A pile of crushed propane cylinders
Yellowstone National Park strives to demonstrate and promote sound environmental stewardship. Through these efforts, more than 5,000 small propane cylinders are crushed and redeemed as steel each year.



The National Park Service mission articulates a clear ethic of environmental stewardship. In order to achieve the goal of protecting and preserving parks a number of executive orders and acts of legislation direct the federal government in the development of sustainable operations and facility adaptation. The National Park Service has developed the Green Parks Plan to provide goals and standards for lasting and conscientious improvements to American national parks.

Yellowstone National Park has embraced these goals and has been working toward becoming a greener park for many years. Early efforts in sustainability included building a regional composting facility, operating alternatively fueled vehicles, replacing toxic cleaning products, and overhauling the park’s recycling program. The park’s continued commitment to sustainability is made more urgent by changing climate and increasing impacts to natural resources both locally and globally. Historic increases in visitation and visitor impact has created a need for the park to continue to improve and expand our sustainability efforts.

Yellowstone’s size and complexity create challenges that require collaboration among park managers and considerable assistance from partners. In 2012, Yellowstone staff, concessioners, educational institutions, and corporate partners developed Yellowstone’s Strategic Plan for Sustainability. The plan builds on servicewide direction and focuses on specific goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, water use, and waste production, to adapt facilities, and conduct operations in an environmentally responsible manner. Many of these sustainability efforts are facilitated by the Yellowstone Environmental Coordinating Committee. The committee consists of representatives from the National Park Service, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Delaware North Companies, the Yellowstone Association, Medcor, Yellowstone Park Service Stations, and the Yellowstone Park Foundation. The plan presents a clear direction by which everyone—employees, visitors, and partners—can work collaboratively to make Yellowstone greener.

Solar panels create energy at the Bechler Ranger Station.

Conservation Measures

The solar panels at Bechler Ranger Station are one of many energy conservation projects parkwide.

A pika with leafy matter hanging out of mouth

Climate Change

Yellowstone's climate is changing. A continued rise in temperature will fundamentally alter the ecosystem.



National Park Service Green Parks Plan:

Executive Order (EO) 13423. 2009. Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.

Executive Order (EO) 13514. 2009. Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance.

Public Law 110-140. 2007. Energy Independence and Security Act.

Yellowstone National Park Lodges, Sustainability in Yellowstone:

GreenPath at Delaware North:

Last updated: February 20, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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