This year, Yellowstone National Park is celebrating its 150th anniversary. Unfortunately, what should be a year of excitement quickly took an unfortunate turn this week due to heavy rains and melting snowpack. The Yellowstone River, which runs right through the park, flooded and caused huge amounts of destruction. While, thankfully, there have not been any fatalities reported at this point, the damage caused to critical infrastructure in the park is immense and unprecedented.
Yellowstone is incredibly important to our state, not only because of its beauty and notoriety as the first national park, but because of the large number of people that it attracts every year. Wyoming businesses rely heavily on the tourist revenue that comes from park visitors. The summer season is the bellwether for local economies around the park. A slow or non-existent summer season for these economies will have long-term impacts.
I am closely monitoring the situation, and I have spoken to Park Superintendent Cam Sholley about what I can do to help. My office will remain in contact with park officials and will share any updates we have via my social media channels.
I will be sure to update you as soon as Yellowstone reopens for visitors. If you do plan on visiting the park in the near future, be sure to check the park website before visiting to ensure the park is open.