The first step is to ask the public to help identify issues that the park staff should consider when writing the plan and Environmental Assessment. This process, known as public scoping, is now open and runs through April 30, 2010.
The plan is expected to evaluate ways to conserve native fish populations throughout the park. It could include actions such as large-scale removal of lake trout, removal of non-native fish from some streams and lakes, and introduction of native fish into restored habitats. The plan will not propose any changes in the Madison or Firehole rivers.
Those interested in the issue are encouraged to attend one of four public scoping open houses scheduled during the month of April:
Bozeman, MT: April 12 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Comfort Inn, 1370 North 7th Avenue.
Cody, WY: April 13, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 1701 Sheridan Avenue.
Jackson, WY: April 14, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Snow King Resort, 400 E. Snow King Avenue
West Yellowstone, MT: April 15, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 315 Yellowstone Avenue
Park staff members will analyze the scoping comments and spend the summer writing the Environmental Assessment, which is expected to be released for public review and comment this fall. A final decision and plan is expected to be completed sometime in the winter of 2010-2011.
Comments may be submitted online at: parkplanning.nps.gov/yell. They may also be mailed to: Native Fish Conservation Plan, Yellowstone National Park, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190. Comments may also be hand-delivered to Yellowstone National Park headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming. Written comments can also be submitted during the open houses. Comments will not be accepted by fax, e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above. Public scoping comments will be accepted until midnight, April 30, 2010.
Photo by Bob Gresswell, courtesy of the National Park Service.