It’s been a great 2018 at the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. We’re lucky to have had some big wins, some new faces, and a fun year out exploring and protecting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Check out what some of our staff said were their favorite moments from 2018.
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.
As much as I look forward to hitting my beloved backcountry runs, I know this is also a really hard time for wintering wildlife like bighorn sheep, deer, elk, and moose. Popular canyon spots on the west side of the Tetons (including Fox, Darby, and Teton Canyon) are important areas for wintering wildlife and will be closing to winter recreation on Thanksgiving – except for travel on designated routes. And I’m okay with that, because there are lots of other places I can ski.
Recently Brooke Shifrin, GYC’s Wildlife Program Associate, had the opportunity to join The Centennial Valley Association’s Wildlife Program Coordinator, Sarah Hale, for a day in the Centennial Valley. It was a gorgeous cold day that smelled like horses and sage and looked like a visit Montana postcard, exploding with big blue sky and yellow aspens.
A bill that will keep gold mining away from some 30,000 acres of our public lands at Yellowstone’s northern gateway has cleared two committee hurdles in both the House and the Senate in the past 10 days. This is great news! The Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act is now one step closer to becoming law after these hearings.