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Project CatalogA comprehensive guide to Yellowstone’s priority projects in need of your support

YPF's Projects Guide Book 2014-2015


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Cultural Treasures

Cultural Treasures

The Yellowstone Park Foundation supports projects that protect, preserve, research, or share information about Yellowstone’s human past and cultural resources.

 

Yellowstone Archive Fund

Yellowstone Archive Fund
Photo Credit: NPS

The Yellowstone Park Foundation established the $500,000 Yellowstone Archive Fund Initiative to help the Park preserve its several-million-piece museum collection housed in the Yellowstone Heritage & Research Center (HRC). These objects and documents — such as original journals, one-of-a-kind maps, prehistoric tools, biological specimens, and early photographs — portray the rich area history. Park staff use the Archive Fund to catalog and re-house items so that eventually all pieces are properly conserved and more publicly accessible. They are also currently using Archive Fund dollars to:

  • Provide free tours of the Heritage & Research Center for Park visitors.
  • Transcribe valuable oral histories.
  • Create special HRC lobby exhibits.

Learn more about the Yellowstone Archive Fund

2013 Archive Fund Summary Report

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Conserving Yellowstone's Historic Map Collection

Conserving Yellowstone's Historic Map Collection
Photo Credit: NPS

The 6,000 maps, line drawings and oversized documents comprising Yellowstone's historic map collection add dimension to the story of the Park. They detail location of roads and buildings during the Army era, geothermal activity during the 1920s and 1930s, and wildlife distribution in the 1950s and 1960s. In 2004 and 2005, a federal grant provided funds for around 4,000 of the maps to be flattened, re-housed in archival materials, cataloged and digitized. The remainder of the collection, however, is deteriorating due to age and inaccessible to researchers because it hasn’t been processed nor digitized. Funding from YPF is completing the cataloging, conservation and digitization of these fragile and important pieces.

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Oral History Collection: Wolf Reintroduction

Oral History Collection: Wolf Reintroduction
Photo Credit: Matt Ludin

In 1995, gray wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone, the culmination of a multi-year effort requiring careful integration of biological, political, economic and social interests. Seventeen years after the return of the wolf, many of the people involved are retired or nearing retirement. Yellowstone's Oral History program, funded by the Yellowstone Park Foundation, will bring together key individuals in the reintroduction effort, including public officials, wildlife biologists, wolf advocates, park staff, and non-profit partner representatives. These individuals will reunite once again in the Park to contribute perspectives to be recorded and transcribed for addition to the Yellowstone Archive.

Learn more about the history of wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone

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Conservation of Old Faithful Store

Conservation of Old Faithful Store
Photo Credit: NPS

Charles A. Hamilton was a larger-than-life part of Yellowstone's colorful history. In 1905, he was a purchasing agent with the Yellowstone Park Association, and worked his way up through various concessioner jobs. In 1915, he purchased the Klamer Store, built in 1897 at Old Faithful, and the store was re-named the Old Faithful Lower Hamilton Store. Charles lived in a six-room apartment on the upper floor; of that apartment, only his office remains. Charles wrote two checks to purchase the store and these, along with hundreds of other cancelled checks totaling $1,839,105 paper the walls of his office, known as the "Million Dollar Room." This project will complete documentation and conservation of the interior of Charles’s eccentric office.

Read more about the Old Faithful Historic District

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Artist Point Restoration

Artist Point Restoration
Photo Credit: Matt Ludin

Artist Point is one of Yellowstone's most famous vistas: Its promontory juts above the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River with unobstructed views of the Lower Falls. This panorama inspired19th century landscape artist Thomas Moran, who painted images that convinced lawmakers to establish Yellowstone as the world's first national park in 1872. The overlook was developed to provide Park visitors with the same opportunity for inspiration, however it wasn’t designed to accommodate the volume of people that now uses the parking areas, trails, and overlooks. These crowds, combined with erosion, led to safety hazards. The Yellowstone Park Foundation raised $950,000 in private donations for the rehabilitation of Artist Point's historic elements, accessibility, and visitor safety and enjoyment.

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Salvage 9,000-Year-Old Campsite

Salvage 9,000-Year-Old Campsite
Photo Credit: NPS

In July 2000, artifacts from an ancient civilization were found at an eroding bank on the shore of Yellowstone Lake. From these clues, Park archeologists determined that Paleo-Indians of the Cody Complex camped on the lakeshore 9,300 years ago. Cody Complex sites are rare in western North America, and this was the first identified in Yellowstone. Unfortunately, this historic location called the Osprey Beach site, was being destroyed by wind and waves. Protection of artifacts from the Osprey Beach site was the highest archeological priority in Yellowstone. The Yellowstone Park Foundation raised funds to excavate and analyze the artifacts. The project has resulted in insights into the daily lives of the region’s earliest inhabitants.