Posted by: Scott | Friday, March 23, 2007

Yellowstone’s Perception Problem

Yellowstone has a perception problem. Do they want to fix it? I perceive they don’t. If you live outside of the Yellowstone region, you are likely unaware of the conflict that has been going on between a town called Cody, WY and a neighbor national park called Yellowstone.

Yesterday, Superintendent Suzanne Lewis came down from the ivory towers of Yellowstone to hear from the villagers. You see, there’s this first amendment/free speech clause in the Constitution that governs, not the people, but the government. In the clause, We the People are allowed to speak freely, worship as we please (or not), and assemble peaceably to express our grievances.

Although last night was no church service, I think I recall hearing an “Amen” or two. At any rate, the First Amendment was beautifully practiced at the Cody Auditorium last night.

Anyway, on to the perception problem that exists. Here in Cody, we feel like the higher ups of YNP and perhaps even the various divisions of the Department of the Interior are picking on us. I’m not saying this to wine, I’m just stating the fact of what our perception is.

Sure, last night Supt. Lewis noted that the East Gate and Sylvan Pass were slated to open sooner than it has been in quite some time, and it might even beat the target date. Yup, I agree draft doesn’t mean decision (that’s called a simple understanding of connotation). But, why is it that all we hear about is why the East Gate needs to be closed for winter use? How come we only hear about the pollution of the increasingly smaller (???) number of snowmobiles allowed through the East Gate, and nothing about the pollution of tens of thousands RV’s, buses, SUV’s, and other automobiles that travel in the summer? Why is it that guides must be needed for mostly locals that use the Park in the winter, but people who have never ventured to this neck of the woods can roam freely in the summer?

Yes, it sure seems that Cody is getting the cold shoulder from the Park (even though it was Supt. Lewis that requested to be here for the forum). As one caller on noted on Speak Your Piece yesterday, perhaps we should have just welcomed the wolves with open arms. But come to think of it, we would have been surrendering our first (amendment) freedom. We had a strong showing last night. As for our impact, time will only tell. And if, when it is all said and done (lawsuits included), we lose, may it be known that we gave a good fight.



  1. […] out the stand we took here, here, and here; why we took it here, and how many showed up here. I still like the idea of the […]

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