New Winter Use Rules for Snowmobiles and Snowcoaches in Yellowstone National Park Set for 2014/2015 Season
This winter, 2013/2014 season, will be a transitional year before the changes are implemented for the 2014/2015 winter season and beyond at Yellowstone National Park. Here we will outline the rules this year and the changes planned for the future.
2013/2014 Winter Season
Up to 318 commercially guided Best Available Technology snowmobiles and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches are allowed in Yellowstone National Park per day.
2014/2015 Winter Season
110 daily transportation events, defined as one snowcoach or a group of up to 10 snowmobiles, will be allowed per day. No more than 50 of the transportation events will be used for snowmobile transportation events.
Also, new best available technology standards will be required for snowmobiles no later than the 2015/2016 season, and for snowcoaches by the 2016/2017 winter season.
The final rule beginning in the 2014/2015 winter season relies on impact analysis conducted through the 2013 Winter Use Final Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (final Plan/SEIS). This rule authorizes oversnow vehicle (OSV) use in Yellowstone and contains provisions that allow greater flexibility for commercial tour operators, provides mechanisms to make the park cleaner and quieter than what has been allowed during the previous four winter seasons, rewards oversnow vehicle innovations and technologies that improve the Yellowstone experience, and allows for an increase in visitation.
“This is a balanced and flexible plan that we believe will work for tour operators, for park visitors and for the iconic landscapes with which we are entrusted to protect,” said Superintendent Dan Wenk. “We appreciate the public comment and review that has gone into informing this science-based approach that will provide a safe and positive experience for the millions of visitors who come to Yellowstone every year.”