…. Snowmobile Wars – A Webliography

IT’S MORE ABOUT EMOTIONS THAN SCIENCE

early-snowplane-24.jpgearly-snowplane-22.jpgearly-snowplane-23.jpgWinter access to Yellowstone National Park has a long history. From exploration to “winter keeping.” The winter in Yellowstone, and winter travel, has become something of a fable. Motorized transportation in the park began in 1949 with the arrival of the first “snowplane.”

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In 1955 the Bombardier snowcoach, (originally called a ‘snowmobile,’) entered Yellowstone for the first time. In 1963 the first snowmobiles entered the park on a regular basis.1962_sno_traveller.jpg

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“Increasing tourism and demands for visitor services led Superintendent Anderson to institutionalize the park’s winter use between 1968 and 1971.

His program centered on providing public access by snowmobile or snowcoach. To encourage such visitation, in the early 1970s workers began regularly grooming roads and opened a hotel at Old Faithful. By 1982 they had expanded the grooming program and opened the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.” (from Yochim, ‘Development of Snowmobile Policy’)

It was in the early 70’s that the debate about the type of winter access began.

It centered on the two parks that had allowed motorized winter access: Glacier and Yellowstone. For a review of the history of snowmobile travel in these two parks see: “Snow machines in the gardens: The history of snowmobiles in Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks” — {{ Montana: The Magazine of Western History, Autumn 2003 by Michael J. Yochim }}

The debate has gone from a discussion of access, to a battle about snowmobiles.

So much misinformation and emotional content has entered the discussion that even the EPA has lost sight of the science behind the policy decisions. This Webliography is provided as a resource for those that want to review the studies, (scientific and otherwise,) that have led to the current policy decisions by Yellowstone planners.

The development of this resource is an ongoing process. As such it is necessarily incomplete – and at present poorly organized. Only web-accessible resources are listed at this time. When time permits I will clean this up and bring some order to the chaos.

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WEBLIOGRAPHY

1. FINAL SNOWMOBILE REGULATIONS FOR YELLOWSTONE AND GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARKS PUBLISHED IN FEDERAL REGISTER; NPS News Release, January 23, 2001.

2. Preliminary Alternatives March, 2006; NPS Word Document, in-house Copy. {Google HTML Version}

3.

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