By on May 19, 2015

DISSTongueGory incidents in YNP 

The book Death in Yellowstone nearly had another couple of chapters written last week.

A bison gored a 16-year-old exchange student from Taiwan on Friday while she posed for a picture with the beast in Yellowstone National Park. Reports say she was fewer than six feet from the buffalo when it charged and speared her.

The teen suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries. She was taken to the Old Faithful Clinic where she was flown by helicopter for additional medical treatment.

When rangers responded, they found bystanders still hanging out within 10 feet of the bison. Park officials recommend a buffer of at least 25 feet for bison. The animals often act and look like lumbering cattle, lending the impression it is safe to approach for the perfect photo op. The animals can move quickly, however, and often become perturbed in a second’s notice.

This and other wildlife interactions are a constant reminder that tourists — especially foreigners who do not understand informational material handed out at the park’s entrance — are almost always to blame when Yellowstone’s wild inhabitants cause injury or death. Yellowstone is not a zoo.

Park rangers were also called out May 10 when a 71-year-old man stumbled while taking a picture in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. He fell 25 feet but was able to stop himself at the edge of a cliff. Rangers threw a rope down to the man and secured the other end to a tree. Later, the Yellowstone Technical Rescue Team responded to the scene and set up a system of ropes and pulleys to carry out the rescue.

Too close PHOTO: Ruffin Prevost, Yellowstone Gate

Too close PHOTO: Ruffin Prevost, Yellowstone Gate

PROPSFistbumpElk antler buying: What happened

Congrats to the Boy Scouts for a near-record haul last Saturday. The annual Elk Antler Auction took place on a cool, wet day but spirits were hardly dampened.

A total of 10,609 pounds of antlers were sold at the auction, short of last year’s record-setting 13,698 pounds. Price per pound was up, though. One hundred-forty registered bidders paid an average of $17.03 per pound for sheds at last weekend’s auction. That was $5.76 better than the 10-year average of $11.27.

The elk refuge receives 75 percent of the proceeds to help fund its operations.

DISSTongueElk antler prying: What didn’t happen

Elkfest has been a target for pro-life demonstrators to flock to Jackson with their messy messages. Arrests made during a 2011 protest cost the town $225,000 in a settlement of a federal lawsuit brought by Mark Holick, a pastor with Spirit One Christian Ministries from Wichita, Kansas.

According to the Casper Star-Tribune, Rev. Chester E. Gallagher of Las Vegas and Operation Save America filed a suit last week in the U.S. District Court in Cheyenne about the same protest. They name the Town of Jackson and former police Lt. Robert Gilliam as defendants.

Following is an editorial from frequent contributor Patrick Troiani as our guest shot for Props & Disses

If I were a lawyer, I would arduously work for the defense of Rev. Chester Gallagher and his Operation Save America in their lawsuit against the Town of Jackson. His suit about being unlawfully arrest during a legitimate protest against abortion in 2011 is undeniably contrary to American constitutional rights.

While I personally have a strong disagreement with the organization’s particular views on the topic, as a native born American citizen with respect and knowledge for its written foundation of law, I recognize their absolute right of expression in the protest.

Were they not conducting their protest in a peaceful and non-violent manner? Were they irrationally behaving in a mode of disturbing the peace? They may have displayed some graphic images to instill their message but that is of legal standing dating back to early America when those whom protested in grievance paraded grotesque images in effigy throughout the streets of the land.

Lead me to the gallows if I am incorrect but I do believe that the reverend and his clan, in accordance with the United States Constitution, had, and still has, every legal right to peacefully protest and express their views in Jackson or anywhere else.

Were it not for the bravado of a few Jackson brown-shirted storm troopers trying to protect the image of their little hamlet rather than their duty of simply protecting the peace, this whole matter would be an innocent issue typically brushed under the cowboy carpet.

There have been all too many instances of late, both regional and national, where the constitution has been abused, trampled on or simply ignored. Is our nation going to abide by this proclaimed hallowed document of law or merely allow it to age into irrelevant obscurity within a museum as a useless piece of parchment?

About Jake Nichols

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