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  • Writer's pictureMaia Monell

Yellowstone Forever Funding $5.9M in Park Improvements

Yellowstone Forever funding to the tune of $5.9 million will be used for 53 priority projects in Yellowstone National Park, including the wolf program, trailhead information displays, visitation analysis and black bear research.

The Yellowstone Forever funding include wildlife research and management, visitor experience, youth education, and sustainability, among others. In 2018, $1 million will support the National Park Service’s Native Fish Restoration program, a major effort to restore native fish populations to sustainable levels. Another grant will go towards visitor and wildlife safety education, providing support for seasonal rangers and volunteers to deliver safety information at wildlife traffic jams, demonstrations on how to use bear spray, and safe hiking and camping practices.

Other grants support programs that directly engage youth, helping cultivate the next generation of stewards. The Yellowstone Youth Conservation Corps is a work-based learning program that engages teams of 15- to 18-year-olds in leadership, education, recreation, and work activities. The program promotes stewardship of Yellowstone and other wild places among the next generation, while also providing much-needed work for park projects.

Videoconferencing is also a big part of the Yellowstone Forever funding for 2018. Since 2011, Yellowstone has offered the opportunity for classrooms to have a park ranger visit them virtually through video conference technology. Students can learn about topics such as volcanoes, park ecology, wildlife, and history. Demand for this program continues to grow each year, and support from Yellowstone Forever will ensure students from around the world participate in this program for years to come.

“Yellowstone National Park staff whole-heartedly thank Yellowstone Forever and the generous donors for their commitment to this exceptional place,” said Superintendent Dan Wenk. “This park is incredibly fortunate to have such a sophisticated and professional partner in Yellowstone Forever. The dedication they show in their work enhances park resources and visitor experiences.”

“Yellowstone National Park is a wonderland that deserves our stewardship and support,” said Heather White, Yellowstone Forever President & CEO. “At Yellowstone Forever, we are proud to partner with the National Park Service to fund vital park projects and exceptional educational programs that inspire and engage. We look forward to continuing our work together to help preserve and enhance the world’s first national park for generations to come.”

Yellowstone Forever is the official education and fundraising nonprofit partner of Yellowstone National Park. Proceeds from Yellowstone Forever’s educational Park Stores, Institute, and philanthropic efforts support priority park projects and visitor education.

Photo 1 – Yellowstone cutthroat trout are an important food source for more than 20 unique species in Yellowstone, including grizzlies and bald eagles. The Native Fish Conservation Program is restoring regional cutthroat populations, whose numbers were decimated by invasive lake trout brought to Yellowstone lake in the 1980s.

Credit: NPS/Jacob Frank Photo 2 – Yellowstone National Park biologist Dan Stahler fits cougar F212 with a radio collar. The Yellowstone Cougar Project involves tracking Yellowstone’s secretive cat both digitally and by foot to understand their status in the park and their impact on local prey populations.

Credit: NPS/Aaron Morris Additional Cougar Project photos, press, and video:

Photo 3 – 50 years ago, Yellowstone National Park rangers oversaw the intentional distribution of bacon rinds and other food scraps to bears at a location in the park known as the ‘Lunch Counter.’ Today, the Yellowstone Bear Conservation Project aims to reduce the impacts of park visitors on bears while also gathering information on bear population dynamics, habitat use, prey availability, and food habits.

Source link: Credit: YF/Jim Futterer

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