Resources and Issues

Handbook cover with a fire burning in a forest

Much of the information found throughout this website comes from Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook—an annual compendium of important concepts about Yellowstone’s many resources, park history, science and research conducted in the greater Yellowstone area, and critical management issues facing Yellowstone National Park.

Many people have dedicated their lives and careers to studying Yellowstone and the park has a long history of research and public interest. The park hosts more than 150 researchers from various agencies, universities, and organizations each year. They produce hundreds of papers, manuscripts, books, and book chapters on their work annually—a volume of information that is difficult to absorb. This compendium is intended to help you understand the important concepts about Yellowstone’s many resources and contains information about the park’s history, natural and cultural resources, and issues.

 
 
A blue hot spring with a geyser erupting in the background

Park Facts

Learn how large Yellowstone is to how many mammals live in the park.

A ranger answers questions after an eruption of Old Faithful.

FAQs

Read answers to many frequently asked questions.

Rocks covered in lichen arranged in the shape of a tall fire ring on a mountain top

Park History

Learn about Yellowstone's story from the earliest humans to today.

A one-story log cabin across a meadow with bison in it

Preservation

The preservation of cultural resources helps tell the stories of people and their connections to the park.

Trees with yellow leaves and shorter vegetation along an open slope surrounded by mountains

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Yellowstone is the core of one of the largest, nearly intact temperate-zones on Earth.

A trail leads to a boulder on top of a hill with snow-capped mountains

Geology

A volcano, geysers and other thermal features, earthquakes, and glaciers shape Yellowstone's landscape.

A dark blue hot spring with a white crested edge rimmed by orange water

Life in Extreme Heat

Hydrothermal features are habitats for microscopic organisms called thermophiles: "thermo" for heat, "phile" for lover.

Whitebark pine growing on the summit of Mount Washburn.

Plants

Yellowstone's plants include species typical of the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, and the Intermountain region.

Red smoke rises from a fire burning a hill of pine trees

Wildland Fire

Fire is a natural process and shapes the ecosystem.

Four pronghorn near a herd of bison in a wide, open valley

Wildlife

Abundant and diverse: 67 species of mammals, 330 species of birds, 16 species of fish, 5 species of amphibians, 6 species of reptiles.

Last updated: September 26, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

Contact Us