Winter Use In Yellowstone National Park

October 22, 2013

UPDATE: Final Yellowstone Winter Visitation Plan Released

National Park Service final winter use regulation guarantees a cleaner, quieter national park

Bozeman, MT -- The National Park Service has announced its final regulation governing snowmobile and snowcoach use in Yellowstone National Park. The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) praised Superintendent Daniel Wenk and his staff for taking the time to actively engage the public and subsequently craft a proposal that significantly reduces air and noise pollution --finally providing Yellowstone with a truly cleaner and quieter winter season. Read NPCA's press release.


National Parks Conservation Association’s Yellowstone Field Office is working to protect Yellowstone’s wildlife and restore the park's unique winter quiet and pristine air quality by moving toward a park-friendly accessible snowcoach transportation system.

Latest plan for Yellowstone a step backward

Yellowstone National Park and the National Park Service are once again preparing a long-term plan for managing winter use in America’s first national park. We anticipate this will be the last environmental study leading to a permanent plan. 

On June 29, 2012 the National Park Service released its Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact statement outlining how visitors will access Yellowstone in the winter.

You can read Tom Kiernan's take on the proposal here

You can view the draft plan and proposed alternatives at the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website. Over the past ten years, NPCA, our conservation partners and dedicated citizens like you have made enormous progress in our quest to secure the best possible protection for Yellowstone National Park. Together we've built support for Yellowstone's lower-impact snowcoach transportation system, which continues to grow in popularity each year; significantly ushered out the noisiest and most-polluting forms of winter access; and moderated disruption to wintering wildlife. We're getting somewhere and you have helped!

Yellowstone National Park has indeed become healthier as snowmobile numbers have decreased and visitors have turned increasingly to snowcoaches as their means of visiting and enjoying Yellowstone. However, we still do not have a long-term plan in place that best protects Yellowstone National Park. NPS is proposing to continue recreational snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park despite disclosing in a new, major study that the significantly larger amount of traffic involved would be worse for Yellowstone's wildlife, air quality, and unique soundscape than other transportation alternatives.

Read the comments submitted to NPS by NPCA and our allies from the previous EIS:

Learn More

In the News

New winter-use plan for Yellowstone is a step backward, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, August 6, 2012


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