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Wildlife

Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee discusses challenges moving forward

Written by Natasha Wheeler

Cody – The Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee (GYCC), an organization of federal land management groups, met at the end of April in Cody to continue their mission of working together to address issues facing the region.

In a synopsis of a meeting, the GYCC said, “Participants commented on numerous topics including natural resource management, resource use, recreational uses, GYCC membership and representation and partnering possibilities. People expressed a desire to continue the conversation and meaningful engagement, asked for more communication from GYCC and many suggested the federal managers be more engaged in understanding socioeconomic issues in the region.”

Dick Loper of the Wyoming State Grazing Board has attended the last several meetings of the committee and mentioned, “We have started to attend these meetings because Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is a brand new member of the coalition, and we wanted to see if the BLM issues we are facing will be a subject of conversation.”

“At this point in time, we haven’t seen the GYCC addressing these issues,” Loper continued, “but we continue to be informed by BLM that, sooner or later, they will show up. We want to be knowledgeable and able to participate with the BLM issues in particular.”

In the last several meetings, the GYCC has begun to solicit public opinions. While the morning portion of the meeting consisted primarily of agency updates and reports, the afternoon allowed participants to break into roundtable groups and visit about priorities.

“The GYCC seems to want more involvement from the public to know about the interests of the public,” Loper said. “It is a bureaucratic process, but their efforts seem to show that they want to continue to involve the public.”

“They had a large attendance at this most recent meeting,” Loper explained. “A number of county commissioners from the surrounding areas and interest groups from the area were there. There were also ag groups involved.”

In addition, the GYCC focused on the effects of climate change on the national parks system and the Greater Yellowstone area.

“It is obvious that there is direction from Washington, D.C. to focus heavily on climate change,” Loper noted.

“The Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee (GYCC) was formed to allow representatives from the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the BLM to pursue opportunities of mutual cooperation and coordination in the management of core federal lands in the Greater Yellowstone area,” said GYCC.

The GYCC’s fall meeting will be held on Nov. 4-5 in Jackson.

Learn more about the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee online at fedgycc.org.

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..