The public has several opportunities next week to learn about a proposed new plan for winter use in Yellowstone National Park.
A Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SEIS), which was released in late June, is open for public review and comment through August 20, 2012.
The preferred alternative takes a new approach to management of winter use. Instead of focusing on snowmobile and snowcoach numbers, it is designed to provide snowmobile and snowcoach access while reducing impacts on visitors, air and sound quality, and wildlife. This approach is based on the idea that the impacts of one snowcoach entering the park are comparable to those of an average group of seven snowmobiles.
Both snowmobiles and snowcoaches will be required to become cleaner and quieter in the future. For the first time, the park would allow one non-commercially guided group of up to five snowmobiles to enter the park per entrance per day. Oversnow motorized vehicles will still be permitted to travel on the East Entrance road over Sylvan Pass.
Four public meetings will be held next week in communities surrounding the park:
– Monday, July 16 at The Virginian Lodge, 750 West Broadway in Jackson, WY
– Tuesday, July 17 at the Holiday Inn, 315 Yellowstone Ave. in West Yellowstone, MT
– Wednesday, July 18 at the Wingate by Wyndham, 2305 Catron St. in Bozeman, MT
– Thursday, July 19 at the Holiday Inn, 1702 Sheridan Ave. in Cody, WY
All four meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. They will include a presentation on the draft supplemental winter-use plan, opportunities to meet with National Park Service staff, and a chance to give formal public comment.
More information on winter use in Yellowstone and ways to comment on the Draft SEIS is available at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/winteruse.htm and http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yell.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE