Yellowstone National Park Finalizes New Winter Use Plan
Yellowstone National Park has a new winter use plan.John Wessels, the National Park Service Intermountain regional director, signed a Record of Decision on Thursday for the Winter Use Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.
“This winter use plan is the product of hundreds of hours of public involvement, is based on sound science, and is a different approach to winter use management,” said Yellowstone superintendent Dan Wenk in a press release.
The 2013/2014 winter season will be a transition year during which the park will allow OSV under the same conditions in place for the past four winters. The one-season transition period will also allow time for the NPS to advertise and award concession contracts and for commercial tour operators to prepare for the shift to management by transportation events.
Beginning with the 2014/2015 winter season, a fixed maximum number of vehicles allowed in the park each day will be replaced with a new, more flexible concept of managing vehicle access by transportation events, defined as one snowcoach or a group of up to 10 snowmobiles, averaging seven seasonally. Commercial tour operators will be able to use their allocated transportation events for snowmobiles, snowcoaches, or a mix of both, as long as no more than 50 of the authorized 110 daily transportation events make use of snowmobiles.