More than a decade of debate, disagreement, and litigation took a step closer to settlement Tuesday when the National Park Service published its final rule for managing recreational winter-use in Yellowstone National Park in the Federal Register.
Amid Accusations Of "Political Pressure," Yellowstone National Park Officials Asked To Strengthen Winter-Use Plan
"Political pressure" has forced the National Park Service to soften its approach to minimizing the impacts of over-snow traffic in Yellowstone National Park, a coalition of groups charges in comments submitted on the park's latest winter-use plan.
A preferred winter-use plan for Yellowstone National Park that is crafted around "transportation events" and which could allow more than twice as many snowmobiles into the park on a given day than has been experienced in recent years is open for public comment.
Updated: Yellowstone National Park Winter-Use Plan Favors "Transportation Events" For Snowmobiles, Snowcoaches
A preferred winter-use plan for Yellowstone National Park revolves around "transportation events" to control the daily numbers of snowcoaches and snowmobiles negotiating the park's roads.
The lexicon built around enjoying the winter season in Yellowstone National Park grew this year when park officials coined "transportation events" to help define the impacts of snowmobiles and snowcoaaches. But that phrase has even Environmental Protection Agency officials scratching their heads over exactly what it represents.
Yellowstone National Park officials, while going through the regulatory process to extend the "one-year rule" guiding over-snow traffic in the park for the coming winter, are also seeking additional public comment on their draft winter-use management plan.
Park Service Retirees Say Preferred Winter-Use Plan For Yellowstone National Park Would "Make Bad Situation Worse"
A winter-use plan for Yellowstone National Park being promoted by park staff would "make a bad situation worse," according to the viewpoint of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.
NPCA Officials Cite Snowmobile Emissions In Criticizing Winter-Use Plan For Yellowstone National Park
Pointing to the National Park Service's own testing as evidence, National Parks Conservation Association officials are criticizing a proposed winter-use plan for Yellowstone National Park, saying testing shows snowmobiles have gotten dirtier and noiser, not cleaner and quieter.
Yellowstone National Park officials said Thursday they need more time to finalize a sound, sustainable winter-use plan for the park and will continue for another winter of temporary guidelines while doing more studies.
Wyoming's governor believes 540 snowmobiles a day could travel through Yellowstone National Park in winter without adversely impacting wildlife, air quality, or the park's soundscape.