Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - April 20, 2018 


The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to congress. Also on our rundown: more evidence that the rent is too, damn, high; Marathon County braces for sulfide mining; and the focus on recycling this weekend for Earth Day in North Dakota.

Daily Newscasts

Yellowstone National Park on Track for Another Record Year

Yellowstone National Park is on track for another record-breaking year, with visitation numbers up 6.5 percent in 2016 compared to last year. (National Park Service)
Yellowstone National Park is on track for another record-breaking year, with visitation numbers up 6.5 percent in 2016 compared to last year. (National Park Service)
August 19, 2016

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Yellowstone National Park is on track to break last year's record number of visitors.

Attendance figures for July, typically the busiest month of the summer season, were up slightly, and the first seven months of 2016 are up 6.5 percent compared with 2015. Since topping 4 million visitors last year, said Charissa Reid, a public-affairs specialist for the park, the impacts on park resources have been significant.

"Our staffing levels are still similar to what they were when we had just over 2 million visitors," she said. "So, even though our visitors have increased, the number of staff to respond to those visitors has not. We're definitely feeling the heat from the visitation numbers."

Reid pointed to lower gas prices, marketing campaigns by Wyoming and Montana, and the National Park Service centennial year as likely reasons for the increase. An upswing in international visitors could account for an increase of more than 300 buses to the park in July, she said.

Reid noted that people are the least-studied mammal in Yellowstone, and the park's social science efforts are in full swing this summer. She said a new survey to document traffic patterns and heavy-use areas also should produce insights into what visitors value most about the park, where they're coming from, and what their expectations are when they arrive.

"One of the questions we're asking is, do they think it's crowded? You know, we're from rural Wyoming, we're used to a lot of space around us - but if you're from Manhattan, do you really think that Old Faithful Geyser is crowded in the middle part of the day? We don't know," Reid said.

She said the survey results will help park managers make decisions to address visitors' needs, and to continue to inspire and educate guests while still protecting the park's natural resources.

More information is online at the Park Service's Yellowstone website, nps.gov/yell.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - WY