Yellowstone Awarded Funding for Two Centennial Challenge Projects

Gardiner Gateway and Native Trout Enhancement Projects Receive Funding

Yellowstone National Park recently received $1 million from the National Park Service Centennial Challenge funding for two significant partnership projects. The appropriation was more than matched with money from the park’s partner fundraising organization, the Yellowstone Park Foundation (YPF).

An appropriation of $500,000 in Centennial Challenge funds will go to the Gardiner Gateway Project to be added to nearly $16 million already allocated to the project through YPF, local partners and additional federal and state funding sources. The project will restore and enhance the park’s only year-round entrance, the North Entrance from Gardiner, Mont., which includes the park’s iconic Roosevelt Arch. The project will improve the road, parking, walks, signage and pedestrian areas to meet modern road and accessibility standards.

The second Centennial Challenge Project funded in Yellowstone National Park will help preserve the native Yellowstone cutthroat trout and return the natural function of the ecosystem.  The appropriation of $500,000 will be added to the $1 million Yellowstone Park Foundation annual commitment to the fish restoration project. Native cutthroat trout are thought to be among the most ecologically important fish of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Several factors, nonnative species and disease among them, are threatening the persistence of these fish. Ongoing efforts since 1994 to restore habitat and reduce the numbers of nonnative species are proving successful as the numbers of both healthy adult and juvenile cutthroat trout have been increasing for the past two years, while the numbers of nonnative species are showing a decline.

“We are very gratified that our support has contributed to the progress that the park is making to restore the Yellowstone cutthroat trout, an essential species that plays such a vital role in Yellowstone Lake’s ecosystem,” said Yellowstone Park Foundation President Karen Bates Kress.  “Our many individual, corporate, and foundation donors have helped make it happen.”

“As the National Park Service approaches its Centennial in 2016, the Yellowstone Park Foundation is making a big difference,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk. “The Yellowstone Park Foundation is raising private funds to match federal appropriations for projects, which greatly increases the investments we can make to improve the facilities and programs in Yellowstone.”

Nationwide, 106 projects in more than 100 parks in 31 states and the District of Columbia were funded with a $10 million Congressional appropriation that was matched with $15.9 million from more than 90 partner organizations.

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GGP Phase I Construction Begins, 2015 Spring YNP Park Roads Opening, 2015 National Park Week

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Construction Resumes On Gardiner Gateway Project

Contact:  Amy Bartlett, Yellowstone National Park, 307-344-2015
Construction Resumes On Gardiner Gateway Project 
GARDINER, Mont. (March 18, 2015) – Road construction is set to resume next week within the community of Gardiner Montana at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
Riverside Contracting Inc. of Missoula, Mont., is gearing up to begin Phase 1 of  nearly $15 million worth of infrastructure improvements funded through the Federal Lands Access Program, which includes $1.5 million from generous donors to the Yellowstone Park Foundation and over $2 million in local match from Park County, Montana and the National Park Service.
During the early stages of construction, the contractor will begin removal of sidewalks, curbs, and gutters along US-89 south of the bridge over the Yellowstone River in Gardiner, with the work subsequently advancing along West Park Street.  During construction, visitors and area residents will be able to travel between Gardiner and the park’s North Entrance 24-hours a day, with detours and delays of up to 15 minutes possible due to the ongoing construction.
This spring, the Montana Department of Transportation will also be working on another section of US-89 through Gardiner.   Work crews plan mill-and-fill road repairs on the road north of the Yellowstone River Bridge to approximately mile post 13.  Short traffic delays are possible during construction.
The Federal Highway Administration Western Federal Lands Division, in cooperation with the Gardiner Gateway Project partners, plans to celebrate completion of a major portion of the project in conjunction with the National Park Service Centennial in 2016.  Funding for additional community enhancements is actively being pursued by project partners.
The Gardiner Gateway Project is designed to improve deficiencies to infrastructure, reduce traffic congestion, enhance parking, and provide for better pedestrian accessibility as well as increased vehicle and pedestrian safety.
Regular updates regarding upcoming project events and implementation will be posted in the Gardiner Newsletter and on the following websites: