Decision : CONF 201 VI.20
Yellowstone National Park ‘(United States of America)
The Centre informed the Bureau that detailed documentation concerning Yellowstone National Park was received from a group of fourteen North American conservation organizations. The documents raise serious questions about potential damage to Yellowstone National Park in particular from a proposed mining operation. A draft environmental impact statement is underway. The Centre contacted the American authorities to advise them of the concerns of the World Heritage Centre. Letters by the National Park Service and by the Assistant Secretary of Fish and Wildlife addressed to the Centre are requesting a joint mission, by the Centre and IUCN, to make an interim assessment of the mining proposal and that the Committee give consideration to placing Yellowstone National Park on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The Delegate of Germany raised concern about the serious threats to the world's first National Park to be established. The Bureau recalled Article 6.3 of the World Heritage Convention. The Canadian Observer underlined that the proposed mining operation was to be carried out by a privately-owned American company. IUCN recalled a range of other threats outlined in a recent IUCN publication, such as deforestation by a religious group, tourism impact and wildlife policies. The Observer from the United States invited the Centre and IUCN to visit the site and to review the situation before the end of August. The Bureau decided that: (1) a letter from the Chairman of the World Heritage Committee be written to the States Party, underlining the serious concerns of the Bureau; (2) that a joint mission should take place to the site, subject to extrabudgetary funding, and (3) that a report on the impact of the proposed mine as well as an outline of other threats facing Yellowstone, should be made available for the nineteenth session of the World Heritage Committee.