Focusing on the Core

a group of people cutting a large, white ribbon in front of brand-new housing units
Ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of brand-new, high-quality employee homes in Mammoth Hot Springs.

NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Success in the Focusing on the Core strategic priority is central to Yellowstone’s future and revolves around improving the working and living conditions of the Yellowstone team, how the park manages its financial resources, and how the park works toward the most effective administrative and operating framework. Continuing efforts to make Yellowstone one of the best places to work in the country is critical, and the park is focused on improving recruitment and retention efforts, improving work-life balance, and ensuring that staffing levels are adequate to handle the demands of increasing park visitation.

Learn about how Yellowstone is "Focusing on the Core" below.

a series of five photos showing Yellowstone employees working in different capacities
From left to right: (1) Yellowstone sign shop; (2) Park volunteer engaging with visitors; (3) Youth Conservation Corps members installing a bear-proof food storage box in a campground; (4) Electronics technician climbing a park communications tower; (5) Park rangers at a visitor center.

Supporting the Yellowstone Team

Yellowstone’s workforce is one of the most capable, talented, and resilient in the country. Despite facing unprecedented challenges over the past three years, our team has continuously worked to successfully protect the park’s resources and keep the park open to millions of visitors annually.



Improving Telecommunications Infrastructure



Improving Employee Housing

Yellowstone National Park has initiated a major, multimillion-dollar housing improvement effort that will substantially upgrade National Park Service employee housing across the park. The effort focuses on four goals:

Goal 1: Replace outdated trailers with high-quality modular homes

an old, run-down trailer home an old, run-down trailer home

Left image
Outdated employee housing trailer.

Right image
Newly installed two-bedroom modular home in Mammoth Hot Springs.


Yellowstone had 64 trailers, built between 1960-1983, that housed 80-100 employees annually. The condition of each trailer was extremely substandard and represented some of the worst employee housing in the national park system. Since 2019, the park has installed 45 high-quality modular cabins at Mammoth Hot Springs (32), Old Faithful (10), and Bechler (3). In 2023, an additional 21 units are scheduled to be placed at Lake Village (15) and West Yellowstone (6). By 2025, a remaining 15 cabins are scheduled to be placed at South Entrance (2), Grant Village (4), Madison (2), Norris (4), Canyon Village (3), and Northeast Entrance (2). All replacements will be in existing developed areas.

Using modular versus on-site construction has allowed the park to build quality units in less time with lower costs. Since 2019, Yellowstone has invested $30.1 million on modular housing units and site development, with an estimated $36 million saved from the original housing improvement plan proposal.

Goal 2: Improve the condition of non-trailer and non-historic housing units

the side of a house that has weathered siding the side of a house that has weathered siding

Left image
The exterior of a non-trailer, non-historic employee home before improvements.

Right image
The exterior of a non-trailer, non-historic employee home after improvements.


Yellowstone's non-trailer housing units are spread over nine developed areas. These housing units are the primary residences for NPS employees, many of whom are snowed in completely between December and April each year. The condition of these houses varies dramatically, with many in extremely poor condition and no improvements in decades.

Since 2019, the park has invested $16.5 million to renovate existing non-trailer, non-historic housing units. Improvements include roofing and siding replacements, new flooring, better insulation, and improved heating systems. Since 2019, Yellowstone has renovated 155 of these housing units and installed 89 wood stoves across seven developed areas in the park.

Goal 3: Rehabilitate deteriorating historic homes

a historic home with an unstable foundation a historic home with an unstable foundation

Left image
Before repairing a foundation on a historic employee home in Mammoth Hot Springs.

Right image
After pouring a new foundation on a historic employee home in Mammoth Hot Springs.


Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2003, Fort Yellowstone consists of 34 structures constructed in the 1880's and early 1890's. Many of these structures continue to be used as housing and office space, but historic preservation is the primary reason for these rehabilitations. Many of these structures are severely deteriorating, and the park plans to improve the condition of these historic homes.

Through the Great American Outdoors Act Legacy Restoration Fund, Yellowstone has received $22 million to rehabilitate historic Fort Yellowstone (one of the largest historic preservation projects in the National Park Service) and $21 million to rehabilitate the historic Laurel Dorm near the Old Faithful Inn.

Goal 4: Add new housing capacity

Over the past decade, housing and rental prices in gateway communities have risen dramatically. Many communities have transitioned to short-term rental markets, making year-round rentals rare and very expensive. As increasing portions of the Yellowstone workforce retire, the lack of available housing in surrounding communities is substantially impacting workforce recruitment. Additionally, park visitation has increased 45% since 2000 and requires more staffing to manage park operations. For these reasons, the park is assessing the number of additional housing units that may be needed.

To address this need, natural and cultural resource compliance is underway to locate potential areas and configurations for new housing (single occupancy dorms, modular cabins, etc.). New housing units would only be placed in existing developed areas. The park also converted three 8-plex utility/storage areas into one-bedroom apartments. Additionally, the park is pursuing housing lease options in the gateway communities of Gardiner and West Yellowstone, Montana.


More Information

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Work With Us

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Learn more about the wide variety of work employees accomplish and explore Yellowstone careers.


Yellowstone "Core" News

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    Other Strategic Priorities

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    Strengthening Ecosystem & RESOURCES

    Learn how Yellowstone is strengthening, preserving, and protecting the many natural, cultural, and geologic resources.

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    Delivering a World-Class EXPERIENCE

    Learn how Yellowstone is providing a high-quality visitor experience for millions who visit yearly while ensuring resources are protected.

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    Investing in INFRASTRUCTURE

    Learn how Yellowstone is addressing deferred maintenance, improving asset conditions, and protecting investments.

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    Building Coalitions & PARTNERSHIPS

    Learn how Yellowstone is building and aligning priorities with many partners, including Tribes, elected officials, nonprofits, and more.

    Last updated: January 26, 2024

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    PO Box 168
    Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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