This project presents an opportunity for the NPS to consider alternatives for management and to analyze the impacts of commercial stock operations on park resources. Over the past 15 years, the number of riders entering Yellowstone’s backcountry on commercial horseback day rides has increased by approximately 50 percent from an average of around 3,000 to an average of around 4,500, while the number of overnight riders has averaged around 5,500 over the past 6 years.
The first step in preparing an environmental assessment is to ask the public to help identify issues or concerns that park staff should consider. This process, known as public scoping, is now open and runs through March 31, 2013. The public is encouraged to attend the following public meetings, which will provide a brief presentation followed by questions and answers. *All meetings will begin at 6:00 p.m., with the exception of the Cody, Wyoming, meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m.
Monday, March 11 in Bozeman, MT: Holiday Inn Jefferson Room, 5 Baxter Lane East
Tuesday, March 12 in Jackson, WY: Lexington Conference Room, 285 North Cache
Wednesday, March 13 in West Yellowstone, MT: Chamber of Commerce, 30 Yellowstone Ave.
Monday, March 18 in Gardiner, MT: Yellowstone Association, 308 Park St.
*Wednesday, March 20 in Cody, WY: Park County Library, 1500 Heart Mountain St. 5:30 p.m.
In addition to the meetings, those interested are encouraged to view the public scoping brochure that includes a more detailed overview of the plan along with instructions on how to submit comments online at the National Park Service's Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/stockEA. A hard copy of the brochure can also be requested by calling (307) 344-7147, or by writing to Parkwide Commercial Stock Outfitter Concessions Contracts/EA, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.
Respondents are encouraged to submit their comments through the PEPC website. Comments may also be mailed to the address above or hand-delivered during normal business hours to the Mailroom in the park’s Administration Building in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming. Comments will not be accepted by fax, e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted. Comments must be received by midnight MST, March 31, 2013.
- www.nps.gov/yell -