Federal Judge Reinstates Clinton Snowmobile Ban in Yellowstone

In a sharply worded ruling issued just hours before the start of the winter snowmobiling season in Yellowstone National Park, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan nixed the Bush administration’s plans to allow nearly 1,000 snowmobiles in the park every day. The 49-page ruling pointed out that a Clinton administration plan, which would have phased out snowmobiles over three years and banned them completely this winter, was based on a decade’s worth of studies, while the new plan was based on an environmental impact statement “conspicuously timed with the change in administrations” and “completely politically driven and result oriented.” Under Sullivan’s ruling, limited snowmobiling will be allowed in the park this winter and none next winter. National Park Service employees expressed relief at the ruling. Yeah. Us too.