Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Middle geyser basin
Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, sunset
Mammoth Hot Springs Sunset

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 as Olf Faithful erupts in Yellowstone National Park
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

Wolves eating buffalo in Yellowstone National Park
Wolf eating bison,, 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

The Yellowstone Fires of 1988

Yellowstone Fire
Yellowstone Fire of 1988

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

Fly-fishing the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park
Fishermen try their luck on the Madison 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
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

thermal feature hot spring, blue water, orange bactaria, Yellowstone National Park
Hot springs and thermophile bacteria, create pretty colors

Summary

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

 

 

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Greater Yellowstone News
Sunrise in Jackon Hole

November sunrise in Jackon Hole

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Orphaned Grizzly Cubs of Tom Miner Update
By Brad Orstead

On March 12, 2019, I learned definitively that our greatest fears for the orphaned grizzly bear cubs of Tom Miner Basin, which is situated just north of Yellowstone National Park had become a gruesome reality...The cubs had been killed by Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks .................rest of Brad's story

 

Study: More elk killed by cougars than by wolves in Idaho: More elk are being killed by cougars than by wolves in Idaho, a study by the state Department of Fish and Game has found.The study found that wolves accounted for 32% of adult female elk deaths and 28% of elk calf deaths, while cougars accounted for 35% of adult female elk deaths and 45% of elk calf deaths. The study also found ............ rest of story

Study: More elk killed by cougars than by wolves in Idaho
Photographer baiting a fox

Photographers, Instagrammers: Stop being so Damn selfish and disrespectful. ............... This is an important article from PetaPixel, it doesn't mention Yellowstone; however, it certainly pertains to what has been going on here lately. -------

What does it take to push a farmer to this point? The point where, fed up of thousands of disrespectful photographers, wannabe “influencers” and narcissistic tourists, they feel the only way to get them to stop damaging their business and property, is to damage those people’s photographs? ..... rest of article

Yellowstone wildlife closures - a few thoughts
By Daryl L. Hunter

I went to Yellowstone to photograph grizzly bear with three new cubs; it seems as though they are little for so short of a time. In May they are lucky to be 25-pound balls of fur sporting bright curious eyes, and by September they are 50 pounds. The window to capture them is short. After a year of a successful cancer fight I needed some grizzly cub therapy. Upon my arrival to where a grizzly sow had been hanging out I was disappointed my long drive was to be fruitless, the road was closed to stopping and all the turnouts had been blocked so nobody could stop to see the bears.  Now, there weren’t any bears there at the moment, it was just a blanket closure of the area..........................Rest of Article

grizzly photos
Grizzly photo results
Hungry Wolves

Crying wolf, or cause for alarm?

Whether a wolf evokes terror, admiration or curiosity, advocates for the animal are focusing on a single question: Can humans and wolves co-exist in Colorado?

High Country Conservation Advocates (HCCA) in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project hosted a panel discussion this past Friday that revisited the controversial conversation of wolves in the Western United States.However, this time around, wolf advocates are taking the question to the ballot rather than federal and state wildlife managers — with hopes of Colorado voters welcoming the animal. “Colorado is the gap,” .............Rest of articl

National park wants goats gone

By Jerry Painter

Just so you know, Wyoming Game and Fish doesn’t hate mountain goats. But the growth of the non-native critters in the Teton Range is posing a problem that has wildlife managers considering lethal measures. An aerial count this past winter found, for the first time, invasive mountain goats outnumbering native bighorn sheep................Rest of story

 

Mountain Goat
Mountain Goat
Huge Yellowstone Cutthroat trout
Huge Yellowstone Cutthroat trout

Return of the Yellowstone cutthroat trout by Kelsey Dayton

The water in Atlantic Creek in the remote Thorofare region of Yellowstone National Park was clear. So clear that Dave Sweet could see the fish before he even cast. They were everywhere: dozens of beautiful trout with distinctive red slashes under their jaws. Sweet had journeyed for two days on horseback to the major spawning tributaries of Yellowstone Lake for those fish. Over the next few days he and his daughter would see thousands of Yellowstone cutthroat trout and catch some as long as 25 inches. But just as exciting were the younger, smaller fish. They, Sweet realized, mark a turning point in a battle to save a species..................... Rest Of Story

Wild, Tangled Hair
by Anna Vanuga

A cool journey story of Dubois girl now living the dream in Paradise Valley Montana

Most of my life I never considered being able to earn a living as an artist. For years I resisted painting. The only college class I ever dropped was an art course. I would only paint when a rush of inspiration hit me hard enough to alter my short-sightedness. In those moments the painting would just come through me, an abrupt surge of color. It was almost as if my subconscious momentarily shattered a longstanding belief in my capabilities. Once the painting was done the wall would come back up and my brushes would go back to storage for months or years...........Rest of Story

An artists hands, the soul of creativity
An artists hands, the soul of creativity
Wolf Portrait

The Fight Over the Most Polarizing Animal in the West
By Elliott D. Woods

Twenty years after wolves were reintroduced in the Northern Rockies, many politicians would still love to see them eradicated, and hunters and ranchers are allowed to kill them by the hundreds. But the animals are not only surviving—they're expanding their range at a steady clip. For the people who live on the wild edges of wolf country, their presence can be magical and maddening at once.................... Rest of  article

Yellowstone region grizzly bears delisted; see you in court

As announced in June, the U.S. government lifted protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region today, though it will be up to the courts to decide whether the revered and feared icon of the West stays off the threatened species list.The Humane Society of the United States and its affiliate the Fund for Animals, filed a notice of intent on June 30 to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over removing federal protections for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  Other anti-hunting or animal welfare groups are expected to follow suit, so to speak.................... rest of story

Grizzly Bear Photos
Livingston Montana

The Resort Town Curse
by Daryl L. Hunter

In 1962 as a child my family went through Carmel California, and after my exclaimation how beautiful the place was, my mother explained to me that it was against the law to cut down a tree in the town and it was so beautiful. I wondered why every town didn't do that. A few years later my hometown, San Luis Obispo, did enact all kinds of restricted zoning like Carmel's as a part of an urban renewal plan, and now I couldn't afford to move back there if I wanted to. This town is now populated with what they call "Grey Gold", rich retired people that ran up the property values so high that native born could no longer afford to live there. I have lived in many resort towns since, and I have noticed a trend. I am attracted to them when they are still little, quaint and undiscovered, but it usually isn't long before word spreads about the next great place. ..............   Rest of story

Wild In Captivity?

The term “captive wildlife” seems like such a contradiction in terms. How can creatures that are caged or fenced in and handed their food have any trace of wild life left in them, without the ability to roam far and wide, to hunt or forage, to establish their own territories, search for mates, and keep their distance from other species—all the things that are characteristic of truly wild animals? When people think of wildlife in captivity, they may first think of zoos.  ............................ Rest of you story

A Protective Firewall For Grizzlies
By Daryl L. Hunter

The delisting of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear is imminent and this we should celebrate (''''dancing''''). Now that our happy dance is complete, we must ensure the grizzlies' recovery is permanent. To ensure "continuity of achievement," the grizzlies need a firewall to protect the success of this achievement from human foible.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee was formed in 1983 to help ensure recovery of viable grizzly bear populations and their habitat in the lower 48 states through interagency coordination of policy, planning, management, and research. Many people have been working on this recovery for decades, for some; it has been most of their career. I can understand why the delisting of the grizzly before their retirement is their goal. A metaphorical gold watch if you will.

Many will argue differently,............................. Rest of Article

Blondie the Grizzly Sow and her three cubs, where these four bears roam in the Teton Wilderness is likely to open to hunting someday soon, this must not happen.
Grizzly sow and cub

Yellowstone roadside grizzlies worth rangers' hassle???

Yellowstone visitors would pay an additional $41 to ensure seeing roadside grizzlies, a study shows, and the attraction creates 155 jobs and more than $10 million a year for the regional economy. The $41 visitors would pay is on top of the $25-per-vehicle entrance fee. If Yellowstone no longer allowed grizzly bears to use roadside habitat — and instead chased, moved or killed them — the regional economy would lose more than $10 million a year and 155 jobs according to the paper "The economics of roadside bear viewing."............................Rest of story

Some Yellowstone wolves would be protected under Montana bill

Some wildlife have an “outsized value,” such as wolves that wander from Yellowstone National Park into Montana, argued Sen. Mike Phillips, D-Bozeman, on Thursday. Consequently, those animals should be protected from hunters and trappers in two wolf management units in Park County, which borders Yellowstone..............Rest of story

Three Wolves

Hot spring, somewhere in the Greater Yellowstone
Hot spring, somewhere in the Greater Yellowstone

Helpful ebook for photographers

The Grand Teton Photo and Field Guide is an encapsulation of the flora, fauna, and photography of Jackson Hole Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park. Also included are thumbnails of the history and geology of the valley. This book is for all visitors with a desire to seek out wildlife, photograph the landscape, or merely learn about the history, geology, and lay of the land of Grand Teton National Park. The author provides general overviews including hot links with more in-depth descriptions of subjects of individual interest.

In the “Lay of the Land” section, includes the obvious highlights along the loop through Grand Teton Park. Hot links to side roads will give you more in-depth description of side roads and feeder roads and their highlights. Also included are descriptions of all two-rut roads that are legal to travel on in Grand Teton Park. GPS links to Google Maps are provided throughout.

As a field guide, profiles of most of animals and birds in the area are described. Jackson Hole is full of wildlife but there are places where animals are, and there are places where they are not. It is a waste of time to scrutinize a landscape devoid of what you are looking for, so this guide narrows options down to the hot spots. I provide maps of the likeliest places to find the popular critters of Grand Teton National Park. I also touch on trees, shrubs, and wildflowers with minimal explanations.  

The grandeur of Grand Teton Park has made it one of the most photographed places in the world. The opportunity to harness multiple juxtapositional elements has drawn photographers for over a century since William Henry Jackson took the first photos here in 1878. Grand Teton Park’s plethora of famous vistas are profiled as well as many which are less clichéd that can bring new perspectives of a well-documented landscape. Grand Tetons’ iconic landscape photo opportunities are described in detail; however, they barely scratch the surface of opportunities as it takes a photographer with an artist’s eye to unveil as they follow their own intuition and vision.  The author who shies away from clichéd landscapes provides a chapter of his favorite places that aren’t landscape clichés.

In the photography section the author includes chapters on composition, exposure basics, when to shoot and why. Daryl has summarized what he teaches in his, half day, Grand Teton workshops in a simple concise way.

If you are only in Grand Teton Park for a day there is a chapter called the “Portfolio Packer Morning Trip,” that does just that, all the icons and several favorite places in a five our blitz.  But it is better to spend more time and dig deep into the embarrassment of riches of Grand Teton National Park................. More Info

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