Montana Resident Tries To Visit Cooke City, MT…Police Stop Him, Issue Citation

Montana Governor Steve Bullock has locked down the Montana side gates of Yellowstone Park, in spite of the fact that the Department of Interior has opened the park. One of those entrances is along Highway 212, which connects Cooke City to Red Lodge. Travelers must go through that northern gate at Gardiner in order to reach Cooke City. When a Montana resident was on his way to Cooke City, law enforcement followed him, stopped him, detained him, and gave him a citation.

“With reasonable men I will reason; with humane men, I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost.” William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879)


According to the Montana Free Press,

Cooke City is accessible only through Yellowstone National Park during the winter. Yellowstone closed to the public on March 24 at the request of public health officials in neighboring counties. Earlier this month, the road to Cody, Wyoming, was plowed and people traveling from Wyoming can now access Cooke City. The Beartooth Highway, which connects Cooke City to Red Lodge, is not yet open. Montana still has a two-week quarantine in place for non-essential travelers, including residents.

The Free Press stated that the Park County Deputy in Tyler Vance’s video was responding to a call for assistance after Vance didn’t pull over for rangers.

The Montana Gazette reported,

“Whereas Yellowstone National Park has been opened up, only the entrances on the Wyoming side are open to travelers. Governor Bullock, insistent on protecting Montanan from economic recovery, has kept the entrances to the park on the Montana side shut. One of the many problems with this draconian government overreach is that his decision is closing off travel to Cooke City altogether, as the only option to approach the city from Montana (as opposed to coming through Cody, Wyoming) is through the Montana entrance of Yellowstone Park.

On Friday, Tyler Vance – a concrete worker from Montana – attempted to make his way to Cooke City when he was immediately followed, pulled over, questioned, and harassed by law enforcement for traveling through the area. Vance kept his calm and spoke repeatedly to the officers of tyranny and questioned their resolve to obey the Constitution. His appeals to the law were largely ignored by the officers who were intent on inhibiting his travel.”

The officer involved was not interested in Vance’s treatise about the Constitution, but he should have been. The oath of ALL law enforcement officers, state-city-federal,  is NOT to the governors or officials, but to the Constitutions of both the Federal and State governments. When that oath is ignored, as is occurring around the country, the citizens suffer. There are numerous officers refusing to enforce illegal orders, which is great – but many of them are losing their jobs.

When Vance confronted the officer about the Constitution, he responded: “I agree that certain things need to change, but I don’t make the rules.”

That was a “copout” – no pun intended. That old “just following orders” excuse has caused a lot of death over the centuries. It is possible that the officer was afraid of losing his job. And of course, giving someone a ticket or arresting them is different than executing them on the spot or shoving them into ovens.

The officer ultimately had Vance put his hands behind his back and detained him. Vance’s choice: accept the misdemeanor citation and go back to where he came from, or go to jail. He chose to leave without reaching his destination.

Cooke City in trouble

The other problem here isn’t just Tyler Vance’s run-in with law enforcement. It’s Cooke City – population of around 140, that needs the tourism that people bring to the town. It may be set to become the modern equivalent of a “ghost town” since the governor says they can’t reopen until June 1.

“Why can’t Montanan’s come through that park. There is no reason. They can travel anywhere in this whole state, but they can’t come through that park.” Leo Gaertner 

It is unclear why the Governor has locked Yellowstone down so hard. There is no Covid-19 in Cooke City, as far as anyone can determine. Of course since you can’t go there to check…

Featured photo: screenshot via video


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