Yellowstone National Park

United States of America (USA)
Inscribed in
1978
Criteria
(vii)
(viii)
(ix)
(x)

The vast natural forest of Yellowstone National Park covers nearly 9,000 km2; 96% of the park lies in Wyoming, 3% in Montana and 1% in Idaho. Yellowstone contains half of all the world's known geothermal features, with more than 10,000 examples. It also has the world's largest concentration of geysers (more than 300 geyers, or two thirds of all those on the planet). Established in 1872, Yellowstone is equally known for its wildlife, such as grizzly bears, wolves, bison and wapitis.
© UNESCO

Summary

2017 Conservation Outlook

Finalised on
09 Nov 2017
Good with some concerns
The trend, since 1995 when Yellowstone was added to the List of World Heritage in Danger, has been a continuing improvement in the state of conservation, with Yellowstone’s removal from the Danger list in 2003. The six original threats (mining outside park, threats to bison, threats to Cutthroat Trout, water quality issues, road impacts, and visitor use impacts) are still long-term concerns while new and emerging threats have been identified including park development, invasive species, the risk to grizzly bears from declining whitebark pine, the severity of bark pine beetle infestation, the role of changing temperatures in the ecosystem, maintenance of bison migration routes, mitigation of human-grizzly bear conflict and the population’s connectivity with the larger population of bears in the region. Many of these existing and potential threats, which are critical to the ecological integrity of the values of the site, are beyond the direct control of the National Park Service and/or depend upon conditions outside the borders of Yellowstone National Park. The maintenance of some of the values of the site in the future will depend upon cooperative efforts among the National Park Service, other federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Current state and trend of VALUES

Low Concern
Trend
Stable
The geologic record is well protected from human alteration and is unlikely to be threatened by environmental factors. There is some concern about biological evolution in that species requiring large areas to survive and/or depending upon gene flow from other populations (such as grizzly bears, bison, wolverine, lynx, fisher) may be too isolated to maintain genetic diversity over long periods of time. However, efforts are being made to address connectivity and range expansion (R37). Natural phenomena of the site and their scenic value are well protected. There are no geothermal energy production sites that impinge upon the Park's hydrological and geothermal systems.

Overall THREATS

Low Threat
While most threats to the site’s OUVs are not imminent, constant monitoring and attention is necessary to address those that may quickly emerge. Climate change (R40) and land use, development and natural resource management outside the Park are the most serious potential threats.

Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT

Effective
Overall protection and management is effective right now to maintain the site’s values but will likely be challenging in the long term.

Full assessment

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Finalised on
09 Nov 2017

Description of values

Outstanding examples representing on-going geological processes and the Earth's history

Criterion
(viii)
Yellowstone is a foremost site for the study of the evolutionary history of the Earth; an open natural textbook on fundamental earth-shaping processes and one of the world's premier textbook sites for the study and appreciation of extensive volcanism centered around the world's largest identified caldera. There is visible evidence of 55 million years of volcanism, volcanic depositions preserving 27 layers of fossilized forests, a variety of lava flows, the world's foremost collection of active geysers and hot springs and intense continuing earthquake activity. Three catastrophic eruptions have occurred in the past 2.1 million years; these were some of the largest in the Earth’s history. The latest caldera-forming eruption occurred 640,000 years ago (R2). Nearly 150 species of fossil plants, ranging from small ferns and rushes up to large Sequoia and many other tree species, have been identified in the Park’s abundant fossil deposits (R32,R34,R38).

Outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the northern temperate zone

Criterion
(ix)
The Park is one of the few remaining intact large ecosystems in the northern temperate zone of the earth (R32). As an area for biological evolution, the Park hosts its entire native plant assemblage, and, as of the date of the nomination, almost all of its native animal species, in a wildland in which ecological processes are given free rein to a greater extent than in most parts of the U.S. As the site of one of the few remaining intact large ecosystems in the northern temperate zone of Earth, Yellowstone’s ecological communities provide unparalleled opportunities for conservation, study and enjoyment of large-scale wildland ecosystem processes. The Park is recognized as the core of a far larger ecological entity, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. A significant improvement in ecological integrity was accomplished by the restoration of gray wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park (R32,R34,R38).

Exceptional natural beauty

Criterion
(vii)
The extraordinary scenic treasures of Yellowstone include the world’s largest collection of geysers, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, numerous waterfalls and great herds of wildlife. The Park's geyser and hot spring basins have value not only for their own qualities but as further evidence of the significance of the region's volcanism and as geological agents of change. The Park contains some 500 geysers, including the world's tallest active geyser; more than found in all the Earth’s other geyser regions combined. There are more than 10,000 geothermal features and active travertine terraces (R1,R2,R3,R38). The cumulative value of Yellowstone's great variety of unique, rare, and superlative natural phenomena, from geothermal activity to extraordinary scenic treasures, has created a whole greater than the sum of its parts. This special value is revealed in the violent volcanic history of the landscape which created numerous deeply incised watersheds, whose hundreds of waterfalls form barriers that have created hundreds of distinctive aquatic communities. There are monumental landscape and scenic values. The volcanic history of the region has left its legacy in an incised and topographically irregular landscape. About 350 waterfalls over 15 feet high are known in the Park (R2,R32,R38).

Significant habitats for in-situ conservation of rare or endangered species

Criterion
(x)
Yellowstone National Park is one of North America's foremost refuges for rare plant and animal species and functions as a refuge for ecosystem processes that are rarely allowed such free expression elsewhere (R32). The Park provides for protection of ecosystem components necessary for the continuity of its life forms and, at the macro level, forms the core of the extensive wildlands surrounding the Park, which allow for a much more expansive and secure home for rare species than would be provided by the Park alone (R8,R34,R38). At the micro level, the hydrothermal features create habitats for microbes that are providing links to primal life and insights to studying medical and environmental issues (R39).
An area of probable refugia during climate warming
Because of its high elevation, Yellowstone National Park and neighboring areas of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, have a high probability of serving as refugia as the climate warms. Yellowstone Park may harbor many species currently in temperate and boreal ecosystems, while the nearby Beartooth Plateau and Wind River Mountains may harbor many alpine and subalpine species. In some cases, species of concern may continue to persist within the ecosystem and the park; in many other cases, species that are currently common and widespread may become rare and confined to smaller areas as climatic zones move upward in elevation. It is likely that areas with the same climate as Yellowstone Lake will become much restricted in the region as the climate warms (R2).
Global Leadership
Largely because of leadership in ecosystem management, Yellowstone has become a world centre for dialogue about natural-area conservation and is perhaps the world’s leading laboratory for experimentation in the values and ideas that drive modern conservation. As the world's first national park, Yellowstone serves as an inspiration for conservation.

Assessment information

Low Threat
The majority of threats to Yellowstone are beyond the direct control of the park managers as they are outside the Park or related to climate change and although these threats are real, the OUVs for which Yellowstone was inscribed are not at immediate risk. With co-operation and support from external forces, these threats should be manageable (R11).
Mining/ Quarrying
Low Threat
Outside site
The threat of a large gold and silver mine near the northeast boundary of Yellowstone National Park in the 1990s and its resulting inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1995 was addressed through an arrangement between the Federal Government and the mining company, by which the mining company agreed not to develop the mine and U.S. Congress appropriated funds for cleanup of a century's worth of accumulated tailings and other toxic overburden (R20). in 2016, the federal government placed a two year moratorium on mining on 30,000 acres of public national forest land: however there is a current interest for gold exploration on private land near the Yellowstone River.
Tourism/ visitors/ recreation
Low Threat
Outside site
Gateway communities at the Park's entrances provide many services that need not be duplicated in the Park, thus reducing the visitor development needs in the Park and lessening the potential impact of those needs on the Park's values. However, the type and scale of development at the gateway communities has the potential to impact the natural beauty of the Park as well as animal movements between the Park and the surrounding Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Other Ecosystem Modifications
Low Threat
Outside site
Restriction of grizzly bear range was identified by the World Heritage Committee (WHC) in 2010 as a threat to be addressed (R11). Isolation of the Yellowstone population over the past 100 years has led to a reduction in genetic variability as barriers to movement can prevent the infusion of genes from other populations (R16, R19) as well as reduce the demographic viability of the Yellowstone population should it suffer a decline (R17). To date, no radio-collared grizzly bears are known to have successfully travelled to the Selway-Bitterroot or the Northern Continental Divide Grizzly Bear Recovery Zones from Yellowstone, but they have expanded their range in recent years into closer, smaller areas of secure habitat.
Other
Low Threat
Outside site
Bison are an iconic feature of Yellowstone. However, the threat of disease transmission to cattle and the real and perceived conflicts such as competition for grasses, public safety and property damage has limited the tolerance for bison that range outside the Park. To address these issues and the management of bison generally inside the Park, an Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) was developed in 2000 by officials from the Park and the State of Montana. The plan has undergone several iterations and addresses the sustainable population in the Park and attendant management measures. The plan has been influenced by public reviews and research (R34,R35,R37) and, as a result, more tolerance and support for bison has emerged and additional strategies are under consideration to facilitate the migration of bison beyond the park boundary. This co-operative management has reduced the threat.
Other Ecosystem Modifications
High Threat
Inside site
, Widespread(15-50%)
Outside site
The beetles are endemic species that experience cyclical population outbreaks. However, there is clear evidence that recent outbreaks are more severe and widespread than those in the past and are exacerbated by warming temperatures. The beetles attack a number of pine species, particularly lodgepole pine and whitebark pine. Declining Whitebark Pine, a keystone species in alpine ecosystems, was identified as a threat to be addressed (R10). They are long-lived and take about 50 years to reach a mature stage and begin producing cones (reproducing). They are important in helping accumulate snowpack (as water storage) in the shelter of their stands and slowing the rate of water runoff during spring. Loss of Whitebark Pine will accelerate the drying of alpine ecosystems and change hydrologic regimes downstream. They also provide an important food source for grizzly bears, red squirrels, Clark’s nutcrackers, and other species. As whitebark pine is an important grizzly bear food source, the beetle infestations may have long-reaching impacts on grizzly bear population dynamics (R10). Mountain pine beetle infestations can also lead to increased risk of catastrophic wildfire, especially those which may start outside the Park boundaries and then enter the Park, impacting the Park's goal to implement a natural fire regime.
Other Biological Resource Use
Low Threat
Outside site
The Gray Wolf (Canis lupus), eliminated from the Park by the 1920's under a different park management philosophy, was successfully reintroduced into the Park in 1995 (R34,R36). Similarly, the grizzly bear (Ursa arctos horribilis), generally eradicated for the western United States except in Yellowstone, found refuge in the Park.

These two iconic species, along with a number of other species, represent Yellowstone. As wildlife generally has little understanding of park boundaries, hunting outside the park can have a significant effect on those animals that generally inhabit the park. In keeping with best practices of park management, Yellowstone has partnered with neighbouring States and associated foundations to increase the knowledge of these species and conduct public outreach and lessen the impact of hunting outside the Park. These partnerships include the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, Wyoming Bear Wise Project and the Yellowstone Ecosystem Committee (R34).

Although this threat is considered low and grizzly bears are on the endangered list, removal from the list, which is currently being proposed by the Federal Government, and increased hunting pressure outside the Park, which has been supported by the surrounding States, has the potential to move the threat to a higher category (R36, R45).
Other Ecosystem Modifications
Low Threat
Inside site
, Widespread(15-50%)
Outside site
Fish from outside the Park, including non-natives such as Brook Trout and Lake Trout, which compete with native species were introduced in 1890. Lake Trout were discovered in Yellowstone Lake in 1994 and they increased greatly while native Cutthroat Trout declined. Lake Trout control measures were begun in 1995 and although numbers have been reduced, eradication is virtually impossible. Other invasive species that are known or are likely to be found in Yellowstone include :
Plants : spotted knapweed, leafy spurge
Birds : Eurasian collared dove, starling, house sparrow
Invertebrates : zebra and quagga mussels. Yellowstone is currently free but introduction is possible. The state of Wyoming requires certification for watercraft and compliance is required within Yellowstone Park.
A 2013 Invasive Species Management Plan has been prepared (R41).
Low Threat
Potential threats include earthquakes, as well as future impacts of climate change, including temperature changes, ground water recharge, timing and frequency of fires and associated degraded air quality, severe weather events, accelerated invasion of non-native species and habitat alteration.
Habitat Shifting/ Alteration
Low Threat
Inside site
, Throughout(>50%)
Outside site
Climate change can be viewed as both a threat and an adaptable occurrence (R6,R7,R10).

The NPS, along with its partners, is developing a Climate Change Response Strategy to monitor the effects of climate change on the park resources (R34).
Earthquakes/ Tsunamis
Low Threat
Inside site
, Extent of threat not known
Outside site
Earthquakes have the potential to destroy the existing geothermal features but conceivably, establish new ones.
Tourism/ visitors/ recreation
Very Low Threat
Inside site
, Localised(<5%)
Yellowstone's visitation has increased significantly over the last decade and now receives over 4 million visitors annually with more than half of those visits in July and August, The visitors are serviced by some 300 park staff and 300 concession staff live in the Park. Park facilities include 1500 buildings, 700 kilometres of road, 1600 kilometres of trail and accommodation for 4000 people and, as with all parks that have a long history, park planning and development has been piece-meal (R38,R41,R42).

During the peak summer months, overuse can result in a degraded experience including increased traffic and general overcrowding, vandalism, loss of natural light and sound quality and reduction in wildlife viewing opportunity (R38).

Within the Park, the total building footprint was 3 million square feet in 2012 (R3). During the last five years, the rate of growth has decreased somewhat over the previous decades.

All proposed (re)development is subject to NPS environmental impact study policy (R38).
While most threats to the site’s OUVs are not imminent, constant monitoring and attention is necessary to address those that may quickly emerge. Climate change (R40) and land use, development and natural resource management outside the Park are the most serious potential threats.
Relationships with local people
Effective
Gateway communities adjacent to the Park benefit financially from the presence of the Park and its visitors (R44) and are supportive of park management. Some ranchers and hunters disagree with park management practices dealing with bison and large predators and perceived and/or real impacts to livestock and ungulate populations (R21). To address this issue, park resource managers work with other federal and state agencies. At present, only bison management remains an issue although hunting outside the park has the potential to impact park resources. Negotiations continue to find a balance. The Park has an extensive public and institutional outreach program at the community and international level to involve others in park management.

Indigenous participation in park management includes hosting a Native American internship program where interns participate in natural and cultural resource. Additionally management consults regularly with tribal representatives through site visits, staff exchanges and formal government-to-government meetings.

The Park's Twitter feed has more than 50,000 followers (R38).
Legal framework
Highly Effective
The site is governed by the federal statutes that established the Park and the federal laws that established the National Park Service, as well as laws pertaining to air quality, water quality, environmental policy, wild and scenic rivers, wilderness, endangered and threatened species, historic preservation, relationships with aboriginal tribes, archeological resources protection and other pertinent legislation. These statutes are effective in maintaining the Outstanding Universal Value of the site.
Enforcement
Highly Effective
Enforcement of visitor behaviour, permits and management of park resources are governed by federal statutes and regulations and conducted by park staff effectively. The Park has custodial facilities. Legislation allowing fire arms presents legal enforcement challenges (R41).
Integration into regional and national planning systems
Effective
The Park is guided by Service-wide policy for planning in national parks. Park managers participate in the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative, NPS Climate Change Response Program and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee as well as a number of interagency management plans (R41). Although there can be tension in the relationships with surrounding States due to varying resource management objectives, the site has enjoyed models of success include mining reclamation and improved water quality.
Management system
Highly Effective
The management system in place, supported by the Foundation Document and numerous natural resource management plans prepared with public input, is generally adequate, but continually challenged by funding to adequately address needs in all areas (R38,R41).
Management effectiveness
Highly Effective
The effectiveness of the management system of the site is adequate and likely to maintain the site’s values over the medium term. Longer term effectiveness will depend on the development of capacity and support to influence outside the Park's boundary (R25,R38).
Implementation of Committee decisions and recommendations
Highly Effective
Yellowstone National Park was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978 and subsequently inscribed on the World Heritage list in Danger in 1995. Over the years, the Park has continued to report on winter use and its impact on other users and park wildlife, mining activities outside the park, threats to bison, threats to cutthroat trout, water quality issues, road impacts and visitor use impacts (R5,R15,R21,R27-31), the 1973 Master Plan, the assessment of the risk to grizzly bears from declining whitebark pine and the investigation of the severity of pine beetle infestation and the role of changing temperatures. The WHC has commended Yellowstone over that time period for the substantial progress made to find effective solutions to conservation issues affecting the Park, particularly relating to bison migration, suppression of the Lake Trout population, mitigation of human-grizzly bear conflict, improvement in addressing the impacts of winter visitor use, and mining and road impacts. Most recently, the WHC encouraged Yellowstone to establish effective co-operative relations between the Park and private landowners and State land and wildlife regulatory agencies in lands surrounding the Park, in the interest of achieving long-term conservation goals for the Park’s bison, grizzly and wolf populations (R12-R14). In 2015, Yellowstone submitted its report addressing these issues (R34).
Boundaries
Effective
The boundaries are legislated and marked. As noted, some areas outside the park boundary are important for some park species. Co-operative interagency planning is assisting in expanding and protecting migratory routes (R23,R24,R38).
Sustainable finance
Highly Effective
This Park is funded at adequate levels compared to other World Heritage properties and ranks higher in funding for most needs than many national parks in the United States. Funding comes from both the federal government and private funds.
Staff training and development
Effective
Generally speaking, staff are adequately trained and utilization of external resources such as nearby universities increases capacity. Bureaucratic record keeping ensures institutional memory.
Sustainable use
Highly Effective
The use of the Park's resources for conservation and recreation purposes, in keeping with the multiple resource use plans, appears sustainable and resource use on the park's perimeter is managed considering its impact on the park's resources (R26). In 2012, the park completed a Strategic Plan for Sustainability (R38). The implementation of the plan included a mini-hydro project, the installation on power saving units on emergency vehicles, employee ride-sharing and bus transportation and building renovations to LEED certification.
Education and interpretation programs
Highly Effective
The Park places value on education for park visitors as well as engaging in extensive programs to reach those who are not physically in the Park. Some programs are outstanding and others are adequate (R38). Visitor behaviour around wildlife remains an education issue (R43).
Tourism and visitation management
Highly Effective
As arguably the most internationally known park, and with some 3 million visitors annually, the understanding and promotion of Yellowstone is self evident. The Park's Foundation Document was approved in 2014 and guides resource protection and management, visitor use and facility development (R38).
Monitoring
Highly Effective
Inventorying and monitoring (from geologic to biological values) occurs constantly in the Park, and the Park participates region-wide monitoring as well (e.g., the Greater Yellowstone Network Vital Signs Monitoring Program) (R4,R5,R8,R9,R26).
Research
Highly Effective
The Park has encouraged purposed and empirical research at both the personal and institutional level and conducts its own research to support park management (R38).
Overall protection and management is effective right now to maintain the site’s values but will likely be challenging in the long term.
Assessment of the effectiveness of protection and management in addressing threats outside the site
Some Concern
The external threats impact the overall state of protection and management and challenge park management, and park resources, to focus on issues beyond their direct control.

Within the Park, the Foundation Document and associated plans adequately guide effective park management.
Best practice examples
As a provider of global leadership in park management, Yellowstone has numerous examples of best practice including encouragement of research on the Park's natural and cultural resources, assessing environmental impacts on proposed modifications, engagement of others in park management and effective participation in issues outside the direct control of the Park.
World Heritage values

Outstanding examples representing on-going geological processes and the Earth's history

Good
Trend
Stable
The geologic record is well protected from human alteration and is unlikely to be threatened by environmental factors such as climate, weather, pollution, fire, or floods (R33).

Outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the northern temperate zone

Low Concern
Trend
Stable
There is some minor concern about biological evolution in that species requiring large areas to survive and/or depending upon gene flow from other populations (such as grizzly bears, bison, wolverine, lynx, fisher (Martes)) may be too isolated to maintain genetic diversity over long periods of time. However, there is a reasonable possibility that connectivity may be preserved between Yellowstone and other large intact populations since approximately one migrant per generation should maintain homozygosity. In addition, gene flow can be maintained by management actions: transplanting individual animals into the system from other populations. If gene flow were restricted, evolution would nevertheless continue; but likely at different rates and in different directions than it would in a system unaffected by isolation due to human activities (R25).

Exceptional natural beauty

Good
Trend
Stable
Natural phenomena are well protected from human alteration. Geological phenomena, particularly earthquakes, are constantly altering the hydrology and the geothermal structure of the Park, but this has always been the case (R33,R41).

Significant habitats for in-situ conservation of rare or endangered species

Low Concern
Trend
Stable
Many habitats are changing; some due to human activities, but most due to climate change.There is some risk that wolves inside the Park may not be numerous enough to survive in the long term if packs outside the Park are not managed with that objective. Similarly, if grizzly bears are removed from the endangered list and hunted outside the park, the effect of the hunting pressure would increase the concern on the viability of their long term survival.
The introduction of exotic species has also changed many habitats. Lake Trout in Yellowstone Lake have made much of that aquatic habitat unusable by native Cutthroat Trout which Lake Trout prey upon.
Plants such as spotted knapweed, leafy spurge, and Russian thistle have affected wildlife habitat outside of Yellowstone; it is possible that they will also increase within the Park in the future. Animals such as zebra mussels and other aquatic organisms are also likely to gain a foothold. Intensive screening of watercraft can reduce the possibility of aquatic invasives, but other sources such as mud in the soles of hiking and wading boots are very difficult to control (R33).
Assessment of the current state and trend of World Heritage values
Low Concern
Trend
Stable
The geologic record is well protected from human alteration and is unlikely to be threatened by environmental factors. There is some concern about biological evolution in that species requiring large areas to survive and/or depending upon gene flow from other populations (such as grizzly bears, bison, wolverine, lynx, fisher) may be too isolated to maintain genetic diversity over long periods of time. However, efforts are being made to address connectivity and range expansion (R37). Natural phenomena of the site and their scenic value are well protected. There are no geothermal energy production sites that impinge upon the Park's hydrological and geothermal systems.
Assessment of the current state and trend of other important biodiversity values
Good
Trend
Improving
Yellowstone continues to provide global leadership and inspiration on other biodiversity values. The issue of climate change in the Park and its attendant impact requires constant monitoring,

Additional information

Carbon sequestration,
Soil stabilisation,
Water provision (importance for water quantity and quality),
Pollination
Environmental services reflect those representative of the Continental Divide between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Factors negatively affecting provision of this benefit
Climate change
Impact level - Moderate
Trend - Increasing
Pollution
Impact level - Low
Overexploitation
Impact level - Low
Trend - Continuing
Invasive species
Impact level - Moderate
Trend - Increasing
Habitat change
Impact level - Low
Assumption of an increasing trend is intuitive.
Outdoor recreation and tourism,
Natural beauty and scenery
The national park is a destination for many people and an important resource to the regional economy especially during summer and winter months.
Factors negatively affecting provision of this benefit
Climate change
Impact level - Moderate
Trend - Increasing
Pollution
Impact level - Low
Trend - Increasing
Overexploitation
Impact level - Low
Trend - Continuing
Invasive species
Impact level - Moderate
Trend - Increasing
Habitat change
Impact level - Low
Trend - Increasing
Assumption of an increasing trend is intuitive.
Importance for research,
Contribution to education,
Collection of genetic material
The management of the national park and its OUV are exemplars for other protected area managers. The value of the national park and its OUV by the citizens of the United States of America lends to its ability to receive financial support to study and address management challenges and threats to its OUV as well as common protected area issues.
Factors negatively affecting provision of this benefit
Climate change
Impact level - Moderate
Trend - Increasing
Pollution
Impact level - Low
Overexploitation
Impact level - Low
Invasive species
Impact level - Low
Trend - Increasing
Habitat change
Impact level - Low
Assumption of an increasing trend is intuitive.
History and tradition,
Wilderness and iconic features,
Sacred natural sites or landscapes,
Sacred or symbolic plants or animals,
Cultural identity and sense of belonging
The Park is valued by the general populace of the United States of America and the conservation world as a conservation icon and model for addressing park management issues.
Factors negatively affecting provision of this benefit
Climate change
Impact level - Moderate
Trend - Increasing
Pollution
Impact level - Low
Trend - Increasing
Overexploitation
Impact level - Low
Trend - Increasing
Invasive species
Impact level - Low
Trend - Increasing
Habitat change
Impact level - Low
Trend - Increasing
Assumption of an increasing trends is intuitive.
The conservation benefits of the Yellowstone World Heritage Site are critical and important to the Nation and the world.
Organization/ individuals Project duration Brief description of Active Projects
1 US National Park Service From: 2009
To: 2030
Each year, there are numerous research projects undertaken in the site. In 2016, in addition to conservation projects managed by the NPS, there were over 120 independent, permitted projects on the projects list. In addition, the NPS partners with the Greater Yellowstone Network, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Centre and the Rocky Mountain Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit on collaborative conservation research.
2 Yellowstone Forever From: 2009
To: 2030
Yellowstone Forever is the result of a merging of the Yellowstone Association and the Yellowstone Foundation. It is expected that the organization will sponsor conservation projects as well
Site need title Brief description of potential site needs Support needed for following years
1 Data Needs The Foundation Document (R38) lists several conservation data needs including weather monitoring, stream gauging, snowpack measurements and air quality as well as archaeological and cultural landscape inventory and infrastructure conditions and needs to ensure minimal impact on natural and cultural resources. From: 2014
To: 2024
2 Natural and Cultural Resource Management Plans The Foundation Document (R38) identifies the need for management plans for ungulates, archaeology resource protection, science, museum collections and historic structures located in geothermal systems. From: 2014
To: 2024

References

References
1 Berger, J. 2004. The last mile: how to sustain long-distance migration in mammals. Conservation Biology 18: 320-331.
2 Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Article in June, 2012.
3 Craighead, F.L., M.E. Gilpin, and E.R. Vyse. 1999. Genetic considerations for carnivore conservation in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. In: Carnivores in Ecosystems: the Yellowstone Experience. Clark, T.W., S.C. Minta, and P.M. Kareiva (Eds.) 1999. Yale University Press, New Haven CT. Pp 285-322
4 Craighead, F.L., and E.R. Vyse. 1996. Brown/Grizzly Bear Metapopulations. In: Metapopulations and Wildlife Conservation. McCullough, D.R. (Ed.) 1996 Island Press. Washington D.C. Pp 325-352
5 Halbert, Natalie D., Gogan, Peter J.P., Wedrick, Philip W., Wahl, Jacquelyn, M., and Derr, James N. (2012) ‘Genetic Population Substructure in Bison at Yellowstone Park’. Journal of Heredity. 11p.
6 Hilty, J.A., C.C. Chester, and M.S. Cross (eds). 2012. Climate and Conservation: Landscape and Seascape Science, Planning, and Action. Island Press, Washington, DC.
7 Jean C, Schrag AM, Bennetts RE, Daley R, Crowe EA, O’Ney S. 2005. Vital Signs Monitoring Plan for the Greater Yellowstone Network. National Park Service, Greater Yellowstone Network, Bozeman MT. 107 pp. plus appendices.
8 Knibb, D. 2008. Grizzly Wars – The Public Fight over The Great Bear. Eastern Washington University Press. Spokane Washington.284 pp.
9 Marcus, W.A., J.E. Meacham, A.W. Rodman, A.Y. Steingisser. (Eds) 2012. Atlas of Yellowstone. University of California Press. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA. 274 pp.
10 McCMenamin, S.K., E.A. Hadley, and C.K. Wright. 2009. Climate change and wetland desiccation cause amphibian decline in Yellowstone National Park. PNAS 105: 16988-16993.
11 Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (2017). Draft Grizzly Bear Montana Hunting Regulations. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/06/30/2017-1…
12 National Park Service (2003). Yellowstone National Park Business Plan. 48p.
13 National Park Service (2014) Foundation Document-Yellowstone National Park. 86p.
14 National Park Service (2014). Yellowstone National Park 2014 Fire Management Plan. 238p.
15 National Park Service (2014). Yellowstone National Park Periodic Report-second Cycle. 12p.
16 National Park Service (2015). State Party’s Report on the State of Conservation of its Property, Inscribed on the World Heritage List. Yellowstone National Park, United States of America. 13p.
17 National Park Service (2016) The Use of Quarantine to Identify Brucellosis-free Yellowstone Bison for Relocation Elsewhere-Environmental Assessment Yellowstone National Park, United States of America. 130p.
18 National Park Service (2017). Tourism to Yellowstone National Park Creates $680.3 million in Economic Benefits. The National Park Service website. https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/17020.htm
19 National Park Service. General Management Plan and other Planning Documents, Yellowstone National Park, http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/plan_archives.htm
20 Noss, R. F., C. Carroll, K. Vance-Borland, and G. Wuerthner. 2002. A multicriteria assessment of the irreplaceability and vulnerability of sites in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Conservation Biology 16:895-908.
21 Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (adopted by the Committee at its first session and amended at its second session) [30 paras.]
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22 Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention [140 paras.] 30 June 1977
23 Personal Communication (2017). Ken Voorhuis, Chief Operations & Education Officer, Yellowstone Foundation. Personal communication.
24 Povilitis, Tony (2015) ‘Preserving a Natural Wolf Population in Yellowstone National Park, USA’. The George Wright Forum, v32, no1 (2015) pp:25-34
25 R.A. Garrott, P.J. White, and F. Watson, editors. 2009. Large mammal ecology in central Yellowstone: A synthesis of 16 years of integrated field studies. San Diego, California: Elsevier.
26 Rasker, R., and A. Hansen 2000. Natural amenities and population growth in the Greater Yellowstone region. Research in Human Ecology 7:30-40
27 S.G. Clark and M.B. Rutherford. Large Carnivores, People, and Governance: Reforming Conservation in the North American West. Ed. S.G. Clark and M.B. Rutherford Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014.
28 Saunders, Stephen., Findlay, Donald., and Easley, Tom. (2011). Greater Yellowstone in Peril. The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization. 47p.
29 UNESCO (1978-2012) Key official documents <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/28/documents/&gt;.
30 UNESCO State of Conservation Report 1998. WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE Twenty-second session Kyoto, Japan 30 November – 5 December 1998
31 USA (2003) Report of the State Party to the World Heritage Committee on the state of conservation of Yellowstone National Park (United States of America).
32 USA (2008) Report of the State Party to the World Heritage Committee on the state of conservation of Yellowstone National Park (United States of America).
33 Weber, B. 2004. The arrogance of America's designer ark. Conservation Biology 18: 1-3.
34 Westerling, A.L., M.G. Turner, E. A. H. Smithwick, W. H. Romme, and M.G. Ryan. 2011. Continued warming could transform Greater Yellowstone fire regimes by mid-21st century. PNAS 10: 1073.
35 World Heritage Committee (2002) Twenty-sixth Session. Budapest, Hungary 24-29 June 2002. WHC-02/CONF.202/25
36 World Heritage Committee (2003) Twenty-seventh Session. Paris, France 30 June-5 July 2003. WHC-03/27.COM/24
37 World Heritage Committee (2004) Twenty-eight Session. Suzhou, China. 28 June -7 July 2004. WHC-04/28.COM/26
38 World Heritage Committee (2005) Twenty-ninth Session. Durban, South Africa 10-17 July 2005. WHC-05/29.COM/22.
39 World Heritage Committee (2006) Decision 30 COM 11B. Adoption of Statements of Significance, Yellowstone National Park. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1196&gt;.
40 World Heritage Committee (2006) Thirtieth Session. Vilnius, Lithuania 8-16 July 2006. WHC-06/30.COM/19
41 World Heritage Committee (2008) Thirty-second Session. Quebec City, Canada. 2-10 July 2008. WHC-08/32.COM/24
42 World Heritage Committee (2010) Thirty-fourth Session. Brasilia, Brazil 25 July – 3 August 2010. WHC-10/34.COM/20
43 World Heritage Committee (2012) Thirty-sixth Session. Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation 24 June – 8 July 2012. WHC-12/36.COM/19.
44 Yellowstone National Park Report to the World Heritage Committee. Status of Key Issues. January 2005
45 Yellowstone National Park. 2007. Yellowstone Wildlife Health Program, Organizational Workshop Report. Montana State University – June 6th and 7th, 2007. Montana State University, U.C. Davis, National Park Service, Yellowstone Park Foundation.