Yellowstone seeks participants for winter use working groups

Yellowstone National Park’s has begun work on a collaborative Adaptive Management Program designed to collect scientific information and public input to continually monitor, evaluate and improve the park’s new winter-use management strategy.

The National Park Service will hold a conference call Jan. 22 to launch five working groups that will focus on winter travel in Yellowstone, according to a statement released Wednesday by the park’s public affairs office.

These working groups will provide input to the Park Service on the design of a long-term and sustainable winter-use Adaptive Management Plan for Yellowstone. Each working group will focus on one of five related topics: park soundscape and air quality; wildlife; non-commercially guided snowmobile access; winter-use operations and technology; and visitor experience.

Park officials said the working groups are part of the Adaptive Management Program’s emphasis on public and stakeholder engagement. Working groups are open to anyone and are led by a Park Service employees with expertise in relevant subject matter.

Over the next six months, each of the five working groups will convene at least three times by phone or in person so participants can provide verbal and written comments to the Park Service on the development of a monitoring strategy for each assigned impact topic.

Park Service staff will combine the working group monitoring strategies into a draft winter use Adaptive Management Plan, which should be released for public comment this summer. Over the long-term, working group participants will continue to provide input to the Park Service on the results of winter use monitoring and research, and on adaptive management actions that may be implemented.

The working group kick-off call for the Yellowstone Adaptive Management Program is open to anyone with an interest in getting involved or joining the conversation. You can become a member of a working group at any time. For more information and conference call access information, please contact Adaptive Management Coordinator Rebecca Garvoille at (307) 344-2265 or [email protected]

The Adaptive Management Program is part of the new management paradigm for winter use outlined by the recently released winter-use final plan. More information is available online.

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