Yellowstone National Park

Grizzly, wildlife, grizzlies, endangered species list
Jason Bechtel / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. government lifted protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region on Monday, though it will be up to the courts to decide whether the revered and fearsome icon of the West stays off the threatened species list.

More than a month after announcing grizzlies in and around Yellowstone National Park are no longer threatened, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially handed over management of the approximately 700 bears living across 19,000 square miles (49,210 sq. kilometers) in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to wildlife officials in those states.

Jim Urquhart / AP Photo

Native American tribes, clans and leaders from seven states and Canada say the U.S. government's recent decision to lift protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area violates their religious freedom.

They are suing to block the government from removing Yellowstone grizzlies from the endangered and threatened species list, which would allow Montana, Wyoming and Idaho to hold grizzly bear hunts.

Jim Urquhart / AP Photo

Protections that have been in place for more than 40 years for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area will be lifted this summer after U.S. government officials ruled Thursday that the population is no longer threatened.

Paul Thompson / Flickr Creative Commons

Yellowstone National Park is now offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information about a wolf found shot in the park last month.

The National Park Service is investigating the death of a famous white female wolf. The service initially set a reward for information at $5,000. But park spokesperson Jonathan Shafer says a group of generous advocates have upped the ante.

“And we increased that amount to $25,000 as a result of a groundswell of interest from people who wanted to contribute to the reward fund,” says Shafer.

Neal Herbert / Yellowstone National Park via AP

Yellowstone National Park officials say a wolf they euthanized after hikers found the animal suffering from a serious injury had been shot.

Park officials released preliminary necropsy findings Thursday for the wolf that was discovered wounded on April 11 near Gardiner, Montana, in northern Yellowstone.

They are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the shooter's conviction. The alpha female of the Canyon Pack was one of three white wolves in Yellowstone.

Jim Urquhart / AP Photo

Federal officials are delaying their decision on whether to lift protections for more than 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park and allow hunting, amid opposition from dozens of American Indian tribes and conservation groups.

Officials had planned to finalize the proposal to turn jurisdiction on grizzlies over to state officials in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming by the end of 2016.

Yellowstone National Park, Bison, Lamar Valley
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Yellowstone National Park biologists say more than 900 wild bison would need to be killed or removed this winter to begin reducing the size of herds that spill into neighboring Montana.

The park has an estimated 5,500 bison, the highest number since at least 2000.

Park officials meet Thursday with state, tribal and U.S. Agriculture Department representatives to discuss options for managing the animals.

Biologists say 900 would need to be removed just to stabilize population growth.

Yasushi Ish / Flickr Creative Commons

The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial this summer. At the nation’s first park, attendance is on the rise. But deadly incidents this year at Yellowstone are reminders of the inherent wildness of the park.

Twenty-three-year-old Colin Scott was 225 yards away from the designated boardwalk at the Norris Geyser Basin when he apparently slipped and fell into a hot spring. Scott is the 22nd person known to have died in the park's acidic pools.

screengrab / National Geographic Channel

Mud baths aren't just for spa-loving humans.

A National Geographic video captured both grizzlies and black bears submerging in what's referred to as a "bear bathtub" in Yellowstone National Park. The natural swimming hole serves as a place for the bears to cool off, take a drink and get squeaky clean.

Cameras placed around the hole recorded the action, giving insight into the iconic predators' behavior.

Craters of the Moon National Monument / Flickr Creative Commons

The National Parks Service (NPS) is offering free admission to all parks, preserves, monuments and historical sites through April 24. The annual week of freebies has added meaning this spring: the NPS is celebrating its centennial in 2016. 

USEPA / Flickr Creative Commons

If you’re thinking about making a trek to the country’s first national park this summer, you are far from alone. About 1.3 million people have visited Yellowstone National Park so far this year, which represents a nearly 20 percent increase over last year.

Yellowstone officials say almost 800,000 visitors came through in June, which broke that month’s previous record by 12 percent.

grizzly bear, yellowstone
Xinem / Flickr Creative Commons

Getting hurt at Yellowstone National Park isn't quite as glamorous as you might think.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that although the park is full of hazards like bears, bison, scalding water and canyons, visitors are most likely to be injured from mundane accidents like trips, slips and falls.

Bear attacks are dramatic but exceedingly rare. National Park Service statistics put the likelihood being injured by a bear during a visit to Yellowstone at 1 in 2.1 million.

James Good / Flickr Creative Commons

The University of Idaho says it won't graze sheep this summer on three high-elevation areas in eastern Idaho and western Montana until a lawsuit filed by environmental groups concerning a federal sheep research facility is resolved.

Federal officials in documents filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court say the university in March notified the U.S. Department of Agriculture it wouldn't send sheep or sheepherders to the allotments this summer.

SkyWest, airplane, airport
Aero Icarus / Flickr Creative Commons

SkyWest Airlines has announced it will soon offer jet flights between West Yellowstone and Salt Lake City to connect passengers with Delta flights.

The Delta Connection flights, operated by SkyWest, will begin in June. The airline says it will run flights twice a day from Thursday through Monday and once each day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

John Carrel / Flickr Creative Commons

Warmer-than-normal winter temperatures may be to blame for bringing a grizzly bear out of hibernation early in Yellowstone National Park. The park confirmed a report of a grizzly eating a bison carcass on Feb. 9 in the central part of the park in Wyoming.

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