Yellowstone sharply increases snowmobile limit

Billings, MONT – Yellowstone National Park officials say they are dropping plans to sharply reduce the number of snowmobiles allowed into the park this winter.

In the face of competing rulings from federal judges hearing lawsuits over snowmobile use, park officials now say they will allow 720 snowmobiles a day. That's more than twice the 318 daily cap announced by the park on Nov. 3. And it appears to defy a September ruling by a U.S. District judge in Washington D.C., who said an earlier park proposal to allow up to 540 machines daily would cause air pollution and disturb wildlife.

Park administrators said they were acting based on a competing ruling on the issue from District Judge Clarence Brimmer in Wyoming. The 720 snowmobile cap matches what was allowed over the last several years.