MSU study says populations growing around parks


BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- Researchers from Montana State University say population densities around national parks including Yellowstone and Glacier increased dramatically in recent decades.

The researchers say population densities rose 246 percent around Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks from 1940 to 2000.

Population density rose 210 percent around Glacier National Park in that time.

But MSU ecologist Andrew Hansen says that growth is on the low end compared to some other parks. For example, the population density around Mojave National Preserve in California is up by almost 3,000 percent.

Hansen and co-author Cory Davis are publishing their findings in Ecological Applications, a journal published by the Ecological Society of America.