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Ranger Heritage

Adopt a Cabin Program

Ranger Patrol Cabins are an Essential Tradition

Shoshone Patrol CabinYellowstone's backcountry rangers use patrol cabins for shelter during arduous patrols to detect and prevent wildlife poaching, illegal snowmobile use,and a variety of other threats to park resources. Most of the patrol cabins they use are historic structures that are several decades old. Charming, yes, but many of these dwellings, which are so essential for ranger safety and efficiency, are literally falling apart.

The Yellowstone Park Foundation needs your help to rescue these historic cabins and support the work of the Park's dedicated rangers.

A Brief History

Before the creation of the National Park Service, the first protectors of Yellowstone National Park were U.S. Army soldiers. These soldiers, and then the early park rangers who followed, did whatever was required of them. They built fences, chased poachers, shoed horses, fought fires, provided aid and rescue to visitors in distress, and actively patrolled the outreaches of the Park.

Beginning in the 1890s, they also built cabins to provide themselves with shelter when they spent weeks -- and sometimes months -- at a time patrolling the Park's vast backcountry areas on skis, snowshoe, horseback, and on foot.

Cove CabinSince roughly 98% of Yellowstone is considered "wilderness" -- accessible only by foot, horseback, or boat -- rangers who patrol the vast backcountry still travel long distances each day without the benefit of motorized vehicles.

There are 36 patrol cabins, located throughout Yellowstone's 2.2 million acres, in desperate need of rehabilitation. Learn more about these historic cabins>>

A Special Opportunity

Now, as part of the Ranger Heritage Initiative, the Yellowstone Park Foundation is offering you a special opportunity to Adopt a Cabin. For every $10,000 in contributions received for this important program, the Foundation will fund the rehabilitation expenses for one backcountry cabin.

Donations of any size from Friends of Yellowstone will be greatly valued and appreciated. In addition, donors who fund one complete cabin adoption, for $10,000, will be recognized in a special log book that tells the story of the rehabilitation of the cabin and includes before-and-after photos. The log book will remain in the cabin; you will also receive a copy of the book chronicling the work.

Please Donate now to help restore an integral part of Yellowstone rangers' past, present, and future.

What Your Donation Will Fund

Let's take a look at the Outlet Cabin as an example. Outlet cabin is a quaint A-frame structure built 35 years ago on the shore of Shoshone Lake. It is occupied by backcountry rangers nearly full time from spring "ice-off" to the end of the summer season. Heated by a wood stove, it has a propane stove and oven for cooking. Outside, a solar cell on a pedestal is used to power radios. Unfortunately, this wooden structure is not currently adequate for withstanding Yellowstone's harsh, snowy winter.

Outlet cabin needs a lot of work which, thanks to a lead donation, will be rehabilitated during the summer of 2009. This work will include:

  • Wood roof will be replaced with metal roof
  • New front steps will be constructed
  • Windows and shutters will be replaced
  • Wood floors will be refinished
  • Wood preservative treatment will be applied
  • Metal skirting will be installed at cabin base

There are many other cabins in need of rehabilitation. You can help Yellowstone's hardworking and dedicated rangers have a warm, safe, and comfortable place to stay, while helping preserve a part of Yellowstone's rich history.

Please make a donation to Adopt a Cabin today. (Be sure to check the Ranger Heritage box, and use the Gift Comment box to indicate that your donation is to Adopt a Cabin.)

For more information on the Adopt a Cabin program, contact Nina Jaeger, Director of Major Gifts, at 406.586.6303 or

Read some interesting facts about a few of Yellowstone's historic cabins>>

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