Yellowstone releases natural resources management report

Nov 14, 2011

Yellowstone officials say the new report “Natural Resource Vital Signs” will help the park move from a reactive management position to one of future planning.

That’s according to park spokesman Dan Hottle, who says the data has given Yellowstone the opportunity to look at the ecological health of the park and impacts from a scientific perspective.

The report shows that there were over 3,000 earthquakes in the park during 2010, including 2,400 between January and February just northwest of Old Faithful. It’s the largest number of quakes and concentration of quakes since 1985.

Another vital sign the report looks at is native fish species. Over the last 30 years, native fish populations have declined, and Hottle says the fish situation is one of the biggest uphill battles the park has had to deal with.

"We’ve taken, since 1994, 550,000 invasive lake trout out of Yellowstone Lake ... and that’s 275,000 or so just this year. So we’re ramping up those efforts, but it’s also determining needs and benefits we can use in reviving that resource."

The report also looked at bears, wolves and bison. Bison populations declined slightly in 2010, however, the report does say the recovery efforts for wolf and grizzly populations have been successful.