Area residents plan Yellowstone cleanup in light of government shutdown

By: 
Joseph Bullington —
Friday, January 4, 2019

The north entrance station to Yellowstone National Park, pictured here Wednesday, is unstaffed due to the ongoing partial government shutdown. (Enterprise photo by Nate Howard)

Some Gardiner locals have decided to take the inorganic matter into their own hands. 

With no end in sight to the partial federal government shutdown, volunteers are planning to head into Yellowstone National Park this weekend to pick up litter, take out the trash and clean and stock the bathrooms.

“This is where we live, this is our pride, and we want to keep it nice regardless of the shutdown,” said Chuck Tanner, owner of K-Bar Pizza in Gardiner and organizer of the cleanup effort. “If the shutdown continues, we’ll have to do it again in a week.”

On Saturday, a volunteer crew led by Mike Skelton will start at Cooke City and work west toward Mammoth Hot Springs. People interested in participating can meet at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Yellowstone River Picnic Area just east of Tower junction.

On Sunday, a crew led by Tanner will start in Mammoth Hot Springs and work east. People interested in participating can meet at 9:30 a.m. in Gardiner at the Conoco Station.

Wade Laubach, the owner of the Conoco station, is offering $20 gas cards to any volunteer who brings their own vehicle.

“And we’ll feed everybody when they come out,” said Tanner.