Yellowstone N.P.

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September 21, 2003

Here is a small herd of Bison.  They are resting and chewing the cud along the Madison River near the west gate.

Notice the hills in the background.  This area was heavily burned as was much of the park in 1988.  Today, much of Yellowstone looks like this with barren timber still standing.  But more importantly, notice the new growth already taking over.   This new growth provides excellent habitat for the wildlife.  Before the fires, the heavy canopy blocked the sun from reaching the soil, and the soil was heavily mulched with pine litter preventing the grasses and browse from sprouting.  Much of the dead timber has fallen and most of the remainder is expected to fall by year 2005.