Yellowstone approves ecological research facility

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK) - The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) has won permission to build an ecological research and monitoring site in Yellowstone National Park. It would be located on Blacktail Deer Plateau in the northern section of the park.

NEON measures the cause and effect of environmental change. There are at least 81 field sites across the United States. 

The Yellowstone site will produce long-term monitoring data about the impacts of climate change, invasive species and landscape changes. 

The data will be made available to scientists, researchers and the public to help understand how the ecosystem responds to various types of change and stress. 

The project will consist of a 59-foot tower with monitoring equipment, a satellite communications dish, an instrument hut, electric power, a precipitation collection system, soil study plots, and aquatic monitoring equipment.

Construction will begin late this fall, be suspended for winter, then resume in July after bear management closures in the area are lifted.

NEON said it would collect data in Yellowstone for 30 years. At that time, the infrastructure will be removed and the area returned to near-natural condition.

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