Two citizens groups met outside the North and East entrances yesterday with a simple request for federal officials: Reopen Yellowstone National Park.
The protestors called on elected Congressional officials from Wyoming to work out a budget solution that would allow for the reopening of Yellowstone National Park for the remaining weeks of the season. For the most part the protestors were peaceful and nonpartisan: About 25 people showed up at the North Entrance, while 75 or so showed up at the East Entrance. At both entrances the protesters entered the Park; in both cases they were not impeded by Park rangers. In fact, at the East Entrance, rangers chatted and visited with protestors, allowing them to enter the Park.
Participants posted photos on the event’s Facebook page. The photo at the top of the page is from the East Entrance, while this one is from the protests at the North Entrance:
A protest like this probably won’t make a huge impact, and we’re guessing the members of Congress attempting to address this issue in Washington — including the Wyoming Congressional delegation — aren’t really thinking of these protestors in their work. And while it’s tempting to dismiss this as a meaningless gesture that attracted some cranks despite the best intentions of organizers, the very fact that these protests happened — cranks and all — shows that our system is working as it should: no crackdowns, no requests to leave, no clashes between factions. In many ways Yellowstone represents the very best America has to offer, and these protests do as well.