Letter to the Editor

Yellowstone: More than just a bunch of geysers

Monday, May 8, 2017

Dear Editor,

One summer, I visited Yellowstone Park with my parents, in 1938. I was 6 years old.

We say Old Faithful shoot out steam and hot water over 180 feet into the air. The deep blue of the morning pool was beautiful.

Geysers are formed when water that is underground meets superheated rocks and blasts back up through a narrow opening. Scientists believe that these steam-filled eruptions descend 1,800 miles, all the way to the earthís core.

More than one-third of Yellowstone Park sits on a giant ancient volcano. Bison grazing there in the winter gather around the Firehole River in the Upper Geyser Basin. Snow melts fast, exposing green shoots of grass.

In 2017 Yellowstone is a sanctuary for wild animals. It is a winter range for elk and bison. Visitors are impressed by deer, pronghorn antelope, moose, bighorn sheep and birds residing in the park.

The National Park Service was established in 1916 to protect wildlife. In 1901 to protect wildlife. In 1901, only a few hundred bison remained in America. Two dozen bison survived in Pelican Valley northeast of Yellowstone.

Philip Sheridan, a cavalry leader during the Civil War under Gen. Grant, believed that exterminating bison would help the U.S. Army win the battle against Plains Indians.

The Yellowstone plateau has an elevation of 8,000 feet. Geologist Robert B. Smith from the University of Utah states that the North American plateau has drifted southwest during the past 16 million years. This includes Yellowstone.

Park rangers urge visitors to use caution while hiking in Yellowstone. Lance Crosby of Billings, Mont., was hiking without bear spray. He encountered a female grizzly7 bear with two cubs.

She killed him, partially ate him and shared her feast with her cubs.

Visitors are tempted to pick some of the many wildflowers in Yellowstone Park. It is illegal and they are fined if they do collect a few of them.

Uncle Tomís Trail descends 500 feet into the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Hikers climb down its stairs.

Obviously Yellowstone Park is more than a bunch of geysers.

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Neb.

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