Have You Taken the Yellowstone Pledge?

by Jon D. B.

Alongside television’s #1 show, we stand with Yellowstone National Park. Take the pledge. Tell a friend. Protect the park.

As Outsiders, it’s our duty to protect the land we love. It’s what we do. And whether it’s through the eyes of Paramount’s Dutton empire, Broken Rock Reservation, or the national park itself, this mission also takes precedence in the #1 show on television.

We don’t need to tell you that show is Yellowstone. The show’s namesake, however, could use our help.

Whether it’s in Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or the hundreds of other National Park Sites across America, the National Park Service works hard to protect our nation’s most treasured places. And as Outsiders, we can, too.

Yellowstone has done so in the past through terrific work with park local and Ryan actor Ian Bohen. But as fans of the show’s relentlessly American spirit, and the lands and history it showcases, we can do more. All of us.

One of the best ways to begin is by taking the Yellowstone Pledge.

Take the Pledge. Tell a Friend. Protect the Park.

What is the Yellowstone Pledge, you ask? As the national park states, “It’s a personal promise you make to yourself and the park. It can be taken anywhere. It doesn’t need to be taken out loud or in front of anyone.” And that pledge is:

I pledge to protect Yellowstone National Park. I will act responsibly and safely, set a good example for others, and share my love of the park and all the things that make it special.

Yellowstone Pledge

Take the pledge. Tell a friend. Protect the world’s first national park.

By taking the pledge and spreading the word, Outsiders send a clear message. We’re here to stand up for not only our national parks, but to Leave No Trace. To Recreate Responsibly. And to make a lasting difference for generations to come.

If you visit the national park and post on social, tag #YellowstonePledge and encourage others to do the same. And when you do, know you’re putting the Yellowstone Pledge into action.

Top Tips From Yellowstone National Park to Put the Pledge into Action

If you see someone, in person or online, whose behavior might hurt them, others, or a national park, tell a ranger immediately, Yellowstone asks. If you’re in the park, dial 911, and know you’ve been asked by the National Park Service to do so.

And there’s so much more we can do. Below, you’ll find Yellowstone National Park’s Top Tips to put the Pledge into action:

1.) Give Wildlife Room, Use a Zoom

The safest way to view wildlife is through a telephoto lens, a spotting scope, or a pair of binoculars. Park animals are wild and dangerous. Bison, bears, and elk have injured and killed people. Do not approach, encircle, follow, or feed any animal. Stay 100 yards (91 m) from bears and wolves. Stay 25 yards (23 m) from all other animals.

Our Yellowstone National Park Wildlife: Animals You’ll Spot, Where to Best View Bison, Bears, Elk, Wolves, and Wildlife Safety is a great guide to further your Yellowstone wildlife knowledge, too.

2.) Follow the Beaten Path

In thermal areas, boardwalks take you to amazing places, protect the park, and keep you safe. People have been severely burned and killed after leaving the boardwalk or reaching into hot water. Geysers, mud pots, and hot springs are delicate. Don’t throw anything into any hydrothermal features, touch them, or change them in any way.

3.) Be Bear Aware

Carry bear spray and know how to use it. Be alert, make noise, hike in groups, and stay on trails. If you encounter a bear, never run. Know the difference between black bears and brown bears, and always practice BearWise in black bear country.

4.) Watch Out for Water

Use caution around rivers, lakes, and streams. They are cold and fast and people have died from hypothermia and drowning after accidentally falling into frigid water.

5.) Practice Safe Selfies

No picture is worth hurting yourself, others, or the park. Be aware of your surroundings whether near wildlife, thermal areas, roads, or steep cliffs.

6.) Enjoy the ride

Drive defensively and cautiously. This park has hazards on the road you aren’t used to at home (like 2,000-lb. bison). Follow speed limits and stay with your car if you’re stuck in a wildlife jam. When you want to take a photo or look around, use pullouts to avoid blocking traffic and damaging vegetation. Turn off your vehicle when stopped in a traffic line.

7.) Leave Your Drone at Home

Drones are not allowed in Yellowstone National Park. They disturb wildlife, interfere with park operations, and bother people trying to enjoy natural sounds.

8.) Clean, Drain, Dry

Help us prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Clean, drain, and dry your watercraft and fishing gear before you come into the park or move from one body of water to another.

9.) Stash your trash

Recycle what you can and put the rest in bear-resistant trash cans so animals can’t get to it. If a can happens to be full, find another.

10.) Leave What You Find

Don’t take antlers, artifacts, rocks, plants, or other objects from the park.

For more information on the Yellowstone Pledge, including translations into multiple languages, be sure to visit Yellowstone National Park’s Pledge Page here.

And for further pro park tips and safety information, Outsider’s Yellowstone National Park: Everything You Need to Plan Your Trip from Landmarks and Lodgings to Wildlife and Safety also breaks down crucial tips and regulations.

Now get out there and enjoy America’s great wilds, Outsiders. Take the pledge. Tell a friend. And protect our glorious national parks.