Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Best Time For Yellowstone


-- The official Yellowstone 'end of season' press release has a maudlin tone that suggests that the Yellowstone Experience has ended with the closing of trinket shops, gas stations, hotels, dining rooms, and the other non-wilderness accoutrement's of the park. Sad if you want your park on a platter. Less sad if you enjoy the place without traffic jams, idiot bicyclists, and waiting at an entrance station for the tour buses to get counted.
-- The road closure schedule is found HERE. A guide for winter planning is found HERE. It's good to plan ahead.
-- The continuing saga of elk escaping from game farms continues. A second escapee from a private hunting preserve in Idaho has caused some real soul searching. The intermarriage of 'hunting' elk and 'park' elk poses some concern about mixed up genes. It seems that domesticated parks and domesticated hunting is the National Trend. You can read about it in the Helena Independent Record.
-- A reevaluation of avalanche control has been completed and Yellowstone will change it's operating strategy for this procedure. As we noted previously, artillery is dangerous because of the residual unexploded shells. Controversy surrounds the new plan, and some see it as just one more example of GOVERNMENT PORK, in a time of dwindling budgets - according to the Missoulian. The AP story is rather straight forward, and the Helena Independent Record seems to favor it.
-- Back in May we reported on the Yellowstone Wolverine Study. It now seems that the little rascals may be getting a thorough review for listing as endangered. So little is known about these secretive animals that even counting them is difficult. The Lee News Service has an interesting article about the current state of affairs.
-- An encapsulated note in the Montana Standard details the status of large predators in our region. The perspective is interesting because it points out the amount of space needed for these animals. Most apropos of the topic is the fact that the population of the United States will reach 300,000,000 by sometime on Tuesday. This places us in third place - right behind China and India - "GO BREEDERS!"