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Yellowstone National Park contemplates new North Entrance Road; public comment sought

A bison crosses the road in Yellowstone National Park. (Courtesy Yellowstone National Park)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Yellowstone National Park officials are looking to install a new road allowing permanent access to the park from Montana and replacing one severely damaged by 2022 flooding, according to the National Park Service. 

The road would provide year-round access to the park from Montana between Gardiner, Cooke City and Silver Gate in response to historic flooding that destroyed infrastructure in the northern portion of the park in June 2022, per the NPS. 

According to the NPS, the flooding damage extended to several sections of the existing North Entrance Road between Gardiner and Mammoth Hot Springs as well as segments of the Northeast Entrance Road between Cooke City and Silver Gate and Tower Junction. 

Both roads are currently open year-round and serve as the only winter vehicle access in and out of the park. The Northeast Entrance Road was opened to the public in October 2022 while the North Entrance remained closed as a temporary road was put in place between Gardiner and Mammoth Hot Springs. 

Before the project advances, NPS officials are inviting the public to learn about and provide input on the North Entrance Road Project through virtual public meetings on Feb. 12 and Feb. 14, according to a Feb. 2 release, which says public input will help the park select an alignment and begin the environmental process. 

During each meeting, park officials will present three preliminary road alignment alternatives as well as two video flyovers to explain the damage, environmental challenges, constraints and opportunities of each alignment, per the NPS. 

The Feb. 12 meeting will take place from 3:30 to 5 p.m. while the Feb. 14 meeting is scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the NPS says. 

Starting Feb. 12, the NPS will accept public comments on the project. Comments can be submitted online, by mail or by hand, the release states.