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Comment Needed On Yellowstone Draft Winter Use Plan/SEIS

August 08, 2012 4:32 PM

SITUATION
The National Park Service (NPS) has prepared a Draft Winter Use Plan and Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft Plan/SEIS) for Yellowstone National Park. The purpose of the Winter Use Plan is to establish a management framework for Yellowstone's unique and valuable winter recreational resources.

This plan will determine whether motorized winter use of the park (including snowmobiles, and snowcoaches) is appropriate, and if so, the types, extent, and location of this use. A Winter Use Plan is needed at this time because:

The NPS is deciding whether snowmobile and/or snowcoach use should continue, and if so, under what limits and restrictions. The draft SEIS evaluated the environmental effects of winter use on air quality and visibility, wildlife, natural soundscapes, employee and visitor health and safety, visitor experience, and socioeconomics.

The public comment period for the Draft Plan/SEIS ends August 20, 2012, and it is extremely important that the National Park Service hear from you.

SNOWMOBILERS, YOU NEED TO COMMENT BY AUGUST 20.

NOTE: Comments may be submitted through the NPS website, by mail or hand delivered to park headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs, WY.  Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any other way than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.

The National Park Service intends to have a final SEIS, a Record of Decision, and a final rule guiding winter use in place before the start of the 2012-2013 winter season.

For up-to-date information on the Yellowstone Winter Use Issue, go to our website www.saveyellowstonepark.com

For questions and other information, contact Al Nash or Dan Hottle at (307) 344-2015. More info is also available on the web at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/YELL

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
BlueRibbon has formed the Yellowstone Task Force, which is made up of state and national snowmobile leaders, the snowmobile industry, commercial tour operators, and representatives from the affected gateway communities, and elected officials at the county, state and national level. These groups have reviewed the draft plan and SEIS, and have suggested comments.  Snowmobile enthusiast NEED to comment on the draft SEIS, and if you have ever been to Yellowstone, we need you to comment regarding your experience.

BRC'S THREE-STEP ACTION ITEM
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO SEND YOUR COMMENTS:

NOTE: Please be polite and, if possible, make your comment letter as personal as you can.

STEP 1: Click Here. This link will take you to the NPS comment webpage. Read and follow the instructions for completing the Comment Form.

STEP 2: Use the comments suggestions below as a guideline for your comments. Cut and paste is okay, but try to make your comment letter as personal as possible.

STEP 3: Take just a minute to add a bit about where you live, any winter visits you have made to Yellowstone, how often you go, how long you have been riding in the area and/or how important the area is to you.

Once you have completed your comments, click the "Submit" button.

Optional:
You may also comment by mail to: Yellowstone National Park, Winter Use DRAFT SEIS, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone NP, WY 82190.

NOTE: Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any other way than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.

COMMENT SUGGESTIONS:

I support continued Winter access to Yellowstone National Park by snowmobiles. However, I do not support Alternatives 1, 2, or 3 as the way to provide for that continued snowmobile access.  I do support the vision of Alternate 4: "Manage Over Snow Vehicles use by Transportation Events," and the following are my comments:

*Snowmobiles have been used to access Yellowstone National Park for over 45 years and should continue to provide a special form of winter transportation.  Over the past five years, the vast majority of visitors to the Park have requested a snowmobile as their form of transportation.  Note: for most visitors this is their first experience on a snowmobile.

*The testing of snowmobiles to be ridden in Yellowstone should be accomplished at their average operational speed.  Snowmobiles should be tested in the manner that they are ridden in the Park.

*Non-commercially guided access to the Park needs to be expanded in the final SEIS.  There is a need for more than one non-commercially guided entry into the Park from each gate a day; this needs to be reassessed.

*It is important to have the two-year transition period after the SEIS is completed in late fall of 2012. Having a decision made on winter access to Yellowstone Park within a very short period, before the 2012-2013 season begins, would be a hardship on the snowmobile operators and the general public.

*In the final SEIS, winter access for both snowmobiles and snowcoaches to the Park should be continued over Sylvan Pass from the East Gate. This access is important to visitors. There continues to be interest in both snowmobile and snowcoach from the East Gate.

*Please leave all speed limits in the Park at the current historic levels.  Changing the current speed in the Park could affect visitors ability to see all of the Park's unique sights.

*The requirement for all visitors to carry avalanche rescue gear in the Park should be eliminated. Visitors to the Park do not need shovels, probes, and transceivers. Note: Snowmobile Guides do carry emergency and first aid equipment.

Please add my name to the Yellowstone Winter Use mailing list and keep me informed as the SEIS process moves forward.

Signature __________________________________________________________________________
(Please Print)
Name______________________________________________________________________________

Address____________________________________________________________________________

City__________________________ State or Province __________ Zip or Postal Code _____________

Click here to print out the above comments as mailable form letter.
 

Reminder the COMMENT PERIOD ON DRAFT SEIS ENDS ON AUGUST 20, 2012

 


The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org
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