A century and a half after Yellowstone was designated a national park, it remains a place where you can escape the speed of daily life to share the landscape with wildlife like bison, bears, wolves and elk. It’s a place where the land defies expectations, collecting in breathtaking colors and bubbling above the surface. But it’s also a place that is seeing an exponential increase in visitation and the very real effects of climate change. The future of Yellowstone rests on our commitment to sustainability—from decreasing light pollution to minimizing our carbon footprints.
Since 1872, Yellowstone has reflected the changing face of what it means to be leaders in resource stewardship. As we look forward to the next 150 years and beyond, we recognize our opportunity and the responsibility to meet the challenges of the future while setting the standard for resource conservation and stewardship worldwide.
By investing in sustainability efforts, your exemplary leadership will support climate change mitigation efforts that conserve resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect Yellowstone’s wildlife for the benefit of this and future generations.
“Climate change, by far, is the single biggest threat to Yellowstone and its ecosystem. We need to know and understand what we can control and mitigate to protect the species and the ecosystem health in this park that are under threat from climate change.” – Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly
What needs to be done
Yellowstone Forever is funding projects that fall into the following six strategic priority areas identified by Yellowstone National Park as those with opportunity to reduce impacts on the environment while improving wildlife habitat, enhancing visitor experiences, and improving employee living and working conditions.
Yellowstone National Park aims to elevate the climate change crisis as a key issue for Yellowstone’s future and inspire others to take action. Plans include:
- Incorporating sustainability considerations into all park actions, from infrastructure to food.
- Developing effective frameworks and tools that ensure best practices for sustainability are considered for all park projects and operations.
- Broadening efforts to develop new initiatives and programs focused on sustainability.
- Ensuring Yellowstone’s workforce has the training to implement and successfully manage technologies.
Yellowstone National Park aims to improve energy conservation and increase renewable energy production. Plans include:
- Setting a goal for Yellowstone’s carbon footprint from facility energy use to identifying new buildings and major renovation projects which could achieve net-zero energy.
- Carrying out energy conservation and indoor air quality building envelope measures that meet or exceed the International Energy Conservation Code requirements for housing remodels and renovations.
- Commissioning all buildings with automated systems and implementing “smart building” controls and technology that work successfully with Yellowstone’s level of expertise and staffing.
- Identifying and prioritizing renewable energy opportunities and investigating the potential for developed area micro-grids that integrate energy storage to provide system resilience.
Yellowstone National park will treat and use water efficiently and reduce demand on natural resources. Plans include:
- Implementing EPA recommended water saving measures such as WaterSense compliant fixtures.
- Identifying and mitigating water loss from old and inefficient infrastructure as well as wastewater infrastructure that does not enable water saving measures.
- Assessing the energy-water nexus in water and wastewater plants and ensuring best technologies accommodate seasonal changes in the water source.
- Ensuring moisture, surface and stormwater design is adequate to protect buildings, infrastructure, and the natural environment.
Yellowstone National Park is working to transition its fleet to clean and zero-emission vehicles. Plans include:
- Integrating electric technology into Yellowstone’s fleet.
- Assessing and installing EV charging infrastructure to support electric fleet vehicles.
- Rightsizing the fleet to optimize availability across work groups.
- Promoting initiatives that support the reduction of GHG emissions from visitor transport such as public-use EV charging and electric transit.
Yellowstone National Park aims to reduce waste and prevent pollution. Plans include:
- Building awareness and compliance of government requirements and recommendations for sustainable procurement of products, materials, and services.
- Carrying out an environmental and economic impact assessment of Yellowstone’s waste management program and implementing responsible improvements.
- Investigating opportunities to repurpose unwanted property such as furniture and building materials.
- Reducing the presence of hazardous waste and toxins and mitigating all park environmental liabilities.
Yellowstone National Park will serve as a leader in the National Park Service in efforts to adapt to a changing climate. Plans include:
- Assessing the vulnerability and resilience of Yellowstone’s built assets, systems and operations to a changing climate including increased wildland fire, drought, invasive and destructive species, decreased snowpack and winter freeze-thaw, increased summer heat and longer summer seasons.
- Adopting design and operational strategies to improve resilience such as building design and materials, HVAC, energy storage, and water source reliability.
- Aligning goals for preserving historic integrity with durability and sustainability.
What we’ve accomplished
Yellowstone Forever is partnering with corporate partners, foundations and individuals who want to be leaders in the future of Yellowstone National Park.
As we look to the park’s next century and beyond, we know that our decisions—both personally and financially—will play a role in what the daily reality of Yellowstone will look like for future generations.
We are proud to have corporate support from Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc., Toyota Motor North America, Inc., ConocoPhillips, as well generous individuals on board as Founding Partners in our sustainability efforts. Combined, they have already pledged close to $1 million to support the work to reduce impacts on the environment and implement climate change mitigation over the next three years.
Join us as we look beyond the past to plan ahead for a changing climate. Your support of the park’s groundbreaking sustainability work will help ensure this special place remains here for future generations.