Dear Friend of the National Parks,
Once again, Yellowstone National Park needs your help. Do you have a couple of minutes to speak up for a quiet and clean Yellowstone in winter? (Please see the instructions below for submitting your comments.)
The National Park Service drafted a new winter use management plan after learning earlier this year that snowmobiles made for the park are becoming noisier and dirtier. Yet the plan would allow up to 480 snowmobiles a day, more than twice the average number experienced the past few years! This would take Yellowstone back to snowmobile levels not seen for a decade. Learn more here.
The plan also proposes to continue using high explosives in critical wolverine and lynx habitat to maintain winter access over avalanche-prone Sylvan Pass. The park’s avalanche control program costs $125,000, and last winter it benefited only 60 visitors entering the park’s east entrance.
While some aspects of the new plan are admirable – notably strong new Best Available Technology standards for both snowcoaches and snowmobiles – the National Park Service is seriously off-course in its latest plan.
Take Action: Tell Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk that you would like the Park Service to emphasize snowcoach access, not expand snowmobile use, and uphold its duty to facilitate enjoyment that minimizes degradation of Yellowstone.
Here's how you do it...
Step 1: Go to http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=48306. The Park Service is only accepting online comments at this website. In order for your comment to count, you must carefully follow the Park Service's form.
Step 2: Please personalize your comments by copying and pasting the talking points below into the Park Service web form, taking the opportunity to add any personal observations or stories.
Step 3: Once you have completed all of the required/necessary fields on the form, make sure you click "Submit" at the bottom of the form.
Talking Points/Sample Message
Dear Superintendent Wenk:
I am writing to comment on your proposed winter use management plan for Yellowstone National Park. I support a plan that provides the best protection for Yellowstone’s resources while accommodating enjoyment of the park’s unparalleled winter environment.
* The Draft SEIS shows conclusively that a transition to a snowcoach-only winter transportation system maximizes protection of air quality, soundscapes, and wildlife while providing the most reliable and accessible visitor experience.
* The proposed best available technology vehicle standards are an important improvement, and should be required as soon as possible, not delayed for another five years.
* The proposal to allow up to 480 snowmobiles many days during the winter is a significant regression back to an era of disturbances to wildlife and substantial problems with noise and air pollution.
* The requirement for professionally guided snowmobile tours has been crucial to reducing harassment of wildlife and violations of park rules and should not be abandoned when snowmobile use is allowed.
* The use of artillery shelling for avalanche control on Sylvan Pass is inappropriate. Worker safety, impacts on wildlife, and the cost of hundreds or even thousands of dollars per visitor is unconscionable when many critical needs in Yellowstone are going unmet.
* Your proposal to reduce the park’s top speed limit in winter to 35 miles an hour and in the most sensitive wildlife corridors to 25 miles an hour is a good idea. Thank you for doing this.
*Additional, personal comments.
We are grateful to you for taking a moment to add your voice in support of making Yellowstone National Park’s winters as clean and quiet as possible. Thank you.
Yellowstone Program Manager
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