Blue Rib­bon Coali­tion Yel­low­stone Win­ter Use Plan Na­tional Land Use Up­date

Sno-Dak News - - Ski-Doo Bulletin -

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

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