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Yellowstone opening uncertain

CODY (WNE) — Yellowstone National Park superintendent Cam Sholly expects the park to open this summer. Exactly when though is another question.

In a conference call with the Park County commissioners Tuesday, Sholly gave strong signs the scheduled opening is not likely to occur.

“I don’t know if we’ll open in two weeks; I don’t think that will be the case,” he said.

Sholly said he received direction from the Montana, Wyoming and Idaho governors, as well as public health officers and elected officials from the four counties serving entrances into the park when deciding to close temporarily two weeks ago.

The West Entrance in West Yellowstone, Mont., was scheduled to open April 17 and the road from Mammoth Hot Springs, which is accessed year-round from Montana at the North Entrance at Gardiner, was also scheduled to open that same day.

“I don’t foresee us opening in the month of April,” Sholly said.

Sholly never specifically addressed the east gate closest to Cody during the call, but it is scheduled to open May 1.

Sholly said he will rely on the same direction from health officers and other elected officials when contemplating when to reopen, but may not wait for a full consensus to make the move, a situation he would consider a “worst-case scenario.”

If the health officers feel comfortable with local restaurants opening back up and social gatherings starting to take place, he said those could be useful cues.