Concept of Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 11:37:37 10/08/16

The linked article, written by Franz Camenzind, is a very thoughtful treatise on the evolution of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem concept. Todd Wilkinson emailed the link to a number of email distribution lists, asking us to distribute this far and wide.

While I am not Todd's "robot", and I gave up my Greater Yellowstone Coalition membership years ago over concerns it was over-representing the interests of wealthy members while playing it fast and loose regarding the interests of the majority of U.S. citizens, I do recognize value in this article.

There is one point on which I disagree with Franz. I do not have a problem with the ID, MT, and WY grizzly management plans for the post-listing environment, which include limited, carefully managed hunts in areas outside the national parks, where statistics and documented conflicts indicate unacceptable bear-human interaction. My rationale is that the value in the grizzly being a highly-prized trophy for hunters exceeds the risk to the overall population. Having the support of America's hunting community has tremendous value. Groups like Ducks Unlimited, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Trout Unlimited have proven to be valuable allies in efforts to support wildlife and the environment they populate.

On the flip side, I recognize the anti-wolf sentiment evident at the state level, particularly in Wyoming. I also recognize the severe imbalance and hypocrisy in how the State of Montana manages bison that leave Yellowstone National Park, while paying absolutely no attention to elk, which have proven to have transmitted brucellosis to livestock in numerous instances.

For those of you who are already well familiar with the concept of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, this article may be redundant to the knowledge already resident in your head, but there is value in how Franz lays out the evolution of the idea, and frames it in a historical context. If you have any family or friends that are not familiar with the GYE, and you would rather have Franz explain it to them, rather than try to do it yourself, this article is a good way of accomplishing that.


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