Yellowstone to Look at Ways to Improve Park's North Entrance

Do you have ideas?

Yellowstone National Park is doing an environmental assessment and thinking of ways to improve the historic entrance to Yellowstone Park— “An environmental assessment will be prepared in coming months, looking at subjects including vehicle circulation, congestion, and parking; pedestrian safety; signage, and vegetation challenges; all while preserving the historic nature of the area.”

They want your ideas. You have until June 18 to let them know. Here is the full news release from the Park:

There is also an open house June 8 in Gardiner, MT.






  1. vickif Avatar

    Well, maybe they should put in a lane for people to swipe annual passes? They could use the machine, which could be solar powered, to ease the amount of idling cars left lined up.
    They could also have recepticles for recycling the maps and newspapers they hand out.
    Additionally, they could elimintae the signage that says “park employees only” just prior to the exit lane. Nobody honors it anyhow. It also offers an opportunity to decrease the congestion created by people bottle-necking at the ranger booth.
    I know that antelope and bison often cross the street and graze in the area just infront of the shop parking area. They could make an animal over pass, so they weren’t having to cross the road.

  2. monty Avatar

    Vickif: excellent comments. What about the park service buildings adjacent to the “park shortcut? As it’s been 2 years since I visited this area, if my memory serves me correctly, do the park buildings & vehicles & such scattered about detract from the “viewshed”? Could this area be cleaned up?

  3. vickif Avatar

    They usually have the park service’s yellow tour vans and snowtrackers there. Some of the vehicles parked there are in disprepair.
    Maybe they need a more informative and historic apporach to having them their. I know they pull in park concessions from the warehouse there. It is used for storage, I believe.
    The warehouse could be a little more visually appealing, perhaps log. I thin kthe park service needs to begin the transition to greener energy, updating buildings to solar or wind. They could always revamp the asthetics.
    Maybe the solar panels can receed into the roof tops, and the wind turbines could be housed in log casings.
    The ideas are endless, but I think the key being a switch to a sustainable, yet historically representative entrance.
    As far as the vegetation goes, there is nothing better than nature for fixing some of it. Bison manure is excellent fertilizer. And why not create walk ways? Logs cleared from campgrounds could be used, or even some of the rock they have removed for road ways. That would keep people off the flora.
    For that matter, they use large plastic cartons to transport goods, such as milk, and bread. Those crates can be cut into five, and they are the right height to allow grass and plants to grow through them, yet they provide elevation for foot traffic. They keep traffic from stomping the growing plants. They also allow for water absorbtion, and it is a reused and long term sustainable job for old plastic.

    One more, the old yellow tour vehicles, they should operate off of different fuel, (some may already), such as methane? Or biodeiel, from the grease that is used in the park’s deep friers.

  4. vickif Avatar

    A nicely constructed log garage could house enough solar panels to provide electricity for the entry booths.

  5. Ken Cole Avatar

    Get rid of the Stephens Creek capture facility 😉

  6. vickif Avatar

    Amen. There are numerous pens that should be disposed of!


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan