Our View: Feds should put preservation over snowmobiles : comments

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Well Said

As a former resident of Ashton, I totally agree with the editorial view of the Statesman. My winter visits included both snowmobile and snow coach. Both experiences were unique. The city of West Yellowstone is driven during the winter by the snowmobile business. Westerners have a tendency to take the natural beauty and space that they enjoy for granted. Those from outside the area (midwest and east) who have lost their "touch" with nature through development and over population seem to have more appreciation to preserve what remains for the good of everyone to enjoy. Until the mentality changes from preserving a national treasure to making a buck, snowmobiles in Yellowstone will always be a political football.


So you did the snowmobile experience in YNP, and now you agree with the editor that such activities should not be allowed?

So this is your message:
'It was a unique experience that I really enjoyed and then I supported it, but NOW,,, no one else should be allowed to do it'.

You wrote, "..Preserve what remains for the good everyone to enjoy". But if we lock it up, no one is going to enjoy it. Or is it, enjoy according to your current standard of use?

animals adapt

The policy is foolish, and doesn't preserve anything. The majority of the impact by humans is in the summer, and the animals have long since adapted to humans and vehicles in their habitat.

I agree

Preserve Yellowstone and other important natural features in our country. Snowmobiles have a huge effect on the landscape, the wildlife and the air quality in these areas; not to mention noise pollution for those of us who attempt to experience these places without the constant humming of snowmobiles in the background.

Inconsistent, selfish

Snowmobiles have a huge effect on air quality, huh? Are you saying the millions of cars in summer should be banned from Yellowstone for air quality reasons as well? Face it, you want them banned because you don't like them, regardless of whether or not others do.

The big-government lefty's at the Statesman never met a ban they didn't like.


I have and do sometimes snowmobile, but I much more prefer to snowshoe or ski. Yes, snowmobiles are considered the major air polluter in Yellowstone, and yes cars do of course pollute as well, but they at least are restricted to roads. I have to laugh when Republicans these days continue to refer to leftists or Liberals as big government proponents; have you not been paying attention to the Republican president and Republican dominated Congress that has bloated the Federal government more than anytime in history over the last 7 years? Only the few fringe are still making environmental issues partisan issues.


I think the real question is what is the purpose of the National Parks? Is their purpose to preserve the natural landscape and the habitat of the animals that live there; or is it for the recreation of snowmobile riders whose effect is in direct conflict of that intention.


Purpose is both

from the National Park Act of 1916

"The service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations hereinafter specified by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks, monuments, and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."

So, there has to be a balance between preserving and providing for enjoyment.

Here's Your Sign

For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People


Editor you say, ".. we also think Yellowstone's wintering wildlife needs some respite from human traffic".

Reprive from human traffic? So the 2.2 million acres is not sufficient area for the animals to get some reprive??? The fact that they voluntarily come to the roads doesn't matter?

The animals? You mean bison, right? Most of the elk migrate ie. Jackson range or elsewhere or hang out cuz they're not stressed by people, bears are sleeping, wolves are hunting slow bison and don't care about humans (other than for snacks), and most other animals are somewhere in the remote parts of the 2million acres. So the animals you are so concerned about must be the bison? YNP bison are like domestic cows without fences- they're habitated to stupid humans. R. many of the bison use the roads to ease their travel. If we eliminate snowmobiles AND coaches (to really give em a reprive) they won't have the roads to use- If you had your way, the bison would suffer even more.

Your only argument for no snowmobiles is a respite from human traffic. How about pollution? Oh yea, manufacturers have improved to less emmissions and less noisy snowmachines. How about recognizing the reasons for having them? How some alternatives, like alternate days for different types of users. C'mon editor this is your second piece on the topic in a month. I'm sure you can do better.

Quiter, less polluting

Quiter, less polluting snowmobiles have been created, however a vast majority of people don't use those, they still use the 2 stroke machines which are huge polluters and quite noisy. The haze over Yellowstone in the Winter is not from fog, but more like the infamous "London Fogs", its smog/air pollution.

It's Relative

2005 Study:
Direct measurements of snowcoach emissions by the University of Denver have shown that on a per-passenger basis the average emissions from snowcoaches are about the same as the cleaner 4-stroke engine snowmobiles. Most of the snowcoach fleet consists of vehicles that predate modern pollution controls on truck engines, so there is room for improvements as the fleet turns over to newer vehicles.


snowmobiles in Yellowstone

In my 20+ years of recreation, I have noticed a fundamental difference between the psyches of quiet recreators and OHV enthusiasts. Quiet recreators are far more respectful of other people and the landscape, and OHV enthusiasts are far less respectful of other people and the landscape. It's a simple truth that most sane people would find difficult to argue.

Ignorance is rampant

If some of the people who posted had actually read the draft released by the park service they would already know that snowmobiles are required to be the best available technology, which translates into clean burning 4-stroke snowmobiles. Additionally all snowmobiles must be guided and the guide's face serious fines or revocation of there licenses if any snowmobiles travels off of the road or harasses wildlife.

If you are so concerned about pollution in the park then why not restricts cars in the summertime. The park has roughly a million car visits during the summer and those cars harass wildlife a lot more than the guided snowmobile tours ever will. Lets only allow 540 cars into the park a day during the summer and then the rest of the people need to take a shuttle bus, this seems only fair.

Those new four-stroke snowmobiles are also very quite so to remove summertime noise we should also ban any Harleys or other motorcycle which are louder than the snowmobiles allow in the park during the winter.