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Winter Travel Cleared For Yellowstone

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Yellowstone National Park Friday released a Final Environmental Impact Statement ensuring the park will be open for motorized over snow travel as scheduled December 15th.  Spokesman Al Nash says a Record of Decision will also be published, utilizing the transition year statistics from the preferred alternative for the proposed permanent winter plan for a one-year rule.  These actions will allow the park to open for winter use on December 15th, and provide for managed motorized oversnow travel over groomed, snow-packed park roads in the same manner as allowed the past two winters under a temporary plan.  Under the One-Year Rule, up to 318 commercially guided, Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles, and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches a day will be allowed this winter into Yellowstone National Park.  The temporary plan became necessary after more than 59-thousand public comments were received on the Winter Use Draft Environmental Impact Statement raising additional questions about the long-term effects and options regarding winter use in Yellowstone.  As such, more time is needed for study prior to adopting a permanent winter plan.

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