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Yellowstone National Park

United States of America
Factors affecting the property in 1999*
  • Forestry /wood production
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Invasive / alien freshwater species
  • 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 (issue resolved). 
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1999
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 1999**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Summary of previous deliberations

Twenty-second session of the Committee – paragraph number VII.13

New information: IUCN has informed the Centre that the US National Park Service (USNPS) has released a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on 15 August 1999 relating to winter recreation in this site. The EIS has presented seven alternatives for managing winter recreation in the Park. USNPS has indicated a preference for “the road from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful to be ploughed for a shuttle bus and closed to snowmobile traffic....”. USNPS seems to also call for “....strict emissions and noise standards for snowmobiles to go into effect in 2008- 2009” and for “bigger and more warming huts to be built (for visitors) and for more trails for both motorised and non-motorised traffic to be groomed”.

An update on the state of conservation of this site, including measures proposed by the State Party to determine impacts of rehabilitation on the integrity of the site and the timing of eventual removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger, is expected before the twenty-third session of the Committee. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1999
23 BUR IV.A.1
State of conservation

The Bureau noted that state of conservation reports of three of the fifteen natural heritage properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, namely Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgaria), the Everglades National Park and Yellowstone National Park (United States of America) are due by 15 September 1999 and will be submitted to the twenty-third ordinary session of the Committee, to be convened from 29 November to 4 December 1999 in Marrakesh, Morocco. The Bureau examined the state of conservation reports on the following twelve natural heritage sites included in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

23 COM X.A.13
SOC: Yellowstone National Park (United States of America)

X.13 Yellowstone National Park (United States of America)

The Committee recalled that at its last session it had requested the State Party to submit an up-to-date state of conservation report on the site. This should include proposed measures being taken by the State Party to determine impacts of rehabilitation measures on the integrity of the site and plans for the eventual removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Observer of the United States of America regretted the delay in the submission of the report requested by the last session of the Committee but informed the Committee that the report was expected to be received during the week of the Committee's deliberations. He said that the delay was partly due to the State Party's efforts to provide a detailed analysis of the impact of mitigation measures and derive a process and a plan for the possible removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Observer, however, informed the Committee that his Government was of the view that although most threats to the integrity of the site were being effectively mitigated, at present the site needs to be retained in the List of World Heritage in Danger pending the review of the report requested by the Committee.

The Committee decided to retain the site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee invited the State Party to submit the report to the Centre as soon as possible and IUCN to undertake a thorough review of the report and submit its findings and recommendations to the twenty-fourth ordinary session of the Bureau in mid-2000. The Committee noted that the State Party provided the reports on Yellowstone and Everglades National Parks on 1 December 1999 to the World Heritage Centre.

The Committee, based on new information expected to be available at the time of its twenty-third session, may wish to make decisions and recommendations as appropriate.

Report year: 1999
United States of America
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1995-2003
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 23COM (1999)

* : 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.