Yellowstone Forever is searching for volunteers to assist in documenting the park’s phenology, the study of plant and animal life cycle changes over time. The changes often indicate problems in the making.

Chart Yellowstone phenology

Yellowstone Forever is looking for volunteers to assist with documenting phenology in the park.

Phenology is the study of plant and animal life cycle changes over time, and by recording these changes park managers can plan for the future.

The Gardiner, Montana-based nonprofit is recruiting volunteers who are able to help from April to October. Project dates are April 24-25May 22-23June 20-21July 18Aug. 14-15Sept. 11-12 and Oct. 9-10.

Volunteers who commit to one weekend each month will be provided free housing in Gardiner.

No experience is necessary, and all training and materials will be provided.

For information contact Yellowstone Forever’s citizen scientist specialist, Garrett Tovey, at or 406-848-2823.

Raynes grants take applications

The Meg and Bert Raynes Wildlife Fund is accepting applications for its next round of small grants that support research, education and monitoring of wildlife.

Most grants are for $4,000 to $5,000. Proposals are due by Saturday.

Find details at

Forest thinning near Hoback

The Bridger-Teton National Forest is proposing to allow a commercial logger to remove dead and dying trees in the Chall Creek area of the northern Wyoming Range.

The project would permit activity on no more than 250 acres, including a half mile of temporary road construction.

Comments are due by Feb. 8. Email thoughts to Big Piney Ranger District employee Dundonald Cochrane at

Weigh in on ’impaired’ water

All of Fish Creek and portions of Flat Creek officially have an E. coli problem, according to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

A comment period on the draft “impaired” designation is now open, with thoughts due by Feb. 20. Comments can be submitted at

State environmental regulators made their determination, which was expected, in the draft version of a 2020 report, which rounds up water quality conditions across the Equality State. Teton County’s two prized streams actually constitute two-thirds of all the new “impaired” listings documented since the last DEQ report was completed two years ago.

The only other newly impaired stretch of Wyoming water that DEQ’s draft report identified was Lander Creek, which flows off the Wind River Range and also is being listed due to dangerous levels of E. coli bacteria.

Statewide, Wyoming’s waterways and lakes are in pretty good shape, especially relative to more developed and peopled parts of the country. Approximately 7% of 267,294 stream miles and 4% of 487,948 lake acres have been assessed. Only 6% of assessed stream miles and 2% of the assessed lake acres are currently listed as impaired.

Help conserve bears

A conference is being planned in the Northern Rockies that will explore bear conservation issues in a changing world.

The International Association for Bear Research and Management is organizing the conference, its 27th annual, which is scheduled for September in Kalispell, Montana.

You can learn about “Conserving Bears in a Changing World” and register to attend at

— Mike Koshmrl


Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them since 2012. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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