Friday, December 18, 2009

Back In Operation

-- Thanks to the stalwart NPS employees the Mt. Washburn Fire Lookout Web Cam is back in operation. Spectacular views can be had by clicking HERE.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Gear Jammin'

Stretch Their Legs
just good fun
-- The annual Gear Jammer's outing was a success on many fronts yesterday. The original vehicles got a chance to do what they were meant to do - tour. The drivers, (the best of the best,) got a chance to relive the pains and pleasures of driving these vintage limousines in their native setting. The vehicle aficionados got the experience of enjoying Yellowstone National Park in the comfort of bygone luxury.

-- There are two fleets of these vehicles in Yellowstone National Park. One fleet is used on a daily basis. This fleet is composed of vintage coachwork and modern Ford drivetrains. This is the fleet that visitors see traveling the roads of the park during the summer. The most recent conversions to modernity were completed a couple of years ago and have proven successful, (LINK.) Earlier conversions also used Ford drivetrains and sheet metal.

-- The second fleet of vehicles are the rare, early, original, & unrestored vehicles. These are true museum pieces that have been lovingly cared for by the park and it's concessionaires through the years. These vehicles need to be exercised periodically for their own good health.
-- In addition to the periodic "short jaunts" from the barn, (around Mammoth,) an annual "Run To West Yellowstone" is a traditional event for these majestic touring contrivances.
-- This exercise allows the staff to evaluate the vehicles under "real" conditions and diagnose any problems or maintenance issues that need tending to.
-- This year one of the limousines arrived on a trailer, (a fan nut went missing in action.) It was repaired in town and suffered the indignity of returning to Mammoth in perfect working order on the same trailer. Another success, and a proof of the utility of the exercise.
-- The gear jammers group, (these folks really love these vehicles,) arrived at Bullwinkle's Saloon & Eatery in West Yellowstone, Montana about 12:45.
.. Lunch consisted of: Cornish game hens or stuffed pork loin with fresh raspberry sauce, and Frenched sauteed beans with almond-bacon dressing. Soup, salad, rolls and mashed potatoes were also on the menu along with a juice cocktail and other beverages.

-- We enjoy the annual visits because it gives us a chance to examine these wonderful White Motors Convertible Limousine's. These vehicles serve to remind us of the way it used to be. Must have been grand.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Winter Use Reports

Comment Now
Old Snowcoaches nosiest
"The majority of these higher sound levels were
caused by old technology snowcoaches.
Sounds from both visitor and
oversnow vehicles were included in this study."
.. The 2009 draft reports for winter use are out. You can find them at: WINTER USE TECHNICAL DOCUMENTS. The two draft reports cover: noise, air pollution, wildlife reactions, and other issues.
.. Now that the commercial four stroke snowmobile fleet is quieter than old snowcoaches we anticipate that the winter use discussion will focus on the impact to animals generated by the concentrated mass of vehicles mandated by grouping sleds together in 'guided' tours.
.. There will probably not be much change in the stance of the traditional litigants in the winter use debate. Sadly there is entrenchment by all parties and they are still using both old data and misinformation in the public debates and harangues.
.. Arguments against snowmobiles are still focused on 2-stroke pollution & pictures that are over a decade old. Arguments for Bombardier snowcoaches ignore the crowded & restrictive nature of the experience and their decibel levels; both inside and outside of the vehicle.
.. The Acoustic Ecology Institute has followed the noise of sleds in the park and found similar results to the NPS studies.
.. In addition to the noise issue there is data that suggest that the current snowmobile fleet is even cleaner than the "BAT" snowcoaches, (LINK.) this data was produced two years ago and has only been used in court cases - not the public debates in the press.
.. A recent article in the Deseret News points out the kinds of arguments being used. The sad part of the whole debate is that enormous amounts of park monies and resources are being squandered defending and reiterating the "SCIENCE" that is misinterpreted.
.. This emotional battle is being fought along lines drawn in the snow by parties with vested interests so diverse that it promises to continue for another decade or more.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More User Friendly

.. A convenient point of entry for new postings has been added to the Yellowstone National Park Website. Simply: What's New on the Yellowstone Website?
.. Now, once you become familiar with the myriad resources on the site, you can keep current with just two links:
-----> NEWS
-----> WHAT'S NEW
.. The newest of the new includes thirteen videos added this month and last month. You can find the list at: Inside Yellowstone Videos List.
.. An iTunes podcast subscription box is also included on each video page. Click HERE to see the Apollinaris Video.
.. The Yellowstone Digital Slide File continues to grow and now has over 13,000 images that are in the public domain.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Illegal In Yellowstone

.. From The Big Sky Weekly:

These actions are illegal in the park:
Possessing a firearm or weapon, including state-permitted;
Concealed weapons, except: Unloaded firearms may be transported in a vehicle when rendered inoperable or are packed, cased, or stored in a manner that prevents ready use;

Speeding (radar enforced)—except for a portion of U;S; 191, all roads within the park are posted at 45 mph or slower;

Driving while intoxicated (open container law enforced);

Leaving detachable side mirrors attached when not pulling trailers;

Traveling off-road by vehicle or bicycle; (bicycling rules and riding locations are listed in a free brochure at visitor center.);

Improperly storing food;

Fishing, boating, or using a float tube without a permit Violating camping regulations & rules
Camping outside of designated camping areas
Camping in the backcountry without a permit;

Driving or riding in a vehicle without your seatbelt fastened. Each vehicle occupant must have a safety belt or child restraint system fastened when the vehicle is in motion;

Having pets off leash or on trails and boardwalks; Pets are prohibited on all trails, in the backcountry, and in hydrothermal basins; Where allowed, pets must be leashed and must remain within 100 feet (30 m) of a road or parking area; Do not leave a pet unattended or tied to an object; Boarding facilities are available outside the park;


Swimming in hydrothermal pools
Diving or jumping off cliffs in the Firehole swim area on Firehole Canyon Drive;

Traveling off boardwalks or designated trails in hydrothermal areas;

Removing or possessing natural (antlers, rocks, vegetation, etc;) or cultural (arrowheads, etc;) features;

Spotlighting (viewing with artificial light) elk, deer, or other animals;

Calling in elk by imitating their calls or using buglers;

Imitating wolf howls and using electronic equipment capable of tracking wildlife; and willfully remaining near or approaching wildlife, including birds, within any distance that disturbs or displaces the animal;

Sunday, May 24, 2009

In The Act

.. Wade Johnson, on a geology field trip led by Bob Smith of the University of Utah, captured an image of a rare event.
.. The May 17, 2009 hydrothermal explosion in Biscuit Basin was surprising but not dangerous - rare as it is. You can read all about it in yesterday's Jackson Hole Daily.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Busy Beavers

YNP Web Site Goodies
nice work guys
.. In the every expanding website for Yellowstone National Park is a section on "Publications Related To Yellowstone." From information on campgrounds to the Associated Tribes this resource gives a list of publications available for online consultation.
.. Most of the publications are in PDF format. One excellent, (and very large,) map of the park can be found HERE, this is the same map you receive when you enter the park.
.. Other resources include: Bison Natural History, Where are the Bloomin' Wildflowers?, Yellowstone and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Exploring the History of Yellowstone National Park with John Colter.
.. Of course there are many other resources listed about the geology and biology and other topics relating to Yellowstone National Park. Many of these resources have existed previously on the site - it's nice to see them in a single place.
.. This page provides an excellent starting point for visitors and allows information to be appreciated prior to visiting the park.
.. Thanks go to the staff for keeping the site dynamic, and pertinent.
click on image for large size

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Foul Geysers


A World Perspective
.. Vol. 17, #1 of Yellowstone Science has been published to the web. It's lead article is about the geysers of Yellowstone in a global perspective. The title is "HUMAN IMPACTS ON GEYSER BASINS."
.. The history of impacts and degradation to the geysers and thermal features in Yellowstone is documented.
.. The most significant cause of destruction and degradation can be laid, (directly or indirectly,) at the feet of "TOURISM."
.. And, it continues today with roads, trails, boardwalks, and other elements of the built environment encroaching on thermal basins in the name of access.
.. From the earliest days to the present the perception has been that appreciation of the features is best done "up close and personal."
.. This attitude demands destruction and degradation for the perceived need for appreciation.
.. Geothermal exploitation is also considered as a threat to the thermal features of Yellowstone. Two areas adjacent to Yellowstone National Park are mentioned, as is the monitoring of resources in the park.
.. Any persons with more than a passing interest in the history of thermal feature degradation in Yellowstone National Park should read this article.
--> PART ONE (PDF) [pages 1 - 18, includes geyser article]
--> PART TWO (PDF) [pages 19 - 37, includes other articles]


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Google Earth Reveals Road

Looks Like Two 'Overlooks'
.. The most significant road construction and closure this summer will take place between Madison Junction and Norris Geyser Basin. There will be a new road alignment and bridge construction just above Gibbon Falls.
.. Recently added imagery at Google Earth shows the new alignment and the approximate position of the new bridge. The road in it's new alignment will follow the crest of the canyon rather than the bottom of the canyon.
.. Assurances have been given that the viewscape will not be disturbed. We hope that the permits for bungee jumping are not too expensive.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Ranger Smith's New Tires

New Skins For Jellystone Fleet
.. On the first day of April, (irony?) the Michelin Man announced his take over of the commercial battleground known as Yellowstone National Park.
.. The tire giant proposes ". . . to provide Michelin energy-saving tires to the Yellowstone National Park vehicle fleet. Adding Michelin tires will improve the fleet's fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions by an estimated 8 to 10 percent."
.. They will also ". . . engage in programs for Yellowstone employees that demonstrate how to improve fuel efficiency and maximize tire life through proper tire inflation."
.. It is important to remember that tires need to be properly inflated, as pointed out by the raft of lawsuits in the early part of this decade.
.. The Michelin Tire Company, (Michelin, B.F. Goodrich, Uniroyal and Kleber brands,) knows full well the implications of poorly inflated and defective tires, as illustrated by a raft of lawsuits: ( SOURCES, #1, #2, #3, #4.) Their experience and history should inform their program curricula for Yellowstone employees.
.. The benefits to Michelin and Yellowstone should soon become apparent. The park gets tires and service on the tires for it's fleet, (depending on how many vehicles this could be a substantial cost saving for the park.)
.. The tire giant gets advertising opportunities and the association with Yellowstone, (for better or worse.)
.. This is just the latest in a long list of commercial exploitations of Yellowstone. Little nibbles and bits continue to gnaw around the edges. Each is touted as "GOOD" - we'll wait and see. Toyota, Canon, Michelin, etc. - soon . . . . well, we will wait.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sell Yellowstone ?

What's It Worth ?
.. An interesting article in Time, (on line,) poses the possibility that the U.S.A. could sell government owned assets to bail out the economy and save the "American Way Of Life."
.. The British are planning to sell the Royal Mint and the National Mapping Agency. America could generate at least 20% of the cost of the new stimulus package by selling all the National Parks.
.. So, what is Yellowstone National Park worth? Time figures that it should go for about $4 billion. Perhaps there could be a bidding war between the Northern Pacific and Union Pacific like the good ol' days.
.. Now then, when the parks are all gone, what should we sell to cover the other 80% of the massive debt?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Care To Browse ?

Just A Sample
use the virtual finder
.. The personal, professional, and family photography collections of Frank Jay Haynes are again seeing the light of day - electronically.
.. Frank J. Haynes was the official photographer of the Northern Pacific Railroad and Yellowstone National Park.
.. Many of photographs were received by Montana State University with the donation of the Haynes family papers by Isabel May (Nauerth) Haynes in 1977.
.. The collection includes more than 5000 photographs, collectively referred to as the Haynes Family Collections.
.. The photograph collection was divided between the University and the Montana Historical Society in 1978 with the MHS receiving the bulk of the negatives and other items.
.. The Montana State University Library has a PRO FLICKR ACCOUNT with four excerpted image collections currently posted. The recently posted Haynes collection has 60 photos in the photostream.
.. The FLICKR images appear to be free from copyright limitations, although not necessarily free from third party restrictions. These are down-loadable under a creative commons license in many sizes.
.. A complete catalog of the images in the collection, (most have been digitized,) is also available through the Montana State Library web site at: Haynes Family Photographs (Collection 1507). [Repository: Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections at Montana State University Libraries.]
.. This catalog indexes the collection of 19 boxes, including original metal boxes, and is categorized in substantially chronological order, with topical subdivisions.
.. For the Haynes Family scholar, the collection contains a wealth of information about family, friends, trips, interests, and activities.
.. For those interested in Yellowstone National Park, the collection is an invaluable record of architecture, environment, policy, presidential visitation, tourism, transportation, and just plain-ol'-nostalgia.
.. If you've got the time and a good Internet connection, the browse is well worth the effort. We thank the Montana State University Library for this effort. We also appreciate the concern of the Haynes Family in making the images available to the interested public.
.. Here's the catalog and links for the complete collection:


19 boxes
Series 1: Haynes Family, 1878-1965; Boxes 1-3, Box 4, files 1-14
Subseries 1: F. Jay Haynes Family, 1878-ca.1925
Subseries 2: Nauerth Family, 1885-1911
Subseries 3: Jack E. Haynes, 1885-1960
Subseries 4: Isabel M. Haynes, 1900-ca.1930
Subseries 5: Lida Haynes, 1932-1954
Subseries 6: Haynes Family, 1929-1961
Subseries 7: Haynes' Friends, ca.1920-ca.1965

Series 2: Yellowstone National Park, 1866-1963; Box 4, files 15-42, Boxes 5-6
Subseries 1: YNP Photographs, 1883-1963
Subseries 2: Greater Yellowstone Area and the "West", 1866-ca.1960
Subseries 3: Collection 1504 Separated Photographs, 1882-1963
Subseries 4: Unnamed Features in YNP, n.d.

Series 3: Oversized Photographs, 1884-1961; Box 7, Box 8, files 1-17
Subseries 1: Haynes Family and Friends, 1890-1961
Subseries 2: Other Topics, 1884-1961

Series 4: Pictorial Items, ca.1870-1920; Box 8, files 18-27, Box 9-13
Subseries 1: Detroit Photographic Company chromolithographs, ca.1870-ca.1910
Subseries 2: Prints, Haynes and others, 1870-1920
Subseries 3: Charles M. Russell reproductions, n.d.
Subseries 4: Haynes waterfall prints, hand-tinted, n.d.
Subseries 5: F. Jay Haynes Cabinet and Boudoir Photographs, ca.1883-

Series 5: Photograph Albums, 1890-1969; Box 14, 14A-18
Subseries 1: Disbound Albums, ca.1905-ca.1952
Subseries 2: Bound Albums, 1890-1969