For the upcoming 2012-2013 winter season at Yellowstone
National Park, the National Park Service is proposing to extend the existing
"one-year rule" regarding the management of snowmobiles and snowcoach
activity in the park.
This proposal would implement the same conditions during the
2012-2013 winter season that have been in place for the past three winters.
This plan allows for up to 318 commercially guided Best Available Technology
snowmobiles and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches daily. It will also
continue to provide access for motorized oversnow travel over the East Entrance
road and Sylvan Pass.
Concurrently, the National Park Service will reopen the
public comment period for 30 days on the Draft Supplemental Environmental
Impact Statement (SEIS) for long-term plan for winter use in Yellowstone National Park.
The second public comment period will allow additional opportunity for the Park
to address public and cooperating agency comments on the draft SEIS.
"As we look to the 2012-2013 winter season, we want to
provide a safe and positive experience for our visitors," YNP Superintendent
Dan Wenk said. "Today's approach ensures that there will not be
interruptions to access this winter, and also responds to public requests for
additional review and comment on the long-term plan."
After considering a 30-day public comment period on
extending the one-year rule for the 2012-2013 winter season, the National Park
Service intends to amend the record of decision for the 2011 Environmental
Impact Statement and to issue an rule authorizing oversnow vehicles use during
the 2012-2013 winter season. This schedule has been adopted to ensure that the
2012-2013 winter season will not be interrupted during further scientific
analysis and review of public comments on the long-term plan for oversnow
vehicles in the park.