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Yellowstone National Park: A Journey of Native History and Ecological Treasures

Program Number: 20595RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/4/2013 - 9/13/2013;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: Yellowstone, Montana
Price starting at: $1,457.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks; Native American Studies; History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 27; 9 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners    

The beauty of its land and diversity of its wildlife make Yellowstone National Park a true jewel of America’s national park system. Discover the beauty of Yellowstone’s ecosystem as you join a naturalist for explorations of habitats and steaming geyser basins and learn how Yellowstone has played a key role in the culture and history of our Native people through the stories and songs of Blackfeet troubadour Jack Gladstone. Enjoy walking illustrations as an honored Native voice brings Yellowstone to life through American Indian mythology and history.




Highlights

• Thrill in the beauty of Yellowstone’s pristine rivers, waterfalls and beautiful vistas, learn the basics of wildlife viewing, and enjoy a float along the Yellowstone River.
• At the Yellowstone National Park Heritage and Research Center, gain insight into exploration and survey parties, the park’s military years, current issues and evolving management philosophy.
• Join award-winning Blackfeet story-smith Jack Gladstone as he blends enlightening visual presentation and well-crafted song in a live performance.



Activity Particulars

Floating eight miles on Yellowstone’s River Class 2 and 3 whitewater. Walking and hiking 2-5 miles a day over varied terrain. Elevations up to 7,700 feet.



This 10-day program is a combination of two Yellowstone adventures: A Native Interpretation of Yellowstone from a Blackfeet Troubadour (20801) and Yellowstone the Great Caldera (13845), which may also be taken individually.



Itinerary Summary

Modest motel overlooking the mighty Yellowstone River.



Coordinated by University of Montana Western.




Yellowstone National Park (Montana)

The world's first national park, established in 1872, is famous for its thermal features, plentiful flora and fauna, as well as its considerable human history, from early explorers to the historic park lodges. Although the park itself is in Wyoming, three of the entrances are in Montana.



Meals and Lodgings
   Yellowstone River Motel
  Gardiner, MT 10 nights
 Yellowstone River Motel
Type: Motel
  Description: Lodgings are located on Gardiner's main street, Park Street, on Yellowstone's northern boundary. Yellowstone's northwest entrance at Roosevelt Arch is three blocks from motel. The Gardiner entrance was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt. Remember, you are experiencing the atmosphere of a small, rural community and meal options are naturally limited. Meals served at local restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that the single dietary requirement or preference that can be accommodated at this site is vegetarian - no meat. You may wish to bring supplementary items. Questions? Call UM-Western Road Scholar (406) 683-7302.
  Contact info: 14 Park Street
Gardiner, MT 59030 USA
phone: 888-797-4837
web: www.yellowstonerivermotel.com
  Room amenities: In-room coffee, refrigerator, microwave, satellite TV, phone, wireless internet.
  Facility amenities: Quiet, though one block from downtown. Grassy patio overlooks the mighty Yellowstone River. Within walking distance of shopping, ice cream, deli, lattes. Hair dryers, iron/ironing board available in office.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Varies. Seasonal rates; call for information.
  Check in time: 4:30 PM
  Additional nights after: Varies. Seasonal rates; call for information.
  Check out time: 9:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registration at motel between 4 and 5 p.m. You will be staying at Yellowstone River Motel that night.
  End of Program:
Program concludes after 11 a.m. grab and go brunch. You will be staying at Yellowstone River Motel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Please bring a Golden Age, Senior or National Parks pass if you have one.
  Parking availability:
Free
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Gardiner, MT
  Nearest city or town:  Livingston, MT is 53 miles north.
  Nearest highway: State HWY 89.
  Nearest airport:  Gallatin Field in Bozeman, MT, 89 miles
  From End of Program
  Location: Gardiner, MT
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Bozeman, MT

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Greater Valley Taxi
phone: 406-388-7938
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Group rate is approximately $68.00; call for current rate.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Two hours. 

 

Distance:

 

89 miles.

   

Reservations must be made at least three days in advance; call (406) 388-7938 for rates and reservations. You may be asked to leave a message. Group shuttle departs airport at 1:30 pm. In order to take advantage of the group shuttle rate, your flight must arrive before 1 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 4 and depart after 1:30 pm on Friday, Sept. 13. Arriving in Bozeman a day early or staying an extra day may be more economical than booking individual transportation.

 

Bozeman, MT

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Greater Valley Taxi
phone: 406-388-7938
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Group rate is approximately $68; call for current rate.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Two hours. 

 

Distance:

 

89 miles.

   

Return shuttle must be arranged at least three days in advance; call (406) 388-7938. Group shuttle departs site at 11:30 am. Outside of the above scheduled times, individual transportation (not at group rate) can be reserved through Greater Valley Taxi (406) 388-7938 or Karst Stage (406) 556-3540 (72 hours notice required). Car rental and drop-off are available at the Bozeman airport; drop-off is not available in Gardiner or Yellowstone National Park.

 
Driving Directions
  Bozeman, MT Travel east on I-90 for 26 miles to Livingston; turn south here onto US HWY 89 and travel south 53 miles to Gardiner. Proceed into town, cross the Yellowstone River bridge and straight ahead to Park Street. Turn left; Yellowstone River Motel is one block down at end of street on left.
  From the East (Cody, WY) Call (307) 344-2117 for road conditions, closures, etc. in Yellowstone. Travel east 80 miles on HWYs 20 and 14/16 past Fishing Bridge area to junction. Turn north here to Canyon (16 miles). Travel 12 miles west from Canyon to Norris Junction. Travel north 21 miles to Mammoth. Continue north five miles to Gardiner. Drive under Roosevelt Arch onto Park Street. Proceed to end of Park Street; Yellowstone River Motel is on left side of street. (Note, travel in the Park is slow as speed limit averages 15-40 miles per hour.)
  From the North (Livingston, MT) Exit I-19 onto State HWY 89. Drive south 53 miles to Gardiner. Proceed into town, cross the Yellowstone River bridge and straight ahead to Park Street. Turn left; Yellowstone River Motel is one block down at end of street on left. .
  Jackson, WY Travel north 86 miles on HWY 89/287 (slow miles as most of travel is through two national parks with speed limit averaging from 15-40 miles per hour) to West Thumb, then west and north 33 miles to Madison Junction. Drive east then north 14 miles to Norris Junction; carry on northward 21 miles to Mammoth; bear north five more miles to Yellowstone's northwest entrance at Gardiner. Drive under Roosevelt Arch onto Park Street; Proceed to end of Park Street; Yellowstone River Motel is on left side of street.
Elevation Note: Site elevation 5,260'. Walks and activities take place at elevations ranging from 5,800' to 9,000'

Equipment Requirements: Bring a durable WATER BOTTLE and fanny or day pack, sturdy hiking shoes or boots, . Bring your walking stick if you use one.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome to Gardiner, northwest gateway community to Yellowstone National Park. Welcome dinner, orientation and introductions.
(Wednesday, September 4)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in between 4 and 5 pm
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner at nearby restaurant.
 Evening: Orientation and Introductions.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Introduction of the scientific aspects of Yellowstone's ecosystems and geology. Float a portion of the Yellowstone River.
(Thursday, September 5)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in classroom space
 Morning: Morning presentation introduces the greater Yellowstone area. Discuss the scientific aspects of its geology, diverse wildlife and the grand ecosystem that supports these populations.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant
 Afternoon: Float a portion of Yellowstone River's class 1-3 rapids while guides and naturalist discuss riparian habitat; identify birds including waterfowl, ospreys and shore birds; hear human history of the area.
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant
 Evening: An optional naturalist-led acclimation walk near lodgings offers interpretation of the area and provides valuable opportunity to continue to acclimate to Gardiner's elevation (5,260'). At high altitudes you are more susceptible to dehydration and altitude sickness. Taking the time to acclimate, exercising moderately, carrying a water bottle with you and drinking plenty of water is of utmost importance to avoid these sometimes dangerous problems.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Encounter a Native American perspective of Yellowstone's land and wildlife through the stories and songs of Blackfeet Troubadour.
(Friday, September 6)

Note: Walk 3 to 5 miles during field day exploration at altitudes ranging from 5,800 to 9,000'.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at local restaurant
 Morning: Begin to encounter the trails of Yellowstone National Park and, in the words of your Blackfeet guide, "Go where no Road Scholar has gone before".
 Lunch: Sack lunch in the field.
 Afternoon: Honored as a modern day warrior and bridge builder, Jack Gladstone will bring his revered tribal voice as he presents a Native American interpretation through walking illustration of stories and songs. This Blackfeet Troubadour will meld the natural history of Yellowstone with the Native interpretation as the walkabout in the park continues.
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant
 Evening: Free evening
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Walking illustrations will continue as honored native voice and award winning artist brings Yellowstone to life through American Indian mythology and history, culminating with a live evening concert.
(Saturday, September 7)

Note: Walk 3 to 5 miles during field day exploration at altitudes ranging from 5,800 to 9,000'.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at local restaurant
 Morning: Jack Gladstone will guide the participants across the cultural bridge revealing the positive influence of the Native perspective. Hiking in the park continues taking participants along a spiritual, musical and mythological journey on trails of Yellowstone.
 Lunch: Sack lunch in the field
 Afternoon: Mid afternoon return to lodgings for down time
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant
 Evening: The program will culminate in a final concert where recent winner of the Native American Music Award, Jack Gladstone will blend an enlightening narrative with his well crafted songs using a visual presentation as his backdrop. The concert will include selections from some of his critically acclaimed CDs produced in a career spanning three decades.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Independent departures after breakfast. Stay overs will have down time until 4 pm registration for linked program.
(Sunday, September 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at local restaurant
 Morning: Independent departures for those leaving. Those staying for the linked program will keep their rooms and have a free day until 4 PM registration for the next program.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant provided.
 Afternoon: Pick up materials for the linked program "Yellowstone: The Great Caldera" at 4 pm in the motel lobby.
 Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant
 Evening: Orientation, Introductions for the linked program "Yellowstone: The Great Caldera" and a look at the week ahead. Be aware that field trip destinations may vary due to instructor's preference. Itineraries may change at the last minute due to weather or road conditions, area closures due to thermal activity, trail closures due to grizzly bear, wolf, bison or other wildlife activity. Remember, the Park is their home! Field days in Yellowstone with your naturalist and on board/on walk interpretation will be an eye opener. Learn about the ecosystem including its wildlife, predator/prey interaction, geology, human history. Find out about bears and wolves, elk and bison. The travel, discovery and interpretation weave together the grand tapestry that is Yellowstone. Here's the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Park - the opportunity to step away from the fast pace of everyday life and seize the moment - a chance to be here now. Enjoy these golden days to explore, learn about and appreciate all that Yellowstone has to offer.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Morning presentation introduces Yellowstone's ecosystems then into the park for history and thermal features.
(Monday, September 9)

Note: Walk two miles on each of four field days; several moderate walks per day on established trails, asphalt paths, boardwalks and stairs at elevations ranging from 5,260' to 9,000'.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant
 Morning: Morning presentation lays the foundation with an overview of Yellowstone National Park. Midmorning field trip departure. Today's destinations may target the Mammoth and Norris areas. A visit to the Mammoth area includes the Terraces, Albright Visitor Center and Fort Yellowstone. The step-like platforms of the Terraces are formed by travertine or calcium carbonate. This feature is in a state of constant change as hot water percolates up through ancient limestone deposits, then out across the surface forming rounded, delicate terraces. Exploration will include walking downhill on asphalt paths, boardwalks and up to several hundred stair steps. Visit the Albright Visitor Center and Museum, built by the US cavalry during "Fort Yellowstone" times, which includes history-themed exhibits-Native Americans, mountain men, early exploration, Army days and early National Park Service. Also included: predator-prey themed exhibit, Moran Gallery (reproductions of Thomas Moran watercolors) and the Jackson Gallery (original William Henry Jackson photographs and 1871 Hayden Survey photographs).
 Lunch: Sack Lunches in the park
 Afternoon: The Fort Yellowstone/Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District "began" in 1872 when Yellowstone National Park was established and immediately came under threat of exploitation by poachers, souvenir hunters and developers. Civilian superintendents suffered from inexperience, lack of funds and manpower. After fourteen years, the US Army was called on for help and the Cavalry was sent in to protect Yellowstone's resources and visitors. The year was 1886. After troops suffered through five harsh winters in a temporary camp and the realization dawned that no end was in sight, a guard house was built in 1891 to support the Cavalry's mission of protection and management. Clapboard buildings were built that same year with more added in 1897. 1909 saw stone buildings built as the fort's capacity grew to 400 men/four troops. The National park Service was established in 1916 and the Cavalry gave control of Yellowstone back to the civilians; their duty concluded completely in 1918. Fort Yellowstone became the administrative center for the Park. Exploration may include Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone's oldest, hottest and most active thermal area. Seismic activity and water fluctuations provide frequent disturbances among its thermal features. Here is Steamboat Geyser, the tallest geyser in the world with eruptions from 300' to 400'. Evidence shows that thermal features have existed in the basin for the last 115,000 years. A scientific drill hole at Norris registered the highest temperature ever recorded in Yellowstone at 459 degrees F. Norris Geyser Basin offers Porcelain Basin, Back Basin and One hundred Springs Plain. Walk a portion of either the Porcelain or Back Basin Trail.
 Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant
 Evening: Natural History of Yellowstone. *Natural history topics include, but are not limited to, geology, human history, effects of fire, predator/prey relationships, birds, current issues, wolf reintroduction, etc.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: The Yellowstone Archive and a field day in the Park
(Tuesday, September 10)

Note: Today's docent-led tour at the Yellowstone National Park Heritage and Research Center includes periods of extended standing in addition to field trip walks.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant.
 Morning: Morning presentation highlights an aspect of Yellowstone's natural history. Visit the Yellowstone National Park Heritage and Research Center which houses the Yellowstone Archive, a 5.3 million-item collection, the only national park collection affiliated with the National Archives. Under one roof are contained the sumptuous gatherings of 130 years of Yellowstone's history. Tour includes periods of extended standing.
 Lunch: Lunch at nearby restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field exploration to Yellowstone's northern range, a wide-open haven for wildlife. Enjoy expanses of open space and expect to see bison, elk, waterfowl, coyotes and more. Consider a magnificent ecosystem and how all its aspects intersect to create a tapestry of life not to be found anywhere else in the nation. Consider wildlife populations, wolf reintroduction, carrying capacity, predator/prey dynamics and more. Review the optics and ethics of wildlife viewing and bring binoculars to put your skills to work.
 Dinner: Picnic suppers in the park.
 Evening: Evening return takes advantage of the crepuscular hour.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Field day in Yellowstone National Park
(Wednesday, September 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant
 Morning: A day to experience the Great Caldera’s underground plumbing system begins with a journey via Gibbon River, its graceful falls cascading over the caldera rim then crystal clear Firehole River which drains geyser basin country. Find out about cataclysmic volcanic eruptions that laid the foundation for the world’s most diverse and intact collection of geysers, hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles. Yellowstone National Park’s 10,000 thermal features – hot springs, mudpots and fumaroles - and over 300 geysers are a reminder of the area’s recent volcanic past. First stop is the Fountain Paint Pot area in Lower Geyser Basin, which, at about 18 square miles, is the largest geyser basin in Yellowstone. Enjoy the sounds,smell and sight of Fountain Paint Pot, named for the yellows, browns and reds of the “pots.” Your boardwalk discovery here offers beauty, grand vistas and geysers including Clepsedra and Fountain, hot springs like Silex Spring and Celestine Pool and fumaroles or steam vents such as Sizzler.
 Lunch: Sack lunches in the Park.
 Afternoon: The destination this afternoon is Old Faithful. If time allows, an eye popping investigation will continue at Midway Geyser Basin, named Hells Half Acre by Rudyard Kipling who visited Yellowstone in 1889. Discover two of the largest hot springs in the world. At 111 feet deep, Grand Prismatic Spring is Yellowstone's deepest hot spring and, at 200 feet wide, the largest in North America. Located nearby on this fabulous boardwalk venture is a dormant geyser, Excelsior Geyser, now considered a productive hot spring, discharging 4050 gallons of boiling water per minute into the Firehole River. On to Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin. The hot water beneath the surface here is over 400 degrees F; it cools to around 200 degrees F as it surges from the geysers. Old Faithful's eruption discharges about 8,500 gallons of hot water as it erupts to heights between 100 and 180 feet every 80 minutes or so. Enjoy Old Faithful then walk a portion of Geyser Hill's meandering boardwalk to view geysers and hot springs including Giantess, Lioness and Grotto. Enjoy the history and parkitecture of the legendary Old Faithful Inn, designed by Robert Reamer and built of local stone and logs during the winter of 1903-04. This treasure is now a National Historic Landmark and one of the few remaining log hotels in the country. Moderate walking, up to two miles per day on asphalt paths, stairs and boardwalks; some hilly areas. Those choosing not to walk may wait on the bus or at the trailheads.
 Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant.
 Evening: Free evening to enjoy the grassy, back patio perched high above the mighty Yellowstone River that intersects the town. Often times, a patient search with binoculars reveals elk, deer, geese, sometimes rabbit across the river, sometimes beaver in the river. Take time to stroll downtown and enjoy the flavor of a small, western Montana gateway community.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Field day in Yellowstone National Park
(Thursday, September 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant.
 Morning: Appreciate interpreted walks on moderate terrain - on asphalt paths and stairs - at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone area. A walk along the river here, depending on time of year, presents the opportunity to see water ouzel, waterfowl and osprey. Consider the Canyon's geologic story, of ice and fire, glaciers and eruptions. Admire its beautifully tinted canyon walls and experience the roar of 109' Upper Falls and the classically spectacular 308' plunge of waters over Lower Falls. The canyon is 20 miles long, 800' to 1,200' deep and 1,500' to 4,000' wide. Time at the new Canyon Visitor Education Center further reveals Yellowstone's violent geologic past
 Lunch: Sack lunches in the Park.
 Afternoon: Travel, with interpretation and walks, continues up the Yellowstone River above the falls to the vast Hayden Valley. The Hayden, a former lake bed, is now a shrub and grasslands habitat that supports a myriad of grazing critters from small rodents to large ungulates. And of course, scavengers and predators. Keep watch; you may spot bison, coyote, elk, raven, grizzly bear and birds of prey. Exploration may trace the river to where it flows from Yellowstone Lake near present day Fishing Bridge. Yellowstone Lake, at 7,733’, is North America’s largest high elevation lake at 20 miles long, 14 miles wide and more than 390 feet deep at its deepest point. The lake’s western portion lies within the Yellowstone caldera; recent discoveries reveal significant volcanic activity taking place beneath its surface. View stately Lake Hotel - the "Grand Lady of the Lake" – which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, its centennial year. Architect Robert Reamer engineered its renovation in 1903, adding false balconies, ionic columns and extending the roof.
 Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant.
 Evening: Evening presentation is "Natural History of Yellowstone."
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: The denouement. Final presentation and invaluable review wrap up your Yellowstone discovery
(Friday, September 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant.
 Morning: Your instructor/naturalist recaps the learning adventure, summarizing your recently gained knowledge and puts things in perspective. The parts are greater than the whole. You've come full circle. Group photo; bring your camera. Goodbyes and check-out.
 Brunch: 11 a.m. grab and go brunch.
 Afternoon: Airport shuttle departs at 11:30 AM.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Brunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Gardiner, MT Hiking
One trailhead 1/2 mile from lodgings; another 3/4 mile from lodgings.
  Horseback Riding
Trailrides provided by Rendezvous Outfitters in Gardiner, MT (406) 848-7967.
  Rafting
Scenic float or whitewater rafting on Yellowstone River. For additional information, visit www.yellowstoneraft.com
  Xanterra Parks and Resorts
Xanterra Parks and Resorts is Yellowstone's principal concessioner and includes operations of park's lodging facilities, some campgrounds, restaurants, gift shops, interpretive tours, etc. For additional information, visit www.TravelYellowstone.com
  Yellowstone Association
Founded in 1933 to assist with educational, historical and scientific programs that would benefit Yellowstone National Park and its visitors. Operates book sale outlets in park visitor centers which supports expanded naturalist training and programs, finances publication of trail guides, books and pamphlets about the Park, helps with funding for museum exhibits and research equipment. The Yellowstone Association Institute sponsors outdoor courses for all age groups, some of which are especially designed for women, families and children. The Institute's purpose is to explore, understand and appreciate Yellowstone. For additional information, visit www.yellowstoneassociation.org
  Yellowstone National Park
Official website for Yellowstone National Park. Information, planning a visit, history, etc. For additional information, visit www.nps.gov/yell/home.htm
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Restoring a Presence: American Indians and Yellowstone National Park


Author: Peter Nabokov and Lawrence Loendorf


Description: This first comprehensive account of Indians in and around Yellowstone corrects more than a century of ignorance. Detailed here is Yellowstone's native peoples and their story of a long engagement with a remarkable landscape.



Searching for Yellowstone: Ecology and Wonder in the Last Wilderness


Author: Paul Schullery


Description: Eloquent, elegant, truthful and practical - an environmental history of America's best idea, Yellowstone.



Roadside Geology of Yellowstone Country


Author: William Fritz & Robert Thomas


Description: Updated, classic roadside geology book for the Yellowstone Region explains current geological theories.



Decade of the Wolf, revised and updated edition: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone


Author: Douglas W. Smith and Gary Ferguson


Description: Research and storytelling meld to document wolf recovery in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Wolf biologist, Smith, and nature writer, Ferguson, provide an inside look at the Yellowstone Wolf Recovery Project ten years after the controversial decision was made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to reintroduce wolves into the park. Smith, wolf project leader who has worked with the Yellowstone Wolf Project since its inception, has studied wolves for 25 years. Ferguson, whose writing largely arises from intimate experiences, followed through the seasons, the first 14 wolves released into Yellowstone National Park. Their collaboration offers hard facts and 'impressionistic portraits of individual wolves that reveal their epic lives full of struggle and conquest.' Here is the history of the return of the top predator to Yellowstone.



Mountain Spirit: The Sheep Eater Indians of Yellowstone


Author: Lawrence Loendorf and Nancy Medaris Stone


Description: Drawing on the results of ongoing archaeological excavations and extensive ethnographic work among descendant native peoples, the authors discuss the many Indian groups, in particular the Tukudika Shoshone, who visited or lived in the Yellowstone area in prehistoric and historic times. The Tukudika or Sheep Eaters made skillful use of their environment and maintained an abundant way of life closely related to their primary source of protein, the mountain sheep of high-altitude Yellowstone.



To Save the Wild Bison: Life on the Edge in Yellowstone


Author: Mary Ann Franke


Description: The author brings clarity and revelation to one of Yellowstone's most complex struggles by tracing the history of bison and humans into the 19th century and further into the national parks era. Here's discussion of bison management and park policy - the battle over brucellosis, snowmobiles and groomed winter roads, desires of Native Americans, bison and predators.



National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Western Region


Author: Richard Spellenberg


Description: This revised edition presents more than 940 full-color images showing western North American wildflowers in their natural habitats. The guide sports a waterproof, washable cover meant to be thrown into a pack and has a checklist/lifelist for those who like to keep track of identifications. The book is a good learning tool as its entries are color and shape sorted so that one may appreciate floral characteristics other than color. The identifier may compare flowers grown in the west to those grown in other areas of the country.



Letters from Yellowstone


Author: Diane Smith


Description: Through correspondence - detailed letters and telegrams - follow an 1898 scientific expedition whose purpose is to collect flora unique to Yellowstone National Park. Learn of the park's early history, trials of pioneer scientists and the engrossing and often funny story of Cornell medical student and amateur botanist, Alexandria Bartram, who emerges as a brave leader and serious scientist. Delightful fiction.



Old Faithful Inn: Crown Jewel of National Park Lodges


Author: Karen Reinhart and Jeff Henry


Description: Thoroughly researched and complete history of Old Faithful Inn, complete with stunning photography.



To Save the Wild Bison: Life on the Edge in Yellowstone


Author: Mary Ann Franke


Description: The author brings clarity and revelation to one of Yellowstone's most complex struggles by tracing the history of bison and humans into the 19th century and further into the national parks era. Here's discussion of bison management and park policy - the battle over brucellosis, snowmobiles and groomed winter roads, desires of Native Americans, bison and predators.



The Sibley Guide to Birds


Author: David Allen Sibley


Description: Sibley, a talented painter, offers this wonderful, data-packed color guide with range maps and detailed descriptions of songs and calls. This book is perfect for field trips with short walks and may be too heavy for some to take to the field in which case it can await back in the car.





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