POCATELLO, ID (December 14, 2012) -- On December 15, 2012 the gates will open to another season of snowmobile access to Yellowstone. The Park Service has extended last year's One-Year-Rule for the 2012-2013 Winter Season.
What does the extension of the "One-Year Rule" for 2012-2013 Winter Season mean? It means that 318 commercially guided Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles--and 78 commercially guided snow-coaches--will be allowed in the park. The proposed extension will also continue to provide access for motorized travel from the East Entrance road over Sylvan Pass. The extended one-year rule allows the same level of activity as the 2011- 2012 season.
This would seem to indicate that the combined effort of the recreational community during the two comment periods on the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement made a difference. The Park Service has now determined that many issues need to be further analyzed before a new long range Winter Use Plan can be put in place for the 2013-2014 season and beyond. This additional analysis will be conducted using the current Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) process, which will include the winter season 2012-2013 in Yellowstone.
For more details about the December 15th opening of the Winter Season in Yellowstone please see the Park Service Media Release.
"The fight over Yellowstone has been a long, contentious and complicated battle," said Jack Welch, Special Projects Coordinator for the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC). "Please remember the fact that Yellowstone remains open to snowmobiles represents one of the most profound victories over the extreme environmental movement in our lifetime. Enjoy the victory and make your plans to come and enjoy Yellowstone this winter on a snowmobile!"
Note: As additional information on items covered in this summary are announced by the Park Service, they will be posted on BRC's dedicated Yellowstone website.