New plan would nearly triple Yellowstone daily snowmobile limit

Gentlemen, stroke your engines: The National Park Service has issued a draft plan that would nearly triple the number of snowmobiles allowed into Yellowstone National Park each day, from 250 to 720. While the limit is lower than the average number entering the park daily before the Clinton administration put the practice on ice — a move reversed by the Bush administration — it’s still freakin’ high. “The facts and science gave [NPS] a direction to take, then they softened, twisted, and contorted the science,” says former park superintendent Michael Finley. “The plan deserves to be challenged. It deserves burial in deep snow.” Other fans of peace, quiet, clean air, and critters agreed, but supporters of the new plan pointed out that it would allow only guided trips and would require noise-reduction gadgets on accompanying snow coaches. “We can achieve [natural-resource protection] goals with a managed program,” said one park staffer. A final draft will be released for public comment in March.