Efforts remain on track for Yellowstone National Park to open for motorized oversnow travel as scheduled on December 15.
The National Park Service (NPS) signed a Record of Decision (ROD) Monday in support of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released in early November.
The decision selects the transition year portion of the preferred alternative. The NPS anticipates publishing a “One Year Rule,” in the coming days, which will be implemented for the upcoming 2011-2012 winter season.
Under the One-Year Rule, up to 318 commercially guided, Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles, and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches a day will be allowed into Yellowstone National Park. Motorized oversnow travel over groomed, snow-packed park roads will be permitted in the same manner as allowed the past two winters under a temporary plan.
Both the Final EIS and ROD are available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yell.
After the ROD and One-Year Rule are published, the National Park Service will begin working on a Supplemental EIS, which will contain the further analysis of the issues raised during the public comment period.
A draft Supplemental EIS will be completed and released for public review and comment in 2012. The National Park Service intends to have a final Supplemental EIS, a Record of Decision, and a long-term regulation in place prior to the start of the 2012-2013 winter season.