elk migration
Photo by Joe Riis

Invisible Boundaries Exhibit To Start May 27 At BBHC

Have you ever been curious about Yellowstone’s so-called “invisible boundaries?”

You can’t see them on the ground, and you won’t feel anything as you cross them, but make no mistake: Yellowstone National Park (indeed, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem) is defined by these boundaries, spilling across county, state, federal lines.

The map below (courtesy of the Wyoming Migration Initiative) gives you an inkling of those boundaries, but it’s not the whole picture. Where can you get a better idea? The Buffalo Bill Historical Center of the West (BBHC), and National Geographic may hold the answer, with their “Invisible Boundaries” exhibit.

Invisibble Boundaries Map

National Geographic opened the exhibit (Invisible Boundaries: Exploring Yellowstone’ Great Animal Migrations) April 15 at the NG Museum in Washington D.C. The exhibit is slated to open at the BBHC May 27, 2016 and run through the rest of the year before heading to Yale University.

We previously reported that the BBHC had announced details concerning the exhibit. Further, we previously reported on the pair of researchers responsible for the exhibit and their involvement with both the BBHC and National Geographic. From a BBHC press release:

Invisible Boundaries springs from a research grant awarded to Arthur Middleton and Joe Riis through the 2013 Camp Monaco Prize under a partnership among the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation-USA, Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Draper Natural History Museum, and University of Wyoming’s Biodiversity Institute. The exhibition is a multidisciplinary endeavor that also features the work of artist, writer, and naturalist James Prosek.

Invisible Boundaries demonstrates that drawing political lines on a map, without attention to historical and critical movement patterns of elk and other migratory species of wildlife is a recipe for trouble. The exhibition examines the reasons behind these amazing journeys and shares cutting-edge conservation science within one of the world’s most renowned natural heritage sites.

The Center of the West has organized Invisible Boundaries through its Draper Natural History Museum and Whitney Western Art Museum, in partnership with Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, the Wyoming Migration Initiative of the University of Wyoming, and with exhibition designer, Split Rock Studios.

The Invisible Boundaries will coincide with another Yellowstone-themed exhibit: a presentation by the Whitney Western Art museum featuring rare “Albertypes” made from William Henry Jackson negatives. That exhibit runs from now and August 14.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

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