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Comment Period Extended On Commercial Stock Activities

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Date: March 14, 2013

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
   
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2013          13-021    

Al Nash or Dan Hottle
(307) 344-2015
YELL_Public_Affairs@nps.gov

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE
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Comment Period Extended On Commercial Stock Activities

The National Park Service (NPS) is extending the public comment period for its preparation of an environmental assessment (EA) to analyze impacts associated with the issuance of new concession contracts for guided backcountry saddle and pack stock tours in Yellowstone National Park.

The comment period is being extended for an additional 15 days, until April 15, 2012 because not all informational packets about the project were mailed to all intended recipients in a timely manner.

This project is 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 April 15, 2013. The public is encouraged to attend one of the remaining public meetings, which will provide a brief presentation followed by questions and answers.

-Monday, March 18 in Gardiner, MT: Yellowstone Association, 308 Park St. 6:00 p.m.
-Wednesday, March 20 in Cody, WY: Park County Library, 1500 Heart Mountain St. 5:30 p.m.

A public scoping brochure that includes a more detailed overview of the plan along with instructions on how to submit comments is available 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 MDT, April 15, 2013.

- www.nps.gov/yell -

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Did You Know?

Fire in Yellowstone Pineland in 1988

The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.