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NPS Extends One-Year Rule for 2012-2013 Winter Use Plan

November 19, 2012 4:24 PM
Associated Image

Yellowstone Park will open to Snowmobiles for this Winter Season!

Update: On September 7, 2012, the National Park Service (NPS) announced that they would extend the existing "one-year rule" for another season. Yellowstone National Park will open on December 15, 2012, for snowmobile and snowcoach access.

What does the extension of the "One-Year Rule" for 2012-2013 Winter Season mean?  This means that starting December 15, 2012, up to 318 commercially-guided Best Available Technology snowmobiles and up to 78 commercially-guided snowcoaches will be allowed to enter the park daily. The proposed extension will also continue to provide access for motorized oversnow travel over the East Entrance road and Sylvan Pass. The extended one-year rule allows the same level of activity as the 2011-2012 season.  It means that our combined efforts during the first draft SEIS comment period ending August 20, 2012, made a difference!

The National Park Service has now determined that many issues need to be further analyzed before a new long range Winter Use Plan can be put in place for the 2013-2014 season and beyond. This additional analysis will be conducted using the current Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) process, which will include the winter season 2012-2013 in Yellowstone.

You can read the NPS Media Release with more information on the "One Year Rule" and "Reopened public comment period on the Draft SEIS" here.

One of the major issues the Park Service wants to revisit is emissions and sound. Concerns on emissions and sound were highlighted in the EPA's comments. In the EPA's comments during the first comment period on the Draft SEIS, the EPA gave the Draft SEIS an "EC-2" status which means "environmental concerns, insufficient information".  In lay terms "EC-2" means the Park Service testing procedures and the data they collected are not sufficient to be the base of meaningful or good science conclusions.

Important to note, the emissions and sound testing concerns by the EPA were not just about snowmobiles, they included concerns about the development of Best Available Technology (BAT) standards for emissions and sound for snowcoaches too.  I am glad the Park Service is going to do analysis this winter.  Please note, the Park Service plan is to complete the SEIS process next year and have a long term Winter Use Plan for Yellowstone National Park finalized before the 2013-2014 winter season.

In closing, please enjoy our continued access to Yellowstone Park and make your plans to come and enjoy your National Park this winter on a snowmobile!

Note: As additional information on items covered in this summary are announced by the Park Service, they will be posted at our dedicated website at

Jack Welch
Special Projects Consultant
BlueRibbon Coalition


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 -

May 31, 2016 3:24 PM
Some of the many historic OHV routes in the Pine Nut Mountains

BOISE, ID (May 31, 2016) -- Coalition (BRC), a national trail-based recreation group, today slammed recent decisions that would severely restrict off-highway vehicle (OHV) events and trail improvements in many areas in eastern California and Nevada.  The changes, in the name of sage grouse management, were demanded by a handful of preservationist special interest groups.

November 23, 2015 3:16 PM
Associated Image

MISSOULA, MT (November 23, 2015) --Various organizations, led by the Ten Lakes Snowmobile Club, have filed a lawsuit challenging U.S. Forest Service planning efforts on the Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forests.  The complaint, filed on November 12, 2015, in federal court for the U.S.

November 23, 2015 10:38 AM

POCATELLO, ID (November 23, 2015) – Early last week, the BlueRibbon Coalition/ joined with other recreation groups in a letter sent to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in support of a balanced approach to managing public lands as part of the Moab Master Leasing Plan.

The letter addressed to BLM serves as formal comments from OHV stakeholders.  It also represents an effort between motorized and non-motorized recreation groups working together for the protection of outdoor recreation resources on public lands.

[Press Room Archive]