World Heritage Report on Yellowstone National Park's Threats Called "Superficial"

Is Yellowstone being adequately protected against threats to its ecosystem?

A draft report Yellowstone National Park officials have prepared on threats to the park has been dubbed "superficial," and even park officials admit it's not overly comprehensive.

The nine-page report (attached below) to be submitted to the World Heritage Committee in February takes a look at the park's progress in overcoming threats identified back in 1995. Park officials were required to update the committee every two years after it agreed in 2003 to remove Yellowstone from its list of heritage sites in danger.

But park watchers say the report is lacking, something Yellowstone officials don't dispute.

Tom Olliff, chief of the Yellowstone Resource Center, told Wyoming writer Brodie Farquhar the report was limited in scope and did not address threats that have come up since 1995, when the park was listed as being "in danger." Among the new threats are whirling disease, drought, the ongoing snowmobile debate, declining whitebark pine trees (which produce protein-rich nuts that grizzlies feast on), even climate change impacts.

“Nothing is incorrect in the report,” Bill Wade, of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, told the writer. “It just doesn’t go far enough” and ignores issues such as the ongoing winter use/snowmobile controversy and efforts to eradicate brucellosis in Yellowstone bison.

You can read the rest of the story here.

Public comments on the draft report are being taken through January 25. You can mail your comments to Suzanne Lewis, Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 82190-0168, hand-deliver comments to park headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs, or email them from this site.

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