The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is the largest, intact ecosystem in the contiguous United States, but it’s not a given it will remain that way.
EPI Students Learn About Yellowstone Wolves
It awes visitors and residents alike.
There is no other place where herds of wild bison roam free alongside elk, wolf packs, pronghorn antelope, and grizzly bears under the sweep of majestic mountains and an inspiring big sky. This stunning ecosystem is intact only because of the determination of citizens and scientists who have reintroduced, protected, and managed critical species and habitat. Yellowstone National Park (YNP) superintendent Dan Wenk said, “Everything that happens in and around Yellowstone is controversial,” including wildlife and land management. Only continued citizen engagement and conservation efforts from the next generation will allow Yellowstone to remain a stronghold for species that once roamed far and wide.
Alongside YNP and National Parks Conservation Association staff, EPI engages local Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming students, as well as visiting students from across the globe, in science that helps inform management decisions and service that helps improve wildlife habitat. Teens are empowered by the opportunity to gather data on species such as bison, mountain lion, moose, and bear. Throughout our courses, participants explore the complexities of land management and the process of collaborative decision making. They arrive as inquisitive youth and leave as empowered, inspired conservation leaders.
“There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.” – Theodore Roosevelt
On a 2016 EPI Yellowstone winter ecology course in Yellowstone National Park, 13-year-old Bailey from Gardiner, Montana, realized her personal potential for leadership, as well as her power as an individual to make an impact on the world around her. After spending five days snowshoeing, researching cougar and moose, and working alongside wildlife biologists, Bailey proved to herself “that if I set my mind to something, I can be a positive influence.” A lifelong resident of Gardiner, just minutes away from Yellowstone, Bailey furthermore gained a newfound appreciation for her surroundings and their need for conservation.
On visit to Yellowstone, Montana teens find wildlife is ‘pretty cool’
Story and Photos By BRETT FRENCH, originally published in The Billings Gazette, June 22, 2017
On visit to Yellowstone, Montana teens find wildlife is 'pretty cool'
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — On a sagebrush-covered hillside where bitterroot flowers were in full pink blush, Montana teenagers lounging and lunching lazily under a hot noon sun witnessed something totally wild.
“How many of you woke up this morning and thought you would see a pronghorn chase a badger?” asked Forrest Shafer, a 23-year-old Ecology Project International instructor.
Even veteran park wildlife biologist Rick Wallen had to admit the spectacle was &ldquo... Learn More