County In Wyoming Sues National Park Service Over Snowmobile Numbers in Yellowstone National Park
Although only a fraction of the snowmobile traffic that enters Yellowstone National Park comes in through the park's East Entrance, the Wyoming county that is the gateway to that entrance has sued the National Park Service over limits on how many snowmobiles can enter the park.
In recent years there have been as few as 13 snowmobiles per day entering Yellowstone through the gate. Nevertheless, officials in Park County filed suit in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne earlier this week in a bid to overturn the daily limit of 318 snowmobiles that can enter the park this winter and next under a temporary winter-use plan. The lawsuit claims, in part, that that limit "is arbitrary, capricious, (and) an abuse of discretion..."
It also argues that the Park Service's decision that only commercially guided snowmobile groups can enter the park is flawed and states that evidence exists that "higher daily snowmobile numbers do not impair park resources or cause unacceptable impacts."
The lawsuit also argues that the Park Service is wrong to place conservation of resources over public enjoyment of those resources "any time the two values are in conflict."