THEM ON US 6.8.16

By on June 7, 2016

Wildlife in Yellowstone: Humans

160608TOU-1JACKSON HOLE, WY – Bad behavior and poor decision-making continues at the nation’s first national park. Author Lee H. Whittlesey can forget adding a chapter or two to his 1995 and 2014 editions of Death in Yellowstone. By the time this summer season is over, he’ll have material for a whole ‘nother book.

After a bison abduction and a Canadian ballet across the Prismatic Springs officially opened the 2016 season of foolhardiness, Yellowstone officials are dealing with additional incidents involving accidents, injury, and close encounters of the furred kind.

Seconds after being warned by wildlife guide Jody Tibbitts, a woman was charged by a pissed off elk on May 29. She biffed it before the elk made contact, regained her feet, and scrambled back to her car. (

A 13-year-old boy was hospitalized at St. John’s Medical Center with burns after his father, who was carrying him, slipped and dumped the kid into Castle Geyser. Last week, 62-year-old Australian man was sent soaring after venturing within three feet of a bison.

Earlier, on May 15, a 16-year-old Taiwanese teen was gored by a bison while posing with the buffalo. Another visitor was also spotted and photographed by a Billing’s Gazette reporter approaching dangerously close to a black bear and her cubs last week.

160608TOU-2Assault on pine tree

Keeping pace with the lunacy witnessed recently in Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park reported they cited a Utah man for shooting a tree. Twice.

The unnamed man was charged with illegal discharge of a firearm and destruction of public property in the park after he explained he was making noise to scare away bears. The man admitted later he did not see any bears but was shooting at a tree. He also thought he was in the national forest.

Yellen gellin’ in JH

160608TOU-3Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will make the scene this August in Jackson Hole for the annual monetary policy symposium. Yellen skipped the policy-setting event last summer but plans to attend this year and is expected to make the keynote address on Friday, August 26.

Several financial media outlets spread the word early this week.

JH unreal real estate

It’s hardly news to even the most casual of real estate observers but the Jackson Hole market has heated to a blistering level.

“It’s still a seller’s market in celebrity-studded Jackson Hole, Wyo.,” began a Forbes feature on the valley’s booming seller’s market.

160608TOU-4“The truth is, inventory is at historic lows and that’s driving prices up,” Tayson Rockefeller, a broker with Teton Valley Realty, told Forbes. “That’s good for sellers but bad for home buyers because the low inventory is making it very hard for even wealthy buyers to find available property.”

Opposing park

The Mother Nature Network ran an interesting story on national parks titled: “Why is it so hard to create a national park?”

Jaymi Heimbuch’s well-researched piece posted on June 3 is topical considering 58 national parks in the U.S. are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the NPS.

Heimbuch quoted George Wuerthner’s The Conservation Land Trust where he wrote, “What do the Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument all have in common? Besides their common designation as national parks and monuments, all these conservation areas were initially opposed by local people.”

160608TOU-5“When President Franklin Roosevelt designated 210,000 acres of the picturesque range as a national monument in 1943, locals in Wyoming worried that Jackson would become a ghost town. Today, it’s still a thriving town and a destination for outdoorsy types,” Wuerthner added. PJH

About Jake Nichols

You must be logged in to post a comment Login