The Big Chill
Snowmobiles are getting a chilly reception in Yellowstone National Park, with more than 80 percent of public comments supporting the Clinton administration’s plan for phasing out the noisy, polluting vehicles. Last year, the National Park Service decided to eliminate snowmobiles in the park, beginning with a 50 percent reduction by the winter of 2002-03 and a complete ban the following winter. Earlier this year, however, the Bush administration called for a review of the plan, and a new decision is expected in November 2002, just before the phase-out would begin. The most recent public comment period, which represented the fourth time that the public has supported banning snowmobiles from Yellowstone, was part of that review. To date, the snowmobile industry has not provided new evidence that it can produce cleaner, quieter, more park-friendly machines.