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Public Meeting Held On Winter Use Adaptive Management Plan

June 11, 2014 11:11 PM

Jackson, Wyoming meeting focuses on Non-Commercially Guided Snowmobile access

JACKSON, WY (June 11, 2014) -- Yellowstone National Park held a public meeting in Jackson, Wyoming recently to discuss progress made on the park's winter use adaptive management. The adaptive management program is a collaborative process between park managers, scientists, and the public, which the park will use to evaluate the implementation of the park's new winter use management plan. The program is designed to allow the National Park Service (NPS) to gather more information about the impacts of winter use on park resource conditions through scientific monitoring and to seek additional public input.

Managers will consider additional information gained from the meeting to assess and improve the management of winter use in Yellowstone National Park in a manner that reduces impacts on park resources or improves visitor experience.

Working groups comprised of members of the public and NPS staff spent the winter drafting chapters of the winter use adaptive management plan. These chapters will propose priorities for NPS monitoring and research focusing on five impact topics: Wild Life, Air and Sound Emissions, Human Dimensions, Operations and Technology, and the Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program.

The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is an active members of several working groups including the Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program group. One of the highlights of the meeting was information about the Non-Commercially Guided Snowmobile Access program that will start this coming winter season 2014-2015. There will be up to five snowmobiles in each of four Non-Commercially Guided Transportation Snowmobile Events, one from each of the four Yellowstone Park Gates, each day during the winter season.

Visitors will be required to possess a non-commercial snowmobile access permit which would be awarded annually through an online lottery system (www.recreation.gov). You will also need to have successfully  completed the Yellowstone Snowmobile Education Certification training course. You will be allowed to lead two non-commercially guide trips  into the Park per season.  The training course will be available online.  This course is to be developed with the help and sponsorship of the Wyoming State Snowmobile Program.  The trips can last up to three days.  There will be additional information on the non-commercially guided snowmobile access program in the near future here, so check back frequently (www.saveyellowstonepark.org).

In addition to the Non-Commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program, the Park Service discussed all the aspects of the Adaptive Management Plan for Winter Use. The Park Service expects to present a draft adaptive management plan for winter use to the public in late summer 2014, there will be a public comment period. The Park Service will  complete a final adaptive management and monitoring plan by the  2016-2017 winter season.

For more information about the adaptive management program, please visit the program web page: http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/wuamp.htm.

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The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well -- all sports; all trails.  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.BlueRibbonCoalition.Org.

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