Cody, WY – The regional director of the National Park
Service denies charges from Wyoming's governor and congressional
delegation that his agency is flip-flopping over reasons for the
possible closure of the eastern entrance to Yellowstone National
Park during the winter.
Governor Dave Freudenthal and all three members of Wyoming's
congressional delegation wrote scathing letters to the Park Service
last week. They questioned the agency's rationale for possibly
closing the road over Sylvan Pass.
The governor and lawmakers claimed that the Park Service has
said it wants to close the road because of concerns about
avalanches. But they said the federal agency now says the road
should be closed because of the cost of keeping it open.
The Park Service plans to issue its final decision about the
road later this month.
Mike Snyder is regional director for the park service. He says
he doesn't believe his agency's reasons are shifting.
Snyder says avalanche risk has always been the major concern in
deciding how to manage the pass. But he also says that if the cost
of managing avalanches in the area is rising sharply, that factor
also must be considered.