Yellowstone Issues Draft Winter Use Adaptive Management Plan For Public Comment

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Yellowstone National Park is seeking public comments on a draft Winter Use Adaptive Management Plan as part of an effort to continually improve the management of winter use in the park using the best available science and public input. The draft plan will be available for public review and comment at until Aug. 21, 2015. 

The draft plan provides direction for the Winter Use Adaptive Management Program, which has three primary objectives: 

1.         To evaluate the impacts of oversnow vehicle (OSV) use and help managers implement actions that keep impacts within the range predicted under the SEIS,

2.         To gather additional data regarding the comparability of impacts from a group of snowmobiles versus a snowcoach, and 

3.         To reduce impacts on park resources after implementation of the final rule by gathering additional data regarding the overall social and ecological impacts of winter use and using those data to guide future management decisions.

The draft plan outlines a strategy to identify which affected resources should be most closely monitored and evaluated, how these resources should be monitored, and how the NPS will continually engage the public throughout this process. The draft plan was developed with input from working groups comprised of members of the public who contribute expertise across six impact topics. 

Additionally, Yellowstone National Park will hold a public meeting on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 at 10 a.m. at the Visitor Information Center in West Yellowstone, MT. This meeting will include an update on the development of the draft plan, as well as a discussion of public feedback and prioritizing metrics for monitoring the Park’s resources. More details about this meeting will be announced in a future press release and online on the plan’s NPS PEPC webpage. 

Members of the public may comment on the draft plan by submitting comments through the PEPC webpage, or by mailing or hand-delivering comments to Christina Mills, Office of the Superintendent, Adaptive Management Plan, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190. The deadline to submit comments is Aug. 21, 2015. 

At the conclusion of the public comment period, the NPS will analyze and consider all feedback received for inclusion in the final Adaptive Management Plan, scheduled for release in 2016.

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