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Snowmobiles to Be Allowed in Yellowstone

The National Park Service released a final plan Thursday for snowmobile use in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks allowing limited, guided snowmobile treks in the parks for the next three winters.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The National Park Service released a final plan Thursday for snowmobile use in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks allowing limited, guided snowmobile treks in the parks for the next three winters.

The plan, which was proposed earlier, would allow for up to 720 snowmobiles a day led by guides into Yellowstone and 140 snowmobiles in Grand Teton and on the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway connecting the parks. Nearly all the snowmobiles would be required to meet new standards for noise and pollution.

The plan was released as part of a "finding of no significant impact." The winter season is set to start next month.

Park Service officials said the plan is temporary, meant to provide the public and neighboring communities some certainty about winter use. It will be effective through the winter of 2006-07.

Officials said the temporary plan also allows time to monitor the effects of snowmobiles and mass-transit snowcoaches, and to work on a long-term winter use plan.

The final rule will appear in the Federal Register.

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On the Net:

Yellowstone: http://www.nps.gov/yell/

Grand Teton: http://www.nps.gov/grte/