Making a Measurable Difference in 2013

Your Dollars at Work Inside Yellowstone

Thanks to the more than 16,000 individuals, corporations and foundations that donate to Yellowstone Park Foundation each year, our board was able to approve $600,000 in funding for 12 projects in 2013 that will preserve, protect and enhance the Park for years to come.

In measuring the profound impact of these programs, perhaps their value is most appreciated by envisioning their absence. What if funding for these programs did not exist?

A ranger sprays a boat off to prevent AIS.For instance, in the case of aquatic invasive species (AIS), we know two things for certain: One, AIS are spreading through the nation’s waterways and national parks. And two, in some instances AIS have devastated fishing, water recreation activities, and ecosystems. With YPF funding, we can continue efforts to prevent AIS from entering Yellowstone’s waters by hiring seasonal staff to educate, inspect and clean boats and angling gear.

What about the documentation and study of an archeological treasure inside Yellowstone where little is known of the area’s prehistory? Without funding for the Snake River Archeology Project, nearly 12,000 years of use by native peoples would remain a story untold.

Or what if there were no funding for the smaller, lesser-considered wildlife that rely on the health of Yellowstone’s ecosystem?A researcher works with a little brown bat

In the case of the little brown bat, as of January 2012 as many as 6.7 million bats have died in the U.S. as a result of the spreading White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), presenting a threat for existing species. Rather than waiting for WNS to arrive in Yellowstone and reacting, YPF funding enables biologists to collaborate with university experts and continue gathering data to protect the 10 species of bats that live there and understand their benefit to the Park ecosystem.

And while we’ve been able to monitor bald eagle, peregrine falcons and osprey through past funding of the Yellowstone Raptor Initiative, what about the 20 other Yellowstone raptor species with few detailed studies to inform Park managers?

A researcher braves a cliff face to collect data from a nest

There is little data on owls for example, and in fact a full inventory of which birds of prey use the Park has never been conducted. Such efforts require continued funding commitment for field research to be successful. Funding this multi-year study means that raptors including golden eagles, prairie falcons and Swainson’s hawks, all identified as species of concern across the region, will receive the essential conservation attention they need.

One thing is certain: Yellowstone wouldn't be the place it is today without these programs.


 

2013 Project Grants to Yellowstone:

Prevent Aquatic Invasive Species Program, $40,000

Scientific Research on Brown Bats, $30,000

Yellowstone Raptor Initiative, $85,000

Scientists Symposium for Old Faithful, $35,000

Wildlife and Visitor Safety Program, $75,000

Removal of Illegal Trails in the Bechler Region, $40,000

Snake River Archeology Project, $40,000

Development of a Distance Learning Studio, $30,000

Solar Energy Upgrades at Lamar Ranch, $45,000

Remote Sensors for Boundary Enforcement, $30,000

Wildlife Health Program $50,000

Slough Creek Native Trout Project, $100,000


Note: These projects complement several ongoing multi-year projects that YPF supports including the Native Fish Conservation Program, the Yellowstone Wolf Project, Bear Boxes for campgrounds, several youth education programs, and more.

 

Photos from top to bottom: A ranger gives a boat a thorough cleaning as part of the inspection process for keeping AIS out of Yellowstone's waters; a research assistant gathers data on a netted bat; a biologist braves great heights to collect information from a raptor's nest. All photos courtesy YPFand YNP staff.

 

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