Have a swell chuckle 1940s-style at Jolly Lindgren's "hysterical" tourist maps of the Grand Canyon
, Grand Coulee Dam
, Lake Tahoe
, Yellowstone Park
, Palm Springs
, and Death Valley
. And it's lookin' mighty low..
Tradegy of the Buffalo Commons
Everything you know about buffalo is wrong. They're bison. But most aren't completely
bison. They don't play
a significant role in transmitting brucellosis.
Bison are political.
Which makes better sense management
or culling the small, but genetically endangered, pure herd
? Bison is actually better
for you! [more inside]
How often does a great story dominate the headlines, only to be dropped from the news cycle? How often do journalists tell us of a looming danger or important discovery – only to move quickly to the next new thing? What really happened? How did these events change us? And what are the lingering consequences that may affect our society to this day? These are the questions we are answering at Retro Report, an innovative documentary news organization launched in 2013 as a timely online counterweight to today’s 24/7 news cycle. Combining documentary techniques with shoe-leather reporting, we peel back the layers of some of the most perplexing news stories of our past with the goal of encouraging the public to think more critically about current events and the media
in ~10 minute segments. [more inside]
Go camping with President Roosevelt
John Burroughs received a personal invite from President Theodore Roosevelt to go camping with him in 1903. Though what they call 'camping' we would probably call an 'expedition' today. What follows is an interesting look at the President out in the wild, exploring and reveling in the beauty of Yellowstone Park though the eyes of an invited guest.
Heinrich Caesar Berann
is known as the father of the modern cartographic panorama
and is also credited as the most prolific panorama artist ever
. His style and work could be credited with the lasting appeal of stylized panoramic maps that often feature exaggerated or distorted features as the preferred map type for ski resorts and trails
(PDF) but Berann's true passion was art, as seen in these collections of his paintings
found on the tribute site
maintained by his grandson, Matthias Troyer. [more inside]
A Death in Yellowstone: On the Trail of a Grizzly Bear.
a gripping story and a well written article in Slate
, by Jessica Grose.
Includes a similarly remarkable photo feature. [more inside]
In the last two weeks,
[NYT] more than 100 mostly tiny earthquakes a day, on average, have rattled a remote area of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, putting scientists who monitor the park’s strange and volatile geology on alert. The quake zone, about 10 miles northwest of the Old Faithful geyser, has shown little indication of building toward a larger event, like a volcanic eruption of the type that last ravaged the Yellowstone region
tens of thousands of years ago. Don't rest too easily, though: new studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano
shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. For more info, check out this exhaustive site
that tracks Yellowstone tectonic activity and details a possible supervolcano event. [previously
in 1997, the last several years, Bioprospecting at Yellowstone National Park
has become more and more privatized. Research at nearby Montana State University has been underway, using virus cages for next generation flash drives
, using fungus to turn straw into olive oil, and algae to turn garbage into hydrogen.
The unprecedented slaughter of over 1600 of Yellowstone's bison this winter
(resulting in a 50% decrease in the overall size of the herd) will go down as the largest wild bison kill since the 19th century. Despite vehement protests and bold acts of civil disobedience
instigated by the Buffalo Field Campaign
, the slaughter will continue according to the tax-payer supported Bison Interagency Plan
- the goal of the plan being to prevent economic losses from the unlikely spread of brucellosis (a cattle disease)
from Yellowstone bison into Montana and Wyoming's livestock. TERRA
aired a gripping three-part 'fly-on-the-wall' film series chronicling the story: ONE
. [more inside]
The hunting of American Bison
got a renewal today. The first hunt of the buffalo, in 15 years, began with a Belgrade, MT, boy killing a bull with 4 shots
, shortly after the hunt began. The 15 year hiatus on hunting Bison in Montana was contentious, if not downright nasty
, but that's over now. Montana has allowed Bison hunting outside Yellowstone park, and it's been a media show
. Of course, this really pisses some folks off
, to which hunters claim, "It's like the hunter's become the hunted
". The mountain west of the US has become a battle ground of flowing ideas
, with man against nature, and man against man. The Endangered Species Act, the very thing that has lead us to this event, is under siege
. People begin to notice when critters die.
Welcome to Bison Hunt, 101
The US Fed wants the Yellowstone Grizzly Bears taken off the list of threatened species
. (No, not those Grizzlies
, heh.) Through very serious recovery efforts
the Grizzly bear population in the area around Yellowstone National Park is being considered "recovered", such that they can be removed from the protection of the endangered species act. Some fear that this move doesn't address the issue of where the bears actually live
, though it needs to be pointed out that hunting and killing bears in the Park is prohibited. Some are celebrating this as a great move
by the DoI. Some of America's friends overseas
don't appear to be any too happy about this. The proposal only covers those bears in and around Yellowstone, but the Grizzly recovery in other areas remains slowed by illegal killing
, and stupidity
. Can we call this a success for the Endangered Species Act
? Or is the ESA itself
endangered? Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without the headcase who blames environmentalists for keeping him from baiting the bears
The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.
"Combining science and stewardship, we seek to ensure that the world-renowned wilderness, wildlife, native plants, and natural processes of the Yellowstone to Yukon region continue to function as an interconnected web of life, capable of supporting all of the natural and human communities that reside within it, for now and for future generations."
The Long Reach of the Wolf
Wolves were returned to Yellowstone in 1995 after a 70 year absence (they were destroyed as menaces during the 20's). There are now 16 active packs in the park, and they have triggered a cascade of unanticipated changes in the park's ecosystem.
Yellowstone supervolcano threatens world destruction
- That's about it, folks: "Volcanologists have been tracking the movement of magma under the park and have calculated that in parts of Yellowstone the ground has risen over seventy centimetres, almost two and a half feet, since 1923, indicating a massive swelling underneath the park. "The impact of a Yellowstone eruption is terrifying to comprehend." says Professor McGuire. "Magma would be flung 50 kilometres into the atmosphere. Within a thousand kilometres virtually all life would be killed by falling ash" The Yellowstone caldera has been acting up
in recent months and we're supposedly overdue for the big one. But don't flee to the East coast: A super tidal wave
will get you there. I hear Tierra Del Fuego is nice, except for the Ozone Hole problem. Have a nice weekend. Y'all.