Tornado hits West Yellowstone

Many trees are down and structural damage (roofs!). Probably no injuries-

What was to become this violent storm work me up yesterday morning here in SE Idaho. I watched (on the Web) the storm grow as it moved NNE. This morning I got a call from a West Yellowstone resident who was driving around looking at the damage. It seems to extend a bit beyond town. There might have been more than one tornado, and/or several touch downs.  There are some photos online now.

Fast and furious storm rips West Yellowstone. By Gail Schontzler. Bozeman Chronicle.

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8-31-10. Subsequent reports indicate that this was a microburst, but probably with some funnel clouds. At least that’s how I read it. RM

Yellowstone National Park Scoping for New Long Term Winter Use Plan Begins

Should the Park road from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful be plowed?

Earlier today “Salle” posted in our new  “Have you run across any interesting news” section her views and a large number of links relating to this important (if judged by the huge amount of litigation) set of rules for using Yellowstone in the winter. There is an interesting view that rather than snowmobiles/snowcoaches, maybe it would be better to plow from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful in the winter. This would be similar to the long-standing plowing of the road from Mammoth Hot Springs out the northeast entrance of the Park to Cooke City, MT.

At any rate, an entire new set of rule-making for Yellowstone winter use is about to begin.

I thought it was an important enough news story to bring in as a “regular” post. Ralph Maughan
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“Salle” wrote on Feb. 5, 2010 at 8:29 AM

This past week Yellowstone NP has opened up for comments on winter use in the park. Recently there was a decrease in oversnow travel limits for the next two winters while this issue is addressed, once again. A big concern for the general public is that only those who can ~$150/person/day can go in to enjoy the park during winter, unless you are near the north entrance and can only go to Lamar Valley area between Mammoth Hot Springs and Cooke City. The rest of the park is only open to oversnow travel at the price noted above.

There is a massive decline in business activity for the gate communities and the only businesses that have any business to speak of are the (less than a dozen) permitees who facilitate oversnow travel.

Many, including some park officials, have been pushing for the park to just plow the road during the winter. Such a plan includes plowing from the west gate to Madison jct; Madison jct. to Old Faithful and to Mammoth HS. this would allow the general public to enter the park year round and with the regular fees that apply during the summer months. It also allows the general public to get to Old faithful and the northern sector in a couple hours rather than a five hour drive, one way, from the west gate – the major entrance to the park.

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Hiker with pistol and spray survives encounter with grizzly sow with cubs

Boise, Idaho man said attack happened too fast to use either when he surprised the bears-

Fortunately he was able to walk 4 miles to the trailhead.

Update: the original story has been replaced by a much more detailed one below.

Boise man in hospital following griz attack. By Karin Ronnow. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer

. . . and there have been more recent encounters.

Two Alberta men recovering from grizzly attack. Edmunton Journal. They were searching for elk antlers. A lot of grizzly bear attacks have happened to those looking too intently for elk antlers while in grizzly country.

Glacier National Park jogger survives grizzly attack. Missoulian. By Jim Mann in the Daily InterLake. The jogger forgot his pepper spray. At any rate, jogging on trails in dense grizzly country like Glacier National Park is not a good idea.

Warning. Bison migration across US 191 north of West Yellowstone!

Sudden appearance of bison on highway have resulted in numerous bison deaths-

Although conditions for the bison that leave west side of Yellowstone Park in the winter, and especially the spring, have been much better in 2009, the sudden migration of buffalo across busy U.S. 191 has resulted in at least 15 dead bison this week. Fortunately, human injury has been minor. The bison are heading for Horse Butte where they calve on its sunny south-facing slope.

The great danger is at night. That is when these wrecks have happened. Bison on the highway are all but invisible in the dark, and they generally don’t move when they see on-coming headlights. Unlike elk and deer, their eyes don’t glow in the headlights. They don’t have a light rump patch like elk.

The bison don’t just cross the highway. They eat the grass on the edges and linger because the warmer roadside is one of the first places grass sprouts in the spring. This year the snow is staying longer than usual due to wave after wave of storms with heavy wet snow.

When bison are on the road, or likely to be, the Buffalo Field Campaign deploys a number of volunteers to slow traffic down, warn them, etc. They have a number of pink neon signs that read “Buffalo Crossing.” They patrol day and night, although 24-hour-a-day coverage is not possible. Moreover, BFC has no official capacity, so they cannot haze the bison off the highway. The result can be frustration among motorists waiting for the bison to move off the highway. Read the rest of this entry »

West Yellowstone: Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center opens new River Valley Wolf Habitat

Center has become important tool for teaching about wolves and grizzlies-

Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone opens new River Valley Wolf Habitat. West Yellowstone News.

Very deep snow at West Yellowstone

They haven’t had a winter like 2008 for years. Sal sent these photos.

west-yell-motel-snow.jpg
Motel with only the second level above the snow.

west-yell-dwelling.jpg
Dwelling

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