Wednesday, November 27, 2019

“History of hiking” is now 50% off!

Beginning today, and continuing through Christmas, the paperback version of my book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, is available at 50% off the regular price. Hiking enthusiasts can purchase the book on Amazon right now for only $9.95 (regular price is $18.95).

Additionally, the Kindle e-book version of my book will be sold for just $4.99 beginning today, and will continue through Black Friday and Cyber Weekend. This special price will be offered for one week only, from November 27th through December 3rd.

Ramble On: A History of Hiking is an outstanding gift idea for anyone who loves hiking, and wishes to learn more about the rich and amazing history of one of the world’s top pastimes.

For more information on the book, and to purchase, please click here.

Thank you very much!

Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Monday, November 25, 2019

Is June a good time to visit Glacier National Park?

Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but June is really a great time to visit Glacier National Park! Obviously July and August are by far the most popular months for visiting the park; however, if you wish to avoid the crowds, you may want to check-out the month of June. Sure, the Going-to-the-Sun Road likely won't be open all the way to Logan Pass until later in the month, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of things to do. In fact, all of the services outside of the park, as well as almost all of the concessioners within the park, will already be open.

So why visit in June? For one, June is an absolutely great time for observing wildflowers. Whitewater rafting is also at its best during this time period. Other popular activities include horseback riding, fly fishing, and as a result of far fewer motorists on park roads, June is also a great time for cycling. And there's nothing like taking a cruise on one of Glacier's lakes to soak in the splendid beauty of the snow-capped mountains. For more information on many of these activities and others, please visit our Thing To Do page.

Although the nights are still relatively cool, temperatures usually reach into the 70s during the day, which makes for nearly perfect hiking conditions. While trails in the higher elevations will still be closed due to snow, there are still a ton of great hiking opportunities around the park. Here are just a couple of suggestions (many of which are normally part of the June ranger-led hikes program - which, by the way, are free):

West Glacier / Lake McDonald Area:

* Avalanche Lake

* Apgar Lookout

* Johns Lake Loop

* Rocky Point Nature Trail

* Upper McDonald Creek Trail

St. Mary Area:

* Beaver Pond Loop

* St. Mary Area Waterfalls Hike

* Sun Point Nature Trail

* Virginia Falls

Many Glacier Area:

* Apikuni Falls

* Belly River Ranger Station

* Grinnell Lake

* Lake Josephine Loop

* Redrock Falls

* Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail

Two Medicine Area:

* Aster Park Overlook

* Rockwell Falls

* Running Eagle Falls

And in case you need one more reason to visit in June: rates on accommodations are much lower when compared to peak season! If you do plan to visit Glacier this June, or anytime throughout the year, please note that our hiking website also offers a wide variety of accommodation listings to help with all your vacation planning.


Ramble On (2nd edition book on the rich history of hiking)
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Audubon Invites You to Celebrate 120 Years of the Annual Christmas Bird Count

For the 120th year, the National Audubon Society is organizing its annual Christmas Bird Count. Between December 14 and January 5, tens of thousands of bird-loving volunteers will participate in counts across the Western Hemisphere. The twelve decades’ worth of data collected by participants continue to contribute to one of only two large existing pools of information notifying ornithologists and conservation biologists about what conservation action is required to protect birds and the places they need.

Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count is one of the longest-running wildlife censuses in the world. Each individual count takes place in a 15-mile-wide circle and is led by a compiler responsible for organizing volunteers and submitting observations directly to Audubon. Within each circle, participants tally all birds seen or heard that day—not just the species but total numbers to provide a clear idea of the health of that particular population.

When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count provides a picture of how the continent's bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years. The long-term perspective is vital for conservationists. It informs strategies to protect birds and their habitat, and helps identify environmental issues with implications for people as well. For example, earlier this year, Science published a study using decades of Audubon Christmas Bird Count data to describe a grim picture: a steady decline of nearly three billion North American birds since 1970, primarily as a result of human activities. Christmas Bird Count data have been used in more than 300 peer-reviewed articles.

A brand new feature for this year’s 120th Christmas Bird Count will be “CBC Live”, a crowd-sourced, hemisphere-wide storytelling function using Esri mapping software. This “story-map” will ask users to upload a photo taken during their Christmas Bird Count as well as a short anecdote to paint a global picture of the Christmas Bird Count in real time.

Last year, the 119th Christmas Bird Count included a record-setting 2615 count circles, with 1975 counts in the United States, 460 in Canada and 180 in Latin America, the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Pacific Islands. This was the ninth-straight year of record-breaking counts. In total, 79,425 observers out in the field and watching feeders tallied up over 48 million birds representing more than 2600 species different species—more than one-quarter of the world’s known avifauna. Approximately 5 percent of the North American landmass was surveyed by the Christmas Bird Count. Last year included two new species for the Christmas Bird Count list of birds seen in the United States: a Little Stint in San Diego and a Great Black Hawk in Portland, Maine.

The Northern Bobwhite, the only native quail in the eastern United States, continues its downward spiral. This species has essentially disappeared from the Northeast and faces massive declines due to loss of shrubland habitat exacerbated by increased droughts. On the flip side, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Purple Finches staged major irruptions southward during the 119th CBC.

Beginning on Christmas Day in 1900, Dr. Frank M. Chapman, founder of Bird-Lore – which evolved into Audubon magazine -- proposed a new holiday tradition that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them. Conservation was in its beginning stages in that era, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. So began the Christmas Bird Count. 120 years later, the tradition continues and still manages to bring out the best in people and contribute valuable data to the worldwide scientific community.

To sign up for a Christmas Bird Count and ensure your bird count data make it into the official Audubon database, please find the circle nearest you and register with your local Christmas Bird Count compiler on this map here. All Christmas Bird Count data must be submitted through the official compiler to be added to the long-running census.

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is a community science project organized by the National Audubon Society. There is no fee to participate. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels and Audubon’s free Bird Guide app makes it even easier to learn more. For more information and to find a count near you visit

Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, November 22, 2019

Study shows Yellowstone bison have positive effects on the landscape

Biologists from the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Universities of Wyoming and Montana published findings of a 10-year study about bison migration and grazing in Yellowstone National Park in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.

The findings result from a decade of research on Yellowstone bison by National Park Service biologists which included putting GPS collars on bison, setting up field experiments to evaluate plant growth and grazing intensity, and collecting dung and plant samples.

The findings confirm that wild bison shape vegetation cycles and enhance growth throughout the summer. Scientists discovered, with the help of NASA satellites, that areas grazed intensely by larger groups of bison greened-up earlier, more intensely, and for longer durations each year.

The findings also indicate that bison migrate differently than other species because of how they graze, frequently returning to the same areas of the park, which keeps plants in a growth cycle, providing the most nutritious food for migrating animals. Evidence over the last decade supports that migrating ungulates (hooved mammals) follow the wave of spring plant growth.

Bison begin their migrations by following spring green up but their intense grazing lets them fall behind the wave of spring. “Whereas migratory mule deer closely choreograph their movements so they are in synchronization with the flush of fresh green grass as it moves up the mountain, bison movements are not so constrained. They make their own fresh grass by grazing intensely in large aggregations,” said Dr. Chris Geremia, lead author of the study and senior bison biologist at Yellowstone National Park. That finding sets bison apart from other North American ungulates.

During the study, comparative plots among fenced and grazed areas showed grazing at high intensity delayed plant maturation by stimulating plants to produce new young shoots after being grazed. Bison then frequently returned to graze the same areas, keeping plants growing, although the plants never appear more than a few inches tall. Short, young plants provide the most nutritious foods for migrating animals.

“I commend Dr. Geremia and our partners for completing this incredibly in-depth study,” said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly. "These unprecedented findings teach us about the complexities of wild bison and underscore the critical ecological role they play on the Yellowstone landscape.”

The bison population in Yellowstone is one of the only free-ranging populations in North America. Animals migrate more than 60 miles in the park. Learn more about bison here.

Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, November 21, 2019

“History of hiking” 50% off

As you're likely already aware, Black Friday is next week. As a result, I wanted to let you all know that my book will be on sale throughout the upcoming holiday season. Beginning today, and continuing through Christmas, the paperback version of Ramble On: A History of Hiking will be sold at 50% off the regular price. During this timeframe hiking enthusiasts will be able to purchase the book on Amazon for only $9.95 (regular price is $18.95).

Additionally, the Kindle e-book version of my book will be sold for just $4.99 on Black Friday and throughout Cyber Weekend. This special price will be offered for one week only, from November 27th through December 3rd.

Ramble On: A History of Hiking is an outstanding gift idea for anyone who loves hiking, and wishes to learn more about the rich and amazing history of one of the world’s top pastimes.

Thank you very much!

Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Sunday, November 17, 2019

National Take a Hike Day

Did you know that today is “National Take a Hike Day”? Each year, on November 17th, National Take a Hike Day is observed by hikers across the country. Though the origins of this day seem to be a little murky, it appears that it may have been started by the American Hiking Society. Whenever and whoever started the day, hiking has its roots firmly planted in many of the same societal trends that shaped our country. According to the National Today website:
Hiking, while a major part of our culture today, wasn’t always the ubiquitous weekend warrior activity is today. Before Walden, Thoreau, and John Muir there was Romantic and Transcendentalism movement, art and cultural shifts to the natural order and time spent being outside. A reaction to the Industrial Revolution, train schedules, 90 hour work weeks and more.

The idea of taking a hike turned romantic and peaceful.
If you can’t actually make it onto a trail today, you can still download a copy of my book, “Ramble On: A History of Hiking,” to learn about the rich and amazing history of one of the world’s top pastimes, which will help to explain why today is now recognized as a "national holiday".

Happy Take a Hike Day!

Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, November 15, 2019

Moose Tests Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in Northwest Montana

A moose in northwest Montana tested positive for chronic wasting disease, marking the first time the disease has been detected in the species in Montana.

A hunter harvested the bull moose in late October near Pulpit Mountain west of Quartz Creek and north of Troy. The harvest occurred less than half a mile to the west of the existing Libby CWD Management Zone.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks collected the voluntary sample from the moose and submitted it for testing to the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. The lab identified it to be suspected of CWD infection and confirmed the positive detection with a second test.

CWD was first detected in white-tailed deer in the Libby area earlier this year, leading to the creation of the Libby CWD Management Zone. To date, there have been 30 positive detections in deer. Five of those involved deer harvested by hunters during archery and general hunting season. The detections of infected deer have all occurred within the Libby CWD Management Zone, and all but one has been centralized near the city center.

FWP will continue to conduct CWD surveillance through the hunting season and review sample results after the season to potentially update future sampling efforts. FWP encourages hunters to submit animals for testing in areas adjacent to the Libby CWD Management Zone.

CWD is a fatal disease that can affect the nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. Transmission can most commonly occur through direct contact between cervids, as well as shed in urine, feces, saliva, blood and antler velvet from infected cervids. Carcasses of infected cervids may serve as a source of environmental contamination as well and can infect other cervids that come into contact with that carcass.

There is no known transmission of CWD to humans or other animals, including pets or livestock. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that hunters harvesting a deer, elk, or moose from an area where CWD is known to be present have their animal tested for CWD prior to consuming the meat, and to not consume the meat if the animal tests positive.

Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Yellowstone releases 2018 Visitor Use Survey Study

A peer-reviewed report summarizing the results of Yellowstone’s 2018 Visitor Use Study is available online today. The National Park Service contracted Otak Inc., RRC Associates, and The University of Montana Institute for Tourism Recreation Research to conduct the study to help better understand how visitors experience the park in real time, across the summer season, and across different parts of the park. More than 4,000 people responded to the surveys, one of the largest in the history of the National Park Service.

Yellowstone visitation has substantially increased over the past 10 years, ranging from 3.2 million in 2009 to 4.2 in 2016, and 4.1 million in 2018. The survey results provide a variety of park-wide and site specific data that the park plans to use to make decisions in upcoming years. Survey results indicate that 85% of respondents thought their experience in the park was good or excellent, with the top three reasons for visiting being scenery, wildlife, and thermal features. Approximately 67% of the visitors participating in the survey were first-time visitors to the park. Overall, 92% waited less than ten minutes to enter the park and 86% waited less than ten minutes to find parking.

“This study gives us very actionable information on how we can better manage and plan for increasing visitation in Yellowstone,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly. “I largely credit the National Park Service team and our partners for the high visitor satisfaction levels. That said, there is no question that increasing visitation levels are having higher impacts on resources, our staff and infrastructure, and our gateway communities.”

While the 2016 Visitor Use Study surveyed people who visited in early August after their departure from the park, the 2018 Visitor Use Study used in-person interviews and GPS-based tablets to survey visitors in real time as they traveled through the park. It was conducted during one week of each month from May through September 2018.

Researchers summarized key findings from the study:

* Visitors to Yellowstone almost always rated their trip good to excellent.

* Respondents were more likely to experience a greater sense of crowding, traffic congestion, and parking availability at Midway Geyser Basin and Fairy Falls.

* Of the more popular attraction sites in the park, respondents rated Old Faithful and Canyon Village the least problematic, likely due to sufficient infrastructure to support a high volume of visitors.

* Visitor experience and frustration ratings appear to have little to no significant correlation with GPS-based average speeds across road segments in the park. Respondents are generally not frustrated, have high experience ratings, and do not perceive major problems on roadways.

* First-time visitors were less critical of issues at specific sites compared to repeat visitors.

* The more days respondents spent in the park on their trip, the more likely they were to provide less favorable evaluations of visitor behavior.

Yellowstone is focused to a great extent on constructing a visitor use strategy that understands and responds to increased visitation in the following key areas: 1) impacts on resource conditions; 2) impacts on staffing, operations, and infrastructure; 3) impacts on visitor service levels; and 4) impacts on gateway communities and partners. The park has and will continue to use a range of data, including this survey, to develop actions that improve performance in the four key areas. The following list includes examples of significant recent and upcoming park actions:

* Multiple major projects at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone that include Inspiration Point and Brink of the Upper and Lower falls

* Road improvement projects that include new shoulders and pullouts for visitors to safely stop

* West Yellowstone Gateway Study – a study done in partnership with a primary gateway to determine best ways to collaborate on traffic management actions

* Mapping efforts that use satellite imagery and on-the-ground surveys to analyze social trails and resource impacts

* A new North Entrance station project to improve wait times and traffic flow for visitors entering the park

* A range of pilot projects around the park such as altering traffic, parking, and visitor flow configurations and adding staff to highly congested areas to, for instance, better manage roadside bear viewing

* New and larger restrooms at Norris Geyser Basin and other sites throughout the park

* An evaluation of the feasibility of local shuttle systems between e.g., Old Faithful to West Yellowstone, Old Faithful to the geyser basin and back, and Canyon Village to various local attractions

Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Monday, November 11, 2019

National Park Service Announces Entrance Fee-Free Days for 2020

The National Park Service will have five entrance fee-free days in 2020. On each of these significant days of celebration or commemoration, all national parks will waive entrance fees.

The dates for 2020 are:

● Monday, January 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

● Saturday, April 18 – First Day of National Park Week/National Junior Ranger Day

● Tuesday, August 25 – National Park Service Birthday

● Saturday, September 26 – National Public Lands Day

● Wednesday, November 11 – Veterans Day

“Across the country, more than 400 national parks preserve significant natural and cultural areas, each one an important piece of our national identity and heritage,” said National Park Service Deputy Director David Vela. “Free entrance days serve as additional motivation for people to get outside and enjoy these places of inspiration and recreation.”

Since their inception almost 150 years ago, national parks have protected resources and provided places for public health and enjoyment. With at least one site in every state, the National Park Service’s 419 parks, recreation areas, cultural sites, rivers, and trails are accessible destinations that supply benefits for overall physical and mental well being. Time spent in nature reduces stress and blood pressure and often leads to lifestyle choices that include more exercise and better nutrition. Paddling, bicycling, walking, fishing, star gazing, and camping are just some of the many memorable and healthful recreational activities available in national parks.

Veterans Day on November 11 is the only remaining fee-free day in 2019. Out of the 419 National Park Service sites, 110 charge an entrance fee, with costs ranging from $5 to $35. The other 309 national parks do not have entrance fees. The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation or special tours.

The annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks. There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, active duty members of the U.S. military, families of fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.

Other federal land management agencies offering their own fee-free days in 2020 include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Sperry Chalet Announces Reservation Date for 2020 Season

Earlier this week Sperry Chalet announced that they will begin accepting reservations for the 2020 season in January. Here's the announcement from their website:
Sperry Chalet will begin accepting reservations for the 2020 season on January 13, 2020. Use this website to create your reservation. The request form will be available starting 8:00am Mountain Time Zone. 
We are currently working with project planners and the National Park Service on the springtime details of securing the work site and furnishing the dormitory building. Operating dates and fares are not yet available. We will announce them as soon as possible.
For details on the hike to the chalet, please click here.

Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, November 8, 2019

Flathead Avalanche Center Kicks Off Season with Northern Rockies Snow and Avalanche Workshop

Flathead Avalanche Center will offer the ninth annual Northern Rockies Snow and Avalanche Workshop (NRSAW) on November 16th from 9:30 am- 4:00 pm at the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish, Montana.

The one-day workshop features a panel of experts who will speak to winter avalanche safety and decision-making skills for backcountry professionals and enthusiasts. In addition to a variety of speakers, the day will be filled with a raffle and vendors of avalanche safety gear, winter equipment, and snow machines.

“The need for avalanche education and awareness continues to grow in Northwest Montana, with more and more people recreating in the winter backcountry,” said Zach Guy, Flathead Avalanche Center Director. “Last season alone, there were 25 avalanche fatalities in the U.S, and in our region, we received reports of nine accidents that resulted in injuries, near misses, and one fatality. If you are planning on heading out into the backcountry this winter, this is a great opportunity to tune your avalanche knowledge and keep yourself, your friends, and your family safe.”

People can register for the conference and buy tickets at Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door.

"Regional avalanche workshops like NRSAW are the best bang for your buck in avalanche education,” said Lloyd Morsett, event chair and snow safety coordinator for Whitefish Mountain Resort. “Come network, mingle with your backcountry peers, and get excited for this coming winter.”

This year’s panel includes speakers covering topics about the technical and human elements of avalanche safety and decision-making. Panelists include:

Kelly Elder – Rocky Mountain Research Station in Colorado: Elder will speak to the historic avalanche cycle last year in Colorado through the lens of scale and change.

Aleph Johnston-Bloom – Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center in Alaska: Johnston-Bloom will share her work developing mentorship programs in the avalanche industry.

Lloyd Morsett – Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana: Morsett will share avalanche fatality statistics in northwest Montana.

Matt W – United States Army: Matt W will present information about thinking under extreme stress.

Blase Reardon – Flathead Avalanche Center in Montana: Reardon will share case studies of avalanche near misses and accidents.

Henry Finn – Simon Fraser University in British Columbia: Finn will present research on how recreationists understand and use avalanche awareness bulletins.

Flathead Avalanche Center is a program provided by Flathead National Forest, and is funded by Flathead National Forest, Glacier National Park, and donations to Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center. The Type 1 Center staffs four full-time forecast and observer staff and provides daily avalanche forecasts for three geographic regions: the Swan Range, the Whitefish Range, and the Flathead Range and Glacier National Park.

Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Governor’s Grizzly Bear Advisory Council to Meet in Bozeman

The Governor’s Grizzly Bear Advisory Council is meeting next week in Bozeman for its second meeting.

The meeting is Nov. 13-14 at the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 3 Headquarters, 1400 South 19th, in Bozeman. The meeting starts at 8 a.m. both days and is open to the public.

The council will review its initial work to date followed by panel discussions and presentations on grizzly bear distribution and connectivity between ecosystems. Shawn Johnson and Heather Stokes from the University of Montana’s Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy program are facilitating the meetings. FWP staff assist as a technical support team.

Earlier this year, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced his intention to appoint a citizen advisory council to facilitate a statewide discussion on long-term grizzly bear management and conservation. This summer, Bullock appointed 18 Montana citizens to the new council, selecting a diverse group of people who have a connection to grizzly bears, including those who live, work, and recreate in bear country. The council is intentionally representative of the different parts of the state where grizzlies are currently or may soon be found.

The advisory council’s work is centering around broad objectives including:

• Maintaining and enhancing human safety;

• Ensuring a healthy and sustainable grizzly bear population;

• Improving timely and effective response to conflicts involving grizzly bears;

• Engaging all partners in grizzly-related outreach and conflict prevention; and

• Improving intergovernmental, interagency, and tribal coordination.

The council’s third meeting will be in Missoula on Dec. 4-5 with more information forthcoming. For more information about the council, including meeting agendas, visit

Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The National Park Service Salutes Military Veterans - Free Admission on Veterans Day

The National Park Service will commemorate Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 11, with special events and free admission nationwide.

“In recognition of the bravery and patriotism of America’s military veterans, all national parks will waive entrance fees for visitors on Veterans Day,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “While visiting our national parks, I encourage all Americans to pause and reflect on the significance of the holiday and the freedoms we enjoy thanks to the courageous service of the men and women in our military.”

“We are grateful for the brave men and women who have answered the call to serve in the military,” said National Park Service Deputy Director David Vela. “We invite all veterans to continue the long tradition of enjoying respite, recreation and relaxation in their national parks. From the peaceful quiet of watching wildlife to the thrill of whitewater rafting, parks are full of activities that refresh the body and soul.”

“We fought for this land, now it’s time to enjoy it,” said Adam Stump, a combat veteran who frequently visits national parks to hike and soak in the surroundings. “National parks provide amazing opportunities to appreciate the beauty and history of this country that we served to protect.”

Throughout the country, take advantage of the resources in 419 national parks to paddle, fish, hike, bike, swim, climb, explore or simply relax.

The National Park Service’s American Military website provides a list of events, as well as information about other military-related connections to national parks.

Veterans Day will be the last fee-free day in 2019. Active duty members of the military and permanently disabled veterans are also eligible for free year-round park passes. The passes provide free admission to more than 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests and other federal recreational areas.

Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, November 1, 2019

Elk Reduction Program Begins Tomorrow in Grand Teton National Park

An elk reduction program begins Saturday, November 2, in Grand Teton National Park. The park’s enabling legislation of 1950 authorizes Grand Teton National Park to jointly administer an elk reduction program with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department when necessary for the proper management and conservation of the Jackson Elk Herd.

Respective federal and state resource managers have reviewed available data and concluded that the 2019 program is necessary. The program is determined annually and is based on the status of the Jackson elk herd, including estimated herd size and composition and the number of elk on supplemental feed on the National Elk Refuge. A total of 375 permits are authorized for the 2019 program.

The only area open to the Elk Reduction Program is Area 75, located mostly east of U.S. Highway 89. The Antelope Flats portion of area 75 closes November 25, and the remaining portions close December 8. The Snake River Bottom between Deadmans Bar and Ditch Creek is closed to the program.

Elk Reduction Area 79 is closed to the program this season to limit harvest pressure on northern migratory and resident elk.

Participants in the program must carry their state hunting license, conservation stamp, elk special management permit and 2019 elk reduction program park permit, use non-lead ammunition, and are limited in the number of cartridges they are able to carry each day. The use of archery, hand guns, or other non-center fire ammunition rifles is not permitted, nor is the use of artificial elk calls. In addition, participants, regardless of age, are required to carry a hunter safety card, wear fluorescent orange or pink, and carry and have immediately accessible non-expired bear spray. Information packets accompanying each permit warn participants of the risk of bear encounters and offer tips on how to minimize the risk of human-bear conflicts.

National Park Service and Wyoming Game and Fish staff will monitor and patrol elk reduction program areas to ensure compliance with rules and regulations, interpret the elk reduction program to visitors, and provide participants with outreach regarding bear activity and safety.

An information line for the elk reduction program is available at 307.739.3681.

Ramble On: A History of Hiking