Document Type

Yellowstone National Park Report

First Page


Last Page



As part of the National Park Service's goal of maintaining an area in as natural condition as possible, Yellowstone National Park in 1972 developed a fire policy whereby natural fires were allowed to burn in wilderness areas of the park. Several investigators have studied the relationship between small mammals and fire due to timber management practices (Gashwiler, 1970 and Tevis, 1956) but few studies have investigated the changes in abundance and composition of species of small mammals after recent natural fires (Bendell 1974). The purpose of this ongoing study is to quantify the effects that recent natural fires have had upon small mammal communities. Two burn sites were studies, the Divide fire which burned in 1976 on the south arm of Yellowstone Lake, and the Trail Creek Fire which burned in 1974 on the southeast arm of the lake.