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Wed December 17, 2003
State Appeals Snowmobile Ruling
Cheyenne, WY – The State of Wyoming appealed a court order striking down rules to allow snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks Wednesday. Tuesday night, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled the National Park Service has to revert to a Clinton administration plan to phase out snowmobiles from the parks. That means far fewer snowmobiles will be allowed this year and none next year. Wyoming Attorney General Pat Crank disagrees with the Sullivan, who wrote the Bush Administration decision was completely politically driven and results oriented. Crank says that's the judge's opnion, but the state doesn't think that position is supported in the record of how the Bush Administration came to its decision. Crank also will ask for a stay to keep the Bush administration rules in place this winter while Sullivan's decision is reviewed. He says there would a severe economic impact because people that make a living in snowmobile tourism relied on the new rules and invested in cleaner, quieter machines as a result. Crank also took a swipe at the at the National Park Service for continually missing deadlines for finalizing the new rules. By waiting until last week, he says the Park Service left the Wyoming tourism industry hanging and vulnerable to this 11th hour ruling.