Yellowstone National Park has extended the public comment period on the environmental assessment to evaluate the proposed issuance of concession contracts for guided, interpretive saddle and pack stock tours in the park. Park Spokesman Dan Hottle says the extension is for 30 days, and is to wrap up on January tenth. Hottle says the park believes outfitters are currently operating in their high season and need a little more time to review the proposed plan. The EA analyzes three alternatives: A “no action” alternative under which no new contracts would be issued after the current ones expire, a no change option under which current management actions or resource monitoring would continue as they are now, and an option providing for increased resource monitoring and greater management flexibility to respond to any resource impacts. That third option is the preferred option and would include a wide range of tools to gather data on backcountry campsites, parking areas and trailheads, and along hiking and stock trails and waterways, where impacts to resources typically occur. While the options are being considered, those current contracts which are set to expire at the end of this year are being extended for one year.