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406 Forum: National Park Centennial

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Yellowstone National Park was established for “the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” What will that look like in another 100 years?



Dan Wenk Gardiner, Montana

“I hope it looks much like it looks today. I don’t know if the forests will be the same [due to climate change]. I think Yellowstone might have a maturing of the forest and the landscape. [I hope] the development within the park will be very similar if not smaller [and] we have greater appreciation for wildlife and migration corridors.”






Montell Hendricks Indianapolis, Indiana

“Hmmmnn … I say pretty similar, seeing as you guys have so much land. I wasn’t here 100 years ago, but it seems pretty much untouched.”







Christine Wilbur Vienna, Virginia

“ I think that all the natural beauty will be unchanged, but perhaps the infrastructure will be improved.. [There might be] more accessibility to the natural beauty that right now there’s no trails to … I think the walkways will become more accessible to the handicapped. I think perhaps there will be more cabins and cottages for people to stay in.”





Randy Wimberg Bozeman , Mont.

“I can hopefully say that it will maintain the natural history element, but I can also say that they’ll have another way of moving people through it. Whatever that technology is, I don’t know—but cars won’t be part of it … They’ll have to control the amount of people somehow. Every year, it’s a new record. How can they maintain that?”





Deb Witt Vienna, Virginia

“I hope exactly the way it looks right now. I know it won’t, but that’s what I hope. That’s what this place is about.”








Jonathan Jarvis, National Park Service Director, Washington D.C.

“[In the] glass half full worldview, we will look at the North America continent and have ecological connectivity on the landscape so that big protected areas like Yellowstone will be physically connected [to other] protected areas…I would say that the park service will have embraced the use of new technologies that are non-intrusive to enhance the public’s experience.”






One hundred years ago, the United States was the first country to establish a public land initiative like the National Park system. What does it mean to you today?



John Cox West Yellowstone, Montana

“I think it’s an awesome thing. I think the Park Service is charged with such a knife edge of a task and they do a really great job…of saying hey we need to do this or stop doing this or change how we give access to the park. I think it’s a great thing.”





Jenny Lucas West Yellowstone, Montana

“I love that they maintain multiple beautiful places that I can come visit. I think it’s a tough job, too … People are sometimes difficult to corral, especially when you’re trying to protect something.”






Greg Malloure Brighton, Michigan

“I’m glad to have it. I think it’s important that as more and more land gets developed we have these places that are wild.”






Becky Mitchell Livingston, Montana

“The land is a part of us. When you grow up here, the land shapes you and its just part of who you are … . I remember getting chased into an outhouse [by a bear]. Then the wolves were reintroduced and it changed the ecosystem. [Now] they are wild animals, it is wilderness.”

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