VII.21 Yellowstone National Park (United States of America)
The Committee recalled that at its nineteenth session it decided that, on the basis of both ascertained dangers and potential threats outlined by the State Party, Yellowstone National Park be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger and that the State Party was invited by the Committee to provide information on the results of its required Environmental Impact Statement as related to proposed mining activity adjacent to the Park boundary and mitigating actions. In May 1996, the State Party advised the Centre about the remedial actions taken. These included long-term programmes to mitigate the impact of the non-native lake trout in Yellowstone Lake and to safeguard the Park's bison herds; initiation of public meetings to analyze and improve visitor management; selectively increase elements of the Park budget to correct deficiencies; minimize road repair and realignment impacts; and the continued preparation of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for the proposed Crown Butte/New World Mine. With respect to the latter, in September 1996, the President of the United States publicly announced his efforts to achieve a satisfactory resolution of the mining issue with a mutually to be agreed upon trade of land valued at US$ 65 million to fully remove this potential threat from Yellowstone.
The Delegate of the United States of America informed the Committee that substantial progress had been made since last year including the Interim Bison Management Plan and the creation of a State/Federal Interagency Committee, the "Greater Yellowstone Brucellos Committee.", in making significant progress in research and constitution of alternative management, as well as research on the lake trout.
The Committee (a) commended the State Party on the President's recent intervention and resolution initiative of the Crown Butte mining issue and for actions taken to mitigate other threats to Yellowstone, and (b) requested the State Party, by 15 September 1997, to outline the steps and schedule for threat mitigation which could be followed so that the site may be considered for removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger.