Yellowstone open for snowmobiling in 2011-12

National Park Service planners will implement a "One-Year Rule" for the upcoming 2011-2012 winter season in order to allow time to better address significant public input regarding the proposed long-term snowmobile regulation at Yellowstone National Park.

More than 58,000 responses were received during the 60-day public comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that closed on July 18, with significant input on the long-term proposal’s requirements and approaches. The goal had been to have a new long-term final Winter Use Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and regulation in effect for the park by December 2011.

In the near-term, the NPS will issue a final one-year rule, allowing the same use levels with the same restrictions as the interim rule that was in place the past two seasons. The rule will allow for up to 318 commercially guided BAT snowmobiles and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches per day in Yellowstone for the 2011-12 season.

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