Environment: Springtime in The Rockies

Yellowstone recovers from the flames but becomes the center of a debate

Across a parcel of scorched landscape, a pair of male ground squirrels are enacting an annual ritual. Chirping madly, the rivals dash at each other, tails raised, seeking to establish hegemony over the turf that will become a summer home for mate and offspring. The battle is fierce but short; the loser scuttles off into the sagebrush. The victor preens on hind legs, surveying a domain where shoots of bluebunch wheatgrass, Idaho fescue and larkspur have begun to sprout. It is springtime in the Rockies, and Yellowstone National Park is emerging from hibernation -- and recovering from the most troubled time...

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