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Tag Archives: Yellowstone National Park

Are Trends In Jackson Hole Applicable To Other Western Towns?

Jackson Hole has been largely insulated from many of the economic hiccups swirling in the outside world around it. The Tetons, though, also have served as a bellwether for assessing how ultra-wealthy communities relate to the landscape and neighboring towns, creating their own ripple effect. In this piece, ace economic commentator Jonathan Schechter looks into his crystal ball for the coming year and makes some predictions about what might lay ahead for his home valley. Will the bursting national real estate bubble have an impact on Jackson Hole and what might the popping portend for other similar outdoor-oriented economies in the Rockies? Realtors, take note. Something else: Jackson Hole's economy is going green.

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Montana Newspaper Editor Calls Bozeman ‘Butt Ugly’

Bozeman, Montana has always assumed an air of superiority when referencing Livingston— that smaller neighboring, bare-knuckled, blue-collar, railroad and river town on the eastern side of Bozeman Pass along Interstate 90. Back and forth across the Pass, the friendly civic jeering has gone on for years, like crowds at a high school football game heckling one another from opposite sides of the field. Now, in another act of attempted one upsmanship, a fresh barb has been cast at Bozeman in the form of an editorial hand grenade lobbed by Stephen Matlow, managing editor of the Livingston Enterprise. "Once a beautiful town in an ideal setting," Matlow wrote, "it has now turned into something butt-ugly where any Californian would feel comfortable."

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When Granite Peak Loomed As Something More

John Anacker and his brothers grew up in the shadow of a mountain. In this case, the mountain was a man. As the sons of legendary Bozeman outdoorsman Ed Anacker, now a spry octogenarian, they remember slogs with their patriarch who defined himself by acts of extreme physical endurance — this in an age well before the word "ultra" ever entered the outdoor vocabulary of America. As the longtime head of the chemistry department at Montana State University, Ed Anacker in his free time would do such things as setting out with a goal of, in a single day, riding his bicycle 400 miles across Montana from the Yellowstone gateway town of Gardiner to the Canadian border. Anacker also laid out the notorious course for a footrace that runs the spine of the Bridger Mountains. Today, the 20-mile Ed Anacker Bridger Ridge Run is considered "the most rugged technical trail race" in existence, attracting participants from around the country every summer. To many, Anacker is a near-mythic hero, but for every person whose public reputation is larger than life, there is also the reality back home among family members of the mortal human who is loved not for his heroic deeds but for simply being there. What is it like to be Ed Anacker's son? John Anacker, a novelist, painter, and journeyman, explores the question in a series of short essays beginning with this one about a family quest to scale Granite Peak, the highest summit in Montana.

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In Yellowstone, Randy Caulder’s Story Remains One For The Ages

It's called "the Washington Monument Syndrome" and it's become a symbol of what happens when negotiations over a proposed federal budget fall into gridlock because of bi-partisan political obstinacy. It's a term which alludes to the tactic that when the government runs out of money because of a failure to enact a budget by Congress and the President, those in power shut down some of the most prominent and beloved public venues in order to get the attention of citizens. It usually works. As Democrats prepare to take over control of Congress and an apparently humbled White House continues to show signs of political reconciliation, there remain skeptics in the nation's capital, however, who fear that ugly divides will re-emerge from partisan discussions about how to address the growing federal budget deficit. Will federal land management agencies like the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and BLM—which provide hundreds of millions of outdoor recreation opportunities for visitors—be asked to implement deep across-the-board-cuts in their proposed budgets? Could there be a government shutdown?

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The Optimistic Guru

A Libertarian darling makes a knee-jerk liberal feel a great deal better about the world.

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UM Faculty Members Rally For Endangered Species Act

Three University of Montana faculty members held a press conference in front of University Hall today to rally support for the embattled Endangered Species Act. They drew a sparse crowd on a warm, rather-be-playing-frisbee Friday, but their message was clear: The ESA has been successful in rehabilitating many species, and can save more if it remains intact.

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Sierra Club Submits 25,000 Comments Opposing Grizzly Delistment

The Sierra Club announced Thursday the submission of 25,000 public comments opposing the federal government's plan to take Yellowstone grizzlies off of the Endangered Species list in a press conference at the University of Montana. The Sierra Club’s grizzly project manager Heidi Godwin was joined by bear researchers Chuck Jonkel and Margot Higgins, as well as a furry bear mascot, to explain why it is too early to de-list the bears. The speakers said that while the rise of the Yellowstone grizzly population is promising, more needs to be done to expand habitat and sustain the species.

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For Now, Randy Roberson Survives Yellowstone’s Snowmobile Controversy

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer took a snowmobile ride into the white interior of Yellowstone and became a firm believer in the advances of "clean snowmobile" technology. The governor, however, could also glean some entrepreneurial insight from West Yellowstone businessman Randy Roberson. A few short years ago, a span, which to Mr. Roberson seems like a lifetime, he had very real fears that his dreams were going up in smoke. Everything he worked hard for, he could see it dissipating into an ethereal haze like the exhaust being spewed by two-stroke snowmobile engines. Mr. Roberson, a lifelong resident of West Yellowstone -- the community that built its winter economy around the slogan "snowmobile capital of the world" -- had rented motorized sleds to Yellowstone National Park visitors since 1982. Over the years, as any good businessman does, he followed the trail created for him by the market. The path had been blazed by snowmobiles. But then Roberson was told that his future would be found in offering snow coach rides. For now, it appears that he's made a successful transition. "It was all about responding to the forces of supply and demand," he says. Here's one look at how a West Yellowstone couple have navigated the controversy over tourism in America's first national park.

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U.S. Highway 191: A Lethal Poster Child For Growth In The West

For years now, residents and second-home owners have been swarming to the resort community of Big Sky in search of sweet and gentle living set at the foot of Lone Mountain, home of the Big Sky Ski Resort. The only problem is that as growth sweeps down the Gallatin Canyon, the main artery leading to Big Sky, U.S. Highway 191, has turned into one of the deadliest stretches of roadway in southern Montana. Spectacularly scenic, Highway 191 connects the western hinters of Bozeman with the town of West Yellowstone and passes through not only Big Sky but the western periphery of Yellowstone National Park. Any local can tell you: With notoriously inclement winter weather and black ice, high speeds driven by reckless travelers as well as New West commuters, and curvy stretches of highway that can make navigation tricky in a white-knuckled way, the growing casualty list on 191 has hastened another public outcry.

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Nez Perce Youth Exercise Treaty Rights To Harvest Yellowstone Bison

Hundreds of Yellowstone bison this winter already have been shipped to slaughter. Others have been harvested by hunters in Montana. With hundreds more likely to leave the protected confines of Yellowstone before this winter ends, the controversy surrounding the treatment of these popular wildlife icons is only going to swell again. This week, it was announced by a group of teenagers from the Nez Perce Indian Nation in Idaho, exercizing 150-year-old treaty rights, will come to national forest lands outside the park to harvest up to 16 bison for their tribe. How will it be greeted and does it set a precedent for other tribes to exercise their treaty rights pertaining to traditional hunting grounds? So far, the state of Montana has welcomed the hunt with open arms. But will those who have portrayed hunting as cruel do the same?

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