Montana Public Radio

Yellowstone National Park

An audio postcard. Beth Anne talks with Darryl, Nancy and Ray about their three-generation family road trip from Pennsylvania to Montana.  Nancy narrates the trip itinerary, from Falling Water in Pennsylvania to a farm in Ohio, from giant sand dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan to Buffalo Bill State Park in Wyoming. Darryl recalls an unusual encounter with a familiar four-legged critter in Yellowstone National Park in 1948. Twelve-year-old Ray chimes in with his perspective, including an alternative vision for the scenic Dry Fork drainage on the east side of Glacier National Park.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park officials have temporarily closed a loop called Firehole Lake Drive because of damaged road surfaces caused by extreme heat.

Park spokesperson Dan Hottle says extreme temperatures coming from the surrounding thermal areas have caused oil to bubble to the surface of the 3 mile loop that branches off a heavily-used route through the park called the Grand Loop Road, "creating an unsafe condition for drivers".

The closed loop usually takes visitors past Great Fountain Geyser, White Dome Geyser and Firehole Lake.

lowjumpingfrog/flickr

National Park Service officials are announcing a partnership with the state of Montana to consider changes to managing bison in and around Yellowstone National Park.

Hundreds of bison wander into the state from the park’s northern boundary during many winters.

Livestock owners worry about the animals damaging property and spreading disease.

The Park Service and the state have been operating under their current Bison Management Plan since 2001.

The agencies think it may be time for an update.

The Intelligence of Animals: Ravens & Wolves

Mar 11, 2014
George Bumann

For 200,000 years, humans have lived intimately with wild animals. We have been captivated by their beauty, intelligence and power. The technology of the last two hundred years - 1,000th of our time on earth - has separated us.  Does it matter? Sculptor and naturalist George Bumann thinks so.

Katrin Frye

Out of town travelers make up the vast majority of visitors to national parks and they dump a whole lot of money into local economies.

Nationwide that number is $13.9-billion for 2012. These are the findings released by the National Park Service in a report that details the economic impact of national parks.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell hosted a conference call with reporters Monday. She said the report helps her make the case for funding parks.

Gray wolf.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A new report shows a declining population of wolves in Yellowstone National Park, but a lead author describes it as a result of the predators coming into balance with their environment.

“The number of wolves are here that can be supported by prey,” said Doug Smith, Yellowstone Senior Wildlife Biologist and leader of the Yellowstone Wolf Project.

NASA

Yellowstone National Park administrators say shooting wild bison with vaccine-laced "biobullets" to prevent the spread of an animal disease would be too ineffective to justify the expense.

Today's announcement means a program that's led to the periodic capture and slaughter of thousands of migrating bison will continue.
 
       About half of Yellowstone's 4,600 bison test positive for Brucellosis, which causes pregnant animals to prematurely abort their young.

Montana Wildlife Commissioners have voted unanimously to enact more aggressive hunting and trapping rules for the gray wolf. It’s part of an effort to reduce the predator’s population, which is still higher than state biologists want. This despite recent hunting seasons put in place after wolves were taken off the endangered species list a couple of years ago.

The new rules extend the hunting season, allow more wolves to be taken by individuals and allow the use of electronic calls.

National Park Service

Scientists and others will gather in Yellowstone National Park for three days early next week to discuss what they know about the geothermal system in the Old Faithful area. The meeting will take place at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, and will be open to the public.

In this evening's feature story, Edward O'Brien speaks with Yellowstone National Park Geologist, Dr. Hank Heasler(that's pronounced HESS'-ler), about this conference and what scientists know - or perhaps more to the point - don't know about the Old Faithful area's geothermal system.

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