Judge Supports Yellowstone Snowmobile Phase-out Plan

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   December 17, 2003
Contact:   Kate Himot, NPCA, 202-454-3311


Judge Supports Yellowstone Snowmobile Phase-out Plan

Washington, D.C. - Visitors to Yellowstone National Park can enjoy cleaner, quieter, and safer experiences in the park beginning this winter. This week in Washington, D.C., a federal judge reaffirmed the government's responsibility to provide the highest protection in America's national parks and blocked a decision by the Bush administration to continue snowmobile use in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. In its own study this year, the administration concluded that even the latest-technology snowmobiles would cause air and noise pollution and health risks for workers, visitors, and wildlife. Tuesday evening's court ruling requires a phase-out of snowmobiles to begin in the parks by implementing the prior rule that cuts snowmobile use immediately by 50 percent, followed by a complete phase-out next winter.

Deny Galvin, a former deputy director of the Park Service under both Presidents Reagan and Clinton and during the first year of President Bush's administration, was in the courtroom for the hearing on Monday. After hearing the judge's ruling Tuesday evening, Galvin said, "Yellowstone is where our country first said, 'This is what our national parks mean to us.' This ruling reaffirms that fundamental purpose. Our duty is to take care of our national parks as fully as possible so that we pass them in good health to our grandchildren. Had we let that principle slip in Yellowstone to benefit the snowmobile industry, it would have set a terrible precedent in all our national parks."

Conservation groups involved in the case are: Greater Yellowstone Association, National Parks Conservation Association, The Wilderness Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and Winter Wildlands. Earthjustice represented the groups in court.

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