Greater Yellowstone provides a compelling test case for the emerging concept of ecosystem management on public lands. Containing charismatic natural resources as well as diverse local communities, the Greater Yellowstone region-now commonly referred to as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem-suffers from ecological fragmentation and accelerating development pressures. In 1987 the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service, acting through the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee (GYCC), jointly undertook a widely heralded interagency coordination process, which offered an opportunity to define and institutionalize ecosystem management principles on a regional scale. Confronted with conflicting national and local interests, the GYCC ultimately failed to adopt meaningful ecosystem management goals, leaving the region's immediate future shrouded in uncertainty. Nonetheless, the Greater Yellowstone experience has helped to refine the concept of ecosystem management and has provided important lessons about the pitfalls of interagency coordination. Moreover, the entire process has legitimized Greater Yellowstone as an ecological entity and has set the stage for further ecosystem-wide initiatives.
Keiter, Robert B.
"Greater Yellowstone: Managing a charismatic ecosystem,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues: Vol. 3
, Article 15.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol3/iss1/15