Snowmobiler defends access to Yellowstone, says skiers have plenty of terrain |

Snowmobiler defends access to Yellowstone, says skiers have plenty of terrain

Anti-snowmobile extremists, inside and outside the National Park Service (NPS), have dramatized for the press the purported impact of the machines on air quality recently by donning gas masks.

They refused to admit that simple, good management measures can protect snowmobile access, visitor choices and the environment.

First of all, existing snowmobile use in Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks has not violated any ambient clean air standards, contrary to what some NPS managers and their green friends would like people to believe.

Second, entrance passes are sold everywhere, not just at the gate. Visitors drive through with no stopping and no fumes building up. Snowmobile clubs and businesses have requested this reform for years.

Nevertheless, the snowmobile industry has demonstrated that machines can be cleaner and quieter. Last November, the NPS received data from snowmobile manufacturers showing that some new snowmobile models reduce emissions by 90 percent. These are production models available today from local snowmobile dealers.

The NPS decision that would ban snowmobiles and replace them with snowcoaches would not improve air quality. A recent study sponsored by the state of Wyoming found that snowcoach emissions are six times higher than emissions from new snowmobiles.

Did you know that snowcoaches are so noisy, passengers have to don earplugs to ride in them?

We don’t need bans. We need balanced management.

I am an avid snowmobiler. I have lived in the county my entire life. I have been snowmobiling since I was 3, and my parents ran the only tour company in the county in the 1970s and “80s.

I have a couple friends who cross-country ski, but I don’t hear them complain.

And you know why? It’s because of two things: 1) They don’t really care as they have all snowmobiled with me before, and 2) They mostly cross country ski in one of many areas for cross country skiers only.

My question is, why do the cross country skiers get their own areas and snowmobiles are losing the only places they have. I think the cross country skiers are little babies and should stop whining.

Seriously, the alternative has a six-times-higher pollution rate. Sounds to me like the cross country skiers just cant go as fast and want to eliminate the competition.

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