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Final Winter Use Rule for Grand Teton and Yellowstone Parks


 
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 11:23 am    Post subject: Final Winter Use Rule for Grand Teton and Yellowstone Parks Reply with quote

The final rule required to implement the November 2004 Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) Temporary Winter Use Plans for winter use in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Memorial Parkway was published on November 10, 2004, in the Federal Register. The rule becomes effective 30 days after publication and will be in effect when the parks open for the winter season on December 15, 2004.

The rule ensures that park resources are protected and allows for the use of snowmobiles and snowcoaches in the parks on roads that automobiles use in the summer. The rule authorizes snowmobile and snowcoach use for the next three winters.

The final rule requires, among other things, strict daily limits on the number of snowmobiles that will be allowed in the parks; commercially guided access only in Yellowstone National Park in order to protect wildlife; and the use of commercially available best available technology (BAT) snowmobiles in Yellowstone and most of Grand Teton National Parks to address air emissions and impacts to the natural soundscape.

For the winter season of 2004-2005, the following regulations will be implemented in Yellowstone National Park:

* A total of 720 snowmobiles will be allowed in the park each day: 400 through the West Entrance, 220 through the South Entrance, 40 through the East Entrance, 30 through the North Entrance, and 30 at Old Faithful.

* All snowmobiles must be commercially guided.

* All commercially guided operators will be required to use snowmobiles that meet the NPS best available technology (BAT) requirements. The list of approved BAT snowmobiles is available on the parkís web site at www.nps.gov/yell/planvisit/todo/winter/.

* Snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park will continue to be restricted to traveling on roads and parking lots specifically groomed for their use. Off-road travel, sidehilling, or berm-riding is prohibited.∑Snowmobiles will continue to be prohibited on specific side roads including the Fountain Flat Road, Virginia Cascades Drive, North Canyon Rim Drive, Riverside Drive and the road from Canyon Junction to Washburn Hot Springs Overlook. Snowmobiles would be allowed on the Lake Butte Road and, after 12:00 p.m. each day, the Firehole Canyon Drive.
* All snowmobile operators are required to have a valid driverís license; no learner permits are allowed.

Actions to be implemented in Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Memorial Parkway include:

* A total of 140 snowmobiles will be allowed in the park and parkway each day. Fifty snowmobiles per day will be allowed on both the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail (CDST) and the Grassy Lake Road. Forty snowmobiles per day will be allowed on the frozen surface of Jackson Lake for the purpose of ice fishing; snowmobilers must have a valid Wyoming fishing license and fishing gear in their possession.

* Snowplanes will continue to be prohibited on Jackson Lake.

* Most snowmobiles will be required to meet BAT requirements, with the exception of a small portion of snowmobiles on the CDST and those originating in the Targhee National Forest and traveling on the Grassy Lake Road as far as Flagg Ranch.

* All snowmobile operators are required to have a valid driverís license; no learner permits are allowed.
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