NPS Releases Proposed Rule to Implement New Yellowstone Winter Use Plan for Public Review

Share on Facebook
April 17, 2013 9:34 PM

The National Park Service (NPS) has announced the release of a Proposed Rule concerning winter use in Yellowstone National Park for public review and comment. The rulemaking process is in addition to, but separate from, the public review on the Final Winter Use Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) which was released on February 22, 2013.  The Final SEIS did not have a comment period.  The Proposed Rule will have a comment period. BRC and our partners will be reviewing the Proposed Rule, and will have suggested comments

NPS Releases Proposed Rule to Implement New Yellowstone Winter Use Plan for Public Review

Dear Action Alert Subscribers,

The National Park Service (NPS) has announced the release of a Proposed Rule concerning winter use in Yellowstone National Park for public review and comment. The rulemaking process is in addition to, but separate from, the public review on the Final Winter Use Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) which was released on February 22, 2013.  The Final SEIS did not have a comment period.  The Proposed Rule will have a comment period. BRC and our partners will be reviewing the Proposed Rule, and will have suggested comments soon.

The Proposed Rule, published in the Federal Register on April 16, 2013, will have a 60-day public comment period ending on June 17, 2013.

The proposed rule will more effectively manage access for snowmobiles and snow coaches in Yellowstone National Park, while minimizing impacts on visitors, air and sound quality, as well as wildlife. The proposed rule will guide management of winter use in the park and will implement the preferred alternative in the Final SEIS.

Under the preferred alternative, the park would permit up to 110 "transportation events" daily, initially defined as one snowcoach, or a group of up to 10 snowmobiles, averaging seven snowmobiles per group, per season.  Up to 50 transportation events may be groups of snowmobiles. Management by transportation events is an  impact-centric approach designed to minimize the impact of oversnow vehicles (OSVs) on air quality, soundscapes and wildlife rather than focusing solely on the number vehicles allowed in the park.

This new, practical approach to OSV management also provides greater flexibility for OSV commercial tour operators, rewards future OSV technological innovations, and reduces OSV-caused environmental impacts--all while making the park cleaner and quieter than previously authorized and allowing for increases in visitation.

Four transportation events per day (one per gate) would be reserved for non-commercially guided snowmobile access, and Sylvan Pass would continue to be operated in accordance with the Sylvan Pass Working Group Agreement.

The winter of 2013/2014 will be a transition year, during which the park will allow motorized over-snow travel under the same conditions in place for the past four winters: up to 318 commercially guided Best Available Technology snowmobiles and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches daily.

The proposed rule, and an electronic form to submit written comments, can be found on the Internet at
http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NPS-2013-0001-0001. It is also available on CD or in hard copy by writing the Winter Use Planning Team, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.

Written comments may be submitted through the Regulations.gov-website, in person, or by mail. Comments will not be accepted by phone, fax, or e-mail. All public comments must be received or postmarked by midnight, June 17, 2013. 
 
Additional information on Yellowstone's winter use planning process, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions, can be found online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/currentmgmt.htm.

The Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park will use the analysis and recommendations contained in the Final SEIS, and comments on the proposed rule, to make a final recommendation to the NPS Intermountain Regional Director regarding the direction of winter use. The Regional Director is expected to issue the Record of Decision (ROD) sometime this summer, after which a final rule to implement the decision will be published in the Federal Register in order to allow the park to open for the 2013/2014 winter season.

Park News Releases LINK
Federal Register - Proposed Rule
LINK 
Proposed Rule Frequently Asked Questions
LINK

Thanks in advance for your support,
Jack Welch
Special Project Consultant
BlueRibbon Coalition
303-489-9477

 


The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org
_______________________________________________________

As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit http://www.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!

November 11, 2014 12:05 PM
CALIFORNIA - Help Preserve OHV Use On The Six Rivers National Forest
The Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California has a new Forest Supervisor, Merv George. Merv and his family are from the area and I believe it is important for OHV recreationists from across this county who have visited or want to visit this part of California to let him know that you value continued access to historic motorized roads and trails. This part of the state is also home to a number of hard-core anti-access groups who most certainly will be making demands on his office to close roads and trails
November 4, 2014 4:09 PM
CALIFORNIA - FS Begins Environmental Analysis of Over-Snow Vehicle Use Designati
As you may know, the Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5) of the U.S. Forest Service (FS) has started their environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) based on Subpart C of the Travel Management Rule. Five national forests in California are undertaking Subpart C analysis to improve their management of over-snow vehicle use and to designate a system of areas, roads, and trails, including groomed trails, for over-snow vehicle use. This process is being
November 25, 2014 4:18 PM
CALIFORNIA-NEVADA - Send a Letters to Inyo County Board of Supervisors
Please take a few minutes to send in a support letter to the Inyo County Board of Supervisors urging them to approve the ATV Adventure Trails System in the Eastern Sierra.  This is an important county-based travel management plan that will enhance recreational opportunities in Inyo County.  Below is a sample letter that you can use.  Please feel free to add any additional comments you may have. Thanks and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
[Action Alerts Archive]