The comment period regarding Yellowstone National Park’s proposed rule to implement the final winter use plan ended yesterday, and Superintendent Dan Wenk will now review those comments prior to issuing a recommendation to the National Park Service Intermountain Regional Director regarding final disposition of the matter. Park Spokesman Al Nash says after that, a decision can be rendered. Then, he says the next two steps will be to have a record of decision – the final step in the planning process involving the environmental impact statement – and then the revision and publishing of the final rule. Nash says once that all takes place; the new winter plan will be phased in beginning in the coming winter season. However, Nash says there won’t be any changes made this year. This year will be operated as it has been in recent years. However, he says the changes will start the following year. Nash says 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 over-snow vehicles on air quality, soundscapes, and wildlife rather than focusing solely on the number vehicles allowed in the park.