Park Service unveils alternatives for Yellowstone winter use

The National Park Service has revealed to the public a long-term range of possible winter-use options for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

Currently, the park service’s winter-use rules are only temporary for Yellowstone.

The purpose of the winter-use regulations are to ensure park visitors have a range of appropriate winter recreational opportunities, while ensuring these activities are in an appropriate setting and do not harm park resources or values.

The winter-use alternatives, which could be part of a draft plan that will be out in the fall, are the following, according to the Casper Star Tribune:

  • Continuing with the temporary plan, which allows up to 720 snowmobiles and 78 snowcoaches into Yellowstone each day and requiring all riders to be accompanied by commercial guides.
  • Banning snowmobiles and allowing up to 120 snowcoaches into Yellowstone each day.
  • Grooming the roads from the South Entrance to Old Faithful and allowing 250 commercially guided snowmobiles and 20 snowcoaches each day.
  • Allowing 1,025 snowmobiles each day in Yellowstone with 75 percent accompanied by commercial guides and 25 percent either unguided or with noncommercial guides. Also, 105 snowcoaches would be allowed each day.
  • Allowing 540 snowmobiles each day with 80 percent commercially guided and 20 percent unguided while also setting a daily limit of 83 snowcoaches.
  • A mixed-use proposal to plow the road from Mammoth to West and from West to Old Faithful and allow wheeled vehicles on those roads. Snowmobiling and snowcoaching would be permitted in other parts of the park. All visitors would be with commercial guides. The daily limit for snowmobiles would be 350, and the snowcoaches would be capped at 40.
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