Conservation Alliance Grantee, Winter Wildlands Alliance, celebrated the Final Yellowstone Winter Visitation Plan from the National Park Service, governing snowmobile and snowcoach use in Yellowstone Park. The Plan provides protections for this pristine winter refuge, limits noise and emissions, and provides for a cleaner, quieter experience for skiers and snowshoers.
Beginning in winter 2014-15, this new winter use plan will take effect. This plan puts in place strong noise and emissions standards and manages over-snow vehicle use throughtransportation events. A transportation event is one snowcoach or a group of up to 10 snowmobiles (with a daily average group size not to exceed 7 snowmobiles). 110 transportation events will be allowed each day split among the different Park entrances and no more than 50 events per day can be snowmobile groups. The plan also sets aside specific roads and trails for skiing and snowshoeing and protects all of Yellowstone's winter backcountry areas for wildlife habitat and for human-powered access.
When WWA first got involved in the Yellowstone winter use issue, as many as 1,800 two-stroke snowmobiles entered the park each day. With no restrictions on noise or emissions, air quality got so bad that park rangers at the entrance gates were issued gas masks.
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