After trimming $1.75 million from its budget because of sequestration cuts, it was announced this week that Yellowstone National Park will benefit from $600,000 in grants for park-specific projects.
The money will come from the Yellowstone Park Foundation, the official fundraising partner for Yellowstone for the past 16 years.
“Now more than ever in these difficult and uncertain times, YPF is especially grateful to our generous donors for making this funding possible,” said Karen Kress, Yellowstone Park Foundation president, in a press release. “Our fundraising efforts for the park are even more necessary because projects like these might otherwise go by the wayside in light of current budget cuts.”
“These grants from the Yellowstone Park Foundation will help us maximize our resources that are even more limited than before sequestration, so that these important projects can move forward,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk.
The 12 projects funded by the Yellowstone Park Foundation for the spring 2013 grant cycle are: $100,000 to design a solution for rainbow trout invasion in Slough Creek; $85,000 to fund the third year of a five-year raptor monitoring project; $75,000 for additional seasonal rangers; $50,000 to integrate wildlife disease surveillance and interventions; $45,000 for solar energy upgrades at Buffalo Ranch in the Lamar Valley; $40,000 to prevent aquatic invasive species from entering Yellowstone’s pristine waterways; $40,000 to remove two illegal trails in the Bechler region; $40,000 for a Snake River archaeology project in an area used by native peoples for the past 12,000 years; $35,000 for a scientists' symposium on Old Faithful; $30,000 for a pilot program to place remote sensors in the backcountry for boundary enforcement to help deter boundary violations and wildlife poaching; $30,000 for development of a distance-learning studio that would allow live webcast programs between park rangers and classrooms across the U.S.; and $30,000 for continuing scientific research on brown bats to determine habitat, activity and their beneficial role in the ecosystem.
The Yellowstone Park Foundation has more than 16,000 individuals, corporations and foundations that donate to YPF each year, and has served as YNP’s official fundraising partner since 1996. Its mission is to fund projects and programs that protect, preserve and enhance the natural and cultural resources, and the visitor experience of the park. YPF has raised more than $70 million, and funded more than 250 projects and initiatives since its inception that include wildlife research, cutthroat trout restoration, trail maintenance and youth education.