First impressions are new Yellowstone National Park superintendent Cam Sholly may be an excellent steward for the Park.
Speaking in Cody last week, Sholly identified some goals to improve a number of issues in the Park.
Those goals include expanding technology while preserving Yellowstone’s treasures, upgrading housing for the Park’s 800 employees, and working on the maintenance and repair needs of Yellowstone’s infrastructure.
Perhaps the biggest concern Sholly voiced was the increasing number of tourists to the Park.
“What is 4 million visitors doing to the Park?” he asked.
He added not enough research has been done on the effects and said when that information has been gathered it should be shared with the gateway communities.
Sholly’s greatest asset could be that he attended high school in Gardiner, Mont., while his father was a Yellowstone ranger. He should have an understanding of the relationship between the gateway communities such as Cody and Gardiner and their interaction with and dependence on Yellowstone.
For example: There has been discussion of closing Yellowstone to private vehicular traffic and moving visitors around the Park in shuttle buses.
Sholly does not favor that idea. In fact, Sholly said no such major policy change would be thrust on the Park without communication between the Park Service and the gateway communities.
Hopefully having a park superintendent who lived in a gateway community will bode well for the relationship between our nation’s first national park and the gateway communities that surround it.