Yellowstone National Park Environment

Fires have always occurred periodically in the Yellowstone ecosystem. Records kept since 1930 show that lightning starts an average of 22 fires each year. Vegetation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has adapted to fire and in some cases is dependent on the removal of the forest overstory to become established. Other plants growing on the forest floor are adapted to survive at a subsistence level for long periods of time until fires open the overstory.

By Area

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Featured Park
Two deserts, two large ecosystems whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation, come together at Joshua Tree National Park. The Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern part of the park and features natural gardens of creosote bush...
Featured Wildlife
Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.