Yellowstone National Park is a classic example of the benefits of Conservation and the detriments of Environmentalism.
In the 1870s, people realized that Yellowstone should be set aside as a National Park to be protected and enjoyed for generations to come. Under a Conservation Philosophy, roads were built into the region, lodging was set up to allow people access to this scenic wonderland.
At the same time, steps were taken to prevent exploitation by man. For example, a few bison remained in the Park region. Poachers were arrested, tried and convicted for killing these animals. Thus the bison survived and rebuilt its numbers under the protection of man.
However, in recent years, the philosophy of Conservation has given way to Environmentalism. Instead of proscribed burning to enhance the Yellowstone Forests, a "Hands-off" environmental approach was taken and the forest became a tinderbox which exploded in flames in 1988.
The devastating Yellowstone fires were so hot in many places that the ground was scorched, preventing any re-growth for years to come. The loss of ground cover resulted in massive mud slides, further scarring the landscape and even endangering the lives of Park visitors.
In the early years, steps were taken to protect the wild animals of Yellowstone. Today, the animals are left to nature and they either burned to death in the Park fires or starved to death due to lack of forage afterward.
Today, Environmentalism reigns in Yellowstone. There is considerable talk now of closing Yellowstone to the public. Ask yourself, "If Yellowstone were discovered today, do you think they would even allow access by way of roads into the region?" Probably Not! It would most likely be designated a "wilderness" preventing access to the scenic wonders of Yellowstone.
This herd was one of the few herds with any yearling calves. Both adults and the calves survived the winter due to this supplemental feeding program.
Environmental groups adamantly objected to this feeding program. Evidently they wanted the animals to suffer a slow death by starvation like thousands of Park elk in the winter of 1988 and 1989.