Comments Sought On Proposal To Build Ecological Monitoring Station In Yellowstone

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Date: November 21, 2014

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
November 21, 2014      14-086    

Al Nash
(307) 344-2015


Comments Sought On Proposal To Build Ecological Monitoring Station In Yellowstone

A site within Yellowstone National Park has been proposed for inclusion as part of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). NEON Inc., an organization funded by the National Science Foundation, would like to establish a program and facilities to monitor the impacts of climate change, land-use change, and invasive species on the ecosystem.

The program is intended to establish a series of cutting edge sensor arrays at dozens of sites across the nation, allowing scientists, researchers, and the public to have unparalleled access to data by posting monitoring results on the Internet to collectively help understand how the ecosystem responds to various types of change and stress. More information on NEON is available online line at

Yellowstone has been identified as a “core” site for the Northern Rockies Domain for installation of monitoring infrastructure for a 30-year period. Short-term or “relocatable” data gathering sites for the domain have been proposed for Bozeman and the Paradise Valley in Montana.

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public input to help prepare an environmental assessment (EA) to analyze impacts associated with the proposed construction of this NEON monitoring station. The site proposed by NEON is located approximately 9 miles east of Mammoth Hot Springs and 0.3 miles south of Grand Loop Road near the intersection of the entrance of the Blacktail Plateau Drive. Construction of the monitoring facilities would require installation of electric service, conduits, limited fencing, a small instrument building, and a meteorological platform tower which would extend about 20 feet above nearby trees. As many as 55 instrumented sampling plots would be established near the site. Equipment to gather aquatic data would be installed at a smaller site about 2.5 miles west of this core facility. Some of this infrastructure would likely be visible from a few locations along the Grand Loop Road. These sites, among others that meet the project objectives, will be considered and evaluated during the planning process.

The public is encouraged to attend a meeting on December 2 in Bozeman, Mont., to learn more about this proposal. The meeting will be held at the Homewood Suites at 1023 Baxter Lane. The open house will begin with a brief presentation at 6:00 pm and will conclude by 8:00 pm. Additional information and an electronic form to submit comments on the proposal are available on the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) Web site at

Comments may be also hand-delivered during normal business hours to the Mailroom in the park’s Administration Building in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, or mailed to: Compliance Office Attn: NEON Proposed Core Site Project, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, WY, 82190. Comments will not be accepted by fax, e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above. All comments must be received by midnight MST December 21, 2014.

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Last updated: February 24, 2015

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Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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