Snowmobile study under way for Y-stone, Grand Teton | SummitDaily.com
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Snowmobile study under way for Y-stone, Grand Teton

BILLINGS, Mont. ” Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park administrators will conduct another environmental study of snowmobile impacts before deciding how many of the machines can access the parks this winter.

A District Court judge in Washington, D.C. last month threw out the Bush administration’s plan to allow 540 snowmobiles a day in the two parks and on the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway.

Judge Emmett Sullivan said the plan would increase air pollution and disturb wildlife. A ruling in a related case in District Court in Wyoming is pending.

In the interim, park officials say they will lay out the coming winter’s snowmobile caps by early November.

“We’re working on the details,” said Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash. “We’re committed to this planning process and having a decision by Dec. 15.”

Both conservationists and snowmobile advocates said the park service needs to come up with the new rules promptly ” before winter begins.

“I’m glad to see they’re moving ahead to open the park,” said Jack Welch with the pro-snowmobile Blue Ribbon Coalition. He said the park service should stick with at least 540 snowmobiles per day.

Less than half that figure” 260 a day ” is proposed by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and the National Park Conservation Service.

Amy McNamara with the Yellowstone Coalition said the park service had no choice but to reduce snowmobile access given Sullivan’s ruling, which came in a lawsuit filed by conservation groups.


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