across the country. And one more down-to-earth. View of Denali National Park & Preserve from space Research Report: Using Radio Collars to Study Yellowstone Wolves Since the reintroduction of gray wolves to Yellowstone National Park in 1995 and 1996, radio collars have been used as the main tool for monitoring and research. Collaring efforts were never intended to be used as tool to locate wolves for public viewing. Now, 24 years, 7 wolf generations, and 616 collars later, radio-collaring remains an important method to collect all kinds of data and has undergone its own technological evolution. Learn more... A collared wolf - the alpha male from the Canyon Pack. Irrigation controls in Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District Irrigation controls in Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District were updated to conserve water, while continuing to maintain the historic landscape. An elk drinks from a lawn sprinkler in Mammoth Hot Springs. Electric Vehicles in Yellowstone Yellowstone now has a network of charging opportunities for visitors driving electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, and for staff conducting official park operations. Electric Vehicle Charging Station icon Idle-Free Campaign with Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition The Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition of the US Department of Energy's Clean Cities Program developed an Idle-Free campaign for the greater Yellowstone region. Red circle with a red slash over an image of a bison in a cloud of car exhaust. Crystal Clear: McLaren Tailings Restoration Soda Butte Creek downstream of the McLaren Tailings is listed by Montana as an impaired water body for contamination by toxic metals that exceed safe thresholds for aquatic life under the Clean Water Act. The tailings dam is located adjacent to Soda Butte Creek where high flows could erode and saturate the dam causing an unacceptable risk of dam failure. a creek tainted orange due to contaminants. Discovering Life in Yellowstone Where Nobody Thought it Could Exist Small scale views in Yellowstone are compelling, especially the colors in hot pots and deep pools. But far from being merely aesthetically pleasing, these colors are significant because they sparked an important scientific inquiry with long-lasting implications for science, technology, and society. Close-up image of yellow, brown and white bacteria in a thermal pool Human dimensions of winter use in Yellowstone National Park: A research gap analysis Social scientists review the winter use literature of Yellowstone, identifying recurring themes of inquiry and areas lacking investigation. Large yellow snow vehicles What’s the Buzz? How Bees Interrelate with Birds, Wildflowers, and Deer Ecosystems are complex and intricate and sometimes have a surprising web of relationships. Learn how deer, bees, birds, and wildflowers connect in the park ecosystems of the northeast. A bee pollinates a wildflower Sidebar: Reclamation work at McLaren Mill and Tailings Sidebar article discussing the reclamation work done the McLaren Mill and Tailings Sidebar: Environmental legacy Sidebar discussing the environmental legacy of McLaren Mill Sidebar: Mining history of the region Sidebar article discussing the mining history of region Specialized Helicopter Rescue Skills Prove Valuable Yellowstone National Park's helicopter, Lama 230 US, and crew completed a successful short-haul extrication of an injured smokejumper on August 10, 2011 in Flathead National Forest. A person walks away from a helicopter in the air Bison Bellows: A Case Study of Bison Selfies in Yellowstone National Park Learn from this case study: a selfie with a bison is a big mistake. Flyer stating WARNING, showing a cartoon drawing of a person being thrown up in the air by a bison Fish Population Responses to the Suppression of Non-native Lake Trout Unprecedented actions are being taken on Yellowstone Lake to suppress lake trout, recover native cutthroat trout, and restore the natural character of the ecosystem. To understand the outcomes of these actions, long-term monitoring of the fish populations is conducted to inform an adaptive management strategy. Multiple lines of evidence are used to assess status and trends... Gillnetting on Yellowstone Lake Research Report: Pollinator Hotshot Crews Pollinator Hotshot Crews, funded through the National Science Foundation travel to parks across the country, including Yellowstone to document insects and the plants they pollinate. Yellowstone National Park recently conducted a BioBlitz and bee bowl study to create a park pollinator species list. Students, interns, and citizen science volunteers visit monitoring sites from the Gardiner basin, elevation 5,259’ all the way to the top of Mt. Washburn... Pollinator Hotshot Crews collect data on a beautiful Yellowstone summer afternoon Fly Fishing Volunteers Support Native Fish Conservation in Yellowstone The Yellowstone Fly Fishing Volunteer Program was conceived in 2002 as a way Yellowstone’s biologists could acquire information about fish populations without having to travel to distant locations throughout the park and sample the populations themselves using electrofishing or other sophisticated gear... Volunteer Angerls in the field Preservation of Native Cutthroat Trout in Northern Yellowstone The northern portion of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is a valuable stronghold for native fish; it presents many opportunities to protect and restore them where they have been impacted by human activities. More than 3,700 km (2,299 mi.) of streams drain into the Yellowstone River and flow north into Montana (figure 1). The Lamar River drainage alone contains over 1,792 km (1,113 mi.) of streams and accounts for almost 20% of the stream distance in YNP ... Selective removal of non-native and hybrid fish by electofishing and angling An Approach to Conservation of Native Fish in Yellowstone In the late 1800s, the waters of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) supported an abundance of fish. Twelve species (or subspecies) of native fish, including Arctic grayling, mountain whitefish, and cutthroat trout, dispersed to this region about 8,000-10,000 years ago following glacier melt. These native fish species provided food for both wildlife and human inhabitants. At the time YNP was established in 1872, park inhabitants and visitors initially harvested fish... Artwork copyright James Prosek Non-native Lake Trout Induce Cascading Changes in the Yellowstone Lake The mountainous region within and bordering southeastern Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is among the most remote in the contiguous United States. Lying completely within wilderness, the watershed of the upper Yellowstone River is pristine. Snowmelt waters feed numerous tributaries to the Yellowstone River, which ultimately winds northward to Yellowstone Lake. The Yellowstone River contributes one-third of the flow to Yellowstone Lake within a watershed that encompasses... Sunset over Yellowstone Lake Status & Conservation of Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout in the GYE Yellowstone cutthroat trout are native to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) and surrounding drainages, including the Yellowstone River, Snake River, and Two Ocean Pass that facilitate connectivity between these drainages... Yellowstone Science 25-1 Native Fish Conservation Native Trout on the Rise The waters of Yellowstone National Park are among the most pristine on Earth. Here at the headwaters of the Missouri and Snake rivers, the park’s incredibly productive streams and lakes support an abundance of fish. Following the last glacial period 8,000-10,000 years ago, 12 species/subspecies of fish recolonized the park. These fish, including the iconic cutthroat trout, adapted and evolved to become specialists in the Yellowstone environment... Yellowstone Science 25-1 Native Fish Conservation Effects of Rotenone on Amphibians and Macroinvertebrates in Yellowstone NPS Photo - J. Fleming Boreal toad eggs Environmental DNA: A New Approach to Monitoring Fish in Yellowstone National Park The waters of Yellowstone National Park are among the most pristine on Earth. Here at the headwaters of the Missouri and Snake rivers, the park’s incredibly productive streams and lakes support an abundance of fish. Following the last glacial period 8,000-10,000 years ago, 12 species/subspecies of fish recolonized the park. These fish, including the iconic cutthroat trout, adapted and evolved to become specialists in the Yellowstone environment... History — Yellowstone is Burning: Communicating the Story In 2008, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Yellowstone fires, NPS commissioned an oral history project to capture knowledge, lessons learned, and memories from the seminal event that changed NPS fire management. Media coverage of the Yellowstone fires was controversial. The fires were large, complex, and difficult to report. No one had seen or even imagined a fire event on this scale before. Article includes seven videos. Film crew carrying equipment in dense smoke during the 1988 Yellowstone fires Wildland Fire History — Media Coverage of the 1988 Yellowstone Fires The Yellowstone wildfires were a media event. Many Americans were left with the impression that Yellowstone had burned down, and that NPS wildfire policy was the reason. This perception persists in spite of the fact that (1) the largest fire was fought from inception, and (2) several of the fires started outside the park. The article explores how this misperception occurred. The challenge facing park interpreters is to put the story into an environmental context. Wildland Fire History — Yellowstone’s Fire Regime Article discusses Yellowstone ecology (mainly geology, vegetation, and climate) and how it affected which areas burned in the historic fires of 1988. Discusses effects of different fire intervals, common misperceptions following the 1988 fires, findings of scientific research on Yellowstone forests, and unanswered questions. As much as we already know about fire in Yellowstone, the summer of 1988 showed us that we still Wildland Fire History — A Summer to Remember A park ranger in Yellowstone during the 1988 fires remembers how the park’s interpretive message changed throughout the summer. He discusses media and public outreach and education efforts during and after the fires. Telling the public the ecological lessons of the Yellowstone fires may be one of the greatest challenges National Park Service interpreters ever faced. History — Yellowstone is Burning: Managing Yourself and the Fires In 2008, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Yellowstone fires, NPS Fire and Aviation Management, in partnership with the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, commissioned a history project to capture knowledge, lessons learned, and memories from the seminal event that changed NPS fire management. Article includes nine embedded YouTube videos. Yellowstone's 2018 Sustainability Spotlight Projects Here are three highlights of sustainability projects that occurred within Yellowstone National Park in 2018. Visitors study menus posted on a window and other visitors walking into a dining hall. Old Faithful Geyser Old Faithful Geyser is one of the most iconic geysers in the world. Its eruptions are also fairly predictable, happening around every 90 minutes. A plume of steam and water shoots out of a low, barren hill surrounded by buildings. Surrogate Species: Piecing Together the Whole Picture National parks, such as Yellowstone National Park (YNP), are ecologically and socially important resources conservatively valued at $92 billion (Haefele et al. 2016). To properly protect and conserve these places, decision makers require reliable information to track and understand the manifestations of environmental change... Pika sitting on a rock The Spatial Footprint and Frequency of Historic Snow Droughts in Yellowstone In the face of climate change and increasing human pressures, monitoring and characterizing environmental change is increasingly important in national parks and protected areas (Hansen and Phillips 2018). Regional measurements of snowpack are a critical vital sign (see “Vital Signs Monitoring is Good Medicine for Parks,” this issue) both for monitoring ecosystem health and anticipating future water availability... Electric Peak is covered with snow below a full moon on a blue sky day. Water Quality and Flow Monitoring in the Yellowstone, Lamar, and Madison Rivers Yellowstone National Park contains 2,500 miles of streams and rivers. Water quality is largely high in the park, but the chemistry of these waters is nearly as varied as the geologic terrain. Water quality is influenced by geothermal inputs and by melted water from mountain snowpacks. The Greater Yellowstone Network monitors water quality and flow in the Lamar, Yellowstone, and Madison rivers in the park to protect these important resources. calm blue river lined by shrubs and trees with snow-capped mountains in the distance. Research Report: Going on a Snail Hunt Yellowstone National Park recently hosted a team of five researchers from Russia who are exploring the role of the Bering Land Bridge faunal exchange in the evolution and dispersal of animals. For this work, they focus on tiny and often overlooked animals in the park: pond snails and pea clams. The project has a particular interest in the role that hydrothermal water might have played as possible cryptic refugia for species crossing the Bering Land Bridge... Two scientists look at a specimen in a summer meadow. Research Report:Using Seismic Waves to Map the Ground Below Old Faithful Geyser Continuing fieldwork conducted in 2015 and 2016, researchers from the University of Utah and the University of Texas El Paso returned to Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin in November of 2017. They are studying seismic activity around the highest concentration of geysers in the world. The research team utilizes small temporary seismometers, which are roughly the size of a football... Geologists Study Upper Geyser Basin Research Report: Revealing Mysteries of the Microbial World How do microscopic heat-loving organisms not only live, but thrive, in the extreme conditions found in and around thermal features? Learn more about Brent Peyton's important research into this question. Scientists in the Upper Geyser Basin on a snowy winter day Debunking the Myth, America's Eden Excerpt from “Engineering Eden” by Jordan Fisher Smith To early Euro-American visitors, in comparison to New England, Yellowstone certainly looked like a wilderness. But it had been under some kind of human influence for thousands of years before it became a nature-management kindergarten for an otherwise highly advanced civilization that had by then laid a telegraph cable across the bottom of the Atlantic between Ireland and Nova Scotia... Bison cross the Lamar Valley in the evening summer sun. Historical Archeology Public perceptions of archeological sites in the Northern Rocky Mountains are heavily geared towards prehistoric sites, such as lithic scatters, quarries, tipi rings, and bison jumps. Although these types of archeological sites are important in that they reflect the majority of human occupation in the area, there is much to be learned from the more recent past, also known as the historical period. What exactly is historical archeology and why is it important? Photograph of the original Tower Falls Soldier Station near Calcite Springs Overlook, 1905. Obsidian: The MVP of Yellowstone's "Stones" Obsidian is a volcanic glass formed when magma is extruded from the earth’s crust and cools very rapidly, with little moisture content or crystalline inclusions. It was generally the most popular tool stone material used by the ancestors of Native Americans in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) and was prized as a tool stone material for practical (and potentially cultural) reasons. Obsidian Cliff (ca. 1953), a National Historic Landmark. Debunking the Myth, Seasonal Use of Yellowstone Historically there have been narratives that Yellowstone was either sparsely occupied by Native American groups or never inhabited by them at all. These accounts are at odds with both the wealth of prehistoric archeological sites in the park, and ethnographic accounts and oral traditions of the park’s 26 associated tribes. A photo of a pink sunset over the Beartooth range in early spring. Debunking the Myth, Fear of Yellowstone One of the persistent myths about Native American attitudes regarding Yellowstone is that they were afraid of this place and avoided it. The stories passed to us by early Anglo explorers and park administrators report that the geysers, fumaroles, and other thermal features frightened the native peoples. Geyser erupting in the Upper Geyser Basin. Archeology Along the Nez Perce National Historic Trail When Yellowstone National Park (YNP) was created in 1872, much of the western Great Plains and Rocky Mountains remained uncharted wilderness still dominated by various Native American tribal groups, some of which were fighting for their own survival. Figure 1. Map showing Nez Perce National Historic Trail. A Volunteer's Impressions My introduction to the field of archeology was fortuitous for me and came late in my life. The field of archeology was essentially unknown to me when I applied to become a volunteer for the National Park Service (NPS). I had applied to increase my knowledge of NPS operations in order to become an advocate for the park system in my retirement. Superintendent Suzanne Lewis, John Reynolds, and Ann Johnson Dendrochronology - The Study of Tree Rings The science of dendrochronology can be used to estimate when a tree was felled or naturally died, if the calendar year dates of tree growth rings can be determined. This axe-cut stump was cut late in the growing season of 1877. Archeology Facts The Heritage & Research Center in Gardiner holds 611,196 cultural and natural history objects, as of October 2017. Learn more... Yellowstone Archeology Timeline 2014 Freeman Tilden Award Recipients Introducing the national and regional recipients of the 2014 Freeman Tilden Awards, given in recognition of new and innovative programs in interpretation. Two rangers holding a whale skull 2016 Freeman Tilden Award Recipients In 2016, six rangers were awarded a national or regional Freeman Tilden Award for excellence in interpretation. Learn more about their amazing programs! Lynette Weber 2015 Freeman Tilden Award Recipients Meet the recipients of the 2015 Freeman Tilden Awards, the highest National Park Service honor for interpretation, and learn more about their exciting programs. Ernie Price World War II Plane Crashes in National Parks During WWII, more than 7,100 air crashes involved US Army Air Force (USAAF) aircraft occurred on American soil. Collectively these crashes resulted in the loss of more than 15,599 lives (Mireles 2006). Many of these military aircraft accidents occurred in remote, often mountainous, areas managed by the National Park Service. plane crash at base of grassy hill Yellowstone Fire 1988: What Did We Learn? An area commander of the historic 1988 Greater Yellowstone Area fires offers lessons learned about tactics and equipment in an article originally published in 1989. Points covered include foam, fireline explosives, fire shelters, sprinklers, minimum impact suppression, role of incident management teams, use of military resources, training needs, and command issues. Two firefighters use a hose to spray foam on a dormitory structure. Wildland Fire History — Yellowstone: The Smoke Clears In this article originally published in 1989, Yellowstone’s superintendent and technical writer argue that to refer to the park as being “reborn” after the historic 1988 fires gives the public the inaccurate impression that the park was “dead” and that fire is “evil.” They argue against simplistic messages such as these because they often lead to misunderstandings later. They also discuss the difference between the missions of the National Park Service and the Forest Service. Wildland Fire History — The Yellowstone FIRE Team Discusses the Yellowstone Fire Interpretation and Resource Education (FIRE) outreach team created in the wake of the 1988 fires to educate audiences in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming service clubs, community groups, chambers of commerce, and schools. They talked about what happened with the fires, why, and what they could expect in the future. The team sought to inform mainly those who wanted more information and were unsure what to think about the fires. Wildland Fire History — Under the Orange Sky A park ranger in Yellowstone National Park during the historic 1988 fires recounts her experiences with evacuating the public, leaving her own apartment, and experiencing the fire’s advance firsthand. SHORT: Invasive Plants as Indicators of Ecosystem Health Healthy, native plant communities provide sustainable habitat for wildlife, insects, and soil biota. They can persist through drought and contribute to ecosystem services, such as clean air and water. When invasive species are introduced into a native plant community, there can be numerous deleterious efects with minor to major consequences... A panoramic picture of the north entrance of the park showing spread of invasive plants. SHORT: Insects as a Vital Sign in the GYE Insects far outnumber vertebrates in Yellowstone National Park (YNP), North America, and worldwide. In fact, 80% of all named species are invertebrates (Cardoso et al. 2011). Despite their abundance, ecological importance, and benefits to society, numerous opportunities for discovery and for elevating the understanding of insects’ contributions to health of ecosystems still remains... montane meadow butterfly SHORT: Improving Visitor Preparedness and Safety in the Bear Country of Yellowstone National Park On August 23, 2018, a grizzly mother attacked a 10-year-old boy who was hiking the Divide Trail southeast of Old Faithful. While he was badly injured, his parents prevented the attack from being much worse due to the quick actions and use of bear spray. The bear spray had been rented from a new innovation in the park called Bear Aware, L.L.C., where visitors may rent bear spray and also receive training in the use of bear spray and on bear activity in the park... SHORT: How Have Yellowstone Backpackers Changed? Yellowstone National Park, comprises 3,472 square miles, is known for its beauty, diversity of flora and fauna, and recreation opportunities (YNP 2016). However, most visitors never go beyond a few steps from the roads and boardwalks in the park. Many visitors appear to be in a hurry and want to see the Yellowstone highlights. Indeed, Yellowstone provides a cornucopia of sights, sounds, and smells... Yellowstone Raptor Initiative The Yellowstone Raptor Initiative was a five-year (2011–2015) program designed to provide baseline information for golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Swainson’s hawks (Buteo swainsoni), American kestrels (Falco sparverius), prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus), and owls as focal species. Two large birds perch on a dead tree limb Bechler Ranger Station Solar Array Yellowstone National Park is now powering the Bechler Ranger Station with energy from the sun. A portable solar array has been constructed on a trailer and transported to this remote location to provide renewable energy for the summer operation. The open photovoltaic panel array mounted on a trailer, located behind the Ranger Station. Yellowstone Re-introduces Hydro-electric Power After more than a century, the Mammoth Hot Springs Micro-hydro Project brought water-generated power back to Yellowstone. Turbine inside a micro-hydroelectric generator Pikas in Peril The National Park Service stewards pika populations in more than a dozen parks and seeks to understand the vulnerability of pikas and other mountain species to climate change. Pikas in Peril, funded in 2010, was a collaborative research program directed by scientists from the National Park Service, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and University of Colorado-Boulder. Profile of a pika on rough, dark red lava rock. © Michael Durham Wolf Predation on Trout in the Gibbon River Throughout their range in North America, gray wolves (Canis lupus) prey primarily on bison, moose, elk, and deer (Mech and Boitani 2003). Although ungulates are the primary prey for wolves, they also consume fish in some regions (Darimont et al 2003).also consume fish in some regions (Darimont et al 2003). Consumption of fish by wolves has not been documented in Yellowstone National Park since the reintroduction of wolves to the area in 1995-96 (Metz et al. 2012). However... Three wolves fishing and wading in a river. Wildland Fire in Douglas Fir: Western United States Douglas fir is widely distributed throughout the western United States, as well as southern British Columbia and northern Mexico. Douglas fir is able to survive without fire, its abundantly-produced seeds are lightweight and winged, allowing the wind to carry them to new locations where seedlings can be established. Close-up of Douglas fir bark and needles. Bison Bellows: Yellowstone National Park Meet the herd of Yellowstone National Park! Bison mother and calf standing together Food Habits of Bears in the Yellowstone Ecosystem Bears are omnivores that have relatively unspecialized digestive systems similar to those of carnivores. The primary difference is that bears have an elongated digestive tract, an adaptation that allows bears more efficient digestion of vegetation than other carnivores. A grizzly bear cub sitting up next to a bison carcass. Characteristics of Bears in Yellowstone Review the key differences between the two bear species found in Yellowstone National Park: grizzly bears and black bears. Profile view of a cinnamon-colored grizzly bear. Suppressing Non-native Lake Trout to Restore Native Cutthroat Trout in Yellowstone Lake The suppression of lake trout via netting has been ongoing in Yellowstone Lake since 1994 when this non-native species was first discovered. Twenty-two years later, we continue to catch large numbers of lake trout. So, why should lake trout suppression be maintained, what’s the science behind it, and what’s the prognosis for the future?... Patriot on Yellowstone Lake Yellowstone Lake Working Group Established to Enhance Native Fish Conservation Native coldwater species, such as Yellowstone cutthroat trout, westslope cutthroat trout, fluvial Arctic grayling, and mountain whitefish, are especially important to the natural ecology and human enjoyment of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). In the early 2000s, these native coldwater species faced multiple threats; the most significant were from introduced non-native aquatic species, including lake trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, and the exotic parasite... Yellowstone Lake Working Group members at Grayling Creek News and Notes YS-25-1 Dr. Fred Allendorf, professor emeritus at the University of Montana and member of the University’s Fish and Wildlife Genomics Group, has won the 2015 Molecular Ecology prize. This international award, bestowed annually by the journal Molecular Ecology, recognizes scientists for their significant contributions in this interdisciplinary field of research... Horns versus Antlers Ever wonder about the difference between horns and antlers? A bighorn sheep ram walking through the snow. Wildland Fire in Sagebrush Sagebrush will burn when the surrounding grasses are dry. With strong winds, fire spreads rapidly with flames sometimes reaching over 30 feet high. While fire easily kills sagebrush, the other plants resprout from protected roots producing lush forage for wildlife and livestock. Close-up of sagebrush leaves News & Notes Yellowstone National Park (YNP) supports one of the most significant aquatic ecosystems in the U.S. Headwater streams and rivers emerge from the park and join to become three of America’s most important waterways and ultimately flow into the Pacific and Atlantic oceans: the Yellowstone River, the Missouri River and the Snake River. At the heart of YNP lies Yellowstone Lake—the largest alpine body of water in North America... Hillary Robison stands in front of a herd of musk oxen. Nowcasting & Forecasting Fire Severity in Yellowstone Climb any mountain in the spring, and you will find that Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is made almost entirely in shades of green. Many grayish-blue peaks encircle the far horizon; but in the park itself, only a few nunatak mountains push up pinpoints of bare rock. Thick, green forests cover 80% of the landscape. Grassy valleys and sagebrush fill in most of the rest (Despain 1990). Yellowstone is defined by its plants... Fire burns on the northern range of Yellowstone National Park. SHORT: What We’re Listening To: How Sound Inventories Can Contribute to Understanding Change Do you want to get off the beaten track and experience Yellowstone in an entirely new way? If you answered “yes,” visit Black Sand Pool and turn an ear to the ground. The giant, imploding bubbles in Black Sand Pool make a low-frequency sound that you’ll feel through your whole body. It’s undeniably an Earth sound—a planetary sound. And listening to a hot spring is an entirely different experience than looking at a hot spring... Jennifer Jerrett records sounds in a canoe on a lake. Understanding Dynamic Ecosystems: The Pursuit of the Greater Yellowstone Network The year 1999 was a pivotal year for the National Park Service (NPS). Inspired by the book Preserving Nature in the National Parks: A History (Sellars 1997), the Natural Resource Challenge (NPS 1999) was crafted to expand the NPS’s understanding and management of park natural resources. One of the more innovative outcomes of the Natural Resource Challenge was the creation of the NPS Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Program... NPS Photo - D. Renkin 2002 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2002 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards 2006 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2006 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards 2005 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2005 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards 2004 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2004 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Infectious Diseases of Wolves in Yellowstone The summer of 2005 began with such promise for wolves in Yellowstone. The population had been at an all-time high the last few years, and the wolves appeared to be in good condition. Several packs had been particularly busy during the breeding season, and early summer pup counts suggested another healthy crop of new wolves rising through the ranks. And then something changed. Wolf with mange Wolf Turf: A Glimpse at 20 Years of Wolf Spatial Ecology in Yellowstone Territoriality is one of several well-known characteristics of wolf natural history that has presumably evolved in response to selection for behaviors advantageous to individual reproduction and survival. Worldwide, territory characteristics vary depending on ecological conditions (e.g., prey and competitor density), geographical features, seasonal changes, and human presence (Mech and Boitani 2003)... Map of Yellowstone National Park showing wolf territories. Sneak Peek (YS-24-1) Following the recession of glaciers some 8,000-10,000 years ago, native fish began dispersing to the Yellowstone region. By the late 1800s, the waters of Yellowstone supported 12 species (or subspecies) of native fish, including Arctic grayling, mountain whitefish, and cutthroat trout. These native fish species provided food for both wildlife and human inhabitants... Photo of small YCT fry YS 24-1 Shorts Shorts are articles that summarize the results of recent scientific publications or highlight human interest stories occurring in the GYE. In this issue they discuss wolf effects on elk, Pelican Valley and the Mollie's Pack, wolf management, den closures, habituation, hunting, Winter Study, and Wolf Project sample collections. Wolf Project Staff. 2016. Why Wolves Howl It was a deep-freeze January morning, with mist peeling back in strands off the open riffles of the Lamar River like a series of gossamer curtains hiding a stage, eventually revealing the willow flats of the far shore. Out there, initially invisible, was the big Druid Peak pack. Their howls filtered to us through the mist... wolves howling on a winter hillside YS 25-1-Shorts Shorts are articles that summarize the results of recent scientific publications or highlight human interest stories occurring in the GYE. In this issue they discuss Fly Fishing Volunteers, an editorial by Nate Schweber, and birds and mammals that eat cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Lake and its tributaries. Otter on a log consuming a cutthroat trout near Trout Lake. NPS Photo - D. Bergum Wolf Restoration in Yellowstone: Reintroduction to Recovery Anthony R.E. Sinclair, long-time researcher in the Serengeti of Africa, suggests that to understand an ecosystem, one also must know its human history. For the Serengeti, he refers to the 1889 outbreak of rinderpest that killed 95% of Africa's cattle and many wild ungulates, and the 19th century ivory trade, both of which drastically altered the plant-animal associations of the 20th century... Close-up of a wolf's eye A Peak Experience Watching Wolves in Yellowstone National Park After 18 summers of working as a seasonal naturalist in Denali National Park and Glacier National Park, I transferred to Yellowstone in the spring of 1994 and worked as a seasonal naturalist with the title of Wolf Interpreter. All of my programs were on the subject of the upcoming wolf reintroduction. In May 1995, as I was returning to Yellowstone for my second summer, my goal for the season was to see at least one of the newly reintroduced wolves... A wolf as viewed through a camera lens. Yellowstone Wolf Facts Did you know a wolf howl can be heard over 9 miles away in open areas? Learn the facts about Yellowstone's wolves. Two wolves as seen from a fixed wing plane. Hillary L. Robison Hillary L. Robison is the Deputy Chief of the Yellowstone Center for Resources. Her special interests include conservation, ecology, brown bears, musk ox, and insects. Hillary in the field in the arctic, standing in front of a herd of musk oxen in the distance. Douglas W. Smith Douglas W. Smith is a supervisory wildlife biologist whose programs include wolves, elk, and birds. Doug rides Joker through a bison-filled meadow. A Look Back, Historic Relief  Model Helped the Public Understand the Human Relationship to Yellowstone Geology In the Yellowstone Justice Center in Mammoth, Wyoming, is a historic 1897 geologic relief model of Yellowstone National Park and the Absaroka Range by Edwin E. Howell. At 7 ft. square, it’s a stunning scientific sculpture of a beloved geologic region in the U.S. (figure 1). It was donated to the park in 1921 and was installed in the old Information Center in Mammoth... A detail of the Electric Peak area on the Yellowstone National Park and Absaroka Range (1897). Archeological Significance of Yellowstone Lake Yellowstone Lake is considered by many to be the heart of Yellowstone National Park. As North America’s largest, high-elevation natural lake at nearly 8,000 ft. (2,400 m) above sea level, this 20 mile long by 15 mile (32 x 24 km) wide freshwater body of water has played an important role in the lifeways of Great Plains, Great Basin, and Rocky Mountain Native Americans for 11,000 years. Matt Nelson on Dot Island with bone visible. Photo- ©D. MacDonald. A Look Back, Howard Eaton's Yellowstone Tour Howard Eaton was one of Yellowstone National Park’s (YNP) most famous and beloved concessioners who introduced hundreds of tourists to the wonders of Yellowstone between 1883 and 1921, and whose saddle-horse tours contributed to Yellowstone’s popularity during the park’s formative years. In 1923, one year after Eaton’s death, the National Park Service (NPS) named a newly-completed, 157-mile bridle and hiking trail for him... A vintage ad of the Howard Eaton experience. Archeology & Adaptation to Climate Change in Yellowstone The effects of climate change may pose the greatest threat to the integrity of natural and cultural resources that Yellowstone National Park (YNP) has ever experienced (NPS 2010). Protection and preservation of these resources requires park managers to understand potential threats using the best available research, and that they act in the long-term public interest. This artifact may represent one of the first ice patch artifacts recovered in the GYE... A Look Back, Botanical Adventures in Yellowstone, 1899 On June 24, 1899, a sentry on routine patrol discovered a party of six camped on the Madison River just inside Yellowstone National Park (YNP). Inspection revealed multiple infractions... Leslie Goodding sits between stacks of blotters, checking specimens. Yellowstone National Park Staff Manage Multiple Fires with Flexible Strategy Yellowstone National Park managers agreed to manage the Druid Complex fires by monitoring and providing point protection to infrastructure while reaping resource benefits. The experience prompted needed discussions to better prepare for future evacuations. The safety record of the fires was another notable success. Heavy equipment was used to create an indirect line around the developed area, resulting in work equaling more than 13 person years completed without injury. Aerial view of crown fire in forest. Westslope Cutthroat Trout & Fluvial Arctic Grayling Restoration The Madison and Gallatin rivers, two major headwaters of the Missouri River, originate in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) along the western boundary (figure 1). Combined, these two rivers provide 1,031 km (640 mi.) of stream habitat for both westslope cutthroat trout and Arctic grayling in YNP. Indigenous westslope cutthroat trout currently occupy 2 km (1.2 mi.) of stream within their historic range in the park, while resident grayling were extirpated from the park by 1935... Yellowstone Science 25-1 Native Fish Conservation Forest Fires in Yellowstone: the Science of Burning and Regrowth It was the fall of 1988. Dr. Monica Turner, a 29-year-old staff scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, flew out to Yellowstone National Park to start an experiment in forest ecology. She got her first glimpse of the Park since it had been ravaged by huge fires, the likes of which no one had ever seen. Aerial view of a forest fire with red flames and white and gray smoke 25 Years of Wolves in Yellowstone The 2019-2020 winter marked the 25th anniversary of the wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone. To commemorate this event, we spent five weeks broadcasting live on Facebook what we learned about wolves in the park over the last 25 years. Wolf walking in snow Zehra Osman Zehra Osman has been a Landscape Architect with the National Park Service since 2001. Through her work at a variety of parks around the country, Zehra explores how cultural landscape documentation and research contributes to historic preservation and planning projects. A smiling woman in a green NPS uniform with arms crossed Horace Albright's National Park Service Legacy Take a brief journey through the National Park Service career of Horace Albright. Two man stand next to each other, one in a uniform and one in a sporting jacket. Bison Conservation Initiative The 2008 BCI has been a touchstone for DOI bureaus for 12 years. The commitments made there have now resulted in meaningful technical products and organizational improvements that continue to advance the conservation of American bison. The Bison Working Group, established as a mechanism for implementing the 2008 BCI, quickly became a productive model of interagency collaboration. Federal professionals working in support of bison conservation note that today we enjoy an ... Bison Conservation Initiative Walking in the Steps of History: Retaking Panoramic Lookout Photographs Ian Grob, of the US Forest Service, collaborated with the NPS to retake panoramic lookout images ¾ of a century after the originals were taken. This page tells the story of how he came to be involved and summarizes the processes his team used and the trials and tribulations they faced in retaking the photos. Ian Grob adjusts an Osborne photo recording transit looking out over mountain and valley Protecting Yellowstone's Water: A Story Map about the Restoration of Soda Butte Creek Five miles outside the boundary of Yellowstone National Park in Montana, a ghost from the past plagued the park for decades. Take a visual journey in this GIS story map through the remarkable cleanup of mine-contaminated Soda Butte Creek on the park's boundary, which ultimately restored the creek's native Yellowstone cutthroat trout fishery. Clear, shallow, boulder-filled stream flanked by grassy meadow, forest, and mountains. Women in Science: Fisheries Yellowstone National Park presents a unique opportunity for young professionals pursuing a career in fisheries management and research. Every year seasonal fisheries technicians, Student Conservation Association (SCA) interns, and volunteers from all over the world are hired to join the fisheries team. Many who start as technicians or interns here go on to pursue graduate education and careers in the fisheries profession... The 2016 Fisheries Crew Women Geoscientists-in-the-Parks: Geologic Resource Assistants Read about the work Megan Norr and Jacob Thacker did as Geologic Resource Assistant GIPs in Yellowstone National Park in 2016. Interns working near river's edge Population Viability Study This study confirms that management of DOI bison herds in isolation promotes the loss of genetic diversity within all herds. More importantly, this study demonstrates that increased herd size and targeted removal strategies can reduce rates of diversity loss, and that adopting a Departmental metapopulation strategy through facilitated periodic movement of modest numbers of bison among DOI herds (i.e., restoring effective gene flow) can substantially reduce the... Bison Population Viability Study Lake trout–induced spatial variation in the benthic invertebrates of Yellowstone Lake Invasive lake trout indirectly increased biomass and body mass of amphipods. Lake trout in Yellowstone Lake (Copyright Jay Fleming) Parks, pikas, and physiological stress: Implications for long-term monitoring of an NPS climate-sensitive sentinel species Baseline values of physiological stress can be incorporated into monitoring plans for pikas, providing park managers with additional information related to the vulnerability of this climate-sensitive model species that occurs within a large number of western parks. American pika (Copyright Dick Orleans) Pollinators - Bumble bee Get the buzz on bumblebees! There are approximately 46 species of bumble bees (genus Bombus) native to North America and 250 species worldwide—all dependent on flowering plants. A bumblebee lands on a white flower NPS Launches Projects in Crater Lake and Yellowstone to Reduce Wildfire Risk and Protect Structures NPS Launches Projects in Crater Lake and Yellowstone to Reduce Wildfire Risk and Protect Structures. Piles created from fuels reduction project At Crater Lake National Park Monitoring Methods for the Lamar River The Greater Yellowstone Inventory and Monitoring Network monitors water resources in parks, including the Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park. This long-term monitoring is based on peer-reviewed protocols. Read about our monitoring methods here and explore the protocols by clicking on the links at the bottom of the page. An icy river lined with snow and evergreen trees The Lamar River Site The Lamar River is the largest tributary to the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park. About three quarters of the Lamar's watershed is contained within the park. We monitor water flow and quality near Tower Ranger Station, WY. Shallow, rocky river lined by evergreen trees National Park Service Commemoration of the 19th Amendment In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment the National Park Service has developed a number of special programs. This includes online content, exhibits, and special events. The National Park Service’s Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems (CRGIS) announces the release of a story map that highlights some of these programs and provides information for the public to locate and participate. Opening slide of the 19th Amendment NPS Commemoration Story Map Water Quality Criteria for the Lamar River Links to federal and state water quality standards that apply to the Lamar River are found here. Shallow river lined with evergreen trees Water Flow in the Lamar River Daily flow measurements on the Lamar River are recorded from a U.S. Geological Survey streamflow gage near Tower Ranger Station, WY. Most recent results of discharge on the river are presented here. A measuring staff with increments from 1 to 3.3 mounted in a river. Series: GIP Participants and Project Highlights [8 Articles] Participants selected for the GIP program have a unique opportunity to contribute to the conservation of America's national parks. Participants may assist with research, mapping, GIS analysis, resource monitoring, hazard mitigation, and education. GIP positions can last from 3 months to one-year. Robyn Henderek Series: Water Resources Monitoring in the Lamar River The Greater Yellowstone Network monitors water quality and analyzes river discharge in the Lamar River between April and November each year. Water quality is high in the Lamar River; about three quarters of its watershed is contained within Yellowstone National Park. Discharge records for the Lamar River go back to 1923. Our monitoring results are presented here and will be updated each year as new information is collected. A scientist holding a piece of equipment that is submerged in a river. Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display at a visitor center Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Paleozoic Era During the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), fish diversified and marine organisms were very abundant. In North America, the Paleozoic is characterized by multiple advances and retreats of shallow seas and repeated continental collisions that formed the Appalachian Mountains. Common Paleozoic fossils include trilobites and cephalopods such as squid, as well as insects and ferns. The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history ended this era. fossil corals in a rock matrix Series: Wildlife in the Badlands Ever wonder what kind of wildlife could survive the harsh climate of the Badlands? Two small, grey young lambs walk down brown badlands slope. Series: Research in Badlands National Park Scientists often look to the Badlands as a research subject. Many studies have been conducted in the park on a variety of topics, including paleontology, geology, biology, and archaeology. Learn more about these research topics in this article series. two researchers converse over a sheet of paper while a woman to their right uses a microscope. Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Since 2002, the National Park Service (NPS) has awarded Environmental Achievement (EA) Awards to recognize staff and partners in the area of environmental preservation, protection and stewardship. A vehicle charges at an Electric Vehicle charging station at Thomas Edison National Historical Park Series: Yellowstone Science 27(1) Shorts Cover of Yellowstone Science 27(1) Series: Yellowstone Science - Volume 27 Issue 1: Vital Signs - Monitoring Yellowstone's Ecosystem Health The early proponents of wildland conservation exercised extraordinary vision when they proposed the establishment of America’s first national park. In this era of rapid environmental change, declining trends in population sizes, and increased species extinction rates, we must also be forward-looking in our anticipation of future change and formalize a monitoring program that carefully tracks and regularly assesses the most vital indicators of ecosystem health. Cover image from YS 27-1 Series: Yellowstone Science - Volume 26 Issue 1: Archeology in Yellowstone Little did Philetus Norris know that when he picked up Native American artifacts and sent them off to the Smithsonian Institution in the latter half of the 19th century, that he launched what would eventually be a complex and dynamic field of inquiry into the archeology of the world’s first national park. Learn more about the archeological history of Yellowstone. Cover image from the YS-26-1 issue of Yellowstone Science: Archeology of Yellowstone Series: Parks in Science History Parks in Science History is a series of articles and videos made in cooperation with graduate students from various universities. They highlight the roles that national parks have played in the history of science and, therefore, the world's intellectual heritage. A woman looking through binoculars Series: Crystal Clear: A Call to Action In 2016, the nation celebrates the centennial of the National Park Service (NPS) as the steward of special places that represent our natural and cultural heritage. Many national parks were founded on the beauty and value of water. Since the preservation of the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park in 1872, the National Park System has grown to include significant examples within majestic rivers, the Great Lakes, oceans and coasts, and other spectacular water resources. bright blue lake green islands in between Series: Yellowstone Science - Volume 25 Issue 1: Native Fish Conservation In this edition of Yellowstone Science, we describe the significant progress that has already been made, along with the challenges that lie ahead as we continue our efforts to conserve native fish. As most of what occurs with fish lies under the surface of the water and largely out of sight, we hope that these articles will be revealing, enlightening, and increase understanding of the management approaches taken as we promote the restoration and preservation of native fish. Cover of YS 25-1 featuring a painting by Josh Udesen Series: Yellowstone Science - Our Scientists The Yellowstone Center for Resources (YCR) was created in March 1993 to centralize the park's science and resource management functions. The goals of the YCR are to: gather, manage, and analyze data in order to better conserve the park's natural and cultural resources; understand and mitigate the environmental and historic consequences of park management; preserve and curate rare, sensitive, and valuable natural and cultural resources; and work with park partners. A wolf biologist works on boiling bones collected from a carcass survey. Series: Research Reports Learn more about the ongoing research going on in the park; both by NPS biologists and outside permitted researchers. Researchers work on a field project in Yellowstone. Series: Yellowstone Science - Volume 24 Issue 1: Celebrating 20 Years of Wolves Read more about the fascinating 20 years of research that have occurred since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Illustration copyright E. Harrington Series: Park Air Profiles Clean air matters for national parks around the country. Photo of clouds above the Grand Canyon, AZ Lamar River Water Quality Each year, we collect water from across the entire width of the river and at multiple depths to test for chemical and metal components. We also collect core water quality measurements, including water temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductance, pH, and turbidity. A scientist filling a water bottle from a larger container of water. Pennsylvanian Period—323.2 to 298.9 MYA Rocks in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park represent vast Pennsylvanian-age swamps. Plant life in those swamps later became coal found in the eastern United States. fossil tracks on sandstone slab Mississippian Period—358.9 to 323.2 MYA The extensive caves of Mammoth Cave and Wind Cave national parks developed in limestone deposited during the Mississippian. Warm, shallow seas covered much of North America, which was close to the equator. fossil crinoid Cambrian Period—541 to 485.4 MYA The flat layers of rock exposed in Grand Canyon National Park encompass much of the Paleozoic, beginning in the Cambrian where they record an ancient shoreline. rock with fossil burrow tracks The Precambrian The Precambrian was the "Age of Early Life." During the Precambrian, continents formed and our modern atmosphere developed, while early life evolved and flourished. Soft-bodied creatures like worms and jellyfish lived in the world's oceans, but the land remained barren. Common Precambrian fossils include stromatolites and similar structures, which are traces of mats of algae-like microorganisms, and microfossils of other microorganisms. fossil stromatolites in a cliff face Paleozoic Era During the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), fish diversified and marine organisms were very abundant. In North America, the Paleozoic is characterized by multiple advances and retreats of shallow seas and repeated continental collisions that formed the Appalachian Mountains. Common Paleozoic fossils include trilobites and cephalopods such as squid, as well as insects and ferns. The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history ended this era. fossil corals in a rock matrix Quaternary Period—2.58 MYA to Today Massive ice sheets advanced and retreated across North America during much of the Quaternary, carving landscapes in many parks. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve contains geologic evidence of lower sea level during glacial periods, facilitating the prehistoric peopling of the Americas. The youngest rocks in the NPS include the lava of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the travertine at Yellowstone National Park, which can be just a few hours old. fossil bone bed and murals of mammoths Paleogene Period—66.0 to 23.0 MYA Colorful Paleogene rocks are exposed in the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park and the badlands of Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt national parks. Extraordinary Paleogene fossils are found in Fossil Butte and John Day Fossil Beds national monuments, among other parks. fossil skull with teeth expsoed Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display in a visitor center Scientist Profile: Andrew Ray, Ecologist Meet Andrew Ray, ecologist with the Greater Yellowstone Inventory & Monitoring Network! Andrew is fascinated by aquatic habitats and wetland plants. Learn about his favorite project studying the unique Crater Lake Manzama newt, and discover how he got to be where he is today. Scientist gestures to something in a fishing net as two people in NPS uniform observe. Wildland Fire in Lodgepole Pine The bark of lodgepoles is thin, which does not protect the trunks from scorching by fire. They die easily when a fire passes through. However, the serotinous cones give lodgepole pine a special advantage for spreading seeds for the next generation. Close-up of the needles of a lodgepole pine. Patterns of Pathogen Exposure in Gray Wolves Read the abstract and link to a new published article on wolf pathogens across North America: Brandell, E. E., P. C. Cross, M. E. Craft, D. W. Smith, E. J. Dubovi, ...B. L. Borg, M. Sorum, ... et al. 2021. Patterns and processes of pathogen exposure in gray wolves across North America. Scientific Reports 11: 3722. Aerial view of a wolf pack in the snow. More Than “Just” A Secretary If you’re only familiar with modern office practices, you may not recognize many of jobs necessary to run an office or national park over much of the past hundred years. Today, typewriters have given way to computers, photocopy machines have replaced typing pools, stenographers are rarely seen outside of courtrooms, and callers are largely expected to pick extensions from digital directories. Women skiing Women Who Were There No comprehensive data has been compiled about women government employees working in national parks before the NPS was founded on August 25, 1916. Their numbers are undoubtedly few but perhaps not as small as we might imagine. The four early NPS women featured here were exceptional in their own ways, but they are also proxies for the names we no longer remember and the stories we can no longer tell. Una Lee Roberts, 1933.(Courtesy of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Gaylord-Pickens Museum) Advancements in Analytical Approaches Improve Whitebark Pine Monitoring Results A recent evaluation of the monitoring protocol for whitebark pine in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem revealed limitations in the original analytical approach. Newer Bayesian hierarchical models corrected for these deficiencies by accounting for more factors influencing white pine blister rust prevalence, a key indicator of whitebark pine health. The study highlights the value of periodically re-evaluating monitoring protocols as new methods evolve. Whitebark pine tree in foreground with snow-capped mountains in back. The Unisex Uniform R. Bryce Workman’s book National Park Service Uniforms: Breeches, Blouses, and Skirt 1918-1991, published by the NPS in 1998, has been the go-to resource for the history of women’s uniforms. Although it contains much useful information and photographic documentation, some of his assumptions must be challenged if we are to fully understand how the uniform reflects women’s history in the NPS. The 1920 official ranger uniform coat was similar to the authorized 1917 pattern. “Girls” in Uniform Yellowstone National Park’s Superintendent Horace M. Albright was one of a few superintendents hiring women park rangers in the 1920s. Unlike W.B. Lewis at Yosemite, Albright didn’t use his superintendent’s discretion to exempt women rangers from the NPS uniform. In a 1978 oral history interview, he recalled that he “took a lot of good-natured joking” from other superintendents because the NPS had “never had girls doing work like this, never had girls in uniform.” Frieda B. Nelson in uniform, 1926. (Yellowstone National Park photo, YELL 42891) The First Woman Ranger at Hawai’i National Park Yellowstone wasn’t the only park to have a woman ranger in 1922. That same year, M. Lydia Barrette became the first temporary women ranger at Hawai’i National Park (now Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and Haleakalā National Park). Lydia Barrett 1922 Two for the Price of One Companion, assistant, confidant, ambassador, host, nurse, cook, secretary, editor, field technician, wildlife wrangler, diplomat, and social director are some of the many roles that people who marry into the NPS perform in support of their spouses and the NPS mission. Although the wives and daughters of park rangers were some of the earliest women rangers in the NPS, many more women served as “park wives” in the 1920s–1940s. Three members of a family How Would You Like to be a Park Ranger? Between 1920 and 1927, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Horace M. Albright hired nine women as park rangers. Some years two or three women rangers worked at various locations in the park. Albright sought out many of these women himself, offering jobs to some seemingly on the spur of the moment. Impressed by their intelligence, education, and characters, he reported that the women were “uniformly satisfactory” (no pun intended, we’re sure!). Ranger Frieda Nelson in uniform with Governor Nellie T. Ross What Did You Call Me? Only 17 women park rangers are documented from 1918 to 1927. Perhaps another three or four are hinted at in the records. Even so, the total number was probably still only around 20. Most histories of the NPS, however, put the total number of women rangers much lower. The difference isn’t just a simple matter of math. It goes to the heart of the question “What makes a ranger?” female ranger in uniform at a desk Did You Know We Never Hire Women? In 1920, as Ranger Isabelle Bassett Wasson arrived at Yellowstone, Dr. Harold C. Bryant and Dr. Loye Holmes Miller launched the new NPS education program with the Free Nature Guide Service at Yosemite National Park. Female Ranger talks to a crowd Protecting the Ranger Image In 1926, five women rangers worked in Yellowstone National Park. Marguerite Lindsley was the only permanent ranger and supervised the museum at Mammoth. Frieda B. Nelson and Irene Wisdom were temporary park rangers. Wisdom worked at the entrance station, while Nelson did clerical duties in the chief ranger’s office and worked in the information office. Ranger dancing with a bear The Women Naturalists Only two early women park rangers made the transition to park naturalists. Having resigned her permanent ranger position after her marriage, Marguerite Lindsley Arnold returned to Yellowstone National Park under the temporary park ranger (naturalist) title from 1929 to 1931. Yosemite rehired Ranger Enid Michael as temporary naturalist each summer from 1928 to 1942. A handful of other parks hired a few new women under the newly created ranger-naturalist designation. Ranger showing a plant to a visitor The Job is His, Not Yours In the early 1950s, park wives continued to function as they had from the 1920s to the 1940s. The NPS still got Two For the Price of One, relying on women to keep monuments in the Southwest running, to give freely of their time and talents, to build and maintain park communities, and to boost morale among park staffs. With the creation of the Mission 66 Program to improve park facilities, the NPS found new ways to put some park wives to (unpaid) work. Man and woman with telescope Substitute Rangers As the 1940s dawned, the United States was still dealing with the economic woes of the Great Depression and trying not to get drawn in WWII. Even as it continued to manage New Deal Program work in national and state parks, the NPS remained understaffed as a government bureau. The emergency relief workers and about 15 percent of NPS staff enlisted or were drafted during the first couple of years of WWII. Winifred Tada, 1940. (Courtesy of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin) Birds and Observing Them Birds are found just about everywhere. Even when you can’t see them, you can often hear them. Bird diversity changes depending on location and season. Birds can be enjoyed in so many different ways: watching their activity, listening to their songs, noting their plumage, or capturing their likeness through art. Use this guide to learn more about birds and birding. A flock of American avocets swim on a lake. Climate Smart Conservation Planning for the National Parks In response to climate change, park managers are having to rethink how they plan for the future. Climate Smart Conservation is a process that can help managers achieve goals in the face of coming changes. Under this framework, scientists and managers use their collective knowledge to anticipate problems and be proactive, rather than reactive. Pika with a mouthful of grass Collaborative Vital Signs Monitoring in Yellowstone National Park Central to understanding and promoting the health of national parks is the availability of regularly-collected, high quality, long-term ecological information on key natural resource indicators of park health that the National Park Service refers to as “vital signs”. Examples of vital signs include water quality, plant communities, and amphibians. two people looking closely at a tree Series: Intermountain Park Science 2021 Integrating Research and Resource Management in Intermountain National Parks Group of National Park Service staff and volunteers standing in front of a desert canyon. Yellowstone National Park & United States Naval Academy Partnership: Student Designs for Improved Shoreline Access at Lake Yellowstone Hotel Coastlines are dynamic and processes such as erosion and accretion challenge coastal managers and nearby infrastructure. A unique partnership between the NPS and the US Naval Academy has been established to tackle these concerns while providing valuable experience to students. Park staff and students work collaboratively to developed conceptual engineering designs that address vulnerable shoreline assets. large yellow building along shoreline Plan Like a Park Ranger: Top 10 Tips for Visiting Yellowstone National Park Planning to visit to Yellowstone National Park? Explore insider tips from park rangers on how to have a memorable and safe experience! A park ranger standing on a boardwalk in front of a hot spring
Yellowstone Visitor Guide Summer 2021 National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior 2nd Edition Welcome to Yellowstone National Park YE L L O W S T O N E I S A P L A C E L I K E N O O T H E R . Preserved within its boundaries are Old Faithful and the majority of the world's geysers and hot springs. An outstanding mountain wildland with clean water and air, Yellowstone is home of the grizzly bear and wolf and free-ranging herds of bison and elk. Centuries-old sites and historic buildings that refect the unique heritage of America's frst national park are also protected. Protect Yellowstone by following park rules. Yellowstone can also be a dangerous place, with boiling hot, acidic thermal features; cold lakes and swift waters; wild animals; and unpredictable mountain weather. Protect yourself by following park rules. Most park lodging and camping is reserved and full. If you don't already have a reservation, you are extremely unlikely to fnd overnight accommodations in the park or nearby. No camping or overnight vehicle parking is allowed in pullouts, parking areas, picnic grounds, or any place other than a designated campground. For more information, visit go.nps.gov/YELLcampgrounds and go.nps.gov/YELLlodging. Travel Alerts DEL AYS AT OLD FAITHFUL Expect delays of up to 15 minutes due to bridge repairs. Bison adults and calves (nicknamed red dogs) on the move in the Lower Geyser Basin. TOWER TO C ANYON ROAD CLOSED The road between Tower-Roosevelt and Canyon Village is CLOSED all year. MOUNT WASHBURN TR AILS CLOSED All trails to the top of Mount Washburn are CLOSED. See back page for details COVID-19 Safety Alert The National Park Service follows CDC guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Check locally, on the park website, and in the park apps for updates and changes in park operations. Thank you for helping to keep yourself and others safe and healthy. Mammoth Hot Springs Tower-Roosevelt CLOSED Norris Canyon Village Keep Wildlife Wild Yellowstone is an incredible place to view wildlife. All the large mammals present when Yellowstone became a park in 1872 are here today: grizzly and If you are not yet fully vaccinated, wearing a mask is required in all black bears, wolves, mountain common areas in buildings owned, rented, or leased by the Nation- lions, elk, bison, pronghorn, al Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, moose, and bighorn sheep. administrative ofces, lodges, gift shops, and restaurants; and outdoors where physical distancing cannot reasonably be maintained. You • Wildlife are dangerous. should practice physical distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet • Do not approach, encircle, (1.8 m) of distance between you and others. Masks are not required follow, or feed any animal. for those under the age of two or when actively eating or drinking. • Bison, bears, and elk injure and kill people. • Stay at least 100 yards (91 m) from bears and wolves. If you are fully vaccinated, wearing a mask and physically distancing are not • Stay at least 25 yards (23 m) from all other animals, including bison and elk. required indoors or outdoors unless otherwise posted. • If an animal moves closer to you, move away to maintain the appropriate distance. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand san• Do not stop on or block a road. itizer. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. If you feel sick, • Use pullouts; stay in your car to watch animals. do not visit the park. • Store food and trash securely. Backpacks are not secure. • Do not feed any animals, even birds and squirrels. 6 feet 2 meters r . NATIONA< PARK ;;;: Yellowstone National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Emergency Information TTY Park Entrance Radio Dial 911 307-344-7381 307-344-2386 1610 AM Park Tip Line 307-344-2132 To report a crime or criminal activity. Facilities and Services Medical Services Accessibility ~ Cell Service Yellowstone emergency response A printed guide with accessibility information Cell phone service is very limited in the park and ambulance service is available at visitor centers. Info is also available and surrounding areas. General cell coverage Call 911 on the park website (go.nps.gov/YELLaccess) areas are shown on the map on the back page Text 911 is not available in Yellowstone. and in the park apps (see left). of this guide. Medcor provides medical care, from Qualifed service animals are welcome Emergency 911 service by cell phone is only emergencies to minor needs, at: throughout the park and in all park facilities. available in coverage areas. Text 911 is not • Mammoth Clinic However, they must be leashed and under your available in Yellowstone. Leave as much detail as you can. Remain 6/4–9/24 8:30a–5p daily anonymous, or leave a name and number. 1/1–6/3, 9/25–12/31 8:30a–5p M–F During peak hours and periods of heavy visita- (closed Fridays 1p) tion, the ce
Yellowstone Visitor Guide Spring 2021 National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior 1st Edition Welcome to Yellowstone National Park YE L L O W S T O N E I S A P L A C E L I K E N O O T H E R . Preserved within its boundaries are Old Faithful and the majority of the world's geysers and hot springs. An outstanding mountain wildland with clean water and air, Yellowstone is home of the grizzly bear and wolf and free-ranging herds of bison and elk. Centuries-old sites and historic buildings that refect the unique heritage of America's frst national park are also protected. Use this visitor guide, combined with the ofcial brochure map and free park app (see page 2), to plan a Yellowstone adventure that is: • SAFE. Yellowstone is very diferent from your home and can be life-threateningly dangerous. Your safety is your responsibility. Read the safety information throughout this guide and take it seriously. • SUCCESSFUL. There is so much to do and see in Yellowstone. Explore things to do on pages 4–7, learn about thermal features and wildlife on pages 8–9, fnd details for developed areas of the park on pages 10–14, and double-check road openings/closures and construction on the back page. • RESPECTFUL. The experiences you have in Yellowstone were made possible by the care of those who came before you. Extend this same courtesy to those who will come after you. Follow all park rules, which are designed to protect both you and the park. The park is assisted in fulflling its mission by its ofcial nonproft partner, Yellowstone Forever. Proceeds from Yellowstone Forever educational bookstores, Institute, and philanthropic eforts support priority park projects and visitor education. Find more information at Yellowstone.org or call (406) 848-2400. Bison graze near Roosevelt Arch at the park's North Entrance. Travel Alerts SEASONAL ROAD OPENING All park roads except the road from the North to Northeast entrances are closed to automobiles through April 15. Weather permitting, park roads will begin opening in stages starting April 16. TOWER TO C ANYON ROAD CLOSED The road between Tower-Roosevelt and Canyon Village is CLOSED all year. MOUNT WASHBURN TR AILS CLOSED All trails to the top of Mount Washburn will be closed. See back page for details COVID-19 Safety Alert The National Park Service follows CDC guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Check locally, on the park website, and in the park app for updates and changes in park operations. Thank you for helping to keep yourself and others safe and healthy. 6 feet 2 meters Mammoth Hot Springs Tower-Roosevelt CLOSED Norris Canyon Village Keep Wildlife Wild Yellowstone is an incredible place to view wildlife. All the large mammals present when Yellowstone became a park in 1872 are here today: grizzly and Wearing a mask is required in all common areas in buildings owned, black bears, wolves, mountain rented, or leased by the National Park Service, including, but not lions, elk, bison, pronghorn, limited to, park visitor centers, administrative ofces, lodges, gift shops, moose, and bighorn sheep. and restaurants. Masks are required outdoors where physical distancing cannot reasonably be maintained. Masks are not required for • Wildlife are dangerous. those under the age of two or when actively eating or drinking. • Do not approach, encircle, follow, or feed any animal. Practice social distancing. Maintain at least 6 feet (1.8 m) of distance • Bison, bears, and elk injure and kill people. between you and others. • Stay at least 100 yards (91 m) from bears and wolves. • Stay at least 25 yards (23 m) from all other animals, including bison and elk. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, • If an animal moves closer to you, move away or use hand sanitizer. to maintain the appropriate distance. • Do not stop on or block a road. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. • Use pullouts; stay in your car to watch animals. • Store food and trash securely. Backpacks are not secure. If you feel sick, do not visit the park. • Do not feed any animals, even birds and squirrels. r . NATIONA< PARK ;;;: Yellowstone National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Emergency Information TTY Park Entrance Radio Dial 911 307-344-7381 307-344-2386 1610 AM Park Tip Line 307-344-2132 To report a crime or criminal activity. Leave as much detail as you can. Remain anonymous, or leave a name and number. Facilities and Services Medical Services Accessibility Yellowstone emergency response A printed guide with accessibility information Cell phone service is very limited in the park and ambulance service is available at visitor centers and on the park and surrounding areas. General cell coverage Call 911 website (go.nps.gov/YELLaccess). areas are shown on the map on the back page Text 911 is not available in Yellowstone. of this guide. Qualifed service animals are welcome Medcor provides medical care, from th
Yellowstone Visitor Guide Winter 2020–21 National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior 1st Edition Welcome to Yellowstone W i n t e r i n Ye l l o w s t o n e m e a n s f e w e r crowds, cold temperatures, and steaming geyser basins. Skis, snowshoes, snowcoaches, and snowmobiles become the main modes of transportation as roads close, rivers and lakes freeze, and winter storms blanket the park with snow. STAY ALERT IN THERMAL AREAS • Stay on boardwalks and designated trails. The ground is unstable in hydrothermal areas. Use caution, as boardwalks are often covered in snow and ice. • Keep hands out. Water in geysers and hot springs can severely burn you. • Keep litter out of the pools. Do not throw any objects into hydrothermal features. Hydrothermal features are evidence of an amazing fact: Yellowstone sits above a giant supervolcano. If you travel the 50 miles (80 km) between Mammoth Hot Springs and Old Faithful, you will see travertine terraces, acidic thermal features at Norris Geyser Basin, mudpots and fumaroles at Fountain Paint Pot, plus beautiful hot springs at Biscuit and Black Sand basins near Old Faithful. Safely exploring the boardwalks near Castle Geyser. Enjoy watching Yellowstone’s animals but STAY SAFE. They are WILD and DANGEROUS. Other people 2 yards (2 m) Bison, elk, and all other wildlife Bears and wolves 25 yards (23 m) 100 yards (91 m) COVID-19 Precautions Keep Wildlife Wild Operations may change depending on circumstances. Check locally, on the park website, and in the park app for current information. Thank you for your patience and cooperation. Winter is a wonderful time to view wildlife. All the large mammals present when Yellowstone became a park in 1872 are here today: grizzly and black bears, wolves, mountain lions, elk, bison, pronghorn, moose, and bighorn sheep. Come prepared. Visitor services are very limited. Wear face coverings in busy areas and inside visitor facilities. 6 feet 2 meters Maintain social distancing of six feet (2 m), especially in busy areas (on boardwalks, inside visitor facilities, on popular trails, while viewing wildlife, etc.). Follow current local, state, and national health guidance: • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer. • Avoid touching your face. • Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow. If you are sick, do not visit the park. Self-isolate to avoid exposing others. • Wildlife are dangerous. • Do not approach, encircle, follow, or feed any animal. • Bison, bears, and elk injure and kill people. • Stay at least 100 yards (91 m) from bears and wolves. • Stay at least 25 yards (23 m) from all other animals. • If wildlife move, move to maintain the above distances. • Do not stop on or block a road. • Use pullouts; stay in your car to watch animals. • Store food and trash securely. Backpacks and snowmobile gear bags are not secure. • Do not feed any animals, even birds and squirrels. Yellowstone National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Emergency Dial 911 Information 307-344-7381 TTY 307-344-2386 Park entrance radio 1610 AM Facilities and Services Medical Services Accessibility Cell Service Yellowstone emergency response A printed guide with accessibility information Cell phone service is very limited in the park and ambulance service is available at visitor centers and on the park and surrounding areas. General cell coverage Call 911 website (go.nps.gov/YELLaccess). areas are marked on the newspaper park map Text 911 is not available in Yellowstone. (see back page). Qualified service animals are welcome Mammoth Clinic (Medcor) throughout the park and in all park facilities. Emergency 911 service by cell phone is only Medical care from emergencies to However, they must be leashed and under your available in coverage areas. Text 911 is not To report a crime or criminal activity. minor needs. control at all times. available in Yellowstone. Leave as much detail as you can. Remain 307-344-7965 Park Tip Line 307-344-2132 During peak hours and periods of heavy visita- anonymous, or leave a name and number. tion, the cellular network may be very slow. Winter Hours NPS Yellowstone National Park App Monday–Thursday 8:30am to 5pm Your provider may or may not roam on networks Plan and enrich your visit Friday 8:30am to 1pm in Yellowstone. with the official, free Na- Weekends, holidays CLOSED tional Park Service app. Digitally explore the world’s As a courtesy to others, silence your mobile Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center and first national park—by map or by topic of other area hospitals provide air evacuation and interest. Discover the natural and cultural trauma care. device while enjoying Yellowstone. Wi-Fi stories in context with their locations. Find the information you need about visitor centers, events, lodging, places to eat and Available for free: shop, and services throughout the park.
Enemy at the Gates… Aquatic Invasive Species Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook 2019 U.S. Department of the Interior • National Park Service • Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone Park and Protection Act In 1872, the US Congress established Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone National Park Protection Act states, “the headwaters of the Yellowstone River…is hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or sale…and dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” The Organic Act of the National Park Service On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service, a federal bureau in the Department of the Interior. The Organic Act of the National Park Service states “the Service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of Federal areas known as national parks, monuments and reservations…by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks, monuments and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” ON THE COVER Madison River along the West Entrance Road. Photo taken June 17, 2014. NPS/Peaco. INSET PHOTOS clockwise from top right: Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). USFWS photo. Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum); photo courtesy of Alison Fox, University of Florida. Bugwood.org. New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum); ©Dr. Roy Anderson. http://www.habitas.org.uk/molluscireland Red-rimmed melania (Melanoides tuberculatus); ©2010 Hawaii Biological Survey, Bishop Museum. http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/waipio Rainbow Trout infected with whirling disease parasite (Myxobolus cerebralis); ©2005 Sascha Hallett, Oregon State University. https://fishpathogens.net Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook 2019 An annual compendium of information about Yellowstone National Park U.S. Department of the Interior • National Park Service • Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190 Yellowstone National Park thanks Yellowstone Forever for support of this publication. Yellowstone Resources and Issues is produced and reviewed annually by Yellowstone National Park staff. Janine Waller, editor and designer Tami Blackford, managing editor Linda Young, executive editor Copyrights All material is in the public domain unless copyright is owned by a listed person or organization. All graphics are by the National Park Service unless credited otherwise. Suggested citation Yellowstone National Park. 2019. Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook: 2019. Yellowstone National Park, WY. Available free online at www.nps.gov/yell or for purchase through Yellowstone Forever. www.yellowstone.org ii Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook, 2019 Contents Welcome....................................................v Park Facts...................................................1 Frequently Asked Questions....................3 Canyon Village Area............................... 5 Fishing Bridge, Lake, and Bridge Bay.... 6 Madison and West Yellowstone Area.... 7 Mammoth Hot Springs Area.................. 8 Norris Area............................................... 9 Old Faithful Area.................................. 10 Tower–Roosevelt Area.......................... 11 West Thumb and Grant Village Area... 12 History of the Park..................................13 The Earliest Humans in Yellowstone......... 14 Increased Use......................................... 14 The Little Ice Age.................................. 15 Historic Tribes........................................ 16 The Tukudika: “Sheep Eaters”............. 16 European Americans Arrive....................... 16 Looking for Gold................................... 18 Expeditions Explore Yellowstone......... 18 Birth of a National Park............................. 19 Formative Years..................................... 21 The Army Arrives................................... 21 The National Park Service Begins......... 23 Boundary Adjustments......................... 23 World War II.......................................... 24 Mission 66.............................................. 24 Modern Management................................ 26 Involving Native Americans.................. 26 Complex Issues...................................... 27 A Living Legacy..................................... 27 Preserving Cultural Resources...............29 Archeology............................................ 29 Native American Affairs....................... 32 Historic Structures, Districts, and Cultural Landscapes............................................. 34 Collections............................................. 49 Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem............53
Enemy at the Gates… Aquatic Invasive Species Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook 2019 U.S. Department of the Interior • National Park Service • Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone Park and Protection Act In 1872, the US Congress established Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone National Park Protection Act states, “the headwaters of the Yellowstone River…is hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or sale…and dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” The Organic Act of the National Park Service On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service, a federal bureau in the Department of the Interior. The Organic Act of the National Park Service states “the Service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of Federal areas known as national parks, monuments and reservations…by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks, monuments and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” ON THE COVER Madison River along the West Entrance Road. Photo taken June 17, 2014. NPS/Peaco. INSET PHOTOS clockwise from top right: Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). USFWS photo. Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum); photo courtesy of Alison Fox, University of Florida. Bugwood.org. New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum); ©Dr. Roy Anderson. http://www.habitas.org.uk/molluscireland Red-rimmed melania (Melanoides tuberculatus); ©2010 Hawaii Biological Survey, Bishop Museum. http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/waipio Rainbow Trout infected with whirling disease parasite (Myxobolus cerebralis); ©2005 Sascha Hallett, Oregon State University. https://fishpathogens.net Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook 2019 An annual compendium of information about Yellowstone National Park U.S. Department of the Interior • National Park Service • Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190 Yellowstone National Park thanks Yellowstone Forever for support of this publication. Yellowstone Resources and Issues is produced and reviewed annually by Yellowstone National Park staff. Janine Waller, editor and designer Tami Blackford, managing editor Linda Young, executive editor Copyrights All material is in the public domain unless copyright is owned by a listed person or organization. All graphics are by the National Park Service unless credited otherwise. Suggested citation Yellowstone National Park. 2019. Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook: 2019. Yellowstone National Park, WY. Available free online at www.nps.gov/yell or for purchase through Yellowstone Forever. www.yellowstone.org ii Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook, 2019 Contents Welcome ...................................................v Park Facts ..................................................1 Frequently Asked Questions ...................3 Canyon Village Area .............................. 5 Fishing Bridge, Lake, and Bridge Bay ... 6 Madison and West Yellowstone Area ... 7 Mammoth Hot Springs Area ................. 8 Norris Area.............................................. 9 Old Faithful Area.................................. 10 Tower–Roosevelt Area ......................... 11 West Thumb and Grant Village Area .. 12 History of the Park.................................13 The Earliest Humans in Yellowstone ........ 14 Increased Use ........................................ 14 The Little Ice Age ................................. 15 Historic Tribes ....................................... 16 The Tukudika: “Sheep Eaters” ............ 16 European Americans Arrive ...................... 16 Looking for Gold .................................. 18 Expeditions Explore Yellowstone ........ 18 Birth of a National Park ............................ 19 Formative Years .................................... 21 The Army Arrives .................................. 21 The National Park Service Begins ........ 23 Boundary Adjustments ........................ 23 World War II ......................................... 24 Mission 66 ............................................. 24 Modern Management ............................... 26 Involving Native Americans ................. 26 Complex Issues...................................... 27 A Living Legacy..................................... 27 Preserving Cultural Resources ..............29 Archeology ........................................... 29 Native American Affairs....................... 32 Historic Structures, Districts, and Cultural Landscapes ............................................ 34 Collections ............................................ 49 Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem ...........53
Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park, is named after the Yellowstone River. Welcome Yellowstone National Park is as wondrous as it is complex. The park has rich human and ecological stories that continue to unfold. When Yellowstone was established as the world’s first national park in 1872, it sparked an idea that influenced the creation of the National Park Service and the more than 400 sites it protects today across the United States. Yellowstone National Park also forms the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. At 34,375 square miles, it is one of the largest, nearly intact temperate-zone ecosystems on Earth. The park continues to influence preservation and science, and we are pleased to share its stories with you. Many people have dedicated their lives and careers to studying Yellowstone and the park has a long history of research and public interest. The park hosts more than 150 researchers from various agencies, universities, and organizations each year. They produce hundreds of papers, manuscripts, books, and book chapters on their work annually—a volume of information that is difficult to absorb. This compendium is intended to help you understand the important concepts about Yellowstone’s many resources and contains information about the park’s history, natural and cultural resources, and issues. In addition to the references listed for each topic covered in this handbook, here are some interdisciplinary sources: • www.nps.gov/yell • Yellowstone Science, free from the Yellowstone Center for Resources, in the Yellowstone Research Library, or online at www.nps.gov/yellowstonescience. • The park newspaper distributed at entrance gates and visitor centers. • Site bulletins, published as needed, provide more detailed information on park topics such as trailside museums and the grand hotels. Free; available upon request from visitor centers. • Trail guides, available at all visitor centers. A $1 donation is requested. Second Century of Service On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service celebrated its 100th birthday. For a century the National Park Service has cared for and protected wildlife, land, waterways, accomplishments, lessons, and stories belonging to the citizens of the United States. And we are ready to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates. Welcome v vi Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook, 2019 Park Facts Yellowstone National Park was established on March 1, 1872. Yellowstone is the world’s first national park. GEOGRAPHY 3,472 square miles (8,991 km2) 2,221,766 acres or 899,116 hectares. Note: No area figures have been scientifically verified. Efforts to confirm the park’s total area continue. 63 air miles north to south (102 km) 54 air miles east to west (87 km) 96% in Wyoming, 3% in Montana, 1% in Idaho Highest Point: 11,358 feet (3,462 m; Eagle Peak) Lowest Point: 5,282 feet (1,610 m; Reese Creek) Larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined About 5% covered by water; 15% by grassland; and 80% by forests Precipitation Annual precipitation ranges from 10 inches (26 cm) at the north boundary to 80 inches (205 cm) in the southwest corner Temperature Average daily, at Mammoth: January: 9ºF (–13ºC) July: 80ºF (27ºC) Records: High: 99ºF (37ºC), 2002 (Mammoth) Low: –66ºF (–54ºC), 1933 (West Entrance, Riverside Station) Yellowstone Lake 131.7 square miles of surface area (341.1 km2) 141 miles of shoreline (227 km) 20 miles north to south (32 km) 14 miles east to west (22 km) Average depth: 138 feet (42 m) Maximum depth: 430 feet (131 m) GEOLOGY An active volcano One of the world’s largest calderas at 45 x 30 miles (72 x 48 km) 1,000–3,000 earthquakes annually More than 10,000 hydrothermal features About 500 active geysers (more than half the world’s active geysers) About 290 waterfalls Tallest waterfall near a road: Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River at 308 feet (94 m) More than 720,000 museum items, including 30 historic vehicles Millions of archived documents More than 20,000 books (many rare), manuscripts, periodicals Fees: $43.9 Utilities & Agreements (Reimbursable): $5.4 11 visitor centers, museums, and contact stations 9 hotels/lodges (2,000+ hotel rooms/cabins) 7 NPS-operated campgrounds (450+ sites) 5 concession-operated campgrounds (1,700+ sites) More than 1,500 buildings 52 picnic areas, 1 marina, Distribution of Budget Park Support: 7% Includes human resources, contracting, budget and finance, partnerships, telecommunications, and information technology Facility Operations and Maintenance: 43% Includes utilities, roads, trails, structures, historic preservation coordination, construction management Park Protection: 13% Includes law enforcement, emergency medical services, search and rescue, entrance station operations, structural fire activities. Resource Stewardship: 9% Includes management operations and monitoring of natural and cultural resources, invasive species management, resea
H IS T ORY People have spent time in the Yellowstone region for more than 11,000 years. Rock structures like this are evidence of the early presence of people in the area. History of the Park The human history of the Yellowstone region goes back more than 11,000 years. The stories of people in Yellowstone are preserved in archeological sites and objects that convey information about past human activities in the region, and in people’s connections to the land that provide a sense of place or identity. Today, park managers use archeological and historical studies to help us understand how people lived here in the past. Ethnography helps us learn about how groups of people identify themselves and their connections to the park. Research is also conducted to learn how people continue to affect and be affected by these places, many of which have been relatively protected from human impacts. Some alterations to the landscape, such as the construction of roads and other facilities, are generally accepted as necessary to accommodate the needs of visitors today. Information on the possible consequences of modern human activities, both inside and outside the parks, is used to determine how best to preserve Yellowstone’s natural and cultural resources, and the quality of the visitors’ experience. History of Yellowstone National Park Precontact • People have been in Yellowstone more than 11,000 years, as shown by archeological sites, trails, and oral histories. • • • Railroad arrived in 1883, allowing easier visitor access. • Although the Tukudika (a.k.a. Sheep Eaters) are the most wellknown group of Native Americans to use the park, many other tribes and bands lived in and traveled through what is now Yellowstone National Park prior to and after European American arrival. European Americans Arrive • European Americans began exploring in the early 1800s. • Osborne Russell recorded early visits in the 1830s. First organized expedition explored Yellowstone in 1870. Protection of the Park Begins • Yellowstone National Park established in 1872. Park Management Evolves • 1963:“Leopold Report” released. Recommended changes to how wildlife is managed in the park. • 1970: New bear management plan eliminated open-pit garbage dumps in park. The US Army managed the park from 1886 through 1918. • 1988: “Summer of Fire.” • 1995: Wolves restored to the park. • Automobiles allowed into the park in 1915, making visits easier and more economical. • 1996: Federal buyout of gold mine northeast of Yellowstone protected the park. • National Park Service created in 1916. • First boundary adjustment of the park made in 1929. History of the Park 13 Humans in Yellowstone H IS T ORY Paleoindian Period ~11,000 years ago 10,000 years ago A Clovis point from this period Folsom people were in the was made from obsidian Yellowstone area as early as obtained at Obsidian Cliff. 10,900 years ago—the date of an obsidian Folsom projectile point found near Pinedale, Wyoming. Sites all over the park yield paleoindian artifacts, particularly concentrated around Yellowstone Lake. The Earliest Humans in Yellowstone Human occupation of the greater Yellowstone area seems to follow environmental changes of the last 15,000 years. How far back is still to be determined— there are no known sites in the park that date to this time—but humans probably were not using this landscape when glaciers and a continental ice sheet covered most of what is now Yellowstone National Park. The glaciers carved out valleys with rivers that people could follow in pursuit of Ice Age mammals such as the mammoth and the giant bison. The last period of ice coverage ended 13,000–14,000 years ago, sometime after that, but before 11,000 years ago, humans where here on this landscape. Archeologists have found physical evidence of human presence in the form of distinctive stone tools and projectile points. From these artifacts, scientists surmise that they hunted mammals and gathered berries, seeds, and plants. As the climate in the Yellowstone region warmed and dried, the animals, vegetation, and human lifestyles also changed. Large Ice Age animals that were adapted to cold and wet conditions became extinct. The glaciers left behind layers of sediment in valleys in which grasses and sagebrush thrived, and pockets of exposed rocks that provided protected areas for aspens and fir to grow. The uncovered volcanic plateau sprouted lodgepole forests. People adapted to these changing conditions and were eating a diverse diet including medium and small animals such as deer and Cody knife (9,350 years ago) from the Yellowstone National Park museum collection 14 9,350 years ago Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook, 2019 A site on the shore of Yellowstone Lake has been dated to 9,350 years ago. The points had traces of blood from rabbit, dog, Hell Gap point, deer, and bighorn sheep. made 9,600– People seem to have 10,000 years occupied this site for short, a
P RE S E RVAT I O N Yellowstone’s cultural resources tell the stories of people, shown here around 1910 near the Old Faithful Inn, and their connections to the park. The protection of these resources affects how the park is managed today. Preserving Cultural Resources Yellowstone National Park’s mission includes preserving and interpreting evidence of past human activity through archeology and historic preservation; features that are integral to how a group of people identifies itself (ethnographic resources); and places associated with a significant event, activity, person or group of people that provide a sense of place and identity (historic buildings, roads, and cultural landscapes). All of these materials and places tell the story of people in Yellowstone. Collectively, they are referred to as cultural resources. Archeology Archeological resources are the primary—and often the only—source of information about humans in Yellowstone for nearly the entire time that people have been in the area. Archeological evidence indicates that people began traveling through and using the area that was to become Yellowstone National Park more than 11,000 years ago. Because the intensity of use varies through time as environmental conditions shift, archeological resources also provide a means for interdisciplinary investigations of past climate and biotic change. Many thermal areas contain evidence that early people camped there. At Obsidian Cliff, a National Historic Landmark, volcanic glass was quarried for the manufacture of tools and ceremonial artifacts that entered a trading network extending from western Canada to the Midwest. These remnants of past cultures must be preserved, as they are invaluable in our understanding of early people in the Quick Facts Archeological • More than 1,850 known prehistoric and historic Native American archeological sites and historic European American archeological sites Ethnographic • More than 300 ethnographic resources (animals, plants, sites, etc.) Historic • 25 sites, landmarks, and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places; many more eligible for listing • Museum collection of more than 1 million museum items, including 30 historic vehicles • Archives containing millions of historic documents • More than 900 historic buildings • • 1 National Historic Trail Research library holds more than 20,000 books and periodicals available to the public; plus manuscripts and rare books available to historians and other researchers Collections Housed in the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center Preserving Cultural Resources 29 P RE S E RVAT I ON area. Historic archeological sites in Yellowstone include the remains of early tourist hotels and army soldier stations. Findings in Yellowstone Although more than 1,850 archeological sites have been documented since the archeology program began in 1995, less than 3% of the park has been inventoried. Most documented sites are in developed areas because archeological evidence has been identified there inadvertently, or as part of National Historic Preservation Act compliance related to construction, hazard fuel reduction, or other projects. Condition assessments performed on most of the documented sites found 1,013 were in good condition, 383 were fair, and 190 sites were in poor condition. Twenty-five of the sites no longer existed because of natural factors or disturbance as a result of construction or other authorized activity, and 238 lack condition data. Emergency excavations have been conducted at some sites where archeological remains are especially vulnerable to disturbance or loss through erosion or illegal collecting. Multiple significant sites along the Yellowstone River have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. These contain projectile points or arrowheads, scrapers and other tools, and concentrations of burned and butchered bone, including the first evidence of fishing found in the park. Radiocarbon dating is used to establish the age of organic artifacts such as charcoal or bone. However, organic materials (wood, bone, basketry, textiles) rarely persist in the Yellowstone environment because of the acidic, thermally influenced soils. Stone artifacts provide most of the chronological information on Yellowstone’s prehistory. Most of the stone tools that can be associated with a particular time period are projectile points. At Malin Creek, campsites from five distinct periods of indigenous use spanning more than 9,000 years are stacked upon each other starting at five feet below the surface. These occupations have revealed how tool manufacture and foodways changed over time. The earliest evidence of humans in Yellowstone is an 11,000-year-old Clovis-type spear point found near the park’s north entrance in Gardiner, Montana, and made of obsidian from Obsidian Cliff. (Obsidian from different lava flows can be chemically fingerprinted using X-ray fluorescence analysis.) Lat
Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem At 3,437.5 square miles (8,903 km2),Yellowstone National Park forms the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem—one of the largest nearly intact temperate-zone ecosystems on Earth. Greater Yellowstone’s diversity of natural wealth includes the hydrothermal features, wildlife, vegetation, lakes, and geologic wonders like the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. Heart of an Ecosystem Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 primarily to protect geothermal areas that contain about half the world’s active geysers. At that time, the natural state of the park was largely taken for granted. As development throughout the West increased, the 2.2 million acres (8,903 km2) of habitat that now compose Yellowstone National Park became an important sanctuary for the largest concentration of wildlife in the lower 48 states. The abundance and distribution of these animal species depend on their interactions with each other and on the quality of their habitats, which in turn is the result of thousands of years of volcanic activity, forest fires, changes in climate, and more recent natural and human influences. Most of the park is above 7,500 feet (2,286 m) in elevation and underlain by volcanic bedrock. The terrain is covered with snow for much of the year and supports forests Quick Facts Space and Ownership • 12–22 million acres; 18,750– 34,375 square miles (Sizes, boundaries, and descriptions of any ecosystem can vary.) • States: Wyoming, Montana, Idaho • Encompasses state lands, two national parks, portions of five national forests, three national wildlife refuges, Bureau of Land Management holdings, private and tribal lands. • Managed by state governments, federal government, tribal governments, and private individuals Wildlife • One of the largest elk herds in North America Management Challenges • Climate change • Invasive species • Managing an ecosystem across political boundaries • Land use change • In Yellowstone: • Largest free-roaming, wild herd of bison in United States • One of few grizzly populations in contiguous United States −− Grizzly bear management • Rare sightings of wolverine and lynx −− High visitation −− Bison management −− Native fish conservation Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem 53 E CO S YS T E M The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, with Yellowstone at its core, is one of the largest nearly intact temperatezone ecosystems on Earth. the Yellowstone Plateau itself is a result of uplift due to hot-spot volcanism. Today’s landforms even influence the weather, channeling westerly storm systems onto the plateau where they drop large amounts of snow. The volcanic rhyolites and tuffs of the Yellowstone Influence of Geology Caldera are rich in quartz and potassium feldspar, Geological characteristics form the foundation of which form nutrient-poor soils. Thus, areas of the an ecosystem. In Yellowstone, the interplay between park underlain by rhyolites and tuffs generally are volcanic, hydrothermal and glacial processes, and characterized by extensive stands of lodgepole pine, the distribution of flora and fauna, are intricate. The which are drought-tolerant and have shallow roots topography of the land from southern Idaho norththat take advantage of the nutrients in the soil. east to Yellowstone probably results from millions of In contrast, andesitic volcanic rocks that underlie years of hot-spot influence. Some scientists believe the Absaroka Mountains Billings ! are rich in calcium, magLivingston ! Bozeman ! nesium, and iron. These minerals weather into M O N T A N A soils that can store more water and provide better Custer Gallatin Red Lodge nutrients than rhyolitic National Forest ! National Forest soils. These soils support Gardiner Cooke City ! ! more vegetation, which Beaverhead-Deerlodge adds organic matter and Yellowstone National Forest National Park enriches the soil. You can Red Rock Lakes see the result when you ! West Yellowstone National Wildlife Refuge drive over Dunraven Pass ! Cody Shoshone National Forest or through other areas of the park with Absaroka Caribou-Targhee National Forest rocks. They have a more diverse flora, including John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway mixed forests interCamas National spersed with meadows. Wildlife Refuge Grand Teton Rexburg ! National Park Lake sediments deposited W Y O M I N G during glacial periods, National Elk such as those underlying Refuge ! ! Idaho Falls Jackson Hayden Valley, form clay Bridger-Teton soils that allow meadow National Forest I D AH O communities to outcompete trees for water. Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge The patches of lodgepole pines in Hayden Valley Pocatello ! grow in areas of rhyolite rock outcrops. Because of the influBureau of Land Management Continental Divide ence rock types, sediFish and Wildlife Service Rivers and Lakes ments, and topography Forest Service 0 50 Kilometers State Boundary North National Park Service have on plant distribuState
The landscape of Yellowstone National Park is the result of many geological processes. Here, glacial erratics (foreground), ground moraines (midground), and Cutoff Mountain (background) appear near Junction Butte. Geology miles in diameter) is extremely hot but solid due to immense pressure. The iron and nickel outer core (1,400 miles thick) is hot and molten. The mantle (1,800 miles thick) is a dense, hot, semi-solid layer of rock. Above the mantle is the relatively thin crust, three to 48 miles thick, forming the continents and ocean floors. In the key principles of Plate Tectonics, Earth’s crust and upper mantle (lithosphere) is divided into Yellowstone’s Geologic Significance Yellowstone continues today as a natural geologic laboratory of active Earth processes. • One of the most geologically dynamic areas on Earth due to a shallow source of magma and resulting volcanic activity • One of the largest volcanic eruptions known to have occurred in the world, creating one of the largest known calderas • More than 10,000 hydrothermal features, including approximately 500 geysers—the most undisturbed hydrothermal features left in the world • The largest concentration of active geysers in the world—more than half of the world’s total • Mammoth Hot Springs, one of the few places in the world where active travertine terraces are found. • Site of many petrified trees formed by a series of andesitic volcanic eruptions 45 to 50 million years ago What Lies Beneath Yellowstone’s geologic story provides examples of how geologic processes work on a planetary scale. The foundation to understanding this story begins with the structure of the Earth and how this structure shapes the planet’s surface. Earth is frequently depicted as a ball with a central core surrounded by concentric layers that culminate in the crust or outer shell. The distance from Earth’s surface to its center or core is approximately 4,000 miles. The core of the earth is divided into two parts. The mostly iron and nickel inner core (about 750 Geology 107 GEOLOGY The landscape of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is the result various geological processes over the last 150 million years. Here, Earth’s crust has been compressed, pulled apart, glaciated, eroded, and subjected to volcanism. All of this geologic activity formed the mountains, canyons, and plateaus that define the natural wonder that is Yellowstone National Park. While these mountains and canyons may appear to change very little during our lifetime, they are still highly dynamic and variable. Some of Earth’s most active volcanic, hydrothermal (water + heat), and earthquake systems make this national park a priceless treasure. In fact, Yellowstone was established as the world’s first national park primarily because of its extraordinary geysers, hot springs, mudpots and steam vents, as well as other wonders such as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. GEOLOGY many plates, which are in constant motion. Where plate edges meet, they may slide past one another, pull apart from each other, or collide into each other. When plates collide, one plate is commonly driven beneath another (subduction). Subduction is possible because continental plates are made of less dense rocks (granites) that are more buoyant than oceanic plates (basalts) and, thus, “ride” higher than oceanic plates. At divergent plate boundaries, such as midocean ridges, the upwelling of magma pulls plates apart from each other. Many theories have been proposed to explain crustal plate movement. Scientific evidence shows that convection currents in the partially molten asthenosphere (the zone of mantle beneath the lithosphere) move the rigid crustal plates above. The volcanism that has so greatly shaped today’s Yellowstone is a product of plate movement combined with convective upwellings of hotter, semi-molten rock we call mantle plumes. At a Glance Although a cataclysmic eruption of the Yellowstone volcano is unlikely in the foreseeable future, real-time monitoring of seismic activity, volcanic gas concentrations, geothermal activity, and ground deformation helps ensure public safety. Yellowstone’s seismograph stations, monitored by the by the University of Utah for the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, detect several hundreds to thousands of earthquakes in the park each year. Scientists continue to improve our capacity to monitor the Yellowstone volcano through the deployment of new technology. Beginning in 2004, scientists implemented very precise Global Positioning Systems (GPS), capable of accurately measuring vertical and horizontal groundmotions to within a centimeter, and satellite radar imagery of ground movements called InSAR. These measurements indicated that parts of the Yellowstone caldera were rising at an unprecedented rate of up to seven centimeters (2.75 in) per year (2006), while an area near the northern caldera boundary started to subside. The largest vertical movement was recorded at the
T H E RMOP H ILE S Thermophiles, or heat-loving microscopic organisms, are nourished by the extreme habitat at hydrothermal features in Yellowstone National Park. They also color hydrothermal features shown here at Clepsydra Geyser. Life in Extreme Heat The hydrothermal features of Yellowstone are magnificent evidence of Earth’s volcanic activity. Amazingly, they are also habitats in which microscopic organisms called thermophiles—“thermo” for heat, “phile” for lover—survive and thrive. Grand Prismatic Spring at Midway Geyser Basin is an outstanding example of this dual characteristic. Visitors marvel at its size and brilliant colors. The boardwalk crosses a vast habitat for thermophiles. Nourished by energy and chemical building blocks available in the hot springs, microbes construct vividly colored communities. Living with these microscopic life forms are larger examples of life in extreme environments, such as mites, flies, spiders, and plants. For thousands of years, people have likely wondered about these extreme habitats. The color of Yellowstone’s superheated environments certainly caused geologist Walter Harvey Weed to pause, think, and even question scientists who preceded him. In 1889, he wrote: There is good reason to believe that the existence of algae of other colors, particularly the pink, yellow and red forms so common in the Yellowstone waters, have been overlooked or mistaken for deposits of purely mineral matter. However, he could not have imagined what a fantastic world exists in these waters of brimstone. Species, unseen to the human eye, thrive in waters as acidic as the liquid in your car battery and hot enough to blister your skin. Some create layers that look like molten wax on the surface of steaming alkaline pools. Still others, apparent to us through the odors they create, exist only in murky, sulfuric caldrons that stink worse than rotten eggs. Today, many scientists study Yellowstone’s thermophiles. Some of these microbes are similar to the Words to Know Extremophile: A microorganism living in extreme conditions such as heat and acid, that cannot survive without these conditions. Thermophile: Heat-loving extremophile. Microorganism: Single- or multi-celled organism of microscopic or submicroscopic size. Also called a microbe. Microbes in Yellowstone: In addition to the thermophilic microorganisms, millions of other microbes thrive in Yellowstone’s soils, streams, rivers, lakes, vegetation, and animals. Some of them are discussed in other chapters of this book. Bacteria (Bacterium): Single-celled microorganisms without nuclei, varying in shape, metabolism, and ability to move. Archaea (Archaeum): Single-celled microorganisms without nuclei and with membranes different from all other organisms. Once thought to be bacteria. Viruses: Non-living parasitic microorganisms consisting of a piece of DNA or RNA coated by protein. Eukarya (Eukaryote): Single- or multi-celled organisms whose cells contain a distinct membrane-bound nucleus. Life in Extreme Heat 131 T H E RMOP H I LE S Thermophiles in the Tree of Life Bacteria Archaea Green nonsulfur bacteria Mitochondrian Proteobacteria Grampositive bacteria Eukarya Myxomycota Crenarchaeota Euryarchaeota Entamoebae Fungi Thaumarchaeota Plantae Chloroblast Cyanobacteria Animalia Ciliates Korarchaeota Nanoarchaeota Flavobacteria Flagellates Trichomonads Thermotoga Microsporidia Thermodesulfobacterium Aquifex Diplomonads DRAWING BY MARY ANN FRANKE Yellowstone’s hot springs contain species from the circled groups on this Tree of Life. Jack Farmer conceived of this version of the tree of life, which first appeared in GSA Today, July 2000 (used with permission). In the last few decades, microbial research has led to a revised tree of life, far different from the one taught before. The new tree combines animal, plant, and fungi in one branch. The other two branches consist solely of microorganisms, including an entire branch of microorganisms not known until the 1970s—the Archaea. Dr. Carl Woese first proposed this “tree” in the 1970s. He also proposed the new branch, Archaea, which includes many microorganisms formerly considered bacteria. The red line links the earliest organisms that evolved from a common ancestor. These are all hyperthermophiles, which thrive in water above 176°F (80°C), indicating life may have arisen in hot environments on the young Earth. first life forms capable of photosynthesis—the process of using sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide to oxygen, sugars, and other by-products. These life forms, called cyanobacteria, began to create an atmosphere that would eventually support human life. Cyanobacteria are found in some of the colorful mats and streamers of Yellowstone’s hot springs. About Microbes Other life forms—the Archaea—predated cyanobacteria and other photosynthesizers. Archaea can live in the hottest, most acidic conditions in Yellowstone; their relatives are considered among th
VE G E TAT I O N More than 1,300 plant taxa occur in Yellowstone National Park. The whitebark pine, shown here and found in high elevations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, is an important native species in decline. Vegetation The vegetation communities of Yellowstone National Park include overlapping combinations of species typical of the Rocky Mountains as well as of the Great Plains to the east and the Intermountain region to the west. The exact vegetation community present in any area of the park reflects the consequences of the underlying geology, ongoing climate change, substrates and soils, and disturbances created by fire, floods, landslides, blowdowns, insect infestations, and the arrival of nonnative plants. Today, the roughly 1,386 native taxa in the park represent the species able to either persist in the area or recolonize after glaciers, lava flows, and other major disturbances. Yellowstone is home to three endemic plant species, at least two of which depend on the unusual habitat created by the park’s thermal features. Most vegetation management in the park is focused on minimizing human-caused impacts on their native plant communities to the extent feasible. Vegetation Communities There are several vegetation communities in Yellowstone: higher- and lower-elevation forests and the understory vegetation associated with them, sagebrush-steppe, wetlands, and hydrothermal. Quick Facts Number in Yellowstone Native plant taxa: more than 1,300: • Hundreds of wildflowers. • Trees: nine conifers (lodgepole pine, whitebark pine, Engelmann spruce, white spruce, subalpine fir, Douglas-fir, Rocky Mountain juniper, common juniper, limber pine) and some deciduous species, including quaking aspen and cottonwood. • Shrubs: include common juniper, sagebrush (many species), Rocky Mountain maple. • Three endemic species (found only in Yellowstone): Ross’s bentgrass, Yellowstone sand verbena, Yellowstone sulfur wild buckwheat. Nonnative plant species: 225. Characteristics • Vegetation in Yellowstone is typical of the Rocky Mountains. • Elements of the Great Plains and Great Basin floras mix with Rocky Mountain vegetation in the vicinity of Gardiner and Stephen’s Creek. • Hydrothermal areas support unique plant communities and rare species. Management Issues • Controlling nonnative species, which threaten native species, especially near developed areas; some are spreading into the backcountry. • Park partners are monitoring whitebark pine and forest insect pests. • Biologists survey areas for sensitive or rare vegetation before a disturbance such as constructing a new facility. • Park managers are restoring areas of disturbance. Vegetation 143 VE G E TAT I O N Vegetation Communities in Yellowstone National Park 0 10 Kilometers Lodgepole pine forests Dominate more than 80% of the total forested area. Can be seral (developing) or climax. 0 10 Miles Climax forests underlain by rhyolite. Spruce-fir forests Engelmann spruce/subalpine fir dominate older forests. Usually found on moist and/or fertile substrates. Climax forests underlain by andesitic soils. Whitebark pine forests Major overstory component above 8,400 feet. Major understory component of lodgepole-dominated forests from 7,000 to 8,400 feet. Seeds are ecologically important food for a variety of wildlife species. Douglas-fir forests Associated with the Lamar, Yellowstone, and Madison river drainages below 7,600 feet. Often fewer than 20 inches annual precipitation. More frequent historic fire interval (25­­–60 year) than other forest communities in the park. 144 Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook, 2019 Non-forest North Includes grasslands, sagebrush, alpine meadows, talus, and hydrothermal environments. Encompasses the moisture spectrum from dry sagebrush shrublands to wet alpine meadows. Provides the winter and summer forage base for ungulates. Á Other communities not shown on map Aspen—found in small clones interspersed among the sagebrush/forest ecotone (transition zone) along the Yellowstone, Madison, and Snake river drainages. Wetland—Wetlands include wet meadows, forested wetlands, springs, and seeps comprised of woody vegetation, forbs, rushes, sedges, and grasses. Some are thermally influenced. Riparian—typically streamside vegetation includes cottonwoods, willows, and various deciduous shrubs. More Information Staff Reviewers Roy Renkin, Vegetation Management Specialist Heidi Anderson,Botanist and Wetland Ecologist Vegetation 145 VE G E TAT I O N Craighead, J.J. et al. 1963. A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers from Northern Arizona and New Mexico to British Colombia. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Cronquist et al. (ongoing, currently 6 volumes) Intermountain Flora. New York Botanical Garden. Despain, D. 1990. Yellowstone Vegetation: Consequences of Environment and History in a Natural Setting. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart. Dorn, B. 2001. Vascular Plants of Wyoming. 3rd edition. Elliot, C.R. and M.M
Fire Fire has been a key factor in shaping the ecology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Native plant species evolved adaptations so they survive and, in some cases, flourish after periodic fires. Fire influences ecosystem processes and patterns, such as nutrient cycling and plant community composition and structure. Fire regimes in the western United States changed with the arrival of European and American settlers, whose livestock removed grassy fuels that carried fires and whose roads fragmented the continuity of fire-carrying fuels. Most naturally occurring fires were suppressed to the extent possible. The National Park Service aims to restore fire’s role as a natural process in parks when and where this is feasible. Lightning may ignite dozens of forest fires during a single summer, but most of them go out naturally after burning less than half an acre. Others torch isolated or small groups of trees, become smoldering ground fires, and eventually go out on their own. On rare occasions, wind-driven fires have burned through large areas of forest, as in 1988, when multiple fires crossed more than one million acres in Yellowstone and on surrounding federal lands despite massive efforts to extinguish them. Without frequent small and occasional large fires to create a mosaic of plant communities in different growth stages, biodiversity declines and leaf litter and deadfall accumulate much faster than they can return nutrients to the soil through decay. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: How does fire benefit Yellowstone? Fires are a natural part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Vegetation has adapted to fire and, in some cases, may be dependent on it. Fire promotes habitat diversity by removing the forest overstory, allowing different plant communities to become established, and preventing trees from becoming established in grassland. Fire increases the rate that nutrients become available to plants by rapidly releasing them from wood and forest litter and by hastening the weathering of soil minerals. This is especially important in a cold and dry climate like Yellowstone’s, where decomposition rates are slower than in more hot and humid areas. Additionally, natural fires provide an opportunity for scientists to study the effects of fire on an ecosystem. Why aren’t burned trees removed? Burned trees and those that have died for other reasons still contribute to the ecosystem. For example, dead standing trees provide nesting cavities for many types of animals; fallen trees provide food and shelter for animals and nutrients for the soil. However, park managers will remove dead or burned trees that pose safety hazards along roads or in developed areas. Evidence of fires that burned before the park was established in 1872 can be found in soil profiles, charcoal found in lake sediments, landslides, and old-growth trees. Research shows large fires have been occurring in Yellowstone since forests became established following the last glacial retreat 14,000 years ago. Yellowstone’s fire season typically lasts Fire 161 FI RE Greater Yellowstone is a fire-adapted ecosystem. Smoke may be visible from ongoing fires during the fire season, typically mid-June through September. FI RE from July to the end of September. The number and extent of fires that occur each year depend on climate and what efforts are made to suppress the fires, as well as weather conditions such as the number and timing of lightning storms and the amount and timing of precipitation. 1988 1989-2018 1988 and again since Burned areas in Yellowstone from 1988 to 2018. Until 2016, the large fires of the 2000s were burning in areas largely unaffected by the 1988 fires. In 2016 alone, 42,425 acres burned in 1988 fire scars. Ignition Afternoon thunderstorms that release little precipitation occur frequently in the northern Rockies. Yellowstone receives thousands of lightning strikes in a typical summer, but most do not result in fires. A snag may smolder for several days and then burn out because fuels are too moist to sustain combustion or too sparse to permit the fire to spread. The park’s forests have few shrubs; understory fuels are predominantly young trees. The moisture content of both live and dead vegetation tends to drop as summer progresses, temperatures increase, and relative humidity decreases. Fuels have often dried out enough to ignite the first wildfire of the year by mid-July. A forested area that has burned recently enough to contain only young stands of trees usually doesn’t have enough combustible fuel to carry a fire, except under extreme climate conditions. But as the years pass, trees that don’t survive the competition for light and other resources die and eventually fall over. On living trees, older branches die and fall off as they are shaded by new foliage growing above. As a stand grows older and taller, the canopy becomes more broken. This allows enough light to reach the forest floor for a shade-tolerant understor
Yellowstone National Park has abundant and diverse wildlife. A bald eagle and a golden eagle land on an elk carcass killed by the Slough Creek wolf pack near the Lamar River. Surrounded by ravens, Wildlife WILDLIFE Yellowstone’s abundant and diverse wildlife are as famous as its geysers. Habitat preferences and seasonal cycles of movement determine, in a general sense, where a particular animal may be at a particular time. Early morning and evening hours are when animals tend to be feeding and are more easily seen. But remember that the numbers and variety of animals you see are largely a matter of luck and coincidence. Wild animals, especially females with young, are unpredictable and dangerous. Keep a safe distance from all wildlife. Each year a number of park visitors are injured by wildlife when approaching too closely. Approaching on foot within 100 yards (91 m) of bears or wolves, or within 25 yards (23 m) of other wildlife is prohibited. Please use roadside pullouts when viewing wildlife. Use binoculars or telephoto lenses for safe viewing and to avoid disturbing wildlife. By being sensitive to its needs, you will see more of an animal’s natural behavior and activity. If you cause an animal to move, you are too close. It is illegal to willfully remain near or approach wildlife, including birds, within any distance that disturbs or displaces the animal. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: Where can I see wildlife? It helps to know the habits and migration patterns of the animals you want to see and the habitats in which they live. For example, bighorn sheep are adapted to live on steep terrain, so you might see them on cliffs in the Tower area. Osprey eat fish, so you would expect to see them along rivers. Bison graze on grasses and sedges, and mate in August, so you are likely to see them in big, noisy herds in the Hayden and Lamar valleys. Hydrothermal basins provide important habitat for wildlife. For example, some bison live in the Old Faithful area yearround. In the winter, they take advantage of the warm ground and thin snow cover. Both black and grizzly bears visit these areas during the spring when winter-killed animals are available. Rangers at the visitor centers can tell you where wildlife have been seen recently. Wildlife 175 Yellowstone is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states. Here, bison and elk graze on the northern range. WILDLIFE Mammals Yellowstone is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states. In addition to having a diversity of small animals, Yellowstone is notable for its predator–prey complex of large mammals, including eight ungulate species (bighorn sheep, bison, elk, moose, mountain goats, mule deer, pronghorn, and white-tailed deer) and seven large predators (black bears, Canada lynx, coyotes, grizzly bears, mountain lions, wolverines, and wolves). The National Park Service’s goal is to maintain the ecological processes that sustain these mammals and their habitats while monitoring the changes taking place in their populations. Seasonal or migratory movements take many species across the park boundary where they are subject to different management policies and uses of land by humans. Understanding the links between climate change and these drivers will be critical to informing the ecology and management of Yellowstone’s wildlife in the years to come. More Information Curlee, A.P. et al., eds. 2000. Greater Yellowstone predators: ecology and conservation in a changing landscape. Proceedings of the Third Biennial Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Jackson, WY: Northern Rockies Conservation Coop. Garrott, R. et al., editors. 2009. The ecology of large mammals in Central Yellowstone. San Diego: Academic Press. Ruth, T. et al. 2003. Large carnivore response to recreational big-game hunting along the Yellowstone National Park and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness boundary. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 31(4):1–12. 176 Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook, 2019 Quick Facts Yellowstone is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states. • 67 different mammals live here, including many small mammals. • As of 2017, an estimated 718 grizzly bears live in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. • Black bears are common. • Gray wolves were restored in 1995. As of January 2017, 97 live primarily in the park. • Wolverine and lynx, which require large expanses of undisturbed habitat, live here. • Seven native ungulate species—elk, mule deer, bison, moose, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, and white-tailed deer—live here. • Nonnative mountain goats have colonized northern portions of the park. Schullery, P. and L. Whittlesey. 1999. Early wildlife history of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Report, available in Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center Library. Streubel, D. 2002. Small mammals of the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Juneau, Alaska: Windy Ridge Publishing. Feldhamer, G.A., B.C. Thompson, and J
Nearly 300 bird species have been sighted in Yellowstone National Park, including raptors, songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl. About 150 species build their nests and fledge their young in the park. WILDLIFE Birds Records of bird sightings have been kept in Yellowstone since its establishment in 1872. These records document nearly 300 species of birds to date, including raptors, songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Approximately 150 species nest in the park. The variation in elevation and broad array of habitat types found within Yellowstone contribute to the relatively high diversity. Many of the birds are migratory species. There are currently no federally listed bird species known to breed in Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone National Park bird program monitors a small portion of its breeding bird species to gather information on reproduction, abundance, and habitat use. Data is collected on multiple species from a wide variety of taxonomic groups, and Quick Facts Number in Yellowstone 285 documented species; approximately 150 species nest in the park. Species of Concern • Trumpeter swan • Golden eagle • Common loon Current Management The Yellowstone National Park bird program monitors the park’s bird species, including species of concern. The program’s core activities are monitoring raptors (bald eagles, ospreys, peregrine falcons, golden eagles), wetland birds, and passerine/near passerine birds (songbirds and woodpeckers). 248 Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook, 2019 has been maintained for 25 or more years for several species. Long-term monitoring efforts help inform park staff of potential shifts in ecosystem function, e.g., climate change effects, for Yellowstone’s bird community and may guide future conservation of the park’s birds and their habitats. Climate Change The timing of the availability of food sources for birds may change with rising temperatures and changing weather patterns. Birds are sensitive to shifts in seasonal weather patterns and show a relatively rapid response to these fluctuations. For example, climate change has been shown to influence migration patterns, population size and distribution, the timing of reproduction, and nesting success for birds. Through monitoring, birds can be used as environmental health indicators to help managers detect changes in ecosystem function and, if necessary, take appropriate management action. The Yellowstone bird program monitors the spring arrival of species to the park, as well as the timing of nest initiation and fledging for several raptor species, which may be useful in observing the effects of climate change in Yellowstone. More Information Annual Bird Program Reports. National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park. http://www.nps.gov/yell/ naturescience/birdreports.htm Crick, H.Q.P. 2004. The impact of climate change on birds. Ibis 146:48–56. Follett, D. 1986. Birds of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Boulder, CO: Roberts Rinehart. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: Where are good birding locations? which makes identification easier. That depends on what kind of birds you want to see, the time of day you are looking, and your location in the park. In general, riparian areas and wetlands, especially those with shrubby willows, aspen, and cottonwoods attract the greatest diversity and abundance of songbirds. Watch for birds on early morning walks from mid-May through early July. At all times, but especially during the nesting season, birds should be viewed from a distance. Getting too close can stress a bird (as it can any animal) and sometimes cause the bird to abandon its nest. As with all park wildlife, visitors should keep at least 25 yards away from birds and their nests. Hayden Valley is one of the best places to view water birds and birds of prey. Shorebirds feed in the mud flats at Alum Creek. Sandhill cranes often nest in the valley. Ducks, geese, and American white pelicans cruise the river. Bald eagles and osprey hunt for fish along the river; northern harriers fly low looking for rodents in the grasses. Great gray owls are sometimes seen searching the meadows for food (these birds are sensitive to human disturbance). Blacktail Ponds and Floating Island Lake, between Mammoth and Tower Junction, and the Madison River west of Madison Junction are also good places to look for birds. Many birds, such as American robins and common ravens, are found throughout the park. Other species live in specific habitats. For example, belted kingfishers are found near rivers and streams while Steller’s jays are found in moist coniferous forests. Birds that can be viewed in Yellowstone year-round include the common raven, Canada goose, trumpeter swan, dusky grouse (formerly blue grouse), gray jay, black-billed magpie, red-breasted nuthatch, American dipper, and mountain chickadee. A few species, such as common goldeneyes, bohemian waxwings, and rough-legged hawks migrate here for the winter. Visitors
Yellowstone National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Backcountry Trip Planner © TOM MURPHY Backcountry Permits A Backcountry Use Permit is required for all overnight trips in the backcountry. The permit is valid only for the dates, locations, and party size specified. Permits are not required for day hiking; however, day hikers must observe all backcountry regulations. All Backcountry Use Permits must be obtained in person and not more than two days in advance of your departure. Visitors obtaining a backcountry permit with trips dates between Memorial Day and September 10 will pay a per-person, pernight permit fee. Backcountry permit fees apply for group members that are 9 years or older. The fee for backpackers/ boaters is $3 per-person per-night. The group per night fee is capped at $15 dollars per night. The fee for stock parties (horses/mules/llamas)is $5 per-person per night. There is no cap on the group per night fee. Backcountry permit fees are separate from the $25 fee paid to make an advance reservation and will be collected at the backcountry office when you pick up your permit. Each campsite has restrictions on group size, stock use, boating access, wood fires, and length of stay. (Campsite restrictions are listed on pages 6–11.) The maximum number of nights one can remain at a single site is three unless other wise indicated. With the exception of four campsites, we allow only one party at each campsite. If your party size exceeds the campsite limit, you will need to obtain a second permit and be prepared to cook and sleep as separate groups. Advance Reservations B a c kc o u n t r y c a m p s it e s m a y b e reserved in advance. The reservation fee for each trip is $25 regardless of the number of nights or number of people in a single trip. Groups that exceed the maximum number of people allowed at a campsite must split into multiple groups and submit a reservation request for each group. A trip is defined as a contiguous itinerary that enters and then exits the backcountry at a trailhead or developed area. An itinerary that requires vehicular transportation between trailheads during the trip would constitute another trip and require an additional reservation and/or permit. Application Procedures Reservation requests must be submitted on the Trip Planning Worksheet (enclosed). Additional worksheets are available by mail from the Central Backcountry Office or on the park website at www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/backcountrytripplanner.htm. A non-refundable processing fee of $25 must be submitted with each application and can be made with check, money order, or credit card. The fee is for obtaining a reservation, not for taking a trip, and will be deposited only upon confirmation of a reservation. Once the reservation has been made the fee is no longer refundable even if the trip is canceled. Requests for reser vations will be accepted by mail, in person, or by fax with a credit card number. We cannot accept applications over the phone, or e-mail. Reservation applications may be submitted anytime after January 1; however, to ensure that your application arrives during a time when the Central Backcountry Office is staffed we recommend waiting until March 1 to submit your application. We begin processing reservation requests on April 1. All applications received on or before April 1 will be processed in random order. Applications received after April 1 will be processed in the order they are received. Successful applicants will receive a confirmation letter by email. This confirmation notice is then exchanged for the actual Backcountry Use Permit, which must be obtained in person at a Backcountry Permit Office in the park, not more than two days before the first camping date. Reservations are held only until 10 am on the day of your trip. If you are delayed, you may hold your reservation by calling the phone number shown on the confirmation notice. Reservations that have not been confirmed or exchanged for backcountry permits will be canceled and the campsites made available for other parties. Only a portion of backcountry campsites will be reserved in advance. We leave some sites open in each area each night for people without reservations. Consequently, if you can be flexible in your choice of campsites, you may decide to wait until you arrive in the park to reserve your site(s) and obtain your permit. We strongly encourage you to develop a second itinerary that may explore some less popular areas, in the event your first Undesignated and Winter Camping Where to Get Your Permit For the best information on trail conditions, obtain your permits from the ranger station or visitor center closest to where your trip begins. From June through August, Backcountry Use Permits are generally available 7 days a week between 8 am and 4:30 pm (some stations close for lunch) at the following locations: • Bechler Ranger Station • Mammoth Visitor Center • Tower Ranger Station • Gr
Beyond Road’s End Regulations and Guidelines for Backcountry Travel in Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone National Park’s backcountry, a diverse area with hundreds of miles of trails, vast forests, wild rivers, remote mountains, abundant wildlife, and a variety of geysers and hot springs, can provide a unique and enjoyable experience. The National Park Service wants your backcountry trip to be as rewarding and as safe as possible. The information in this booklet was compiled by backcountry rangers and covers situations you are most likely to encounter while traveling in Yellowstone’s backcountry. Please read this booklet carefully. Learning and abiding by regulations will help ensure that you and your companions will have a safe and enjoyable trip. Contents Introduction 1 Park Regulations 2 Backcountry Permits 3 Fishing and Boating 4 Permits Using Stock 4 Trailheads 4 Wildlife 5 Bear Country 6 For Your Safety 12 Leave No Trace 17 Noxious Weeds 20 Protecting Yellowstone’s Backcountry Yellowstone National Park was created by Congress in 1872 to protect the area’s unique natural resources and provide for their enjoyment in such a manner as to keep them unimpaired for future generations. We invite you to partner with the National Park Service in achieving this mission. In early days, when few visitors came to the park, the park resources remained relatively undisturbed. More than a century of increasing visitor use has made it necessary to establish regulations to minimize impacts. Environmental damage may last years, several decades, or even longer. Our efforts to maintain the pristine condition of Yellowstone’s backcountry today are well worth the long-term benefits they provide. The regulations explained in this booklet help protect Yellowstone’s visitors, plants, animals, and physical features. Park Rangers patrol the backcountry maintaining trails, assisting travelers, and ensuring that regulations are followed. 1 Park Regulations Yellowstone National Park is administered by federal law, described in detail in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36. These regulations are on file at all ranger stations and in the Park Superintendent’s office. 2 • All wild animals are potentially dangerous – do not approach or feed wildlife. • Food, garbage, and all items used for storing, preparing or eating food must be properly hung whenever they are not being carried or used – day and night. • Swimming, soaking, and bathing in water entirely of thermal origin is prohibited. Altering or putting objects in thermal features is also prohibited. • All plants, animals, animal parts, mineral features, archeological sites, and cultural artifacts in the park are protected. Removing, disturbing and/or damaging them is prohibited. • A permit is required for all overnight trips in the backcountry. • Pets, weapons other than legally permitted firearms, traps, motorized and wheeled devices, except some wheelchairs, are prohibited in the backcountry. Bicycles are allowed only on paved roads and on specially designated routes. • Fires are allowed only in established fire rings and must be attended at all times. Only dead and down wood may be used as firewood. • Solid human waste must be buried at least 100 feet from a water source, campsite, or trail. All trash must be packed out. • Contaminating park waters with any materials including soap, waste, food, etc. that may pollute or alter a water source is prohibited. • Tossing or rolling rocks or other objects down hillsides or into caves or canyons is prohibited. • Nuts, berries, and mushrooms may be picked only for personal consumption at the gatherer’s own risk. • Permits are required for fishing, boating, and using float tubes. • The use of electronic equipment to track wildlife is prohibited. • Animal calls, audio attractants or other means of attracting or disturbing wildlife are prohibited. Backcountry Permits If you plan to stay overnight in Yellowstone’s backcountry, a backcountry permit is required. Permits are available at most ranger stations and/or visitor centers. Permits are available in person up to two days prior to the first day of your backcountry trip. Backcountry permits are valid only for the dates and places listed on your permit and are not required for day hikes in most areas. However, day-hikers must observe all backcountry regulations, and are encouraged to check trail conditions and safety concerns at the ranger station closest to the trailhead. Designated Campsites In an effort to protect people, bears, and park resources, camping is only allowed in designated campsites. All designated sites are equipped with a bear proof box or food-storage pole to store or hang food and other bearattractants out of the reach of bears. Each backcountry campsite has varying restrictions on group size, stock use, boating access, campfires, and length of stay. During the winter season, camping in designated campsites is generally not
Yellowstone National Park Boating Regulations Motorized Boating Non-Motorized Boating Boating Safety & AIS Inspections Yellowstone National Park offers a variety of boating experiences. Boating in Yellowstone is a memorable experience and a great way to see a different part of the park, but boating in Yellowstone is not without its risks. This brochure has been prepared to assist you in planning ahead and preparing for your boating experience, to help you make your trip as safe as possible and to help you minimize your impact on resources so that Yellowstone can be enjoyed by future generations. Contents Boat Registration & Permit 1 When permitted Required Equipment 2 Where permitted Recommended Equipment 4 Prohibitions 6 Additional Regulations 6 Boating Safety 8 Boating is allowed from the Saturday before Memorial Day through the first Sunday in November. Motorized boats are allowed only on Lewis Lake and Yellowstone Lake. Boat launches are located at Bridge Bay Marina and Grant Village on Yellowstone Lake and on the south end of Lewis Lake near the Lewis Lake Campground. Canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and other non-motorized boats are permitted on all park lakes except Sylvan Lake, Eleanor Lake, Twin Lakes, and Beach Springs Lagoon. All park rivers are closed to boating except for the section of the Lewis River between Lewis Lake and Shoshone Lake, were only non-motorized boating is permitted. Float tubes are considered non-motorized boats and subject to the same regulations. Water-skiing, jet skis and related activities are not allowed on any park waters. Invasive Species 14 Yellowstone Lake 15 Lewis Lake & Shoshone Lake 19 Boat Registration & Permit Norris West Yellowstone All motorized watercraft must be registered in the state of principle use. Registration numbers must be displayed on your watercraft in accordance with US Coast Guard (USCG) regulations. Additionally, all watercraft, including float tubes, must obtain a Yellowstone National Park Boat Permit. Motorized boat permits and non-motorized boat permits (including float tubes) are available in a 7-day denomination or as an annual permit. Contact the Backcountry Office for current pricing. All boats, including float tubes, will need to be inspected for Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). If the boat leaves Yellowstone after it has been inspected, the boat will need to be re-inspected before relaunching. Northeast Entrance o o Mammoth Tower oCanyon Motorized, non-motorized boat , and float tube permits available at this location. O Only float tube Bridge Bay Marina o permits available at this location Old Faithful Grant Bechler o South Entrance Where to Obtain Boat Permits and AIS Inspections Motorized and Non-motorized boats: Snake River Ranger Station, Bridge Bay Ranger Station, Grant Village Visitor Center’s Backcountry Office. Float Tubes: Canyon Visitor Education Center’s Backcountry Office, Albright Visitor Center’s Backcountry Office, Old Faithful Backcountry Office, Bechler Ranger Station, Northeast Entrance, as well as all other locations where boat permits are sold. Place the Boat Permit and AIS stickers on the port (left) side of the watercraft, approximately one foot forward of the stern (back). On a float tube or stand up paddle board, the permit may be attached directly to the float tube / board or attached via a metal wicket available from the issuing station. 1 Required Equipment In addition to obtaining a Yellowstone Boat Permit you must have the following checked (p) items as required by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG): p Personal Flotation Device (PFD) – 2 all vessels must have a US Coast Guard approved, wearable PFD (Type I, II, III, or V) for each person on board. Additionally, boats 16 feet and longer (except kayaks /canoes) are required to have at least one immediately accessible throwable (type IV) PFD. Look on the tag of the PFD to determine type and if it is USCG approved. Each PFD must be: • in good condition. Insure that all zippers, straps and buckles are in working order and can be fastened securely. The PFD must be free from holes or tears which could affect performance. PFD’s made with KAPOC should be carefully inspected to insure that the flotation chambers have not ruptured. • readily accessible. Wearable PFD’s must be readily accessible. You must be able to put them on in a reasonable amount of time in an emergency. Children 12 or younger must wear a USCG approved Type I, II, or III PFD when aboard a vessel which is underway, except while inside an enclosed cabin. Though, not required for ages 13 and older, a PFD should be worn at all times when the vessel is underway. In a true emergency you may not have time to locate and properly put on a PFD. A wearable PFD can save your life, but only if you wear it. Type V PFDs must be worn at all times. • appropriate size for the intended user. A properly sized PFD fits comfortably snug and does not come above the neck or be
Emergency Dial 911 Park Information 307-344-7381 Yellowstone National Park Mammoth Hot Springs Old Faithful Canyon Village 6239 ft 1902 m 7365 ft 2245 m 7918 ft 2413 m Lower Terraces Castle Geyser R ive r Old Faithful Inn To North Entrance and Gardiner Chapel one-way Visitor Education Center Historic Fort Yellowstone Brink of Upper Falls Old Faithful Lodge Post Office Lower Falls 308 ft 94 m 0.1 0.1 To TowerRoosevelt 0.5 Mi 0 Upper Falls 109 ft 33 m 0.4 Km 0.1 To West Thumb and Grant Village 0.4 Mi D ri Clear Lake 0 0.5 Km 0 Post Office 0.5 Mi Gull Point Lodge Registration To South Entrance North To West Thumb 0 0 0.5 Km 0.5 Mi http://go.nps.gov/yellroads Cr eek Jardine Gardiner 5 mi 8 km ai l P la t Gar d ek n er 6270ft 1911m h Pebble Creek Yellowstone Forever Institute Northeast Entrance RO 7365ft 2245m KA RA N G to Red Lodge 69 mi/111 km to Billings 125 mi/200 km to Cody 68 mi/109km E ut M So LA AR Mount Norris 9936ft 3028m Ri EY B ar er v Chittenden Road LL da m La VA 19 mi 31 km Obsidian Cliff 7383ft 2250m Mount Washburn 10243ft 3122m Observation Peak 9397ft 2864m Museum of the National Park Ranger 191 287 EN LA Museum Information Station National Park Mountain 7500ft/2286m F i r eh YD EN VA 16 mi 26 km LL ek EY Fountain Paint Pot Mud Volcano IDAHO MONTANA WYOMING Bridge Bay Steamboat Point Natural Bridge ee Lake Butte 8348ft 2544m Stevenson Island k East Entrance 27 mi 43 km Visitor Education Center Upper Geyser Basin 21 mi 34 km Kepler Cascades Craig Pass 8262ft 2518m Lone Star Geyser THUMB 8391ft 2558m Sylvan Pass 8530ft 2600m Frank Island ABS HEA Riv er Fireh o le KA UT l st ow RT Eagle Peak 11358ft 3462m (highest point in the park) one LA R iver Mount Sheridan 10308ft 3142m A Lewis Falls r ve Ri GE Ye l Lewis Lake ar y RAN RM ST A allow 45 min. 22 mi 35 km HE River un d Arm M LEWIS LAKE Bo ntain AR e ra Mou H y undar ld 7988ft 2435m ver s Ri wi Bo Ca Flat SO Riddle Lake SOUT O KE Le SH LA Visitor Center ARO (Detail map above) Grant Village NE 14 16 Eleanor Lake West Thumb Geyser Basin O SH 20 to Cody 53 mi 85 km Sylvan Lake Dot Island WEST 17 mi 27 km 6951ft 2119m Avalanche Peak 10566ft 3221m YELLOWSTONE LAKE 7733ft 2357m (Detail map above) Black Sand Basin Cr lic Firehole Lake Drive Old Faithful Biscuit Basin n Visitor Center & Museum Lake Village Midway Geyser Basin KE Colonnade Falls r hl e Co en R Di vid e Bechler Fall Le wis Union Falls l ta r ve iver in Snake Ri nt Be c LeHardys Rapids Pe 16 mi 26 km Fairy Falls Dunanda Falls R. Fishing Bridge Fountain Flat Drive Mystic Falls er e Creek Nez Perc o le R . Firehole Canyon Drive m Al u C Bo un ree k Gibbon Falls re a v allow 30 min. 14 mi 23 km er Ri 2032m 7484ft 2281m 6806ft 2091m er C HA e on Information West Entrance Center 6667ft Ot t Norris Madison R i ve r (Detail map above) ar ison Virginia Cascade ld Visitor Education Center st Yellow M ad to Ashton 20 60 mi/97 km Canyon Village allow 30 min. 12 mi 19 km m La Artists Paintpots West Yellowstone R. y allow 30 min. 14 mi 23 km n r da KE bo a BG b Gi Information Station Ye Ca NORRIS GEYSER BASIN HE Dunraven Pass 8859ft 2700m Grebe Lake Cascade Lake ws Roaring Mountain llo 287 t on e Mount Holmes 10336ft 3150m SA Barronette Peak 10404ft 3171m Tower Fall 21 mi 34 km to Earthquake Lake Visitor Center 29 mi 47 km Roosevelt Lodge Indian Creek k ug Slough Creek Tower-Roosevelt uD r. Petrified Tree C re Swan Lake ea 212 Cooke City Silver Gate k c kt er k ee D R. Wraith Falls r ee er iv 18 mi 29 km B la ee Cr Riv R. ng d n er y li in RANGE Gr a l at Undine Falls R ar 191 G A L L AT I N Ga l Bunsen Peak 8564ft 2610m ta il Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces G re e Cr Visitor Center MONTANA WYOMING Hellroaring Mountain 8363ft 2549m ble C B B l ack (Detail map above) e A w Yello ston Mammoth Hot Springs 31 mi 50 km Pe b te 5314ft 1620m Electric Peak 10967ft 3343m k North Entrance o c Sl e Sp R. Marina-Boat tours Get real-time road status for Yellowstone National Park at en tin YELLOWSTONE LAKE Bridge Bay ve North Lake Hotel Visitor Center 89 im lla Amphitheater Amphitheater Laundry Showers To East Entrance Fishing Bridge RV Park Hard-sided camping units only Grant Village Inspiration Point Artist R i v er Point Post Office Lake Village Lake Lodge Yellowstone Live! to Bozeman, MT 90 mi/144 km Ga Showers Laundry YELLOWSTONE LAKE to Livingston 52 mi/84 km to Bozeman 84 mi/135 km to Big Sky, MT 48 mi/77 km Amphitheater Information Station ee 0 North 0 0.1 0.5 Km Museum and Visitor Center West Thumb Geyser Basin To Old Faithful To Canyon Fishing Bridge 0.5 Mi Cr 0 0.5 Km 0 e Grand View Nor t h Uncle Tom’s
Yellowstone National Park Greater Yellowstone Network, Inventory & Monitoring Program Montana, Wyoming, Idaho National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior The State of Yellowstone Vital Signs and Select Park Resources 2017 Clockwise from top left: stemless mock goldenweed flowers growing along a ridgeline. NPS Photo-J. Frank; Brewer’s sparrow nest and eggs. NPS Photo-J. Frank; bull bison grazing in Lamar Valley. NPS Photo-J. Frank; and land snail along Sepulcher Mountain Trail. NPS Photo-N. Herbert. Cover photos, clockwise from top left: NPS Photo-N. Herbert; NPS Photo-J. Frank; and NPS Photo J. Frank. Suggested Citation: Yellowstone Center for Resources. 2018. The State of Yellowstone Vital Signs and Select Park Resources, 2017. YCR–2018–01. Yellowstone Center for Resources, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. The State of Yellowstone Vital Signs and Select Park Resources 2017 Edited by Yellowstone Center for Resources, Science Communications Program National Park Service Yellowstone National Park Post Office Box 168 Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA 82190 www.nps.gov/ycr NPS Photo-N. Herbert The Vital Signs Report Series In 2008, 2011, and 2013, Yellowstone National Park (YNP) published Vital Signs reports. Initially, these reports provided information on the park’s key natural resources; but in 2013, key cultural resources were also included. These reports referred to all resources as vital signs, even if they were not recognized as a “vital sign” in the National Park Service’s (NPS) 2005 Vital Signs Monitoring Plan for the Greater Yellowstone Network. In this updated report, our goal is to provide information on a more robust set of park resources, which includes resources that were specifically identified as vital signs in the Vital Signs Monitoring Plan. As a result of the greater inclusion of park resources, we changed the report’s title to The State of Yellowstone Vital Signs and Select Park Resources, 2017. Vital signs resources that help measure the overall health or pulse of the park and will be identified by this symbol (h he). Instead of reporting on reference conditions, we have highlighted key concerns for each resource. We recognize that, at this time, most resources do not have defined reference conditions. However, all resources have identified concerns that may cause managers to take action to protect resources (rather than attempting to return the resources to an unknown past condition). In this report, we highlight 41 natural and cultural resources; 21 are identified as vital signs and 20 as select park resources. Each resource summary includes a resource history and background information, recent research and monitoring findings, current status and trends, and future concerns and management priorities. NPS Photo-J. Frank 4 State of the Resources Report - 2017 Table of Contents Report Contributors ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 What Are Vital Signs? ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 Why We Monitor Vital Signs and Key Park Resources ������������������������������������������������������������������ 7 Vital Signs Summary Table ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 8 Select Resources Summary Table ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 10 Ecosystem Drivers ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12 Environmental Quality �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 17 Birds ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 20 Amphibians and Reptiles ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 27 Fishes ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 28 Insects �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 30 Mammals ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 31 Plant Resources ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 39 Cultural Resources �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 43 Ecosystem Stressors ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 46 Relevant Publications ��������
YELLOWSTONE GRIZZLY BEARS ecology and conservation of an ICON OF WILDNESS Edited by P.J. White, Kerry A. Gunther, and Frank T. van Manen YELLOWSTONE GRIZZLY BEARS Yellowstone Grizzly Bears: Ecology and Conservation of an Icon of Wildness Editors P. J. White, Kerry A. Gunther, and Frank T. van Manen Contributing Authors Daniel D. Bjornlie, Amanda M. Bramblett, Steven L. Cain, Tyler H. Coleman, Jennifer K. Fortin-Noreus, Kevin L. Frey, Mark A. Haroldson, Pauline L. Kamath, Eric G. Reinertson, Charles T. Robbins, Daniel J. Thompson, Daniel B. Tyers, Katharine R. Wilmot, and Travis C. Wyman Managing Editor Jennifer A. Jerrett Yellowstone Forever, Yellowstone National Park and U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center Yellowstone Forever, Yellowstone National Park 82190 Published 2017 Contents Printed in the United States of America All chapters are prepared solely by officers or employees of the United States government as part of their official duties and are not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Foreign copyrights may apply. National Park Service (NPS) photographs are not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Foreign copyrights may apply. However, because this work may contain other copyrighted images or other incorporated material, permission from the copyright holder may be Prefaceix Daniel N. Wenk, Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park Introductionxv P. J. White, Kerry A. Gunther, and Frank T. van Manen necessary. Cover and half title images: www.revealedinnature.com by Jake Davis. Chapter 1: The Population Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: White, P. J. (Patrick James), editor. | Gunther, Kerry A., editor. | van Manen, Frank T., editor. | Bjornlie, Daniel D. Title: Yellowstone grizzly bears : ecology and conservation of an icon of 1 P. J. White, Kerry A. Gunther, and Travis C. Wyman Chapter 2: Historical Perspective 13 P. J. White and Kerry A. Gunther wildness / editors, P.J. White, Kerry A. Gunther, and Frank T. van Manen ; contributing authors, Daniel D. Bjornlie [and thirteen others] ; managing editor, Jennifer A. Jerrett. Chapter 3: Reproduction, Survival, and Population Growth 29 Frank T. van Manen and Mark A. Haroldson Description: Yellowstone National Park, [Wyoming] : National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park ; [Bozeman, Montana] : U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, 2017. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Chapter 4: Nutritional Ecology 47 Charles T. Robbins and Jennifer K. Fortin-Noreus Identifiers: LCCN 2016058699 | ISBN 9780934948463 (pbk. : alk. paper) Subjects: LCSH: Grizzly bear--Yellowstone National Park. | Grizzly bear--Habitat--Yellowstone National Park Region. | Grizzly Chapter 5: Movements and Occupied Range 63 Daniel D. Bjornlie and Mark A. Haroldson bear--Conservation--Yellowstone National Park Region. | Bear populations--Yellowstone National Park. | Yellowstone National Park. Classification: LCC QL737.C27 Y45 2017 | DDC 599.784--dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016058699 The authors gratefully acknowledge the generous contribution of Yellowstone Forever, whose publication grant enabled the production of this book. Chapter 6: Ecological Niche 75 Frank T. van Manen, Mark A. Haroldson, and Kerry A. Gunther Chapter 7: Genetics and Adaptive Capabilities Mark A. Haroldson, Pauline L. Kamath, and Frank T. van Manen 91 Chapter 8: Human-Bear Interactions 103 Kerry A. Gunther, Katharine R. Wilmot, Travis C. Wyman, and Eric G. Reinertson Chapter 9: Bear Viewing in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks 117 Kerry A. Gunther, Katharine R. Wilmot, Steven L. Cain, Travis C. Wyman, Eric G. Reinertson, and Amanda M. Bramblett Chapter 10: Current Management Strategy 131 Kerry A. Gunther, Daniel B. Tyers, Tyler H. Coleman, Katharine R. Wilmot, and P. J. White Chapter 11: The Future 153 P. J. White, Kerry A. Gunther, Frank T. van Manen, Mark A. Haroldson, and Daniel J. Thompson Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Facts 169 Kerry A. Gunther, Mark A. Haroldson, and Frank T. van Manen History of Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Conservation and Management  177 Daniel B. Tyers, Kevin L. Frey, and Kerry A. Gunther Acknowledgments195 Glossary of Terms 197 Scientific Names  211 References215 Index255 Author Affiliations 274 Preface Daniel N. Wenk, Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park Grizzly bears are one of the most iconic wildlife species in Yellowstone National Park. They are the species that evokes the greatest emotions in visitors from great elation at seeing bears along roadsides to the awe of a surprise encounter in the backcountry. Grizzly bears are the species that, for many people around the world, best represents the wild natural history of the west. Photograph by Jake Davis My knowledge of grizzly bears and their management in Yellowstone National Park goes back almost
YELLOWSTONE BISON conserving an american icon in modern society edited by P.J. White, Rick L. Wallen, and David E. Hallac YELLOWSTONE BISON Yellowstone Bison: Conserving an American Icon in Modern Society Editors P.J. White, Rick L. Wallen, and David E. Hallac Contributing Authors Katrina L. Auttelet, Douglas W. Blanton, Amanda M. Bramblett, Chris Geremia, Tim C. Reid, Jessica M. Richards, Tobin W. Roop, Dylan R. Schneider, Angela J. Stewart, John J. Treanor, and Jesse R. White Contributing Editor Jennifer A. Jerrett Yellowstone Association Yellowstone National Park, USA, 2015 P.J. White is the Chief of Wildlife and Aquatic Resources at Yellowstone National Park. Rick L. Wallen is the Bison Project Leader at Yellowstone National Park. David E. Hallac was the Division Chief of the Yellowstone Center for Resources at Yellowstone National Park between 2011-2014. The Yellowstone Association, Yellowstone National Park 82190 Published 2015 Printed in the United States of America All chapters are prepared solely by officers or employees of the United States government as part of their official duties and are not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Foreign copyrights may apply. National Park Service (NPS) photographs are not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Foreign copyrights may apply. However, because this work may contain other copyrighted images or other incorporated material, permission from the copyright holder may be necessary. Cover image: NPS/Neal Herbert. Half title image: NPS/Jacob W. Frank. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Yellowstone bison : conserving an American icon in modern society / edited by P.J. White, Rick L. Wallen, and David E. Hallac ; contributing authors, Katrina L. Auttelet [and 10 others] ; contributing editor, Jennifer A. Jerrett. pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-934948-30-2 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. American bison--Conservation--Yellowstone National Park. 2. American bison-Conservation--United States. 3. Wildlife conservation--Yellowstone National Park. 4. Wildlife conservation--United States. 5. Wildlife management--Yellowstone National Park. I. White, P. J. (Patrick James) II. Wallen, Rick L. III. Hallac, David E. IV. Auttelet, Katrina L. V. Jerrett, Jennifer A. QL737.U53Y45 2015 599.64’30978752--dc23 2015004628 The authors gratefully acknowledge the generous contribution of the Yellowstone Association, whose publication grant enabled the production of this book. Contents Prefaceix Daniel N. Wenk, Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park Introductionxiii P.J. White, Rick L. Wallen, and David E. Hallac Chapter 1: The Population1 Douglas W. Blanton, P.J. White, Rick L. Wallen, Katrina L. Auttelet, Angela J. Stewart, and Amanda M. Bramblett Chapter 2: Brucellosis19 P.J. White, David E. Hallac, Rick L. Wallen, and Jesse R. White Chapter 3: Historical Perspective45 Rick L. Wallen, P.J. White, and Chris Geremia Chapter 4: Seasonal Distributions and Movements67 Chris Geremia, P.J. White, Rick L. Wallen, and Douglas W. Blanton Chapter 5: Reproduction and Survival83 Chris Geremia, P.J. White, Rick L. Wallen, and Douglas W. Blanton Chapter 6: Nutritional Ecology97 John J. Treanor, Jessica M. Richards, and Dylan R. Schneider Chapter 7: Ecological Role107 Rick L. Wallen, P.J. White, and Chris Geremia Chapter 8: Adaptive Capabilities and Genetics119 Rick L. Wallen and P.J. White Chapter 9: Cultural Importance131 Rick L. Wallen, P.J. White, and Tobin W. Roop Chapter 10: Current Management141 P.J. White, Rick L. Wallen, David E. Hallac, Chris Geremia, John J. Treanor, Douglas W. Blanton, and Tim C. Reid Chapter 11: The Future159 P.J. White, Rick L. Wallen, Chris Geremia, John J. Treanor, and David E. Hallac Acknowledgments179 Glossary of Terms 181 References197 Index243 Abbreviations used in citations: APHIS Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service MDOL Montana Department of Livestock MFWP Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks NPS National Park Service USDA United States [U.S.] Department of Agriculture USDI U.S. Department of the Interior USFS U.S. Forest Service YNP Yellowstone National Park Recommended citation format: Entire book.—White, P. J., R. L. Wallen, D. E. Hallac, and J. A. Jerrett, editors. 2015. Yellowstone bison—Conserving an American icon in modern society. Yellowstone Association, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Individual chapter.—Wallen, R. L., P. J. White, and C. Geremia. 2015. Historical perspective. Pages 45-65 in P. J. White, R. L. Wallen, D. E. Hallac, and J. A. Jerrett, editors. Yellowstone bison—Conserving an American icon in modern society. Yellowstone Association, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Photograph courtesy of National Geographic by Michael Nichols Bison in winter, Yellowstone National Park. Preface Daniel N. Wenk, Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park My association with bis
Yellowstone Center for Resources National Park Service Department of the Interior Yellowstone Bird Project Annual Report 2018 GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE. (PHOTO - © G. ALBRECHTSEN) Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone Bird Project 2018 Wyoming, Montana, Idaho SUMMARY Raptors In 2018, 12 of 28 monitored peregrine falcon territories were occupied. All attempted nests (n = 7) were successful and productivity of occupied territories was the highest observed since 2003. In contrast, the nesting success of both bald eagles and osprey was down from the previous several years. In 2018, 17 of 32 monitored bald eagle territories were occupied, with 9 of 16 (56%) eagle nests successful. Twenty-seven of 47 monitored osprey territories were occupied, and only 10 of 17 territories that attempted to nest (59%) were successful. One osprey pair initiated nesting on Yellowstone Lake but was not successful. In 2018, we visited 24 of 28 known golden eagle territories; 22 territories were occupied, nesting success was 30%, and productivity was 0.35 young per occupied territory. During the 2018 fall migration, 259 raptors across 14 species were documented migrating through Yellowstone National Park (YNP). During late winter/early spring owl surveys, observers detected 24 individuals belonging to six species of owls. Waterbirds One pair of trumpeter swans, located on Grebe Lake, attempted to nest in 2018 but was not successful in fledging any cygnets. In the fall, 24 adult swans were observed in the park and eight cygnets raised in captivity were released on the Yellowstone and Madison rivers. Sixteen pairs of common loons fledged nine young in YNP in 2018. An additional three unpaired loons were also observed. Two loons were captured and banded in 2018. Seven harlequin ducks, four males and three females, were caught and banded in May 2018. The males were additionally outfitted with satellite transmitters to track their annual movements. From a small colony on the Molly Islands, American white pelicans fledged 51 young, while double-crested cormorants fledged 21 young. No California gulls or Caspian terns nested on the islands. The number of pelicans, cormorants, and gulls fledged from the Molly Islands has declined since the early 1990s, and Caspian terns have not nested there since 2005. Passerines and Near Songbirds We used five methods to monitor breeding songbirds in YNP in 2018: point counts in willow stands and mature forests, transects through plots in sagebrush steppe, a banding station, and the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS). We recorded 35 songbird species within three willow growth types and captured at least 32 species at our banding station in a willow-lined riparian corridor. Observers recorded 24 species in mature forests and 29 species in sagebrush steppe. We also observed over 3,100 individuals belonging to 82 species along three BBS routes in YNP. During fall migration, we also monitored migrating songbirds in three habitats (willows, mature forest, and sagebrush steppe) using transect methods and the continued operation of the banding station through late September. FIELD BIOLOGISTS OBSERVE LOONS AT HEART LAKE. (PHOTO - © G. ALBRECHTSEN) 2 | Ye l l o w s t o n e B i r d P r o j e c t A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 1 8 CORE BIRD PROGRAM RAPTOR MONITORING PROGRAM Peregrine Falcon In 2018, the 31st year of YNP’s peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) monitoring effort, we monitored 28 of 36 known breeding territories from late March through July. Twelve territories were occupied and 7 of 8 pairs with a known outcome successfully fledged 15 young. In 2018, nesting success per occupied territory (88%; figure 1) and productivity (1.9 young per occupied territory with known outcome) were the highest observed in YNP since 2003. The average brood size in 2018 was 2.1 young fledged per successful pair, an increase from the past few years. Bald Eagle We monitored 32 of the 51 known extant and historical bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) territories for nesting activity in 2018. Similar to peregrines, not all territories are occupied every year and some have been inactive for years. We confirmed that 17 of the 32 territories were occupied by territorial individuals; 5 territories were unoccupied, and we were unable to determine occupancy at the remaining 10. We determined the breeding season outcome for 16 occupied territories, all of which attempted to breed. Nine nests successfully fledged 11 young (56% nest success per active territory; figure 1). Bald eagle productivity in 2018 was 0.7 young per active territory, the average brood size was 1.2 young per successful nest, and overall the population in YNP appears stable. This parkwide success may be in part due to a notable increase in nesting success around Yellowstone Lake, despite the substantial decrease in Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkia bouvieri; Koel et al. 2005), a historically important eagle prey item (Swenson et al. 1986). Ea

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