The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees has gone to Congress to head-off efforts by outgoing Senator Conrad Burns of Montana and outgoing Representative Richard Pombo to keep snowmobiles in Yellowstone no matter what science recommends.
A letter from the coalition was hand-delivered this morning to Senators Reid, Durbin, Dorgan, Feinstein, and Bingaman along with Representatives Rahall, Christensen, Pelosi and Hoyer. In it the coalition states that the pro-snowmobile riders Burns and Pombo want to attach to an Interior Department spending bill "ignore repeated scientific findings of the National Park Service and Environmental Protection Agency and would force a radical departure from NPS' overarching duty to conserve national parks.
"By mandating a continuation of snowmobile use, the riders prescribe a future in our country's oldest national park that would include levels of air and noise pollution and disturbance of wildlife that NPS has determined are readily avoidable by providing full public access to Yellowstone with snowcoaches rather than snowmobiles."
You can find the entire letter here. In it the coalition's executive council goes point-by-point through key sections of the National Park Service's Management Policies, highlighting areas of the manual that argue quite clearly against the current form of snowmobile use in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
I wonder if the coalition sent a carbon copy of the letter to Mary? After all, she has spoken out in favor of snowmobiles in Yellowstone, and just last month park officials released a draft environmental impact statement in which the preferred alternative called for continuation of the current limit of 720 snowmobiles per day.