Going into this episode of Fresh Air, I thought it was going to be about tourists doing stupid and dangerous things like taking selfies with dangerous wildlife, stowing bison calves in their cars, and walking too close to geysers, as all of these are headlines which have made the news in recent months.
Instead, I learned about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the migration of elk in and out of the ecosystem, and dangers presented to it by nature-lovers building on private lands and eventually cutting off these necessary migration paths. What was also interesting is the progress that the park has made since the 60’s and 70’s to improve the safety of visitors to the park and the wildlife.
I visited Yellowstone about twenty years ago, and have fond memories of riding my bike through the park with my Dad. We stayed in an RV during our visit, and I vividly remember watching a herd of bison as they passed through the campground and our campsite. I hope to return some day, but I also hope the park will be able to gauge the dangers that humans present to the park, and take any precautions needed to preserve this special place.