Dr. Charles Preston wishes he had better understood the Yellowstone region during his first visit there as a teen-ager. Now, as curator of the new Draper Museum in Cody, Wyo., his job is to bolster the knowledge of a new generation of Yellowstone visitors.
The Draper, part of the Buffalo Bill
Historical Center, links geological, natural, and cultural
collections into a broad vision of the Greater Yellowstone
Ecosystem. Though it houses traditional collections and
audio-visual and computer interactive exhibits, the museum also
offers visitors the chance to traipse through a naturalist's tent
in spring or a fishing stream in the summer, read among the aspens,
listen to storytellers, and visit a model science laboratory.
"Museums, unfortunately, are too often seen as
mausoleums," Preston says, "and the Draper wants to debunk this."
The museum's environmental exhibits will tackle
land and resource management issues such as the wolf
re-introduction program at Yellowstone, the de-listing of the
Grizzly Bear as an endangered species, and the co-existence of wild
horses and cattle on rangeland.
Museum opens June 4, 2002. For more information, visit www.bbhc.org
or call 307/587-4771.