This picture was important to us because we were looking at demographics of the park all week. When we went to Livingston, Montana and saw this mural we were blown away. This mural represented the information we have been looking for and finding all week. One of the biggest visitors of the park are Americans and Asians and this mural shows that. We later found out that the local high school, Park High School, has a sister school in Asia. That means that Park High School sends their students to Asia and a school in Asia sends their student to Park. This is interesting for the human issue because it shows how we are advocating for other populations to experience America while Americans experience other cultures.
We found this picture to be really funny, but also very practical for us as the human group. This was taken in Jackson, Montana. While interviewing others and thinking about what to ask regarding demographics and who visits the park the most it never downed on us to ask about what happens negatively when mass amounts of tourist enter the cities, besides traffic. It came up in an interview that toilet seats breaking has become a big issue. We learned that toilet seats are breaking because of different cultures using the restroom differently than we do in American, which is by squatting on the toilet seat. Companies and businesses are having to constantly replace toilet seats. This was interesting to us because hearing about this made us realize that there is more than what we see on the surface. The issues in the park from people visiting are deeper than they seem.
This document was taken at the Grand Teton National Park Museum. It was relevant to the human group because with a massive amount of people visiting the park how is that going to impact the animals? Do people really know that it can stress them out? This also ties in to our ethical lens by stating, if you know this is happening and still continue to approach the animals – is that ethical? This document was found around other information about animals within the museum which allows for the viewers to take think about the other animals too. This picture shows that even though humans are coming to the park and enjoying the parks adventures keeping away from animals is an important piece to remember.
After staying in Gardiner for a few days we’ve realized the community is an active tourist town filled with locals who love the area and tourists from all over the world. We also noticed the adventurous, healthy, and active spirit of everyone in the town. Many people walk their dogs around town without leashes (which is allowed), run around town, and eat local healthy foods.
In order to understand the area better on Friday, May 20th the three of us talked to two Gardiner residents. One resident is a Absaroka Motel employee who moved here many years ago, but has only been working for the motel for a year now. Throughout the years she’s seen mainly American families and Chinese, but in the last few years the Chinese population has increased. She’s been seeing more tour buses come into Gardiner and stay at the hotel. Her thoughts behind these types of people visiting Gardiner and Yellowstone National Park are their adventurous spirits, their socioeconomic status, and their love for the outdoors. We also asked her why people might not come to Yellowstone National Park and she believes that accessibility, funds, knowing the area, and the unknown of the west are main factors for not visiting YNP.
We also conversed with a wildlife tour guide, Bonnie. We asked and discussed similar topics with her, which was interesting because on certain topics she had polar opposite views. For her, she’s never met anyone who’s never been to Yellowstone National Park while being in Gardiner whereas many people we’ve talked to here say that some people who live two miles away have still never been. If she were to ever guess what would keep them from coming she agreed with the Absaroka Motel employee that finances, lack of accessibility, and lack of knowledge would be the main reasons.
On May 18th the three of us visited Livingston, Montana. We began our day visiting the assisted living center of the town where we had the privilage of meeting and interviewing a woman by the name of Margery Warfield. She was born and raised in Livingston, but moved around for a few years before settling back down in Livingston. Her main occupation was working on her family ranch which is now run by her daughter. She told us multiple stories of her life beginning with ones of her childhood in the 1930’s. She had many memories in Yellowstone including cross country skiing by the thermal features, watching the elks bugle, and fishing on Yellowstone Lake, which were possible because of minimal regulations. She’s seen multiple changes during her lifetime, but she still believes that the park will “always stay itself”.
After talking with Marge we headed for the town of Livingston. We began our journey in the town of Livingston at Sacajawea Park. While walking towards town we noticed how outdoor oriented the community was with the amount of dog walkers, bicyclers, runners, and people outside walking. The town consisted of mostly local businesses such as Granite Sports Medicine: Physical Therapy for the active community.
After arriving in the town of Livingston we began to walk around looking for a few people to talk to about the town and their outlook on Livingston and The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. We started our journey at Park High School and talked to their academic dean. She had a lot of insightful information about demographics within the community such as the lack of cultural and ethnic diversity, but a lot of socioeconomic diversity. Another issue that was brought up was mental health and the high suicide rate in Livingston. This also came up in our interview with the lieutenant of the Livingston Police Department.
Both people we interviewed said that Yellowstone was a positive economic influence to the town and that it was a difficult, but beautifully rewarding place to live.
On our place as text exploration in Jackson hole, Wyoming we came across a wide spectrum of people and places. Of the three individuals we interviewed they’ve been residents in Jackson anywhere from one to twenty six years. They all see Jackson as an incredible place to live even with the expenses and lack of housing. One of the individuals has been in Jackson for a year and works at the Snow King Hotel, the other two individuals were at the LIFT bar and grill. One is currently a seasonal winter employee while the other is a board member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The only negative stated was the lack of housing and large amount of jobs not being filled. Most workers have to live in nearby areas such as; Victor, Idaho and Alpine, Wyoming and commute into Jackson. This is a very opportunistic area in which about four millions tourists visit during the summer. If Jackson didn’t have summer there would be no Jackson. The people are wonderful and so are the sights.
Quotes from the interviews:
“Jackson even subsidizes for the airlines here. Hubs cities such as Salt Lake City and Denver are typical, but we bring in cities such as Newark, Houston, and Atlanta”.
“Were bringing in 27 rental units being built for 12 million dollars to try to bring more people here to fill the available jobs”.
“From now until Memorial Day is the best season here in Jackson because it’s what us locals call, mud season. The snow is finally melting and there aren’t thousands of tourist around either”.
“Take some bear spray and someone who runs slower than you”.
“We Americans are sitters, while the Chinese are squatters”.
- Toilet seats are an issue here in Jackson with an increase in Asian population.
“Don’t try to take a selfie with Buffalo 5. Selfies: 0 Goarings: 5
“I truly believe in the National Park services slogan, Reserve and protect for generations to come”.
For the benefit and enjoyment of the people; who are the people benefiting and enjoying Yellowstone National Park?
Demographics of the United States:
With 323,543,308 people in the United States as of May 2016, why did only 4,095,317 people, about 1% of the population, visit the park in 2015? Is it a question of money, time, physical inability, health issues, weather, distance, or do people just not want to visit America’s First National Park? With an entrance fee anywhere from fifteen to thirty dollars, it’s not an entrance fee that will break the bank for people in surrounding states that are only a short drive away. But still, people in surrounding states such as Montana, Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, and Nebraska have never traveled into the boundaries of Yellowstone. California being the leading state population of 40 million people in The United States and only two states away from Wyoming, you’d think there would be more visitors to the park each year. The typical U.S. worker at a private company gets 10 days of paid vacation and six paid holidays per year, why isn’t the typical U.S. worker using those days to go to Yellowstone? Who is the typical American?
An SRS published in 2014 by the University of Montana-Missoula analyzed the demographics of Yellowstone National Park visitors. Factors that were analyzed included: mean age, state of residence, household income, and level of education. The average age of Yellowstone visitors was 56 years old, the trend of an aging population has been seen at all national parks across America. 35.4% of respondents have attained a Bachelor’s degree and 38.7% have a post-graduate level degree. More than 60% of the respondents had a household income between $50,000 and $150,000 resulting in an average household income that is higher than the national average of $51,000. The top five sates that visitors reside in are: Montana, California, Texas, Colorado, and Washington.
Obstacles are one of the main factors that play into individuals visiting Yellowstone National Park. Accessibility to the park isn’t always ideal either. Many individuals are effected by issues such as limited wheelchair access areas, impaired hearing and vision, overall health issues, and much more. As described by the National Park Services, “Extra obstacles will be encountered because of the remote, wilderness nature of this special place”. In addition to physical barriers that could prevent individuals from visiting the park, money and phobias can factor in as an obstacle as well. The fee to enter the park is varied by vehicle and the amount of people per vehicle. If you are a private, non- commercial vehicle it’s 30 dollars, motorcycle or snowmobile is 25 dollars, individuals by foot, or bicycle is 15 dollars per person under 16 and 20 dollars per person older than 16. The entrance fee is for a seven – day pass. For commercial tour buses, 1-6 seats are 25 dollars with an additional 15 dollars per person. A van with 7-15 seats is 125 dollars, a mini bus with 16-25 seats is 200 dollars, and a motor coach with 26 or more seats is 300 dollars. With the National Park being 3,472 square miles, someone with a walking disability is going to have a much harder time getting around the park. Having a phobia could also prevent an individual from coming to the park whether their phobia is the fear of flying from state to state, driving across the country, being at extreme heights and altitudes, or just an overall increased anxiety from a lack of safety in a different environment. Regardless of whether it’s a physical, materialistic, or emotional obstacle there are multiple obstacles that can prevent someone from experiencing the beauty and adventure that Yellowstone National Park has to hold.
Cites you can access the information above from:
The “we” of Pack 9 includes students Ashley Brown, Frida Cruz, and Erica Mawyer. We’re on a journey to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and we couldn’t be more thrilled for the adventure we’re about to dive into. All three of us are Juniors at Longwood University and plan to graduate in May of 2017. Ashley Brown and Erica Mawyer are Kinesiology (Physical Education and Health Education) majors, while Frida Cruz is an Environmental Science Major.
What made us want to go to Yellowstone National Park?
I wanted to participate in the Yellowstone trip because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Whether it’s because of the amazing faculty, getting to know other students, experiencing the West coast, or being able to see incredible sights I knew I had to participate. Having faculty who are so passionate and knowledgeable about this trip plus outside resources being used to enhance our knowledge made my willingness to participate even higher. I imagine this trip will really help me see and think about issues differently and how people can be impacted. I wanted to go on this trip to experience a whole new scenery and be immersed in a different culture.
Yellowstone has been calling my name for a long time. After falling in love with hiking and the outdoors at a young age, I knew at some point in my life I would make the journey out west to Yellowstone National Park. Once I heard about Longwood’s program, I knew I had to be apart of it. I was hesitant because some parts of the trip were a little out of my comfort zone, but I also know that’s a good place to be sometimes–and this was one of those times. I’m also looking forward to working with others and seeing other perspectives of people in this world, including other students at Longwood. YNP has so much to offer and I can’t wait to learn more about America’s First National Park and experience the adventure of a lifetime.
Originally, I decided to go to YNP because I figured it would be a pretty nice place to write some papers, for the English course I plan to take. As an environmental science major, I have always greatly appreciated what nature has to offer in regards to aesthetics, natural resources, natural services, and strongly support its preservation. YNP was the first National Park and began the movement for preservation in the United States, I knew I needed to check out the place that began a movement for preservation. I imagine the land to be overwhelmingly beautiful that the need for environmental preservation was so obvious.
Although I already had a strong desire to see Yellowstone in person, through the pre-departure course I was given more reasons to want to go, realizing that a nice place to write a paper is only a small portion of was YNP has to offer. Working in an unfamiliar area and studying with students with interdisciplinary perspectives offers the opportunity to study issues more broadly than I would have ever considered. This experience will give me a better perspective when solving future issues within my own disciplinary.