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Yellowstone Winter Use Update: Park is Open To Snowmobiles Again This Year!

December 30, 2013 8:49 PM
Update on the 2013-2014 season

Yellowstone open to snowmobiles for the 2013-2014 winter season

Update: On December 15, 2013 the gates opened to another season of snowmobile access to Yellowstone National Park. This access will be regulated by the just completed Final Regulation to implement the Record of Decision (ROD).

According to the Park Service, the ROD provides a frame work for more effectively managed access for snowmobiles and snowcoaches in Yellowstone National Park while minimizing impacts on visitors, air and sound quality, and wildlife.  The final regulation will guide management of winter use in the Park and will implement the preferred alternative in the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

Under the Record of Decision and Final Regulation the following will take place; The winter of 2013/2014 will be a transition year during which the park will allow motorized over-snow travel under the same conditions in place for the past four winters.  Up to 318 commercially guided Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches will be allowed daily.

Starting in the 2014/2015 Winter Season the Park would permit up to 110 "transportation events" daily, initially defined as one snowcoach or a group of up to 10 snowmobiles, averaging seven snowmobiles per group per season.  Up to 50 transportation events may be groups of snowmobiles.  Management by transportation events is an impact-centric approach  designed to minimize the impact of oversnow vehicles (OSVs) on air quality,  soundscapes, and wildlife rather than focusing solely on the number of  vehicles allowed in the Park.

This new, practical approach to OSV management,"transportation events", also provides greater flexibility for OSV commercial tour operators, rewards future OSV technological innovations, and reduces OSV-caused environmental impacts all while making the Park cleaner and quieter than previously authorized and allowing for increases in visitation.

Another important part of the Final Regulation is that four transportation events per day (one per gate) would be reserved for non- commercially guided snowmobile access and Sylvan Pass would continue to be operated in accordance with the Sylvan Pass Working Group Agreement. The non-commercially guide access will provide snowmobilers a change to visit their Park without hiring a commercial guide.

BlueRibbon is proud of its important role in helping to develop the current management plan for Yellowstone Winter Use.  For the most current information on the Yellowstone Winter Use Plan, return here or use our dedicated, fast redirect (www.saveyellowstonepark.org).

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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. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is here. Federal employees, please mark BlueRibbon Coalition and Check #11402 on your CFC pledge form to support our efforts to protect your access. Join us at 1-800-258-3742 or http://archive.sharetrails.org.

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

BOISE, ID (May 31, 2016) -- Sharetrails.org/BlueRibbon 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.

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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.

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November 23, 2015 10:38 AM

POCATELLO, ID (November 23, 2015) – Early last week, the BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org 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.

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