sylvan pass

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Yellowstone draft winter-use plan allows 110 ‘transportation events’ daily, keeps Sylvan Pass Open

Two people share a snowmobile during a January 2012 trip into Yellowstone National Park.

A notice published in the Federal Register contains some details on how the National Park Service plans to manage winter use in Yellowstone National Park, including a preference for using "transportation events" for allowing snowmobiles and snow coaches into the park and a plan to keep Sylvan Pass open. Though the Park Service has not yet released its draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the Yellowstone winter use plan, a Federal Register noticed dated June 29 lists background information on the plan as it will appear when released. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone plowing work covers 320 miles of mountain roads


Each spring, a Yellowstone National Park crew of 20-25 workers take to the snowy roads of Yellowstone starting the first full week of March to tackle one of the most complex, costly and expansive jobs in the park. Road crews, including some seasonal workers hired just to help with plowing, work for up to three months removing snow and ice from more than 320 miles of road in Yellowstone. The operation burns as much as 1,300 gallons of diesel fuel each day and typically costs $1 million or more. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk outlines winter use, summer plans for Cody leaders

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk addresses local business leaders during the Cody, Wyo. National Park Day lunceon, a six-decade tradition in the gateway community. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

Though summer is just around the corner, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk presented two vastly different possible scenarios for managing Sylvan Pass during a briefing Monday for local business owners. Wenk and Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott spoke to Cody Country Chamber of Commerce members as part of the town's National Parks Day, a six-decade tradition where park managers share insights on the coming summer tourist season with business leaders in the gateway community. Continue Reading →

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Planners discuss snowmobiles, ‘sound events’ at Yellowstone winter use meetings

Planners and managers from Yellowstone National Park, including Superintendent Dan Wenk, have been visiting gateway communities this week to host meetings about their ongoing efforts to develop a long-term winter-use plan for the park. The plan revision is a process that has repeated itself in recent years without yielding an enduring result, as interest groups and government entities have taken their objections to federal court. The numerous judicial battles have made it virtually impossible to craft a long-term plan that can survive litigation. Continue Reading →

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Snowmobile trip over Sylvan Pass offers adventurous loop through Yellowstone Park

Two people share a snowmobile during a January 2012 trip into Yellowstone National Park.

Terry Dolan's snowmobile tour covers more than 150 miles and takes in the major sights along the lower section of the park's Grand Loop Road, including Yellowstone Lake, Old Faithful, Fountain Paint Pot and the Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. For adventurous travelers, the trip offers an exhilarating and often thrilling way to tour the park, with a small group of good riders able to quickly stop and hop off their sleds for photos or sightseeing before pushing on to the next landmark. Continue Reading →

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Park Service schedules February meetings for Yellowstone winter-use options

Snow coaches operated by private tour guide companies are parked near Old Fiathful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

The National Park Service has scheduled four open-house meetings for mid-February in gateway communities around Yellowstone National Park to answer questions about ongoing efforts to develop a long-term winter-use plan for the park. The Park Service is operating this winter in Yellowstone under a "one-year rule," designating winter from Dec. 15, 2011 to mid-March 2012 as a "transition year." That means use levels and restrictions on snowmobiles and snow coaches, for instance, are the same as the interim rule that has governed use over the past two seasons. Efforts to nail down a long-term winter-use plan have been complicated by public debate, including court challenges, over issues like snowmobile traffic and avalanche management on Sylvan Pass, between Cody, Wyo. and Fishing Bridge. Continue Reading →

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