The Greater Yellowstone region in North America’s wild Rocky Mountains is one of our country’s most treasured and iconic places. The largest still mostly intact temperate natural system in the northern hemisphere, Greater Yellowstone is one of the only places in the lower 48 states where all of the major predators are still present, including grizzly bears, gray wolves and wolverines. In Greater Yellowstone, you can still see wild herds of elk and bison roaming throughout hundreds of miles of sagebrush-covered plateaus, and experience a wonderland of rushing rivers, deep canyons, spectacular geysers, and awe-inspiring mountain ranges.
Approximately 31,000 square miles in size, Greater Yellowstone contains both our country’s first national park, Yellowstone, and our first national forest, the Shoshone. It is the source of three of the nation’s major river systems: the Missouri/Mississippi, Snake/Columbia, and Green/Colorado. Greater Yellowstone is treasured by millions of people within and outside the United States as a place of wonder, profound hope, and inspiration.
But the health and well-being of this unique, vast, and well-loved place is seriously threatened. Continued pressure to drill for oil and natural gas threatens some of the most pristine parts of the area, including the spectacular and wildlife-rich Absaroka Beartooth Front. Climate change is also bringing a host of changes to Greater Yellowstone — dramatically decreasing snowpack and glaciers that provide life-giving water to downstream wildlife, and a rapid die-off of whitebark pine, which provide a prime food source for grizzly bears.
The Sierra Club is working to:
- Ensure that no oil and gas drilling is allowed in the most special parts of the region, including the Shoshone National Forest, the Wyoming Range, and the Absaroka-Beartooth Front;
- Permanently protect public lands in the Shoshone National Forest and Absaroka-Beartooth Front through wilderness designation, wild and scenic river designation and protection of roadless areas;
- End the U.S. government’s grazing of domestic sheep in the Centennial Valley, a key wildlife pathway between Yellowstone National Park and the vast wilderness areas of central Idaho; and
- Protect iconic animals of the region including the gray wolf, grizzly bear, bison and Canada lynx.