Managing wildlife, and mapping the Bozeman Trail

This month, we feature a systems-minded naturalist and a hardy, curious scholar.


After Yellowstone rangers slaughtered 4,300 elk in 1961 to try and control overpopulation, hunters, outfitters and the public were enraged. In response, zoologist Starker Leopold, son of famed naturalist Aldo Leopold, wrote a groundbreaking report for the National Park Service that advocated systematic, scientific management of natural areas—a revolutionary approach at the time. Read more in John Clayton’s article, “National Parks, Science, and the 1963 Leopold Report.”

A hard worker

Historian, botanist, teacher and rancher Vie Willits Garber grew up in Big Horn and in 1910 earned a master’s degree in two disciplines from the University of Wyoming. She was the first person to carefully map and document the route of the Bozeman Trail—and she identified and listed 615 plants in the Little Goose Valley near her family’s home. Read more in Sam Western’s article, “Vie Willits Garber: Botanist, Historian and Teacher.”

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Managing Wildlife—with Science

The Leopold Report, as it’s known, is more famous within the National Park Service than in the general population. That’s because Leopold’s solution was to ask bigger questions.

To Mr. Henry Ford from W. F. Cody, 1916

The relationship between Buffalo Bill and Henry Ford was not a strong one. Each clearly perceived the promotional potential of connecting with the other.

An Afghan Exchange

Ghulam Nabi from Jalalabad, Afghanistan, enrolled in the University of Wyoming in the 1950s on scholarship for a bachelor’s of science degree in agronomy. This was part of the University’s Afghan project, in which UW sent professors to Afghanistan as consultants and teachers. Exchange students such as Nabi were also included in the program.

Upcoming Events around Wyoming

For December calendar events, visit the Wyoming Historical Society’s  website. If you know of upcoming history-related events in Wyoming, send a note to

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