NPS Announces Public Meeting on Yellowstone Draft Winter Use Adaptive Management Plan

NPS Announces Public Meeting on Yellowstone Draft Winter Use Adaptive Management Plan

Yellowstone National Park will hold a public meeting on Monday, August 10, 2015, from 10 am to 3 pm at the Visitor Information Center in West Yellowstone, Montana, to discuss the park’s draft Winter Use Adaptive Management Plan. The draft plan outlines a strategy to identify which affected resources should be most closely monitored and evaluated, how these resources should be monitored and how the NPS will continually engage the public throughout the process. It was developed with input from working groups comprised of members of the public who contribute expertise across six impact topics.

The morning session of the public meeting will include updates on the development of the draft plan. In the afternoon park staff will solicit input for prioritizing the metrics for the impact monitoring program. To assist with logistics and preparation, those planning to attend the meeting are asked to email an RSVP to e-mail us.

Below is a messages from Christina Mills, Outdoor Recreation Planner, Yellowstone National Park:

One quick note about our upcoming Adaptive Management public meeting on Monday. Visitation has been exceptionally high this summer and traffic jams have been particularly bad this year, especially around the West Entrance. I’ve heard reports of entrance station traffic backing up well into town and even onto the highway. While I don’t expect it to be that bad in the morning, you may want to allow extra time for travel.If you are unable to attend our public meeting in person but would like to listen or participate remotely, we will have a Join Me feed and a conference call line. You should be able to see what’s going on by going to https://join.me/adaptivemanagement  at the time of the meeting. We’ll log on a few minutes early to get everyone connected. If you plan to do this, let me know, and JoinMe will send you the link and an invitation. This will also allow me to send you handouts ahead of time.

In the event that the bandwidth or the internet audio is insufficient, you can use the conference call line below. Please bear with us as we will be lacking the tech support we had in previous meetings.

877-638-1989
Participant Code: 8955346#

Christina Mills
Outdoor Recreation Planner
Yellowstone National Park
Office:(307) 344-2320
Cell: (406) 599-0840

The enjoyment of Yellowstone and its unique resources during the winter has drawn deep and passionate interest for over 50 years. The final Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for winter use was released in February of 2013 and the Record of Decision was signed that September. In the fall of 2013, the park initiated a Winter Use Adaptive Management Program (WUAMP), which includes public and stakeholder engagement, the design of monitoring tools and the preparation of an Adaptive Management Plan. This current draft plan provides direction for the WUAMP, which has three primary objectives: (1) To evaluate the impacts of oversnow vehicle use and help managers implement actions that keep impacts within the range predicted under the final winter use Plan/SEIS; (2) To gather additional data regarding the comparability of impacts from a group of snowmobiles versus a snowcoach; (3) To reduce impacts on park resources after implementation of the final rule by gathering additional data regarding the overall social and ecological impacts of winter use and using that data to guide future management decisions.

The draft plan is currently available for public review and comment on the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website, www.parkplanning.nps.gov/wuamp. Comments may also be made in person at the public meeting, hand-delivered, or mailed to Christina Mills, Office of the Superintendent, Adaptive Management Plan, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190. The deadline to submit comments is August 21, 2015.

At the conclusion of the public comment period, the NPS will analyze and consider all feedback received for inclusion in the final Adaptive Management Plan, scheduled for release in 2016. For more information about winter use in Yellowstone, as well as the WUAMP, visit www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/winteruse.htm.

For additional information on Yellowstone and winter access, please visit the BlueRibbon Coalition’s dedicated website of www.saveyellowstonepark.com

Jack Welch
BlueRibbon Coalition
303-489-9477