{{cite web | author=U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture | title=Shoshone National Forest | work= | url=http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone/ | accessdate=February 1 | accessyear=2006}}{{cite web | author=PBS | title=Native Peoples | work=Yellowstone, America's Sacred Wilderness | url=http://www.pbs.org/edens/yellowstone/native.html | accessdate=2000}}{{cite web | author=Wind River Country, Wyoming | title=The History of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe | work=Eastern Shoshone Tribe, Wind River Indian Reservation | url=http://www.windrivercountry.com/windriverres/shoshonefront.html | accessdate=2003}}{{cite book | author=Robert Marshall M. Utley | year=2004 | title=After Lewis and Clark: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific | editor= | publisher=Bison Books, Univ. of Nebraska Press | location=Lincoln, NE 2004 ISBN 0803295642}}{{cite web | author=PBS, Ken Burns | title=Private John Colter | work=Lewis and Clark, The Journey of the Corps of Discovery | url=http://www.pbs.org/lewisandclark/inside/jcolt.html | accessdate=February 16 | accessyear=2006}}{{cite web | author=Wyoming Outdoor Council | title=Shoshone National Forest Pulls Timber Sale | work= | url=http://www.wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org/news/newsletter/docs/2002c/dickcreek.php | accessdate=June 1 | accessyear=2002}}{{cite web | author=Wyoming Outdoor Council | title=Setbacks on the Shoshone National Forest | work= | url=http://www.wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org/news/newsletter/docs/1999b/shoshone.php | accessdate=April 1 | accessyear=1999}}{{cite web | author=U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center | title=Rare Plants of Shoshone National Forest (USFS R-2) | work=Wyoming Rare Plant Field Guide, US Forest Service Rare Plant List | url=http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/others/wyplant/shoshone.htm | accessdate=October 14 | accessyear=2004}}{{cite web | author=Shoshone National Forest Planning Staff | title=Draft, Forest Plan Comprehensive Evaluation Report | format=pdf | work= |url=http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone/projects/planning/revision/revision_documents/2005_05_31_draft_fpcer_version1.pdf | accessdate=May 14 | accessyear=2005}}{{cite web | author=U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture | title=Forest Works to Counter Carter Mountain Threats | work= | url=http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone/news/2003/11_04_carter_mountain_project.shtml | accessdate=November 4 | accessyear=2003}}{{cite web | author=U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture | title=Shoshone National Forest Bear Information | work= | url=http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone/recreation/bearinfo/ | accessdate=August 12 | accessyear=2003}}{{cite web | author=National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center | title=Estimated Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Population | work= | url=http://www.bighorn.org/bj.asp | accessdate=March 22 | accessyear=2004}}{{cite web | author=U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture | title=Shoshone National Forest Fishing | work= | url=http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone/recreation/fishing/snf_fish_site/fish_index.htm | accessdate=February 15 | accessyear=2006}}{{cite web | author=Wilderness.net | title=The National Wilderness Preservation System | work=The Wilderness Act of 1964 | url=http://www.wilderness.net/index.cfm?fuse=NWPS&sec=legisAct | accessdate=February 15 | accessyear=2006}}{{cite web | author=U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture | title=Wildland Fire Management | work= | url=http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone/fire/wildland_fire/index.shtml | accessdate=July 29 | accessyear=2005}}{{cite web | author=U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture | title=Wildland Fire Management | work= | url=http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone/fire/wildland_fire/index.shtml | accessdate=July 29 | accessyear=2005}}{{cite web | author=U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture | title=Wildland Fire Management | work= | url=http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone/fire/wildland_fire/index.shtml | accessdate=July 29 | accessyear=2005}}{{cite web | author=U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior | title=Absaroka Mountains | work=America's Volcanic Past | url=http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/LivingWith/VolcanicPast/Places/volcanic_past_montana.html | accessdate=June 11 | accessyear=2003}}{{cite web | author=Yellowstone-Bighorn Research Association | title=Introduction to the Precambrian | work=Local Geology | url=http://www.ybra.org/geology/precamintro.htm | accessdate=2003}}{{cite web | author=U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture | title=Shoshone National Forest, Lakes and Reservoirs | work=Shoshone National Forest Fishing | url=http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone/recreation/fishing/snf_fish_site/lake_reservr.htm | accessdate=February 15 | accessyear=2006}}{{cite book | author=U.S. Forest Service, USDA | title=Shoshone National Forest Recreation Guide | publisher=U.S. Government Printing Office | year=2003 | editor= | id=2003-574-341}}{{cite web | author=Harold J Hutson | title=Wyoming State Water Plan | work= | url=http://waterplan.state.wy.us/plan/bighorn/techmemos/glaciers.html | accessdate=April 2 | accessyear=2003}}{{cite web | author=Wyoming Outdoor Council | title=Vanishing Glaciers in the Wind River Range | work= | url=http://www.wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org/news/newsletter/docs/2003a/ | accessdate=January | accessyear=2003}}{{cite web | author=Larry Pochop, Richard Marston, Greg Kerr, David Veryzer, Marjorie Varuska and Robert Jacobel | title=Glacial Icemelt in the Wind River Range, Wyoming | work=Water Resources Data System Library | url=http://library.wrds.uwyo.edu/wrp/90-16/90-16.html | accessdate=July 11 | accessyear=1990}}{{cite news |first=Cat |last=Urbigkit |title=Glaciers shrinking |date=September 1, 2005 |publisher=Sublette Examiner |url=http://www.sublette.com/examiner/v5n23/v5n23s3.htm}}{{cite web | author=Mauri S. Pelto (Nichols College) | title=The Disequilbrium of North Cascade, Washington Glaciers 1984-2004 | url=http://www.nichols.edu/departments/glacier/diseqilibrium.html | accessdate=February 15 | accessyear=2006}}{{cite web | author=Wyoming Official State Travel Website | title=Wyoming's Weather and Climate | url=http://www.wyomingtourism.org/cms/index.php?id=105 | accessdate=February 16 | accessyear=2006}}{{cite web | author=U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture | title=Planning Revision | format=pdf | work= |url=http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone/projects/planning/revision/comments_requested/2005_12_draft_vision_niche.pdf | accessdate=January | accessyear=2005}}{{cite web | author=Continental Divide trail Alliance | title=Continental Divide National Scenic trail | work= | url=http://www.cdtrail.org/map.html | accessdate=2004}}{{cite web | author=Wyoming Game and Fish | title=Links to Hunting and fishing Information | work= | url=http://gf.state.wy.us/fiscal/license/index.asp | accessdate=February 16 | accessyear=2006}}{{cite web | author=Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation | title=Explore Wyoming | work=America's Byways | url=http://www.byways.org/browse/states/WY/ | accessdate=February 16 | accessyear=2006}}
{{featured article}}{{Infobox_protected_area | name = Shoshone National Forest | iucn_category = VI | image = US_Locator_Blank.svg | caption = | locator_x = 80 | locator_y = 48 | location = [[Wyoming]], [[United States|USA]] | nearest_city = [[Cody, Wyoming|Cody, WY]] | lat_degrees = 44 | lat_minutes = 6 | lat_seconds = 33 | lat_direction = N | long_degrees = 109 | long_minutes = 32 | long_seconds =33 | long_direction = W | area = 2,466,586 acres (9,982 km²) | established = [[March 3]], [[1891]] | visitation_num = 617,000 | visitation_year = 2004 | governing_body = [[United States Forest Service|U.S. Forest Service]] }}'''Shoshone National Forest''' spans over 2.4 million acres (9,700 km²) in the [[U.S. state]] of [[Wyoming]] and was the first [[U.S. Government|federally]] protected forest in the [[United States]]. Originally a part of the Yellowstone Timberland Reserve, the forest was created by an act of [[United States Congress|Congress]] and signed into law by [[U.S. President]] [[Benjamin Harrison]] in 1891. A total of four [[wilderness]] areas are located within the forest, ensuring that more than half of the managed land area will never be developed or altered by human activities. From [[sagebrush]] plains through dense [[spruce]] and [[fir]] forest to craggy [[mountain]] peaks, Shoshone National Forest has a rich [[biodiversity]] rarely matched in any protected area. Three major mountain ranges are partially located in the forest including the [[Absaroka Mountains|Absaroka]], the [[Beartooth Mountains|Beartooth]] and the [[Wind River Range]]. [[Yellowstone National Park]] forms part of the forest boundary to the west; while south of Yellowstone, the [[Continental Divide]] separates the forest from its neighbor, the [[Bridger-Teton National Forest]], which lies west of the divide. To the east the forest boundary includes privately owned property, lands managed by the U.S. [[Bureau of Land Management]] and the [[Wind River Indian Reservation]], which belongs to the [[Shoshone]] and [[Arapahoe]] Indians. [[Custer National Forest]] along the [[Montana]] border is the boundary to the north. The [[Oregon Trail]], the 19th century covered wagon route, passes just south of the forest where broad and gentle [[South Pass]] allowed the migrants to bypass the rugged mountains of the forest. All of the forest is a part of the [[Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem]], an unbroken expanse of federally protected lands encompassing an estimated 20 million acres (80,937 km²). [[Image:Beartooth Lake in Shoshoe National Forest.jpg|thumb|right|250px| Beartooth Lake in Shoshone National Forest]] ==Human history== [[Image:Shoshoni tipis.jpg|right|thumb|250px|[[Shoshone]] Indians in camp, ca. 1890]] Shoshone National Forest is named after the [[Shoshone|Shoshone Indians]], who, along with other [[Native Americans in the United States|Native American]] groups such as the [[Lakota]], [[Crow Tribe|Crow]] and [[Northern Cheyenne]], were the major tribes encountered by the first [[Caucasian race|white]] explorers into the region. [[Archeology|Archeological]] evidence suggests that the presence of Indian tribes in the area extends back at least 8,000 years. The forest provided an abundance of game meat, wood products, and shelter during the winter months from the more exposed high plains to the east. Portions of the more mountainous regions were frequented by the Shoshone and Sioux (Lakota) for spiritual healing and [[vision quest]]s. By 1840, [[Chief Washakie]] had become the leader of the easternmost branch of the Shoshone Indians. In 1868 he negotiated with the U.S. Government for 2.2 million acres (8,903 km²) to be preserved as tribal lands, known today as the [[Wind River Indian Reservation]]. Prior to the establishment of the reservation, the [[U.S. Cavalry]] constructed Fort Brown on the reservation lands, which was subsequently renamed Fort Washakie. During the late 1800s, the fort was staffed by [[African-American]] members of the U.S Cavalry, better known as the [[Buffalo Soldiers]]. Both Chief Washakie and [[Sacajawea]], the Shoshone Indian who provided invaluable assistance to [[Meriwether Lewis]] and [[William Clark]] during the [[Lewis and Clark expedition]], are buried at the fort, which is located immediately east of the forest boundary. In the early 1800s, the forest was visited by [[mountain men]] and explorers such as [[John Colter]] and [[Jim Bridger]]. Colter is the first white man known to have visited both the Yellowstone region and the forest in the period between 1806 and 1808. Having been an original member of the [[Lewis and Clark Expedition]], Colter requested permission from [[Meriwether Lewis]] to leave the expedition after it had finished crossing the [[Rocky Mountains]] during their return journey from the [[Pacific Ocean]]. Colter teamed up with two unaffiliated explorers the expedition had encountered, but soon thereafter decided to explore regions south of where his new partners wished to venture. Traveling first into the northeastern region of what is today Yellowstone National Park, Colter then explored the [[Absaroka Mountains]], crossing over [[Togwotee Pass]] and entering the valley known today as [[Jackson Hole]]. Colter survived both a [[Brown bear|grizzly bear]] attack and a pursuit by a band of [[Blackfeet]] Indians that had taken his horse and striped him naked. The explorer later provided [[William Clark]], who had been his previous commander on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, with previously unknown information of the regions he had explored, which Clark published in 1814. [[Image:Wolf Mine Shaft.jpg|left|250px|thumb|Wolf Mine shaft at abandoned gold mine]] Travels by [[fur trade|fur trappers]] and adventurers, such as [[Manuel Lisa]] and Jim Bridger from 1807 to 1840, completed the exploration of the region. With the decline of the fur trade in the late 1840s and much of the prized [[beaver]] long since made scarce by over trapping, few regions of the forest were visited again until the federally sponsored explorations under direction of [[Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden|F.V. Hayden]] in 1871. Hayden was primarily interested in documenting the Yellowstone country west of the forest, but his expedition also established that the forest was a prime resource that merited protection. Travels in the forest in the 1880s by later [[U.S. President]] [[Theodore Roosevelt]], who was also a strong advocate of land [[Conservation movement|conservation]], provided the impetus that subsequently established the Yellowstone Timberland Reserve in 1891, creating the first national forest in the U.S. In 1902 President Roosevelt first greatly expanded the reserve and then divided the reserve into four separate units, with the Shoshone being the largest. Upon the creation of the U.S. Forest Service in 1905, the reserve was designated as a [[National Forest]], but the current wording and title that exist today were designated forty years later in 1945. Built in 1903, the Wapiti Ranger Station is located west of [[Cody, Wyoming]], and is the oldest ranger station in any U.S. National Forest and is also listed on the [[National Register of Historic Places]]. During the last decade of the 19th century, minerals such as [[gold]] were mined with limited success. The last mine was abandoned in 1907, but panning for gold is still allowed in many areas of the forest, and in most circumstances, no permit is required. After the end of the mining era, numerous camps were established by the [[Civilian Conservation Corps]] to help combat unemployment during the [[Great Depression]] of the 1930s. The camps housed groups of unemployed men who were paid by the federal government to build roads, [[hiking]] trails, and [[campground]]s for future travelers to the Yellowstone region. Visitation rapidily increased after the end of [[World War II]] with the arrival of better roads and accessibility to the region. ==Forest management== [[Image:Map of Shoshone National Forest.jpg|right|thumb|125px|Map of Shoshone National Forest]] Shoshone National Forest is managed by the [[United States Forest Service|U.S. Forest Service]], an agency within the [[United States Department of Agriculture|U.S. Department of Agriculture]]. The forest is separated into five districts and has a staff of 145 employees. The annual operating budget is $15,000,000, with much of that from grants. The main headquarters and a visitor center are located in [[Cody, Wyoming]] and a smaller information center is located in [[Lander, Wyoming]]. As is true with all National Forests in the U.S., Shoshone National Forest practices [[Conservation ecology|conservation]] of resources which ensures a sustainable flow of some raw materials from the forest, such as [[lumber]] for construction purposes and [[Wood pulp|wood pulp]] for paper products. Additionally, [[mineral]] [[mining|extraction]] and [[Petroleum|oil]] and [[Natural gas|gas]] exploration and recovery are also conducted, though in Shoshone National Forest this has become less common due to a consensus to protect the pristine nature of region. More common than logging and mining are the lease options that are offered to [[ranching|ranchers]] to allow them to graze [[cattle]] and [[sheep]]. The forest provides guidelines and enforces environmental regulations to ensure that resources are not overexploited and to ensure necessary commodities are available for future populations, though conservation groups have voiced concerns over the management practices of the leasing program and especially cattle overgrazing problems. The efforts of [[environmentalist]]s combined with public demand led to the creation of [[wilderness]] designated zones beginning in 1964 within most U.S. Government land areas that fit the criteria of wilderness. The wilderness designation provides a much higher level of land protection and prohibits any alterations by man to the resource. In Shoshone National Forest, less than ten percent of the total area is utilized for land lease, [[forestry|logging]] or mineral extraction. The rest of the forest is either designated wilderness, reserved for habitat protection for plants and animals, or set aside for visitor recreation. However, the overgrazing of cattle in [[riparian]] areas and into zones not within lease agreements is a continuous argument. Oil and gas exploration interest groups also lobby to explore regions that may adversely impact wildlife habitat. Plans to build roads into nonwilderness areas for easier extraction of timber has come under fire and is not in compliance with recent legislation that prohibited such construction. Illegal off road motorized transport by all terrain vehicles and snowmobiles continues to be a problem, especially in wilderness areas. Lastly, protection of [[threatened species|threatened]] and [[endangered species]] such as the [[Grizzly bear]] and [[Wolf]] is sometimes met with opposition from local ranching interests. ==Natural resources== [[Image:Aspen tree grove in Shoshone National Forest.jpg|right|thumb|250px|A grove of Quaking [[Aspen]] and [[Lodgepole Pine]] in the spring]] ===Flora=== Shoshone National Forest has documented 1,300 distinct [[species]] of [[tree]]s and [[plants]] and new discoveries are found every year. While the lower elevations often have [[sagebrush]] and [[Grassland|grasses]], the forested sections are dominated by various species of trees including [[Subalpine Fir]], [[Engelmann Spruce]], [[Whitebark Pine]] and [[Limber Pine]], all of which are found at the higher elevations up to the [[Tree-line|timberline]]. The most common tree species that is [[forestry|logged]] are the [[Lodgepole Pine]], which along with [[Juniperus scopulorum|Rocky Mountains Juniper]], [[Douglas Fir]] and [[Aspen|Quaking Aspen]] are more commonly found at elevations up to 9,000 feet (2,743 m). Along streams and waterways, the [[Cottonwood]] tree is common, but only at lower altitudes. Numerous plant species are [[Endemic (ecology)|endemic]] to the region and are not known to occur anywhere else in the world. Among these native plants the [[Draba|Whitlow Grass]], [[Brassicaceae|Fremont Bladderpod]], Shoshonea, and the [[Asteraceae|North Fork Easter Daisy]] provide vivid white and yellow flowers during the spring and summer. [[Exotic species]] are usually introduced accidentally into the forest from vehicles, traveling many miles from their native habitat. In most cases, these exotic plant species are found near roadways and campgrounds and the forest has an evasive species control effort that identifies and attempts to contain the further spread of non-native plants. The [[Mountain pine beetle]] is a naturally occurring [[insect]] species that is known to infest forest groves, and are particularly common in areas with numerous Lodgepole pines and fir trees. During strong infestations, the beetle can wipe out huge areas of forest, increasing wildfire potential, reducing habitat and the sustainability of the forest. Insects such as [[mosquito]]s and [[Fly|Black flies]] can be pesky in the spring and summer and at the highest altitudes are known to be very bothersome. ===Fauna=== [[Image:Grizzly Bear sow and cub in Shoshone National Forest.jpg|250px|right|thumb|[[Grizzly]] sow and cub]] Since the migration of the [[Endangered species|endangered]] [[Gray Wolf]] into Shoshone National Forest after the successful Wolf Reintroduction Program in the Yellowstone region commenced in the late 1990s, virtually all of the known 50 [[mammal]] species that existed prior to white settlement still exist today. An estimated 125 [[Grizzly Bear]]s are believed to exist within the forest and are more common in the northern sections. They range between the forest, Yellowstone National Park and the two other National Forests that border the Shoshone. The grizzly is listed as a [[threatened species]] by the [[U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service]] in the lower 48 states and the forest is one of their last strongholds. For what are considered to be "problem bears", non-lethal traps are set to capture them so that they can be relocated to remote areas, away from civilization. In the case of the grizzly, each captured bear is tranquilized and then ear tagged with an identifying number. Each number is registered and if the bear continues to return to areas where they pose a serious risk of imminent threat to human safety, they are exterminated. This situation occurs much more infrequently with the smaller and less aggressive [[American black bear|Black bear]], of which an estimated 500 reside in the forest. An active management program in conjunction with other National Forests and National Parks within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem works cooperatively to maximize human safety and to ensure habitat protection for both species of endemic bears. Visitors are mandated to store their food in their vehicles or in steel containers found in campgrounds, and bear proof trash receptacles are located in the front-country zones throughout the forest. In the backcountry, food must be stored some distance from campsites and other related precautions are mandated to help prevent bad encounters. [[Image:Bighorn Sheep in Shoshone National Forest.jpg|left|250px|thumb|[[Bighorn Sheep]]]] The [[Mountain Lion]] (also known as the Puma or Cougar) is, in addition to the Gray Wolf, one of the two major [[carnivores]] that inhabit the forest. The [[nocturnal]] Mountain Lion is rarely seen and their numbers are not known, but evidence such as numerous paw prints suggests they are widespread. The [[Gray Wolf]] has migrated into the forest from Yellowstone National Park but is less common in the forest. The population of wolves is hoped to increase over time for this endangered species. Other omnivorous mammals in the forest include the [[wolverine]], [[coyote]], [[bobcat]], [[weasel]], [[marten]] and [[ferret]]. Additionally, the [[beaver]], [[marmot]], [[pika]], [[raccoon]] and [[badger]] are commonly found throughout the forest. Native herbivores such as the [[Moose]] are found in small numbers near waterways, especially at lower elevations. [[Red Deer|Wapiti]] (or Elk), [[Mule deer]] and [[Pronghorn]] (also called pronghorn antelope) are some of the most commonly seen mammals and there are some small populations of [[Bison]]. [[Bighorn Sheep]] and [[Mountain goat]]s inhabit the rocky terrain and highest elevations. During the winter, the largest Bighorn sheep herd in the lower 48 states congregate in the region around [[Dubois, Wyoming]]; however, their numbers since 1990 have been greatly diminished due to disease and coyote predation. An estimated 300 species of birds are found in the forest at least part of the year. The threatened [[Bald Eagle|Bald]] and [[Golden Eagle]]s are more common now than they have been for decades and tend to inhabit areas near waterways. [[Peregrine Falcon]], [[Merlin (bird)|Merlin]], [[hawk]]s and the [[Great Horned Owl]] are other birds of prey have become more widespread as well. The gregarious [[Black-billed Magpie]] and [[Clark's Nutcracker]] (in the [[Corvidae|crow family]]) frequent areas near campgrounds and lakes. The [[Trumpeter Swan]] is found in very limited numbers, primarily in or near lakes and streams. Other waterfowl such as the [[Great Blue Heron]], [[White Pelican]], [[Canada Goose]] and numerous species of [[duck]]s are also seen. [[Common Pheasant]], [[Sage Grouse]] and [[Wild Turkey]] are widely distributed across the open sage lands. [[Image:Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout.jpg|right|250px|thumb|[[Yellowstone cutthroat trout]]]] There are eight species and subspecies of [[Trout]] present in streams in the Forest, with the [[Cutthroat Trout]] being the only species native to Wyoming. The [[Yellowstone cutthroat trout]] is found only in the forest and adjacent parks and is one of four subspecies of cutthroat trout in the forest. Additional game fish species include [[Arctic grayling]], [[Coregonus|Mountain whitefish]] and the [[Sturgeon|Shovelnose sturgeon]]. There are few [[reptile]]s in the forest, however several snake species including the venomous [[Rattlesnake|Prairie Rattlesnake]] can be found at lower elevations along with other reptiles such as the [[Painted Turtle|Western Painted Turtle]] and the [[Box Turtle|Ornate Box Turtle]]. Amphibians such as the [[Frog|Columbia Spotted Frog]], [[Tiger Salamander]] and the [[Toad|Boreal Toad]] are relatively common. ===Wilderness=== [[Image:Popo Agie Wilderness Wind River Range.jpg|thumb|250px|right|[[Popo Agie Wilderness]]]] The forest contains four regions of [[wilderness]], that is, pristine areas that have remained largely untouched by human activities, such as mining, logging, and road and building construction. The four regions comprise 1.5 million acres (6,000 km²) and include the [[North Absaroka Wilderness|North Absaroka]], [[Washakie Wilderness|Washakie]], [[Fitzpatrick Wilderness|Fitzpatrick]] and [[Popo Agie Wilderness]]es. Additionally, a small portion of the [[Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness]] extends into the extreme northwestern part of the forest, along the Montana border. The [[Wilderness Act|Wilderness Act of 1964]] began an effort to enhance the protection status of remote and/or undeveloped land already contained within federally administered lands. Passage of the act ensured that no human improvements would take place aside from those already existing. The protection status in wilderness designated zones prohibits road and building [[construction]], [[Petroleum|oil]] and [[mineral]] exploration or [[mining|extraction]], logging and also prohibits the use of motorized equipment, including even [[bicycle]]s. The only manner in which people can enter wilderness designated areas is either on foot or [[horseback]]. [[Hunting]] and [[fishing]] are permitted in the wilderness just as they are throughout the forest, provided those engaging in such activities have the proper licenses and permits. ===Fire ecology=== Shoshone National Forest has an active Fire Management Program which recognizes that [[forest fire]]s are a natural part of the ecosystem; however, this was not always the case. Historic fire fighting efforts which emphasized quickly extinguishing all fires, created huge sources of fuel in the form of dead and dying trees, limbs and leaves littered the forest floor. After the catastrophic fires in the Yellowstone region in 1988, an effort to identify areas of similar fire potential was implemented. Working cooperatively with the National Interagency Fire Center, a multiagency effort of federal, state and local resources, and local land owners on the Wildland-Urban Interface, a system of fire restrictions, fuels management, and a [[Controlled burn|controlled burn]] plan was developed to reduce the chances of a huge catastrophic fire. Lightning causes 70% of the wildfires that occur in the forest. These are usually produced by thunderstorms that have a lot of energy but little associated moisture, a common occurrence during midsummer. The remainder of the wildfires are the result of neglected campfires and other human carelessness. In the case of nonnatural wildfires, the forest has a policy of complete suppression except in cases of prescribed burns, which are a part of the Fire Management Plan. An average of 25 fires occur every year, and larger fires of over 1,000 acres (4 km²) occur about every three years. In 2003 over 50 fires were recorded, and of these five exceeded 1,000 acres (4 km²). [[Image:Forest fire in Shoshone National Forest 2001.jpg|right|250px|thumb|Dinwoody spot fire in 2001]] The forest maintains a full-time fire staff of a dozen individuals through the summer. Their jobs include maintaining a high level of preparedness, keeping a vigilant lookout for fire activity, responding to reports of fires, maintaining equipment, monitoring weather and relative atmospheric dryness, and preparing daily fire activity reports, which are used to post fire information for visitors and staff. The forest has five wildland fire engines, pumps, hand tools and many miles of fire hose at its disposal. A [[helicopter]] can be summoned quickly, along with a regional base for a team of [[smokejumper]]s and air tankers used to provide air support in the manner of retardant and water drops. In the case of larger fires, the National Interagency Fire Command can activate available resources within days or even hours. ==Geography and geology== [[Image:Gannett Peak.jpg|right|250px|right|thumb|[[Gannett Peak]] is the highest mountain in Wyoming and the forest]] The altitude in the forest ranges from 4,600 feet (1,402 m) near Cody, Wyoming, to 13,804 feet (4,207 m) at the top of [[Gannett Peak]], an elevation gain of 9,204  feet (2,805 m). Of the three major [[mountain range]]s found in the forest, they are [[geology|geologically]] distinct from each other. All of the mountains found in the forest are a part of the [[Rocky Mountains]] and are at the transitional point between the central Rockies and the northern Rockies. The [[Absaroka Mountains]] were named after the [[Crow tribe|Crow]] Indian tribe, although they only inhabited the far northernmost part to the mountain range. The majority of the Absaroka Mountains are contained within the forest, with the highest peak in the mountain range being [[Francs Peak]] at 13,153 feet (4009 m). Stretching north to south through the northern and eastern sections of the forest, they span over 100 miles (160 km) from the [[Montana]] border to south of [[Dubois, Wyoming]]. Important [[mountain pass|passes]] through the Absarokas include [[Sylvan Pass]], which leads to the eastern entrance of Yellowstone National Park; and [[Togwotee Pass]], which provides access to Jackson Hole and [[Grand Teton National Park]]. The peaks of the Absaroka are [[basaltic]] in origin, having been the result of volcanic activity estimated to have occurred 50 million years ago during the [[Eocene]] [[epoch (geology)|epoch]]. The rocks themselves are relatively dark and consist of [[rhyolite]], [[andesite]] and [[breccia]]s. Because of the erosional influences of glaciers and water and the relative softness of the rocks, the Absarokas are quite craggy in appearance. [[Gold]] was mined from the slopes of [[Francs Peak]] until 1907, and the small [[ghost town]] of Kirwin is still visited today. Few lakes exist in the Absarokas, but the headwaters of both the [[Bighorn River|Bighorn]] and [[Yellowstone River]]s are found there. The Beartooth Mountains in the northernmost section of the forest are [[granitic]] and [[metamorphic]] in origin. Some rocks in that area have been dated up to 3.96 billion years old, which makes these exposed [[Precambrian]] rocks some of the oldest on [[Earth]]. Although oftentimes considered a part of the Absarokas, they are distinct in appearance and geologic history. Uplifted approximately 70 million years ago during the [[Laramide orogeny]], the Beartooths consist of vast windswept plateaus and rugged peaks with sometimes sheer cliff faces. The granite, [[gneiss]] and [[schist]] rocks are rich in minerals such as [[chromium]] and [[platinum]]. [[Iron]] and [[magnesium]] are found in the [[biotite]], [[amphiboles]] and [[pyroxene]] minerals throughout the range. [[Quartz]] and [[feldspar]]s are also commonly found. Geologists believe that the Beartooth's were at one time at least 20,000 feet (6,096 m) in altitude, but subsequent erosion for tens of millions of years has reduced them to an average of 12,000 feet (3,657 m) for the higher peaks. There are an estimated 300 lakes in the Beartooth region of Shoshone National Forest, some of them left behind by the receding glaciers of the last major [[ice age]] glaciation known as the [[Pinedale Glaciation]], which ended roughly 10,000 years ago. The [[Beartooth Highway]] ([[U.S. Highway 212]]) crosses 10,974 foot (3,345 m) Beartooth Pass, and from there descends to the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park. [[Image:Cirque of the Towers.jpg|left|250px|thumb|[[Cirque of the Towers]] [[U.S. Geological Survey]]]] The Wind River Range is in the southern portion of the forest and is composed primarily of granitic rock, gneiss and schist. Gannett Peak is the highest peak in Wyoming, and another seven peaks also exceed 13,500 feet (4,115 m). At one time, [[Fremont Peak (Wyoming)|Fremont Peak]] was thought to be the tallest mountain in the Rocky Mountains due to its prominence when viewed from the Oregon Trail. In total, over 230 mountains rise above 12,000 feet (3,600 m). This range is also popular with mountain climbers from all over the world because of its solid rock and variety of routes. The [[Cirque of the Towers]] in the [[Popo Agie Wilderness]] is one of the more popular climbing and hiking destinations, and an estimated 200 different climbing routes are located within the peaks that surround the [[cirque]]. Hundreds of lakes are located in this region as are the headwaters of the [[Wind River (Wyoming)|Wind River]]. Altogether, over 500 lakes are located in the forest, as well as 2,500 miles (4,023 km) of streams and rivers. The [[Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River]] is designated as a [[National Wild and Scenic River]] for 22 miles (35 km) through the forest, with cliffs towering up to 2,000 feet (610 m) as the river winds through a gorge. All of the forest is located on the eastern slopes of the Continental Divide, and all the rivers that flow out of the forest eventually empty into the [[Atlantic Ocean|Atlantic Ocean basin]]. ===Glaciology=== According to the U.S. Forest Service, Shoshone National Forest has the most individual glaciers in any single U.S. National Forest in the Rocky Mountains. According to the forest recreation guide, there are sixteen named and 140 unnamed glaciers within the forest, all of which are located in the Wind River Range. Forty-four of these glaciers are found in the [[Fitzpatrick Wilderness]], centered around the highest mountain peaks. However, the state water board for Wyoming lists only 63 glaciers for the entire Wind River Range, and this includes areas outside the forest boundaries. While there is little doubt that the forest has more glaciers than any other in the rockies, there is no controversy that all of the glaciers in the forest are retreating rapidly. Reversing the growth that occurred during the [[Little Ice Age]] (1350–1850), there has been a [[Retreat of glaciers since 1850|reduction of mountain glacial ice]] worldwide of 50% since 1850. Much of this reduction has been well documented by [[photography|photographic]] evidence and other data. An increase in recession rate since the 1970s, however, seems to be correlated with anthropogenic [[global warming]]. [[Image:Gannet Peak with Gannett Glacier.jpg|300px|right|thumb|[[Gannett Glacier]]]] The behavior of the glaciers of Shoshone National Forest is consistent with this pattern. The area covered by glaciers shrank by 50 percent in the century after they were first photographed in the late 1890s. Research between 1950 and 1999 demonstrated that the glaciers shrank by over a third of their size over that period. Research also indicates that the glacial retreat was proportionately greater in the 1990s than in any other decade of the last 100 years. [[Gannett Glacier]], on the northeast slope of Gannett Peak, is the largest single glacier in the U.S. Rocky Mountains. It has reportedly lost over 50 percent of its volume since 1920 with 25 percent of that loss since 1980. The small glaciers found in the forest are less able to resist melting as compared to the great ice sheets of [[Greenland]] and [[Antarctica]], that are also clearly showing evidence of shrinkage. Once a glacier begins retreating it may fall into disequilibrium and be unable to find [[Glacier mass balance|mass balance]] at any size. Without a favorable climate change, it will continue to retreat until it disappears. Glaciologists believe that if the current trends continue, by the middle of the 21st century, all the remaining glaciers in the forest will have disappeared. Shrinkage already reduces the summer glacial runoff that supplies water to streams and lakes and provides a cold-water source vital to certain fish and plant species. This, in turn, may have a significant impact on the forest ecosystem over time. ==Climate== With an average of less than 10 inches (25 cm) of precipitation annually, Wyoming is generally considered an [[arid]] state. However, Shoshone National Forest is located in some of the largest mountain ranges in the state, which ensure that glaciers and snowmelt provide water for streams through the dry [[summer]] months. The average temperature at the lower elevations is 72 °F (22.2 °C) during the summer and 20 °F (−6.7 °C) during the winter, and the higher peaks average 20 °F (−6.7 °C) below those figures. The hottest temperature ever recorded is 105 °F (40.6 °C), while a reading of −52 °F (−47 °C) was recorded in 1993. Most of the precipitation falls in the [[winter]] and early [[Spring (season)|spring]], while summer is punctuated with widely scattered afternoon and evening thunderstorms. The [[fall]] is usually cool and dry. Due to the altitude and dryness of the atmosphere, vigorous radiative cooling occurs throughout the year, and temperature variances of 50 °F (10 °C) daily are normal. Consequently, the nights range from very cool in the summer to [[artic|extremely cold]] in the winter; therefore, visitors should always remember to bring along at least a jacket, even during the summer. ==Recreation== Over half a million visitors will spend at least one night in the forest in an average year, and the majority of tourists visit the Forest between June and September. Two visitor centers provide orientation, books, maps, and interpretive displays and are staffed by either forest service interpreters or volunteers. The Wapiti Wayside is located on the [[Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway]], west of [[Cody, Wyoming]] adjacent to the historic Wapiti Ranger Station. Another visitor center is located to the south in [[Lander, Wyoming]]. There are 30 vehicle access [[campground]]s in the forest with up to 27 individual sites each. Approximately half of these campgrounds provide running water and restroom facilities and also provide for handicapped accessibility. Referred to as "front country" campgrounds, they also permit [[recreational vehicle]] access in most cases. All of the campgrounds are on a first come, first served basis except for the Rex Hale campground, which is on the National Recreation Reservation Service; a phone and web-based system that permits campsite reservation months ahead of time. Due to the presence of Grizzly Bears, some of the campgrounds require what is referred to as "hard-sided" camping only, and tent camping is not permitted. [[Image:Horseback riding Shoshone National Forest.jpg|right|250px|thumb|Horseback riding in Greybull Ranger District]] For some visitors the greater solitude of the "backcountry" requires accessing [[trail|hiking trails]] and then [[backpack]]ing or [[Horseback|horseback]] riding into more remote destinations. There are dozens of trails which total over 1,500 miles (2,400 km) spread throughout the forest. The [[Continental Divide Trail]] weaves its way through the forest, though it follows alternatively named trails for some of the distance. There is also the [[Nez Perce National Historic Trail]] and the Beartooth Loop National Recreation Trail, both of which are in the northern regions of the forest. Some remote areas can be accessed by horseback. Trailheads usually provide enough room for horse and pack animal trailers plus personal vehicles. Along forest access roads, [[all terrain vehicle]]s are allowed, however there are plans to limit their use in most of the forest. [[Hunting]] and [[fishing]] are popular recreational activities permitted throughout the forest, provided that proper permits are obtained and the applicable rules and regulations are followed. Hunting regulations are altered each year to ensure certain species are protected from overhunting and to maximize personal safety. Many of the streams and rivers within the forest are considered to be "Blue Ribbon Trout Streams". 1,700 miles (2,735 km) of streams and 500 lakes that can be legally fished from, provide plenty of elbow room during even the most crowded of fishing seasons. Hunting and fishing licenses are sponsored by the state of Wyoming and are available through the state department of fish and game. The southern section of the forest in the Wind River Range is the primary destination for [[Mountaineering|mountain climber]]s. Twenty-nine of the highest 30 peaks in Wyoming are located here, and the mountains are primarily of granitic rock with countless cliffs and sheer rock walls. The [[Cirque of the Towers]] is particularly popular as it has numerous peaks within a relatively short distance of each other. Winter activities include [[cross-country skiing]] and [[snowmobiling]]. The Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail is a popular groomed snowmobile route through portions of the forest. With up to 40 feet (12.2 m) of snow annually in the higher elevations, the snowmobile season extends usually from the beginning of December to the middle of April. [[Lander, Wyoming|Lander]] and [[Cody, Wyoming|Cody]] and the area near [[Togwotee Pass]] are the hubs of snowmobile activity in the forest. Numerous outfitters rent snowmobiles on a daily basis and can provide guided trips for those less experienced. A number of motels also remain open during the winter to provide food and lodging. Snowmobile activity has increased in the forest with increased restrictions on their use within Yellowstone National Park. ===Scenic roads=== [[Image:Sunlight bridge.jpg|250px|right|thumb|Sunlight Bridge on the [[Chief Joseph Scenic Byway]]]] As a gateway to two entrances leading into Yellowstone National Park from the east, the forest has a number of scenic roadways. A federally designated [[All-American Road]], the [[Beartooth Highway]] ([[U.S. Highway 212]]), weaves through the forest and serves as the northeastern entranceway to Yellowstone National Park. Immediately south of the Beartooth Highway, the [[Chief Joseph Scenic Byway]] (Wyoming route 296) follows the old trail in which [[Chief Joseph]] and the [[Nez Perce]] tribe attempted to flee the [[U.S. Cavalry]] in 1877. South of there, Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway (US 14/16/20) heads west from Cody, Wyoming and crosses [[Sylvan Pass]] as it enters Yellowstone. Lastly, the [[Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway]] (US 26/287) heads west from [[Dubois, Wyoming]], over Togwotee Pass and enters Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park. The Chief Joseph, Buffalo Bill Cody and Wyoming Centennial byways have all been designated by the U.S. Government as [[National Scenic Byway]]s. ==References== {{Commons|Shoshone National Forest|Shoshone National Forest}} ===Cited references=== ===General references===
*{{cite web | author=Wyoming Game and Fish | title=Official State List of Birds, Mammals, Amphibians, and Reptiles in Wyoming | work=Wyoming Game & Fish Species List | url=http://gf.state.wy.us/wildlife/nongame/SpeciesList/index.asp | accessdate=February 16 | accessyear=2006}} *{{cite web | author=National Interagency Fire Center | title=Links to wildland fire information | work= | url=http://www.nifc.gov/ | accessdate=February 16 | accessyear=2006}} *{{cite web | author=National Fire Plan | title=What is the National Fire Plan | work= | url=http://www.fireplan.gov/overview/whatis.html | accessdate=September 21 | accessyear=2004}} *{{cite web | author=U.S. National Forest Campground Guide | title=Shoshone National Forest - Campgrounds | work= | url=http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/rockymtn/shos.htm#lookup | accessdate=2005}}
==Additional reading==
*{{cite book | author=William J. Fritz | title=Roadside Geology of the Yellowstone Country | publisher=Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula | year=1985 | editor= | id=ISBN 0-87842-170-X}} *{{cite book | author=John O. Whitaker, National Audubon Society Staff | title=National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals | publisher=Knopf Publishing Group, New York, N.Y. | year=1996 | editor= | id=ISBN 0679446311}} *{{cite book | author=Elbert L. Little | title=National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Western Edition | publisher=Knopf Publishing Group, New York, N.Y. | year=1980 | editor= | id=ISBN 0394507614}} *{{cite book | author=Robert Marshall M. Utley | title=After Lewis and Clark: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific | publisher=Bison Books, Univ. of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE | year=2004 | editor= | id=ISBN 0803295642}} *{{cite book | author=Rebecca Woods | title=Walking the Winds: A Hiking and Fishing Guide to Wyoming's Wind River Range | publisher=White Willow Publishing, Jackson WY | year=1994 | editor= | id=ISBN 0964242303}}
==External links== * [http://wyoshpo.state.wy.us/wapiti.htm Image of Wapiti Ranger Station listed on National Register of Historic Places] [[Category:Geography of Wyoming]] [[Category:History of Wyoming]] [[Category:National Forests of the United States]] [[Category:Wyoming landmarks]]