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Gib Mathers

The grizzly bear in Yellowstone that killed a California man last week will not be destroyed.

Yellowstone National Park officials believe the sow grizzly was protecting her young and so behaving in a defensive, not predacious manner.

“It was not predatory,” said Kerry Gunther, Yellowstone wildlife biologist, in a Thursday news conference, “so we see no reason to take action against the bear.”

Following SkyWest Airlines’ sudden announcement that it plans to pull its Salt Lake City flights from Cody, Yellowstone Regional Airport supporters are strategizing to keep Salt Lake City air service.

“We really got blind sided last Friday,” said Cody Yellowstone Air Improvement Resources Chairman and state senator Hank Coe.

SkyWest Airlines, which has made two flights daily to Salt Lake City from Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody, plans to discontinue that service after Sept. 6.

The primary reason for pulling out is the volatile price of fuel, said Marissa Snow, SkyWest Airlines corporate communications manager, on Tuesday.

I think the best thing is when they pull up at the drive-in window on their mules,” said Suzanne Rankin, who works at Red Eagle Food Store in Ralston.

Of course, Rankin was talking about Jake Clark’s Mule Days. The 14th annual event kicked off Wednesday.

Native culture says Heart Mountain contains an energy, and members of the Crow Tribe tapped into that energy Saturday at the mountain to engage the 30 or so people present at a Crow Pipe Ceremony.

Crow tribal elder Grant Bulltail presented the ceremony.

Strategy developed to preserve threatened species

A multi-agency team is developing a strategy to preserve the insect- and disease-threatened whitebark pine tree that is considered a foundation species in mountains across the West.

Growing just below timberline, whitebark pine shades snow, thus slowing snowmelt. It allows other plants to gain a foothold in its rugged terrain, said Kelly McCloskey, Whitebark Pine Committee chair and ecologist at Teton National Park.

Kids catch colossal trout at Homesteader park Saturday

At the 25th annual Kids’ Fishing Day at Homesteader Park Pond Saturday, youngsters caught huge rainbow trout.

One man carried his kids’ stringer containing eight fat trout, with one measuring close to 18 inches.

The east gate and Sylvan Pass in Yellowstone National Park has reopened to vehicles, but only early in the morning.

Park Service avalanche forecasters have determined that the safest travel window over the pass will be between 6 and 10 a.m., said a Yellowstone Park news release.

Sylvan Pass in Yellowstone National Park remains closed and will remain so at least for now as crews wrestle with tons of snow and avalanche conditions.

A 70-yard wide, 20 to 30-foot deep field of snow came down in an avalanche Wednesday, forcing closure of the East Entrance road until further notice.

When the East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park opened for the season Friday morning, folks were raring to go.

“Good morning,” said Dennis Lenzendorf, supervisor of the East Entrance. “Welcome to Yellowstone.”

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