Snowmobiling is coming under increasing fire in the western U.S., not just from enviros but also from officials at a number of national forests and parks. Snowmobiles have been banned in recent years from some U.S. Forest Service land in Montana and northern Idaho, and they may soon be limited in Yellowstone National Park, the remote interior of Alaska’s Denali National Park, and elsewhere in the West. Enviros, skiers, and some park officials argue that snowmobiles cause air, water, and noise pollution and endanger wildlife. Environmental groups are petitioning the federal government to outlaw most snowmobiles in national parks. But attorneys and PR specialists for the fast-growing snowmobile industry are fighting restrictions tooth and nail, as are many Western politicians.
Get Grist in your inbox