Learning Team “C”
Instructor: Dr. Ted Smith
One of the largest and most complicated ecosystems on Earth is the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This ecosystem is home to everything from mountains, lakes, forests, geysers, rivers, and meadows. Because this area is so large, it is the habitat to thousands of different species of plants and animals. In this paper we will discuss the natural resources and energy initiatives of the ecosystem and the functions in place to actively sustain them.
There have been many impacts ...view middle of the document...
Global warming is definitely impacting this ecosystem for sure.
Yellowstone National Park has many wonders such as the geysers; about 100 of them are located in the park. The most famous of them, Old Faithful, has been noted to have been damaged ever since 1873, when park personnel started documenting the damages done to the rocks and naturally formed rock walls that were caused by humans. By 1885 people, including park staff, were throwing debris such as trees and rocks into the geysers. People threw in the debris into the geysers just to watch them get blown up then the geysers erupted. When the geysers erupted, the debris that was thrown in would cause permit and irreparable damages to the geysers. People and park staff at this time were also known to throw in soap to make the geysers erupt.
Wolves that live in Yellowstone National park are shrinking in population. In 2011, approximately 18 different pack of wolfs spent nearly if not all of their time in the park. Wolves that live in this region often travel to neighboring states such as: Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Overall, between 2007 and 2012 the wolves’ population decreases about 20%. The causes of the decline in the wolfs population can be contributed to wolves killing other wolves, shortage of food, disease, and from human causes such as hunting both the wolves and their prey. Currently there are 4 packs of wolves calling Northern Yellowstone their home and 6 other pack that spend the majority of their time in Yellowstone, but also venture outside the park where it is legal to hunt wolf, per state law.
As we have already discussed, Yellowstone National Park and its ecosystem as a whole has a vast number of different features over many square miles of terrain. Due to the mere scope of maintaining the integrity of the land for future generations it is important for the federal government to establish management practices that work to enforce the park’s regulations and supply the needed funding to making sure the park stays the same. One of the management practices is the standards that are in place to ensure the water quality remains at a high level.
When you think of the policing of Yellowstone you might think about things like a park ranger writing a ticket for an illegal campfire or investigation illegal hunting. According to the National Parks Service (2015) “All Yellowstone waters are classified as Outstanding National Resource Waters, which receive the highest level of protection for surface waters under the Clean Water Act.” This designation is important because there is no visible industry internally that would easily taint the water. The problem in this ecosystem lies outside of the borders of Yellowstone with events like mining or drilling mishaps and polluted runoff. That is why it is critical for departments such as the Rangers, the Department of Environmental Quality, and the Environmental Protection Agency to share data and monitor the watershed for compliance. ...