Yellowstone National Park Chief Ranger May Be Forced to Reveal Location of Forrest Fenn’s $1 Million Buried Treasure

by Amy Myers

When the late Forrest Fenn first buried his treasure of gold and artifacts in Yellowstone National Park, he never imagined that it would draw thousands of hunters. Likely, he wouldn’t have expected the treasure to spur a national court case either. Now, a national park chief ranger may have to reveal the location of the loot in order to confirm that the original hunter found the chest fairly.

Recently, fellow treasure hunter Jamie McCracken filed a lawsuit against Jack Steuf, who initially found the loot in 2020, a decade after Fenn had buried it. McCracken claims that Steuf had been moving the re-buried treasure every time that he got close to it. In order to support or refute this accusation, those that know where the chest lies may need to show their cards.

This includes Yellowstone National Park chief ranger, Sarah Davis. When Steuf originally found the treasure two years ago, he and Fenn alerted her of the location. Davis worries that disclosing this information will cause tourists to flock to the area, damaging the fragile ecosystem there that cannot support that much traffic. Even U.S. attorney Kimberley Bell filed a motion to intervene in McCracken’s case in April, citing the same concern. Unfortunately, the motion did not carry, and Davis will most likely have to reveal the location.

For the park, this means they may have to enforce new restrictions to limit the amount of human impact on the area. This also means that Yellowstone National Park rangers will need to be on high alert for distressed treasure hunters. Already, five people have died in their efforts to find the hidden chest.

Fenn First Buried Yellowstone National Park Treasure After Cancer Diagnosis

Back in 1988, Forrest Fenn discovered that he had cancer, and his prognosis pointed towards a terminal case. By 2000, he had buried the treasure in Yellowstone National Park, hoping to create a casual public search for the items. For Fenn, it was a way to cope with his fate.

“I went through all of the emotions like everybody else does – denial, anger, all of those things,’ Fenn said ‘But then, after a week or so, I told myself: ‘Okay – if I’ve got to go, who says I can’t take it with me?’ I had a bunch of stuff, and I had so much fun collecting it over 75 years, why not give somebody else the same opportunity that I had?”

Thankfully, Fenn lived to see the day when Steuf pulled the chest out of the ground. All the while, he never expected his treasure to gain so much attention.

“I didn’t expect it to catch fire like it has, but I think 350,000 people have been looking for the treasure,” Fenn told in 2018.