Tuesday, November 04, 2008

New plan cuts snowmobile use in Yellowstone

Significantly fewer snowmobiles will be allowed in Yellowstone National Park next year. The new plan announced Monday will cut the number by 40 percent.

Initially, park officials had sought to establish the number of snowmobiles allowed in the park on any given day to 605. That plan was rejected by a federal judge, who agreed "with environmental groups that filed suit that it would increase air pollution, disturb wildlife and cause too much noise," The Associated Press reports. "Last year, an average of 294 snowmobiles a day entered Yellowstone. But the peak daily use was much higher: 557 one day last December," AP reports. "More than 200 snowmobiles would have been turned back that day if the latest proposal was in effect."

Jack Welch, a member of the Blue Ribbon Coalition, a snowmobile advocacy group, told AP, “People will be turned away, and consequently it’s not fair. Three-hundred and eighteen, no matter how it’s divided up, is not going to be adequate to allow for people to visit their national parks."

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