Greater Yellowstone's future will be shaped by, and ultimately will reflect, evolving national public values. The ecosystem concept interjects a provocative new image into the debates that are now influencing and molding public lands policy. Scientifically, the concept demonstrates the indisputable interconnectedness of jurisdictionally fragmented public lands. And the concept has great power as a metaphorical device, rooted in scientific fact yet evocative enough to stir the hearts and minds of an American public now strongly committed to the preservationist ideal and its national parks heritage. Already the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem concept has fused two world-renowned national parks, several well-known wilderness areas, and the adjoining national forest lands into a regional entity that has engaged public attention at national and international levels. It has broadened the perspective of land managers beyond their own borders, and it is transforming traditional conceptions of land management policy. In short, the ecosystem concept provides the fundamental premise for regional management and thus brings a compelling new vision to the ongoing debate over the future of the public domain.
60 U. Colo. L. Rev. 923 (1989)