Snowmobiles could remain in Yellowstone.

spectr17

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Snowmobiles could remain in Yellowstone.

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Two of three winter management proposals for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks would grant continued access for snowmobiles.
Carol Shively, a supervisory park ranger, told the Casper Rotary Club on Monday that a supplemental winter use study being done is based on new information being provided by snowmobile manufacturers.

Snowmobile manufactures sued earlier this year to block a winter use plan that was approved on the final day of the Clinton administration. The supplemental plan being drafted resulted from a settlement of the lawsuit.

The three latest alternatives include phasing out snowmobiles from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park over the next couple years, as had been planned before the lawsuit.

Another option would be to allow only cleaner and quieter snowmobiles, but in unlimited numbers. The third option would allow cleaner and quieter snowmobiles in limited numbers each day. Also, groups of snowmobilers would have to follow guides.

The proposals were circulated last week among Wyoming, Idaho and Montana state officials as well as Park Service employees.

Shively said the parks will remain open to snowmobiles this winter and there will be no limits on snowmobile numbers.

Limits on snowmobiles were to go into effect this winter but were eliminated by an amendment to the federal budget. Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., presented the change, which prevents any limits on snowmobiling in the parks for two years.

A decision on snowmobiling in the parks is expected by November 2002.
 

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