In the summer of 2019, Greater Yellowstone residents Don Carpenter and Gary Chrisman circumnavigated the ecosystem on bikes. After two weeks and 1,200 miles, they came away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of our extended backyard.
It’s hard to get too excited about strategic planning, but as a road map toward future goals a plan is a critical piece of work, especially when it’s for a place as important and beloved as Yellowstone National Park. Earlier this month, the park released its five strategic priorities that will guide its short- and long-term decision making. We applaud Superintendent Cam Sholly for sharing the park’s priorities so widely and transparently.
Yesterday, a Montana district court ruled in our favor and denied a permit that would have allowed Canadian mining company Lucky Minerals to explore for gold in Emigrant Gulch just north of Yellowstone National Park. Along with the passage of the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act that permanently protects public lands, this stunning victory further drives a stake through the heart of the proposed gold mining threatening the Yellowstone River and Paradise Valley.
Today, the president signed the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act into the law of the land. Included in this sweeping, ground-breaking legislation was the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act. Now and forever, 30,370 acres of public land on the northern doorstep of Yellowstone National Park will be protected from destructive and toxic gold mining.
While we had a very successful 2018, we’re looking even more forward to the endeavors of 2019. We’ll be wrapping up a few campaigns, diving deeper into some big projects, and keeping an eye out for new issues in the ecosystem that needs our attention. We asked our staff what they’re most excited for in the New Year and this is what they had to say.
(Photo Louise Johns.)
We’re five miles into the Bechler area of Yellowstone National Park, crossing a flat meadow of yellow grasses between forested hummocks. It’s late August, and the Teton Range, visible behind us, is white from the first snowstorm of the year. Yellowstone Wolf Project Research Associate Kira Cassidy and I are collecting a trail camera that’s been up for nearly a year. With any luck, it will yield images of the Bechler Wolf Pack, one of the least known packs in the park.