Yellowstone National Park officials have released the park’s latest winter use plan, which increases the number of snowmobiles that will be allowed in the park.
The plan would allow 60 snow coaches, but increase the maximum number of snowmobiles from the current limit of 318 up to 480. It’s the seventh time that Yellowstone has released an environmental document on what has become a controversial issue. Environmental groups have called for the elimination of snowmobiles inside Yellowstone.
But Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said that after study, the preferred plan will increase the maximum number of snowmobiles from the current limit of 318.
“We are providing incentives in this document, so that if snowmobiles and snow coaches get quieter and cleaner, you could up your average. ”
Wenk added that the proposal should help with winter tourism in nearby communities.
“We think it’s an alternative or preferred alternative that makes the Park quieter and cleaner, and allows some increases in visitation. ”
Governor Matt Mead and snowmobile groups say the plan will improve winter access to Yellowstone. The Greater Yellowstone Coalition opposes the proposal. Public meetings on the plan will begin July 16th in Jackson.