Yellowstone National Park – A new snowmobile plan for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks would cut back by more than 40 percent the number of machines allowed into the park daily.
The proposal was released Monday in the wake of a federal
judge's recent rejection of plans for up to 540 snowmobiles in the
two parks daily.
U.S. District Judge Emmett Sullivan said the rejected plan
threatened to increase air pollution, disturb wildlife and cause
too much noise in the country's first national park.
Yellowstone winter use planner John Sacklin said the new cap of
318 daily snowmachines would meet Sullivan's concerns while park
administrators again try to hammer out a long-term plan for the
machines. The cap would expire after three years.
Last year, an average of 294 snowmobiles a day entered the two
parks. But the peak daily use was much higher - 557 one day last
December. More than 200 snowmobiles would have been turned back
that day if the latest proposal was in effect.
Jack Welch with the Blue Ribbon Coalition, a snowmobile advocacy
group, said the proposed restrictions are too severe.