Where is the perfect meeting location for an environmentally focused group such as the NAFTC? Yellowstone National Park of course! NAFTC staff and member representatives from NAFTC National Training Centers across the United States met June 21-23 with the National Park Service at Yellowstone National Park to share environmental practices and ideas.

The park is operating 850+ support vehicles on biodiesel, ethanol, and hybrid technology. Steve Lobst, Chief of Maintenance and Jim Evanoff, Environmental Manager, both of Yellowstone, provided NAFTC members an in-depth presentation explaining why and how the park made the decision to switch to alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and the advantages and disadvantages of the switch. Information on the park’s other environmental initiatives, which they passionately refer to as “The Greening of Yellowstone” was also presented.

old car at yellowstone

Several of the park’s older vehicles, which were out of service, were refurbished and are now operated on E85 or biodiesel. NAFTC photo

Consortium members were given a first-hand look at the park’s environmental initiatives including the maintenance facilities, where NAFTC members had the opportunity to talk and interact with the park’s technicians and look at many of the vehicles. An abundance of information was exchanged between the two groups ranging from research and development; to implementing the alternative fuel vehicles and the infrastructure to support it; to vehicle performance and maintenance. Because of the park’s severe winter weather, the real-world information on cold weather usage was particularly valuable.

solar panels yellowstone

Jim Evanoff answers questions from Consortium members about the solar electric panels being used at Lamar Buffalo Ranch. NAFTC photo

An interesting fact about Yellowstone is that it was the first national park in the country to offer the public the option of purchasing alternative fuels. In fact, visitors to the Park take home much more than beautiful photographs and treasured memories; they also take home a new understanding of the environment and practices that can positively impact it. The Park achieves this through superior examples and educational activities situated throughout the vast property. More information on the environmental practices of Yellowstone can be found in the eNews article “The Greening of Yellowstone.”

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