Blue Ribbon Coalition Yellowstone Winter Use Plan National Land Use Update
Yellowstone Opened to Limited Snowmobile Access With Non-commercially Guided Access On December 15, 2014 the gates opened to another season of snowmobile access to Yellowstone National Park. However, recent warm weather and limited snowfall resulted in very little snowpack on many of the park’s interior roads. Until appreciable snowfall is received and conditions on the park’s packed, groomed roads improves, snowmobile access to the Park will be limited (see Park Service News release).
Remember during the 2014/2015 Winter Season, the Park will operate under the newly approved Winter Use Plan. This plan uses the concept of “transportation events” to manage winter access by snowmobile and snowcoaches. The following will take place: up to 110 “transportation events” daily, initially defined as one snowcoach or a group of up to 10 snowmobiles, averaging seven snowmobiles per group per season. Up to 50 transportation events may be groups of snowmobiles. The balance of 60 events would be snowcoaches.
Management by transportation events is an impact-centric approach designed to minimize the impact of oversnow vehicles (OSVs) on air quality, soundscapes, and wildlife rather than focusing solely on the number of vehicles allowed in the Park. Under this approach, as many as 500 snowmobiles could be allowed in the Park each day this winter.
In addition, another important part of the Final Regulation is that four transportation events per day (one per gate) would be reserved for non-commercially guided snowmobile access. Please note: A lottery was held in early October based on requests’ entered into the Recreation.gov website during September. This lottery determined initial non-commercially guided access to the Park this winter. Please remember that any dates not allocated by the lottery for non-commercially guided groups were made available in November. Please check the Recreation.gov website for available dates.
For additional information on Yellowstone and winter access, please visit the Blue Ribbon dedicated website of www.saveyellowstonepark.com