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,” said Superintendent Dan Wenk. “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.