Bush Administration Will Allow Snowmobiles in Yellowstone

Snowmobiles will be welcome to keep zooming through Yellowstone National Park, the Bush administration announced yesterday, despite tens of thousands of public comments calling for the vehicles to be phased out from the oldest national park in the U.S. Final rules released yesterday on the issue will place limits on the number of snowmobiles allowed in the park and eventually require them to be quieter and less polluting than the models now in widespread use, but enviros say that’s not nearly adequate to protect the area’s wildlife and air quality. “Never before has the National Park Service … understood so completely what is needed to protect park resources, only to have political appointees at the Interior Department order a different course which they know will harm the park,” said Rick Smith, a retired park service official. Enviros are taking the issue to court.