New Winter Snow Vehicle Plan for Yellowstone

 Victoria Fregoso reports, vfregoso@k2tv.com
 
 Yellowstone National Park has picked their new preferred plan for the number of snowmobiles and snowcoaches that are allowed into the park. Some groups say this is a good approach to save the environment while others say it costs too much to visit the park in the winter.
 


 Beginning this winter season, the number of snowmobiles allowed in Yellowstone can range any where between 330 to 110 a day.

Representatives with the park say this will give visitors a greater variety of motorized and non-motorized experiences through out the season.

Groups like the Greater Yellowstone Coalition are in support of Yellowstone's decision, as it will keep the environment clean.

"The things that have changed over the last 10 years is this requirement for best available technology. It means much more stringent air pollution requirements on snowmobiles," said Mark Pearson of The Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

Currently, all snowmobiles that enter the park, must be guided.
One member of the Lander Snow Drifters, a snow mobile club out of lander, says he would like to see the number increase, to prevent tour guides from raising prices.

"When they have a limited number of prospects for customers, then they have to raise the price so they can come out right. Which makes it a really high expense for the users," said Jim Smail of the Lander Snow Drifters.

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition believes having a cap on the number of snow vehicles allowed in the park, keeps down noise levels for animals.

"Animals like Elk and Bison that are over-wintering in the park, are surviving off their fat reserves so all the extra energy they have to expand when they are startled by the noise from machines means they burn extra calories when they are just on the ragged edge of survival to begin with," Pearson said.

6 public meetings are set for next month, two of which are here in Wyoming. The June 1st meeting will be in Jackson, and a meeting will be held June 2nd in Cody.