Yellowstone National Park was established on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone is the first and oldest national park in the world and has been a blueprint for National Parks set up worldwide ever since . Preserved within Yellowstone are Old Faithful Geyser and some 10,000 hot springs and geysers, the majority of the planet's total. These geothermal wonders are evidence of one of the world's largest active volcanoes; its last eruption created a crater or caldera that spans almost half of the park.
An outstanding mountain wildland with clean water and air, Yellowstone is home of the grizzly bear and wolf, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk. It is the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of the largest intact temperate zone ecosystems remaining on the planet.
Yellowstone’s grand vistas, huge mountains, deep canyons, roaring rivers, expansive lush meadows, high plains and abundant wildlife have been attracting photographers and sightseers from all over the world since William Henry Jackson sent home the first photos in 1871.
Below I have listed a few of Yellowstone’s embarrassment of riches and provided links to the thumbnails but these barely scratch the surface of what is the comprehensive Yellowstone National Park.
Human History: The human history of the park dates back 12,000 years. The events of the last 130 years of park history are reflected in the historic structures and sites associated with various periods of park administration and visitor facilities development............................rest of essay
elk grazing on a warm winter day as Old Faithful blows
Geothermal Features: With half of the earth’s geothermal features, Yellowstone holds the planet’s most diverse and intact collection of geysers, hot springs, mudpots, and fumaroles. Its more than 300 geysers make up two thirds of all those found on earth. Combine this with more than 10,000 thermal features comprised of brilliantly colored hot springs, bubbling mudpots, and steaming fumaroles, and you have a place like no other. Geyserland, fairyland, wonderland, through the years, all have been used to describe the natural wonder and magic of this unique park that contains more geothermal features than any other place on earth.
Yellowstone’s vast collection of thermal features provides a constant reminder of the park’s recent volcanic past. Indeed, the caldera provides the setting that allows such features as Old Faithful to exist and to exist in such great concentrations. -------------------> Rest of essay
Wolf eating elk, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone WildlifeYellowstone is widely considered to be the finest megafauna wildlife habitats in the lower 48 states. Animals found in the park include the majestic American bison (buffalo), grizzly bear, black bear, elk, moose, mule deer, pronghorn, wolverine, bighorn sheep and mountain lion (puma). The Yellowstone Lake Cutthroat Trout is a highly sought after trophy fish by anglers yet has been threatened in recent years by the suspicious introduction of lake trout that compete for spawning grounds and are known to consume smaller cutthroat trout.
A controversial decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (which oversees threatened and endangered species, is the recent reintroduction of wolves into the park's ecosystem. For many years the wolves were hunted and harassed until they become locally extinct in the 1930s. The smaller cousin of the wolf, the coyote, then became the park's top predator. However, the coyote is not able to bring down any large animal in the park and the result of this lack of a top predator on these populations was a marked increase in lame and sick megafauna. Since the reintroduction of wolves in the late 1990s this trend has started to reverse. More about Yellowstone's Wildlife
Fire is good; Yellowstone has long been shaped by fire and not just the cool, creeping ground fires often described as "good" for grass production. The natural history of fire in the park includes large-scale conflagrations sweeping across the park's vast volcanic plateaus, hot, wind-driven fires torching up the trunks to the crowns of the pine and fir trees at several hundred-year intervals. It is supposed to be this way.
During the first half of the twentieth century, most people, forest managers included considered forest fires to be destructive and without positive value. For this reason, Yellowstone and throughout the National Park Service had a policy of putting out all fires on national interest wildlands lands. In the second half of the century, forest managers of national parks and forests began to understand the importance of periodic wildland fires.
With the help of Smokey the Bear most of America was in consensus that all wildfires were bad. Most Americans steeped in Smokey the Bear's "Only you can prevent forest fires!" mantra, the very thought that forest fires might have a positive side seemed preposterous. We all learned this as children and it is damned hard to change, as our indoctrination to this policy was total. Unfortunately man’s past practice of total forest fire suppression has changed the forest into a much shadier forest floor habitat causing heavy fuel accumulation on the forest floor resulting in the very hot forest fires we see lately that result in maximum loss of the forest.
The Natural Burn Policy
The National Park Service interprets its mission as letting natural processes play out unimpeded by man. Biologists and park managers have defined its policy: "We allow a park that has documented the role of fire as a natural part of the ecosystem, and that has an approved fire-management plan specifying the prescriptions under which natural fires may burn, to manage each fire on an individual basis."..................... Read rest of essay
Fishermen try their luck on the Yellowstone River
Yellowstone Fishing: Yellowstone National Park is managed to protect cultural and natural resources and outstanding scenery, and to provide for visitor use. Angling has been a major visitor activity for over a century. Present regulations reflect the park's primary purposes of resource protection and visitor use....................... More about fishing
Yellowstone; a science laboratory
The Yellowstone Super Volcano: The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) was created as a partnership among the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Yellowstone National Park, and University of Utah to strengthen the long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake unrest in the Yellowstone National Park region. Yellowstone is the site of the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world and the first National Park.
Volcanic History Overview: The Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field developed through three volcanic cycles spanning two million years that included some of the world's largest known eruptions. Eruption of the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff about 2.1 million years ago created the more than 75-km-long Island Park caldera. The second cycle concluded with the eruption of the Mesa Falls Tuff around 1.3 million years ago, forming the 16-km-wide Henrys Fork caldera at the western end of the first caldera. Activity subsequently shifted to the present Yellowstone Plateau and culminated 640,000 years ago with the eruption of the Lava Creek Tuff and the formation of the present 45 x 85 km caldera. Resurgent doming subsequently occurred at both the NE and SW sides of the caldera and voluminous intracaldera rhyolitic lava flows were erupted between 150,000 and 70,000 years ago. No magmatic eruptions have occurred since the late Pleistocene, but large phreatic eruptions took place near Yellowstone Lake during the Holocene. Yellowstone is presently the site of one of the world's largest hydrothermal systems including Earth's largest concentration of geysers. ...................Rest of essay
Thermophile microbe researchers in Yellowstone
Yellowstone Microbiology Research: Yellowstone National Park is a focal point for cutting-edge microbiology research and how it provides a valuable setting for outreach education. extremophiles, microbe diversity and evolution are studied here. Scientists who study extreme environments are drawn to Yellowstone because it contains more active geothermal features than any other location on the planet. Those features are also very diverse.. Geothermal environments are obviously very hot, but they offer a variety of chemical extremes, some of which are relevant to applications in bioenergy and bioprocessing.
Researchers looking at bacterial mats in Yellowstone’s thermal pools discovered a new species that uses chlorophyll to convert the sun’s energy into chemical energy.
Scientists found the bacteria, called Candidatus Chloracidobacterium termophilum, in Octopus and Mushroom springs and the Green Finger Pool, not far from Old Faithful. The bacterium grows best in temperatures between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit and could help researchers drastically increase production of biofuels.................... Rest of essay
cow elk chasing wolves in Yellowstne
I have had the pleasure of living in the Greater Yellowstone Region since 1987 and I find new things every time I venture into the park. When I am not there I still marvel about the Yellowstone that comes to me via newspaper and computer. Dynamic is and understatement for a place that can both blow us up because of it’s volcanic nature or cure our cancer oddly enough because how its volcanic nature produces microbes that are pivotal in medical research.
As I photographer I find the place and its critters pure magic. As an inquisitor of life I find Yellowstone dynamics is pure fascination. As a fly-fisherman Yellowstone has proven to be Nirvana.
Daryl L. Hunter • Publisher - Greater Yellowstone Resource Guide
Grizzly Bear at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park
Featuring sixteen photos by Daryl L. Hunter the publisher of the Greater Yellowstone Resource Guide
Wyoming's Seven Greatest Natural Wonders
Wyoming's BEST photos of Wyoming's BEST places by Wyoming's BEST photographers. These three short phrases sum up this book about Wyoming's most scenic and natural places.
It all started with a newspaper column Bill Sniffin wrote in 2007 called Wyoming's 7 Greatest Natural Wonders, which include Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Thermopolis Hot Springs, Devils Tower National Monument, the vast Red Desert, historic South Pass and the high impact North Platte River system.
This book features an introduction by Governor Matt Mead and a chapter by U.S. Senator Mike Enzi.
Grizzly 399 produces triplets again, or so it seems. Absent is the red ear tag bling that positively identified her in the past. Nonetheless a 400-pound road tolerant grizzly sow has shown up in Grizzly 399’s territory with three new adorable cubs. With my caveat stated, we will assume this is 399. This prolific sow produced her first cub around 2001 and her first triplets in 2006, the second set of triplets in 2011 and now a third bunch of fur balls for spring of 2013. ............rest of story
Spring has sprung it Yellowstone and now its time to go for a drive. Most of the gates are open and all soon will be. The weather is shaping up, and Yellowstone’s peak predator viewing is in full swing.Around the first of April Grizzlies without cubs started coming out of their dens followed shortly by sows with older cubs. We are still waiting for the bears with new cubs to emerge from their dens with new little balls of fur, but the wait won’t be long.
The Canon Pack wolves are moving back into the Hayden Valley after wintering elsewhere with less snow. The Lamar and Blacktail packs have been seen throughout the winter and continue to put on a nice show for the lucky who find them......................... Rest of story
The T. A. Moulton Barn the most photographed barn in the world is in need of restoration work.
The T.A. Moulton Barn
Foto foder for millions of us photographers it is time for us to give back. Due to age and weathering, it is deteriorating rapidly. The T. A. Moulton Barn Celebrating 100 years “An Icon of Jackson Hole” In 2013 the iconic T. A. Moulton barn celebrates it 100th birthday. Started out of necessity to shelter his horses against the harsh winters of Western Wyoming and Jackson Hole, Thomas Alma Moulton didn’t know he was building a future landmark to a nation and Mecca for photographers to come to.
For more information on the Moulton Barn Centennial Party on July 20th is coming along very well. I will be posting details of events here and on the website soon. We are excited about the possibility of Wyoming Gov Mead possibly attending. He is not confirmed yet, but the event is on his calendar.
A stranger was roaming around. Black-haired, big, and handsome, he'd wandered into town a few days earlier and was looking for some action. Right now he was hanging out near some young females – twins, by the looks of them – and hoping to get to know them a little better. But unfortunately for him, it wasn't to be. Just as he was getting comfortable, their mom and dad showed up.
Two gray wolves, a few hundred yards south, their thick winter fur silhouetted against the snow. They took off toward the interloper at a dead sprint, two blurs racing along the frozen creekbed. The new wolf, sizing up the scene, tucked his tail between his legs and ran away. rest of story
Haden Valley's alpha male of the Canyon wolf pack wolf 712m
Eight years ago, John Kerr had no idea what to do next when he retired from his job as a public television executive in Boston at age 65. For four decades, he had worked at WGBH, most recently appealing for funds on the air, turning him into a highly recognizable mendicant...................After flummoxing around for about a month, he put his belongings in storage, loaded up his camper truck and drove west to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where his family owned a small condominium. During his travels, he stopped by the Yellowstone National Foundation, which raises funds for Yellowstone National Park, and happened to hear that it was hiring people to educate visitors about wolves........................He immediately applied for a position -- and landed it...................... rest of story
When I envisioned life in Yellowstone, I saw wild animals struggling to survive in the cold, snowy winter landscape. I knew that watching nature under harsh conditions would not always be pretty but I prepared myself to meet the realities of nature head on. Wolves, of course, played the top role in my mind but I had only seen them in the wild a couple of times and so the learning slate was clean and I couldn’t wait to learn. Never did it occur to me that there would be a small group of humans who spent their winter in Lamar Valley watching wolves and claiming ownership of them. Negative encounters with people was the last thing on my mind................ rest of story
A Yellowstone Wolf howls into the icy winds of the Yellowstone winter
Yellowstone’s Winter Road • By Daryl L. Hunter
Winter in Yellowstone is truly a wonderful thing to experience,
its deep snows, bitter cold, abundant wildlife and stark
beauty can imprint memories that can last a lifetime...........................Access
to Yellowstone in winter is the problem, it has become
illegal to take a private snowmobile into Yellowstone
and very few of us have snow coaches of our own or are
capable of marathon ski expeditions too access Yellowstone’s
winter wonders, but it is not as inaccessible as many
think.........................Mountain above Gardner
MontanaThe snowmobiling destination resort of Cooke City
and Silver Gate Montana need groceries
regularly to keep its citizens alive so Yellowstone Park
maintains winter access to these communities. US-212
can be accessed through Yellowstone’s north entrance
in Gardner Montana, so Yellowstone visitors can access
a smidgen of Yellowstone’s treasures in winter
by car.--------------------------> more
Yellowstone National Park: Explore its wintry wonders • Take in the wintry-white Yellowstone National Park aboard a snow coach; watch elk, bison and otters; cross-country ski or snowshoe to geysers; ring in the New Year with Old Faithful. Tour operator Off the Beaten Path, whose Greater Yellowstone trips have found a place on Travel + Leisure’s recently published “20 Life-Changing Trips” list, has a “Winter Wonders” tour promising fun adventures amid a comfortable, relaxing setting.------------------------------> More
A red fox hunting for mice on a cold winter day in Yellowstone
Silent Beauty: Yellowstone In Winter Makes For Hardy Trip • The bone-chilling cold of a Wyoming winter has tightened its icy grip on Yellowstone National Park. The bison, conserving heat and energy, stand perfectly still in the meadows, up to their bellies in snow. .......................Once in a while, one lowers its massive head and slowly, methodically swishes it back and forth, looking for something to nibble beneath the white drifts.........................Iconic animals at the park, along with the bears and the wolves, the bison are so much more obliging: willing to be seen, yet every bit as wild.-------------------> More
Yellowstone Backcountry Boost
By Brodie Farquhar • Most visitors to
Yellowstone National Park see just the tip of an immense,
iceberg.............................When you drive
through the park’s
2.2 million acres, you can see a great deal: bears,
elk, bison, geysers,
mountains and forests. What the visitor doesn’t see
from the road is about 98 percent of the park, a backcountry
region that’s managed as wilderness and patrolled
by 22 elite rangers on horseback, skis and on foot........................For
the better part of a century, they have served the public
as field guides, informal educators, medics, rescuers
and law enforcement officers. They also have forecountry
responsibilities, such as trying to prevent 600 vehicular
accidents annually or the loss of 100 animals struck by
vehicles........................In recognition of those
responsibilities and that heritage, the Yellowstone Park
a Ranger Fund
initiative, to raise $2 million in two years...............................More
Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone -Lava Land
In America's heartland lies one of the world's largest
'super volcanoes.' Its last eruption was 1000 times more
powerful than that of Mt. St. Helens, and it's capable
of covering half the continent in volcanic ash. Now,
this super volcano is rising up from the ground.............................No,
that's not the plot of a holiday blockbuster. It's the
University of Utah seismologists. Yellowstone
National Park hosts one of the world's largest volcano
fields. Its many geysers and hot springs suggest that
park lies above a 'hot spot,' an area of the earth's
crust that has experienced volcanic activity for an incredibly
long period of time – in this case about four million
by RV - by Mark Solomons • We drove
from Denver to the nearby Rocky Mountains and then
a long, 450 mile
drive to Yellowstone Park, through to the neighbouring
- and even more spectacular - Grand Teton National
Park and then back to Denver................................More
Yellowstone National Park - By Bonnie
Sitter • From
the road you'd never guess what paced across the
river, but you'd know it was something special because
was backed up for miles. Was it a buffalo sitting
at the water's edge or perhaps a mule deer or an
elk? Usually those were the subjects of traffic jams
Park could a lazy bison hold up traffic as it stood in the middle of the
and watched the tourists, making you wonder who were really on display
- the animals or the people........................more
predators thrive in West • By
Tom Kenworthy • federal biologist Ed Bangs began reintroducing
gray wolves into the northern Rockies, the wolf may
be taken off the federal endangered species list within
a year.Within two years,
if all goes according to plan, the grizzly bear population
that lives in and near Yellowstone National Park also
will be taken off the list. And far to the south,
National Park Service biologists Elaine Leslie and Chad
Olson are eagerly awaiting a critical step in the effort
to bring California condors back to the Grand Canyon
area. Sometime in October, the first chick hatched in
the wild in northern Arizona since the condors were
reintroduced in 1996 is expected to take to the air.