Thirty years ago, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) concept and ecosystem management surfaced as key to preserving this legally fragmented region’s public lands and wildlife in the face of mounting development pressures. Yellowstone’s grizzly bears were in sharp decline and wolves were absent from the landscape, while bison and elk management issues festered. The GYE’s national forest lands were subject to extensive logging, energy leasing, and other commercial activities that cumulatively threatened the region’s ecological integrity. In the face of extreme jurisdictional complexity and a strong commitment to agency discretion, a high-profile federal “Vision” effort to improve and better coordinate resource management practices cratered under intense political pressures. Since then, however, much has changed in the GYE.
University of Colorado Law Review, Vol. 91 No. 1, 2020