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Yellowstone National Park

United States of America
Factors affecting the property in 2000*
  • 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 2000
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2000**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2000

Summary of previous deliberations:
Twenty-third session of the Committee – paragraph number – X.13
Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau – IV.1

New information: IUCN has reviewed the report submitted by the State Party outlining the following: (a) the current status of the key threats to the site; (b) the mitigation measures being taken; and (c) requirements for the removal of the threats. The report of Yellowstone National Park addresses the following threats: (i) mining activities outside the Park; (b) brucellosis infection of the bison population; (c) lake trout invasion; (d) impacts on water quality; (e) road construction; and (f) regulation of visitor use of the site.

IUCN has commended the approach taken by the State Party in preparing the report and believes that the approach could serve as a useful model for the preparation of state of conservation reports by other States Parties. In particular, IUCN has highlighted the effort made by the State Party to identify measures to address threats and establish timelines for threat removal.

Action Required

The Bureau recommends that the Committee, in accordance with the wish of the State Party, retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau however, requests the Centre and IUCN to collaborate with the State Party to prepare a schedule of actions foreseen to be taken for threat removal and for the eventual removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger and submit that schedule of actions to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2000

The twenty-fourth ordinary session of the Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to meet with the State Party and discuss the preparation of a schedule of actions for complete rehabilitation of the site and its eventual removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger. A video-conference between the Centre, IUCN and the State Party has been scheduled for 10 and 11 October for this purpose. The outcome of the video-conference will be reported at the time of the twenty-fourth session of the Committee.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2000
24 BUR IV.A.15
Yellowstone National Park (United States of America)

The Bureau noted the findings of the IUCN-review of the report submitted by the State Party at the time of the last session of the Committee (Marrakesh, 1999) and outlining the following: (a) the current status of the key threats to the site; (b) the mitigation measures being taken; and (c) requirements for the removal of threats. The report of Yellowstone addresses the following threats: (i) mining activities outside the Park; (ii) brucellosis infection of the bison population; (iii) lake trout invasion; (d) impacts on water quality; (iv) road construction; and (v) regulation of visitor use of the site. The Bureau commended the approach taken by the State Party in preparing the report and believes that the approach could serve as a useful model for the preparation of state of conservation reports by other States Parties, particularly to identify measures to address threats and establish timelines for threat removal. The Bureau recommended that the Committee, in accordance with the wish of the State Party, retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau, however, requested the Centre and IUCN to collaborate with the State Party to prepare for the twenty-fourth session of the Committee, a schedule of actions that would allow for the eventual removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger and a plan for monitoring the implementation of the schedule of actions.

The Observer of the State Party welcomed the recommendation of the Bureau and requested that the Bureau be more specific regarding the form of collaboration expected between IUCN, the Centre and relevant authorities in her country. The Bureau requested that the Centre and IUCN consult with the State Party to decide on the form of the possible collaborative effort, e.g. workshop, meeting or other such event with the participation of concerned authorities from the State Party, IUCN and the Centre, including the venue and timing of that event.

24 COM VIII.15
World Heritage sites of the United States of America: Everglades National Park & Yellowstone National Park

VIII.15 World Heritage sites of the United States of America: Everglades National Park & Yellowstone National Park

The Committee recalled that the twenty-fourth ordinary session of the Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to meet with the State Party and discuss the preparation of a schedule of actions for complete rehabilitation of the site and its eventual removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Centre, IUCN and relevant authorities from the State Party, including the Directors of the two sites, participated in a conference call on 27 October 2000. The Observer of the United States of America informed the Committee that measures to address the threats to both Parks continue to be undertaken. In the view of the State Party, neither Yellowstone nor Everglades National Park has shown enough progress to warrant removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger. Following the conference call, consultations between the Centre, IUCN and the State Party, comprehensive discussions of the issue by the appropriate US Department of the Interior and National Park Service staff have taken place.

U.S. officials determined that complex scientific analyses of measures necessary to abate the threats to these two Parks are required. They have also concluded that it will be possible to prepare for review by the Committee a schedule of actions necessary for the eventual removal of these two sites from the List of World Heritage in Danger. This schedule will include measures as part of a national assessment of risks to Parks based on domestic law. Once this national assessment has been completed, the U.S. will derive from those analyses the information necessary to respond more fully to the Bureau's request.

Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service will continue to submit interim reports on the condition of the two Parks and will work on completing the schedule for their removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Observer of the United States of America also indicated that the Operational Guidelines do not provide clear procedures for removing sites from the List of World Heritage in Danger. Consequently, the potential exists for different interpretations of how removal from the List should be accomplished. It was noted that the issue had not been resolved in the Operational Guidelines revisions proposed by the Canterbury Working Group. Accordingly, it was believed that a technical workshop on the process for delisting, involving other States Parties, as well as the United States, is well merited. Such a workshop could propose an appropriate amendment to the Operational Guidelines.

IUCN welcomed the observations of the Observer of the United States and agreed that the elaboration of measures and indicators that could provide a systematic approach to placing and removal of sites from the List of World Heritage in Danger require considerable research work and scientific analyses. IUCN expressed its readiness to cooperate with the State Party and the Centre to test out work needed to improve these aspects of state conservation monitoring.

The Committee recommended that the Centre and IUCN co-operate with the State Party to carry out the necessary scientific and technical work, using suitable means such as conference calls and workshops, in order to put in place a schedule of actions that will enable the Committee to track improvements in the state of conservation of these two sites in an objective manner and determine, in consultation with the State Party, the appropriate time for their removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Committee may wish to review new information that may be available at the time of its session and take necessary decisions and recommend appropriate actions for the consideration of the State Party, advisory bodies and the Centre.

Report year: 2000
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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