Yellowstone National Park
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.
2017 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Outstanding examples representing on-going geological processes and the Earth's history
Outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the northern temperate zone
Exceptional natural beauty
Significant habitats for in-situ conservation of rare or endangered species
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
Within the Park, the Foundation Document and associated plans adequately guide effective park management.
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|1||US National Park Service||
|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.|
|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.||
|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.||
|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.|
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.]
|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/>.|
|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>.|
|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.|