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Yellowstone National Park

United States of America
Factors affecting the property in 1996*
  • Forestry /wood production
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Invasive / alien freshwater species
  • Mining
  • Oil and gas
  • Renewable energy facilities
  • Surface water pollution
  • Other Threats:

    Infection threat to bison population

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Geothermal development and other subsurface drillings,
  • Grizzli bears mortalities and habitat loss due to timber harvesting, oil and gas development, road and home building, mining,
  • Lake trout invasion is a threat to indigenous cutthroat trout and other species,
  • Bison and elk threatened due to proposals to try and eridacate disease from them,
  • Heavy metals and acid pollution from abandoned mining tailings,
  • Increased visitor use,
  • Water related concerns due to a proposed New World mine
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1996
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 1996**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1996

It is recalled that, at its nineteenth session, the World Heritage Committee decided that, on the basis 6f both ascertained dangers and potential threats, Yellowstone National Park be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger and that the State Party should provide the Committee with reports on the results of the Environmental Impact Statement and mitigating actions. In such a report dated May 1996, the State Party advised the Centre about the different remedial actions taken. This includes long-term control programmes to counter the cutthrout trout invasion, public meetings to analyze visitor management, and the preparation of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for the New World Mine. The final EIS is not expected to be completed before autumn 1996.

Action Required

The Bureau recommended that the site be retained on the List of World Heritage in Danger until such time as the mining-related Environmental Impact Study required under domestic law is completed and actions taken on other issues.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1996

It is recalled that, at its nineteenth session, the World Heritage Committee 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 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 $65 Million to fully remove this potential threat from Yellowstone. 

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 1996

The Committee may wish to adopt the following:

"The Committee (a) congratulates the State Party on President Clinton's recent intervention and resolution initiative of the Crown Butte mining issue and for actions taken to mitigate other threats to Yellowstone, (b) encourages the State Party to coincide and relate events associated with the 125th anniversary of the establishment of Yellowstone as the first national park in the world with the 25th anniversary year of the Convention in 1997, and (c) invites the State Party 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."

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1996
20 BUR IV.7
Yellowstone National Park (United States of America)

The Bureau recalled that, at its nineteenth session, the World Heritage Committee decided that, on the basis of both ascertained dangers and potential threats, Yellowstone National Park be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger and that the State Party should provide the Committee with reports on the results of the Environmental Impact Statement and mitigating actions. In such a report dated May 1996, the State Party advised the Centre about the different remedial actions taken. This includes long-term control programmes to counter the non-native lake trout introduction, public meetings to analyze visitor management, and the preparation of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for the proposed New World Mine; the final EIS is not expected to be completed before autumn 1996.

The Bureau recommended that the site be retained on the List of World Heritage in Danger until such time as the mining-related Environmental Impact Study required under domestic law is completed and considered, and actions taken on other issues previously identified.

20 COM VII.C.21/18
SOC: Yellowstone National Park (United States of America)

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.

Report year: 1996
United States of America
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1995-2003
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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