Judge Vacates Winter Use Rule for Yellowstone
Judge Emmett Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the National Park Service’s Dec. 13, 2007, Winter Use Rule, which provided for recreational access to Yellowstone National Park by up to 540 best available technology snowmobiles per day, reported the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA).
Sullivan vacated the entire Winter Use Rule, including the snowcoach and snowmobile provisions. He did not put any substitute rule in place and remanded the rule to the National Park Service, which can consider whether to adopt a new rule.
Judge Sullivan’s ruling is only the latest in a long history of litigation surrounding the Park Service’s Winter Use Rules for Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Memorial Parkway. A second related case, challenging the Winter Use Rule as being too restrictive of snowmobiling, is ongoing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming.
While the ISMA, the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA) and the Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) object to Judge Sullivan’s ruling, they recognize that this ruling is not the last word on Yellowstone winter use.
The ruling does not replace the vacated rule with any other rule for the upcoming winter season, leaving open the issue on whether and how much snowmobile access will be allowed. Oral argument in the related Wyoming litigation took place before District Judge Clarence Brimmer in Cheyenne, Wyo., on the same day Judge Sullivan issued his order. ISMA, ACSA and BRC are parties to that litigation as well, and intend to ask the court to reinstate the temporary rule that preceded the 2007 Winter Use Rule and allowed for up to 720 recreational best available technology snowmobiles per day in Yellowstone.
Washington Snowmobile Expo to Take Place
More than 10,000 Washington state snowmobiles are expected to attend what is possibly the biggest snowmobile event west of Minneapolis Oct. 18-19. The 17th annual Washington Snowmobile Expo and Swap Meet is sponsored by the Washington State Snowmobile Association (WSSA), according to a WSSA press release.
The event will take place at the Western Washington Fairgrounds in Puyallup, Wash. There will be free seminars, including GPS and avalanche safety as well as a Safe Snowmobile Seminar for 12-16-year-olds to earn a snowmobile safety certificate.
An admission ticket provides a chance for expo attendees to win one of seven prizes. For more information, visit www.wssa.us.
There will be a special drawing for people who have never been snowmobiling. One person and a guest will go on an all-day guided snowmobile ride out of Crystal Springs Sno-Park. Snowmobiles, riding gear and lunch are included. An overnight stay in Cle Elum will be provided if needed. psb