Updated June 14, 6:10 p.m.
As many of you have already seen, devastating floods have temporarily closed Yellowstone National Park and isolated many surrounding communities. I want to give you an update on these events and what comes next.
On Monday morning, rain combined with rapidly melting snowpack resulted in a record flood event across the region. Portions of roads inside and outside of the park have been swept away, vital bridges were damaged or destroyed, and at least one building housing National Park Service staff in our hometown of Gardiner has been lost.
Currently, many of our staff members, neighbors, and National Park Service colleagues are isolated in Gardiner, Mammoth, Cooke City, and throughout the interior of the park. Destruction to roads and bridges in some areas provides no way in, and no way out at this time. Our team at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch is sheltering-in-place, and we were lucky no visitors were onsite at the time of the floods. We are mobilizing quickly alongside Yellowstone National Park, local communities, and a statewide network to ensure our team and neighbors have what they need to stay safe.
I’ll be blunt, there is no short-term fix to much of the destruction that has occurred over the last few days. As of now, Yellowstone National Park is closed entirely to incoming visitors. We expect to see extended closures in some areas. We fully support the National Park Service’s decision to close the park temporarily as they work to evacuate visitors and residents during this emergency situation. We have likewise canceled all Institute programs in the park for the next two weeks. If you have a program booked later in the summer, we will be in touch as soon as we have further information.
The photos and videos of this destruction—some of which are included below—are heartbreaking. In addition to the resource destruction in the park, many of our colleagues, neighbors, and friends in Gardiner and beyond will suffer due to loss of property and income as some closures will likely continue.
As we move forward through the next days, weeks, and months, we will continue to keep you updated on rebuilding efforts and park needs. We know you love Yellowstone National Park as much as we do, and we will need your help in the days ahead. We are reopening our Yellowstone Resiliency Fund to raise money specifically to assist the park in whatever needs arise in the aftermath of these floods. Scroll down to view community funds that have been created specifically to support the people affected by the floods.
So many of you have reached out sharing your concern for the park, our staff, and of your desire to help however you can. We will share more with you about the fund and the park’s needs as information is available.
President & CEO
NPS photo courtesy of Gina Riquier
NPS / Jacob Frank
NPS / Jacob Frank
Funds to help Yellowstone National Park and surrounding communities
- Yellowstone Forever Resiliency Fund
- Park County Community Foundation
- SW Montana Flood Relief Fund – Serving Park + Madison Counties
- Greater Gallatin United Way
- Red Lodge Area Community Foundation
- Red Cross of Montana