A new study finds that tourism in the Rocky Mountains' big national parks has provided a boon as the region's economy struggles to recover from recession. The study released by the National Park Service shows that more than 11 million visitors to Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton and Glacier national parks in 2010 spent $1 billion in surrounding communities. Those visitors and their money supported 15,412 jobs. The biggest beneficiaries were the towns in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho near Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Those parks drew 6.3 million visitors who spent $758 million in 2010.
The fire burning in North Albany County is quickly spreading, now burning on 1,000 plus acres. The Cow Camp Fire is approximately five miles southeast of Laramie Peak and 20 miles northwest of Wheatland. It's burning in the Medicine Bow National Forest. The fire has been assigned to a Type III Incident Management Team. As of Tuesday at noon, 120 crew members are on scene, including a Type III helicopter. The fire is east of Cottonwood Park Road, County Road 71 and south of County Road 716. The North Laramie River Trailhead, northeast of the fire, and the road into the trail are both closed. There are 10 structures within two miles of the fire,although none are threatened.