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Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry

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Four Indiana visitors to Yellowstone National Park have been invited to return to Mammoth Hot Springs late next month...to face charges of snowmobiling illegally in the park's backcountry.

Rangers caught the four, who had rented snowmobiles, more than a mile inside the park boundary near West Yellowstone. They'll have to return to the park in late February to appear before the federal magistrate in U.S. District Court.

Park officials were not immediately available to say whether the four also faced charges of snowmobiling in the park without a guide, as the current snowmobile regulations require.

While limited, managed snowmobile and snowcoach travel over groomed, snow-packed park roads is permitted in Yellowstone, the use of snowmobiles in the backcountry, on trails, and off road has always been prohibited.

Violators face a fine of up to $5,000 and up to six months in jail as well as forfeiture of their snowmobiles. Additional charges of damage to park resources can result in another $5,000 fine and an additional six months imprisonment.

In recent weeks, rangers have observed off-road snowmobile tracks up to two-and-a-half miles inside Yellowstone’s backcountry. Rangers regularly patrol the boundary and have the option to ticket, arrest, and confiscate the snowmobiles of violators, who can expect to face aggressive prosecution.

Comments

Why don't they mark the border better, how is a biler suppose to know where the border is? at some points there is a an orange piece of metal nailed to a tree, but what does that mean? Furthermore, it has been proven that those snowcoaches pollute 10X worse then modern sleds that meet or exceeds epa requirements.


Snowmobiles are used in the bison roundup.


We love to snowmobile in Yellowstone. Coming from Florida, we bring a living to all that reside and provide in the surrounding communities. and I know how this is appreciated.
Anyone that has ever ridden a snowmobile will tell you that when you stop and get off in fresh snow you, not the snowmobile will sink. That blows the compaction theory. Secondly, almost everyone seems to be happy with restricting the snowmobilers to the groomed roads, you know, the ones the animals use to easily pass thru the park, on the already compacted pavement. This is the same path that the tractor trailers use to bring in all the construction supplys and food and other stuff all year.
If the snowmobiles are so scary to the animals, why don't they use them to do the roundups to do the annual Bison slaughter?
Why don't they just close the park in the winter? Then the late spring opening and then the early fall closing and what the hell why don't they close the park in it's entirity and put everyone on unemployment? This would be much better, besides, they could use all the money they will be saving to pay the unemployment!
We are thinking about closing the State to tourists. They are dirtying our air and beaches and ruining our roads and just think, some of them don't even speak english.
These little articles promote conversation, unfortunatly as previously stated, misinformed. Lets get a grip already.


SS1 did you even read the 2010 report... seems there were no significant birding in most of those locations except if you count species that are not endangered... OOPS that is all of them.

No you did not say that but the environmentalist did during the REG NEG.

A lawsuit is the environmentalist word for "Compromise" they have proven this for me on so many occasions that I cannot count. This explains where all the additional funds go instead of to the parks the money goes to the lawyers hired by the enviromentalist. The environmentalist hire lawyers to find the loopholes and low hanging fruit of the NPS rules and regulations and exploit them. The NPS has very little choice but to concede each and every case, not on merit, but because of a lack of money to fund defending these lawsuits. This allows JUNK science to rule the day and because a federal judge has to sign off on the lawsuit it is stated that this is fedrally approved. This has been going on for decades in Cape Hatteras and Yellowstone. I remember the Environmentalist threatening the park system to protect the Ghost crabs form the ORV's but were proven wrong. Now these same creatures they were trying to protect are now eating their precious birds... Now that is GODS justice...


Matt,
Where did I say I want to stop all beach driving in CHNS or snowmobiling in Yellowstone? Saying things we didn't say or imply is a constant problem we environmentalist have.
The ORV access lobby during the reg-neg did basically want to continue the policy of allowing ORVs to Bodie Island Spit, Cape Point, South Beach, Hatteras Inlet, North End of Ocracoke and South Point of Ocracoke 24/7 365 days a year. They didn’t want it all, just the most remote, dramatic, scenic and biological sensitive areas in CHNS. So much for compromise!


Southern s 1 states "ORV groups are lobbying for a continuation of this type of management." Allowing the world to see the facts as he and every environmentalist see them 100% WRONG

I have to belive those who break the laws need to be punished. I understand , but no one proves this area was marked in a way to prevent accidental intrusions so I cannot say one way or the other. I do doubt as reported above in the comments that there are a bazillion signs though.

To all on the enviro bandwagon about eliminating access to ORV's and Snowmobiles "WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP" because it is our right to do so.


southern s 1:

I have been to Yellowstone once (over 40 years ago). I doubt I ever get back there but who knows. I have great memories of the Park.
My enjoyment and recreation now comes from viewing the Park from afar. I would rather there be no snowmobile in the Park. My input to the management of the Park is of equal value to the people that live in Jackson or the visitors that frequent the Park. With that said I would reluctantly agree to sections of the Park, with strict regulations, be open to snowmobiles.

Regardless of whether of not the public has the use of snowmobiles, the NPS uses snowmobiles for basic activities. There are some areas that are staffed during the winter, and snowmobiles are used to bring in supplies and mail, as well as used to ferry staff in/out.


Cape Hatteras a Different Situation

I have been to Yellowstone once (over 40 years ago). I doubt I ever get back there but who knows. I have great memories of the Park.
My enjoyment and recreation now comes from viewing the Park from afar. I would rather there be no snowmobile in the Park. My input to the management of the Park is of equal value to the people that live in Jackson or the visitors that frequent the Park. With that said I would reluctantly agree to sections of the Park, with strict regulations, be open to snowmobiles.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a very different case. It is an extremely small park compared to Yellowstone. In the past ORV use was allowed 365 days a year in the most biologically sensitive, scenic and dramatic sections of the Park. This has resulted at times in traffic jams on the Park beaches, huge tail gate parties and a ocean beach that resembles a gigantic parking lot with deep ruts from the edge of the dune to the high tide rack line. ORV groups are lobbying for a continuation of this type of management.


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