September has been a busy month for Yellowstone National Park. This is following on the heels of what has been arguably one of the most successful tourist seasons in recent memory, as discussed in this Wyoming Public Radio article. Caroline Ballard writes, “More than 3 million visitors were in the Park by the end of August. Records were set every summer month. “ That is great to hear, although some area residents were deterred by constant traffic jams. It is predicted that 2016 will be even busier as it is the Park’s 100th birthday. Although it’s nearing 100, it doesn’t look a day over 18 in our opinion, looking as virile and healthy as ever! Needless to say, if you were taken aback by the amount of business this year at Yellowstone, you might want to prepare yourself for even more business in 2016.
That being said, there is a lot of momentum heading into 2016 and so it has been a busy September. Firstly, Yellowstone has a new chief ranger. His name is Pete Webster and is Yellowstone’s 17th chief ranger and, according to the Idaho Statesman, “Over the past seven years, Webster has managed law enforcement, emergency services, fire visitor management, dispatch and wilderness operations in his roles as the deputy chief ranger at Yellowstone, chief ranger at Denali National Park and Preserve and deputy chief ranger at Shenandoah National Park.”
We congratulate Pete Webster on this tremendous honor! 2016 is shaping up to be one heck of a year for Yellowstone and in order for the centennial to go as smoothly as possible, expect more administrative moves.