Prickly Pear on the Rescue Creek Trail

The Boundary Line Area represents some of the sorriest-looking habitat in the Greater Yellowstone Area. It's the area south of the Yellowstone River, north of Gardner Canyon. Elk and bison graze the area extremely hard as they move out of the park in winter, and before they leave the park (where, as they know, they are exposed to hunters).

The Park Service says the conditions of the range are normal, though the park's own elk exclosures would suggest otherwise.

Though even sagebrush is scarce in the BLA, some grasses manage to survive there - - as do prickly pear cacti like these. Prickly pears are native, and not necessarily a sign of an overstressed range, but this part of the Rescue Creek trail sure looks beat-up whenever I'm there.

September 2007.


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