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Violations in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and in Other Federal Enclaves

The United States Attorney’s Office prosecutes misdemeanors and other petty offenses in the National Parks and in other federal enclaves in the District of Wyoming, including Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, the Medicine Bow National Forest, Shoshone National Forest, Bridger-Teton National Forest, the National Elk Refuge, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, etc.  Typically, a violation notice is issued by a ranger or other law enforcement officer when an individual is found to have violated a provision of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), other regulations, or a law where the offense is categorized as a petty misdemeanor.  The large majority of violation notices require payment of a fine with no appearance in court and the large majority of individuals pay the fine in a timely manner.  The United States Attorney’s Office becomes involved only when: (1) the nature of the violation requires the individual to make a personal appearance in court; (2) a violation notice fine has not been paid by the established deadline; (3) an individual has not satisfied the mandatory appearance requirement; (4) an individual wants the opportunity to contest the violation; and, (5) individuals have other questions.

Indian Paintbrush, Courtesy of the National Park Service

Due to the volume of workload in the northwestern region of the District, the criminal division opened a branch office in Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park in 2005 to address these matters and to position staff in closer proximity to the U.S. Magistrate Judges in Mammoth Hot Springs and Jackson, who provide oversight for the lion’s share of this workload. Most petty offense matters in the District arise in Yellowstone National Park and in Grand Teton National Park. This is a consequence of the large size of both Parks, the large number of tourists that visit both Parks (3 to 4 million per year), and the large number of concessionaires and other contractors employed in the Parks. The chart below illustrates the volume of the misdemeanor and petty offense workload handled in our Yellowstone Office (only those matters that require our involvement).

Matters Opened by the Yellowstone Office

Since the Yellowstone Office is only staffed with one Assistant United States Attorney (and two summer interns in the summer), the substantial workload in the late summer and fall may cause some delays in the ability of our staff to respond to calls and questions from those who have been issued a violation notice.  This is especially true from mid-August (when our interns depart to return to school) to December 1.  To improve response times, we have assigned additional staff to receive calls for our Yellowstone office during periods of heavy workload.

In order for us to be able to assist you better, we need some important information which you can find on your violation notice: the violation number (7-digit number), your name as it appears on the violation notice, and the CVB location code. See the linked sample which shows where to find this information. We also need your full name (if different than that which appears on the violation notice) and telephone number or e-mail address in the event we need to contact you later if the information you seek is not readily available. The CVB location code should indicate in which Park or area the violation notice was issued. (The most cited are: WYNP = Yellowstone National Park; WGT = Grand Teton National Park; WY4 = Forest Service, Jackson Ranger District; WY5 = Bridger-Teton National Forest; VACH = VA Medical Center in Cheyenne; VASH = VA Medical Center in Sheridan; WBL_ = Bureau of Land Management area; WAFB = F.E. Warren Air Force Base; WER = National Elk Refuge; WDT = Devils Tower National Monument)

If you or your attorney needs to contact us about a violation notice:

  • Call the Yellowstone Office at (866) 835-9525 for violations arising from Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, the National Elk Refuge or Bridger-Teton National Forest.
  • Call the Lander Office at (307) 332-8195 or (888) 266-1309 for violations arising from the Shoshone National Forest.

Pronghorn Doe Running Through Meadow, Courtesy of the National Park Service
  • Call the Casper Office at (307) 261-5434 or (800) 809-7066 for violations arising from the Devils Tower National Monument, the Big Horn National Forest, the Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area and the Sheridan Veterans Administration Hospital.
  • Call the Cheyenne Office at (307) 772-2124 or (800) 836-5801 for violations arising from the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, the Cheyenne Veterans Administration Hospital, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, all Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas and any other areas not specified above.

 

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