Yellowstone Field Office: Our Issues

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Winter Use

The Yellowstone Field Office is working to protect Yellowstone’s wildlife and restore the Park's unique winter quiet and pristine air quality by phasing out noisy and polluting snowmobiles and moving toward a park-friendly snowcoach-only winter transportation system.


Yellowstone National Park is home to the largest wild, genetically pure bison herd in North America. Similar to other wildlife, Yellowstone’s bison seasonally migrate north and west beyond park boundaries during the winter in search of food and habitat in lower elevations. For the past several decades when bison left the safety net of Yellowstone’s borders they were captured and slaughtered or hazed back into the park. Bison are hazed and harassed because of a perceived threat that bison transmit the disease brucellosis to cattle. However, bison have never transmitted brucellosis to domestic cattle in the wild.

In early 2011, bison habitat was expanded north of Yellowstone into Montana’s Gardiner Basin. An additional 75,000 acres of national park service, national forest service, state and private land is now available for bison to roam. 

We are working with the park service, wildlife managers and federal agencies, citizens, and other conservation organizations to establish other areas outside of Yellowstone for bison. We are working on the ground to ensure bison and landowners can co-exist.

Yellowstone's Pronghorn Antelope

We are working to improve pronghorn winter range and to make winter range outside Yellowstone more accessible to pronghorn, ensuring that future park visitors will have the opportunity to see pronghorn grazing alongside bison as they have for thousands of years. Read a summary of NPCA's report on conservation of the northern Yellowstone pronghorn.

Clean Air & Climate

The Yellowstone Field Office's Clean Air & Climate program works to highlight the impacts of climate change  and builds support for park and regional efforts to decrease and/or mitigate these impacts. In addition, we work on a local level to build support for clean air and climate legislation. Read Unnatural Disaster, NPCA's report on climate change in our national parks.

Gateways to Yellowstone

The Gateways to Yellowstone program works to find common cause with Yellowstone’s gateway communities to build local support for Yellowstone. NPCA’s report; Gateways to Yellowstone: Protecting the Wild Heart of our Region’s Thriving Economy, establishes the connection between safeguarding Yellowstone National Park and the economic vitality of gateway communities and through this connection, has engaged community leaders in critical issues effecting Yellowstone.

National Park Funding (Yellowstone)

A lack of sufficient funding is the most critical issue facing national parks today, and with an annual budget shortfall of nearly $23 million, Yellowstone is no exception. Our program works to highlight the on the ground consequences of Yellowstone's funding shortfall, educates local communities, and encourages our congressional leaders to advocate for increased funding for Yellowstone an all our national parks.

Wireless Communications in Yellowstone

Yellowstone is writing one of the first park-wide plans that will determine if, and where, additional wireless communication infrastructure, including cell phone towers, will be placed within the park. This plan will serve as a model for the rest of the national park system. NPCA is working to shape the Wireless Communications Plan to assure park resources and visitor experience is protected.


Despite being America’s oldest national park, many aspects of Yellowstone are still undiscovered. For example, over 99% of the heat-loving microbes found in the park's thermal pools and geysers have yet to be studied or even named. Should researchers who make groundbreaking discoveries in national parks be required to share the benefits from those discoveries with the parks? The National Park Service is crafting a plan to guide 'benefits sharing', and the Yellowstone Program is leading the effort to ensure that careful research in our national parks moves forward while protecting park resources and visitor experience.


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