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AN 11-YEAR-OLD TALKS THE YELLOWSTONE RE-OPENING

October 20, 2016

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

When the Yellowstone River closed in late summer due to an aquatic parasite that was killing whitefish, it made national news. The New York Times reported, “Montana wildlife officials temporarily shut down almost 200 miles of the Yellowstone and its tributaries to recreation last week to prevent the parasite from spreading to other rivers, or south into Yellowstone National Park.

The white bodies of thousands of dead fish litter many parts of the river, victims of a parasite that causes a fatal illness called proliferative kidney disease, or P.K.D., in mountain whitefish. There have been reports that it is also killing trout, the prized game fish here. The outbreak has not spread to humans or other animals.”

The closure of the river hurt local outfitters, guides, lodges, and businesses. Fishing is big business in Montana, and the closure of an iconic river mid-season was a crushing blow. But now the river has re-opened, with little fanfare and media attention. Maggie Davis, a middle school student in Bozeman, and daughter of Yellow Dog’s Ian Davis, penned several letters to major news outlets:

Dear Fox News,

My name is Maggie Davis and I’m working on a current report project for my school. It must be on current events in my state of Montana. You reported that the Yellowstone River closed last month. That really hurt our local economy, because we depend on people coming to Montana to fish and visit Yellowstone National Park. My dad is in the fishing industry and our family depends on Montana tourism. And I love to fish and camp on the Yellowstone River. Since you have reported on the river closing the state wild life officials have reopened certain sections of the river, two weeks ago the whole river re-opened.

The reason for my email is to find out why have you not followed up on your reporting of the river reopening. I do not think you understand how you effected the people of my town. Not only do fishing guides and outfitters need to make money from the river, but local hotel, gift shops, restaurants, shuttle services, gas stations, air lines, federal and state tax revenues, and Yellowstone national park also depend on people coming to Montana.

I think you should let America know that Yellowstone is open for business. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Margaret Davis: Headwaters Academy 6th grade

Dear NBC,

My name is Maggie Davis and I’m working on a current report project for my school. It must be on current events in my state of Montana. You reported that the Yellowstone River closed on your nightly news with Lester Holt last month. That really hurt our local economy, because we depend on people coming to Montana to fish and visit Yellowstone National Park. My dad is in the fishing industry and our family depends on Montana tourism. And I love to fish and camp on the Yellowstone River. Since you have reported on the river closing the stat wild life officials have reopened serene sections of the river, two weeks ago the whole river open.

The reason for my email is to find out why have you not followed up on your reporting of the river reopening. I do not think you understand how you effected the people of my town. Not only do fishing guides and outfitters need to make money from the river, but local hotel, gift shops, restaurants, shuttle services, gas stations, air lines, federal and state revenues, and Yellowstone national park also depend on people coming to Montana.

I think Lester Holt should let America know that Yellowstone is open for business. i look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Margaret Davis: Headwaters Academy 6th grade

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