PointofInterestRoadSigns.com - Yellowstone National Park - Fences in the Wilderness

 

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Yellowstone National Park - Fences in the Wilderness

 

Location of sign - US 212 in Lamar Valley near Soda Butte in Yellowstone National Park

 

Photo taken June 2008

Fences in the Wilderness, Fences in the Wilderness sign, Yellowstone National Park  

Close-up view of sign

 

Fences in the Wilderness, Fences in the Wilderness sign, Yellowstone National Park

Fences in the Wilderness, Fences in the Wilderness sign, Yellowstone National Park

Wide views of sign with buffalo using it as a scratching post

Text of sign:

 

Fences in the Wilderness

 

Range enclosures

 

The vast herds of elk and bison consume tons of sedges and grasses, yet Lamar Valley is not turning to desert.  To study the long-

term effects of grazing, researchers fenced a five-acre plot on this hillside to keep out large herbivores.

 

Over the years you would expect a dramatic contrast between fenced and unfenced vegetation.  The results, however, are more

complex.  When shrubs like willow are protected from browsing, their crowns grow fuller though the number of plants does not

increase.  Animals prune shrubs outside the "enclosure" but the shrubs stay healthy even after fifteen years.  Apparently the are not

destroying the unprotected vegetation. 

 

By monitoring the vegetation and the elk herd's population dynamics, scientists can determine the interaction between the vegetation

and the 10,000 to 20,000 elk that graze this northern range in winter.  Elk and bison are specialist, rarely competing for the same

food.

 

Graphics on the sign

 

In addition to the text there are two pictures of range enclosures.

 

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