The National Park Services should improve their research about visitor behavior around the wildlife in the park in order to improve their knowledge about visitor interactions with animals. The research needs to improve because there seems to be a lack of respect to the park, the safety of visitors, and a lack of respect for the land and animals.
Each year, 4.25 million people visit Yellowstone National Park. Many people visit from around the United States, and many come from around the world. Many of these visitors whether American or not, don’t have the interaction and knowledge with certain animals within the park, as those in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho do. Because of the environment we have grown up and lived in, we have a better chance of witnessing the animal in its natural habitat and growing our respect for the animals in compassion to those from states who do not. We also get our education from our cultured history and historical stories from the tribes, who themselves have interacted with wolves and other animals since the beginning of times. The park makes an effort to inform and warn the public, but people seem to think nothing of it or to listen. The management passes out information about safety, and states that they need the help of the public to preserve the wildlife, natural features, and cultural treasures. But there’s really not a whole lot of cultural treasures described within the park. It is also stated to use good manners and good sense, but it seems that people don’t think before they do something that seems like a common sense thing. So if there was a different type of way to draw people’s attention and make them listen, in an interesting way, it might help the park.
Dr. Shane Doyle, a Montana State professor and a historian, met with us at Yellowstone National Park near Mammoth. We went to Sheepeater Cliff, where Native Americans camped, because they were sheltered from the wind and other things, but close enough to the water. And Dr. Doyle went on to explain that we as people, especially us as Montanans, need to respect the land we were given and take care of the land along with the animals in and around the park. And he made points that I have never thought about before and that made sense to me, changing my way of thinking on Native American culture and how that can affect the visitors and park in a positive way. And Shane Doyle went on to talk about traditions and ways to make sure people respect the land and the animals, which goes along with people learning to respect the land and animals and learn that they are dangerous animals when they feel threatened.
So maybe if Shane Doyle and people from the other Native tribes that have some sort of value to the park and come together with park management to work on ways to inform people on the land itself and animals and respecting them as a whole, in a way people would be drawn to. And I think to get that point across to people, Native American tribes should become more involved and work together with the park on expanding the knowledge to outsiders about the land and animals because of their background and their ancestor’s experiences with those resources.