Yellowstone National Park

Bison in Yellowstone's Lower Geyser Basin.
Jim Peaco/NPS (PD)

You may have heard a story on NPR about the new bison management policy Governor Steve Bullock has proposed. It would allow some bison to roam farther outside Yellowstone National Park, and remain outside the park year-round. Amy Martin reported that story and joins us now to tell us more about what she learned from talking to people in and around Yellowstone on her reporting trip.

Bison on the move near Yellowstone's northern border.
Amy Martin

For the first time in 30 years, bison will be able to migrate outside of Yellowstone National Park. Park officials, private landowners and the state have been in a decades-long debate over the bison. Amy Martin reports for All Things Considered.

The Sounds Of Yellowstone Are Now Available Online

Jan 28, 2016
Jennifer Jerrett recording sound for Yellowstone Collections at Mammoth Terraces on November 15, 2014.
National Park Service/Neal Herbert

Many of the natural sounds of Yellowstone National Park are available for on-line listening thanks to the work of audio producer Jennifer Jerrett. The Yellowstone Collection was launched today by Yellowstone Park and the Acoustic Atlas at Montana State University.

Bison at the Stephens Creek Capture facility north of Yellowstone Park in 2015.
Jim Peaco (CC-BY-NC

A bison advocate and a journalist are suing the National Park Service over access to Yellowstone National Park’s bison capture facility.

Tourists Taking Photos at Sacred Dancing Cascades in Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park/Jacob W. Frank (PD)

Last year’s tourism numbers were up almost 8 percent over 2014. Almost 12 million out-of-state travelers visited Montana in 2015, but those tourists didn’t spend as much money as they have in previous years.

Bison on the move near Yellowstone's northern border.
Amy Martin

Two bison cows and one calf were wounded during the Montana bison hunt today on the northern border of Yellowstone National Park.

Many ranchers oppose more bison outside the park. They worry about the potential spread of the disease brucellosis.

“Yes Mr. Chairman, I would move that the EQC (Environmental Quality Council) send a letter to the Interagency Bison Management partners objecting to the decision that was signed by Governor Bullock."

That's Republican State Representative and Environmental Quality Council member Kerry White of Bozeman. White Thursday urged his fellow committee members to oppose a plan that would allow some wild bison from Yellowstone National Park to wander year-round outside park boundaries. White says it’s a recipe for trouble.

Yellowstone Sees Record Number Of Visits In 2015

Jan 12, 2016
Tourists fill the bleachers at Old Faithful waiting for the geyser to erupt.
YellowstoneNPS (CC-BY-2.0)

Yellowstone National Park had a record breaking number of visitors last year.  The park counted over 4 million visitors in 2015, placing new strains on the park’s capacity. With the unprecedented crowd also came long lines, a dearth of parking options and other visitor frustrations.

Bison at the Stephens Creek Capture facility north of Yellowstone Park in 2015.
Jim Peaco (CC-BY-NC

Federal, state and tribal officials have agreed to kill as many as 600 to 900 Yellowstone National Park bison this year.

cover image credit : Tom Mangelson / Rizzoli Publications

A record 59 grizzly bears died in the Yellowstone ecosystem in 2015, most of them after conflicts with hunters and livestock growers. And yet, one bear, a female called 399, has shown a remarkable ability to survive interactions with humans without getting herself into trouble. If 399 emerges from her den next spring, she’ll be 20 years old.

According to journalist Todd Wilkinson “399, because she’s been so accessible, has become the most famous and widely-recognized bear on earth.”

Wilkinson is the author of Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek:  An Intimate Portrait of 399. The book is coffee-table-sized and includes dozens of gorgeous images captured by Wyoming naturalist-photographer Thomas Mangleson. Wilkinson, says Mangleson had to work hard for those images.

“The only way that you can amass a portfolio like this,” says Wilkinson, “is spending months of every year rising before sun rise, staying out until past dusk, trailing these bears, but not getting too close, because he’s an ethical wildlife photographer. But he also had this network of people wired. So whenever sightings would occur of either 399 or her daughter, 610, Mangelson would know where to go and then provide a stake-out in order to see the bears.”

Three-ninety-nine’s intelligence is legendary. Not only has she managed to stay alive for nearly two decades, but she has taught her cubs what she knows about avoiding trouble with humans.