Emmylou Harris and John Prine headline NPS Centennial event


Grammy award winning singer-songwriters, Emmylou Harris and John Prine will headline “An Evening at the Arch: Yellowstone Celebrates the National Park Service Centennial” in Gardiner, Mont. Held on Aug. 25 at 7 p.m., the event will be broadcast live online.

“This very special event will kick off the second century for the National Park Service, highlight the importance of public/private partnerships, and recognize the completion of the Gardiner Gateway Project Phase One,” said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk.

The evening features a talented lineup of performers, including Emmylou Harris, John Prine, Leyla McCalla, the children’s chorus The Singing Angels from Cleveland, Ohio, and Teddy Roosevelt reenactor Joe Wiegand, with more performances and details to be announced. Local, state and national dignitaries will also speak at the event.

Advance tickets are required and are free, but limited.

The first ticket release was May 15 at ticketriver.com/event/19359, and additional releases will occur on June 15 and July 15.

Event organizers strongly recommend that people secure lodging before getting a ticket because area lodging is limited. Residents of Gardiner and Jardine are encouraged to get tickets from the Gardiner Chamber of Commerce, which will distribute tickets held especially for local residents as a thank you for their patience and flexibility during the Gardiner Gateway Project construction.

For the safety and comfort of all attendees, no alcohol, coolers, umbrellas, or dogs will be allowed at this event. Qualified service animals are welcome; however, they must be leashed and under control at all times.

“An Evening at the Arch” is a great example of the countless ways there are to “find your park.” Launched in March 2015, Find Your Park is a public awareness and education movement to inspire people to connect with, celebrate, and support America’s national parks and community-based programs.

Celebrating the National Park Service Centennial and setting the stage for the service’s next 100 years, Find Your Park invites people to discover and share their own unique connections to our nation’s natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history.

Obama signs legislation designating bison as national mammal

By Kevin Freking Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The bison has become the official national mammal of the United States under legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama on May 9.

Lawmakers spearheading the effort say the once nearly extinct icon deserves the elevated stature because of its economic and cultural significance in the nation’s history.

Millions of bison once roamed the Great Plains. About 500,000 now live in the U.S. but most of those have been cross-bred with cattle, and are semi-domesticated. About 30,000 wild bison roam the country, with the largest population in Yellowstone National Park.

Supporters of the legislation say they believe the recognition will elevate the stature of the bison to that of the bald eagle, long the national emblem, and bring greater attention to ongoing recovery efforts of the species.

“I hope that in my lifetime, thanks to a broad coalition of ranchers, wildlife advocates and tribal nations, we will see bison return to the prominent place they once occupied in our nation’s shortgrass prairies,” said Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, who worked with Republican Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota to pass the Senate version of the legislation.

Copyright 2016 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Forever stamp highlights Yellowstone bison


A stunning photograph of two bison silhouetted in Yellowstone National Park’s winter morning sun was previewed April 25 as the last of 16 Forever Stamp images to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary.

The image was captured by Art Wolfe of Seattle, Wash., who described it as, “a perfectly backlit bison standing on a small rise in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley.”

Wolfe said he captured the February 2000 image by rising at dawn and braving -30 F temperatures, before catching the first rays of the morning sun.

“The bitter cold of a long winter’s night had left the animals encased in a mantle of thick frost. I had scouted the area the day before and … [the bison] had bedded down there all night and now were standing and trying to shake off the cold as the sun came over the horizon,” Wolfe said. “These are the serendipitous moments I wait for as a photographer.”

Wolfe shot the image during the days of film, and says he didn’t know if he’d been successful until he returned to Seattle and had the film processed.

The June 2 first-day-of-issue ceremony for the National Parks Forever Stamps pane will take place at New York City’s Javits Center. The ceremony is part of World Stamp Show-NY 2016, taking place May 28 to June 4, the world’s largest stamp show that only occurs in the U.S. once a decade.

Dedication ceremonies will also take place at or near each of the National Parks depicted on the stamps. Individuals are encouraged to celebrate the news on social media by using the hashtags #NPSStamps, #FindYourPark or #NPS100.