On Nov. 5, the National Park Service (NPS) announced a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Temporary Winter Use Plans Environment Assessment for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Memorial Parkway. The FONSI states that park resources are protected and allows the use of snowmobiles and snowcoaches in the parks on roads that automobiles use in the summer. This plan will be in effect through the winter of 2006-2007.
The rules now allow 720 snowmobiles to enter Yellowstone daily, all led by commercial guides. This is substantially below the historic peak day use levels in the park and is lower than the level of access allowed during the last half of the 2003-2004 winter seasons. Commercial guides will not be required for the 140 snowmobiles per day allowed in Grand Teton National Park.
A total of 40 snowmobiles daily will be allowed on the frozen surface of Jackson Lake for purposes of ice fishing only; a valid Wyoming state fishing license and the proper fishing gear will be required. Snowplane use will continue to be prohibited on the lake.
All recreational snowmobiles entering Yellowstone National Park will be required to be four-stroke machines that meet the cleaner, quieter National Park Service (NPS) “Best Available Technology” (BAT) standards.
BAT snowmobiles will be required in Grand Teton National Park, with the exception of a short segment of the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail (between Moran Junction and the east park boundary) and those originating in the Targhee National Forest and traveling on the Grassy Lake Road as far as Flagg Ranch.
The FONSI and EA are available online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planvisit/winteruse/winteruse-ea.htm.
Copyright 2004 Powersports Business