Wade Vagias

Recent Posts

Yellowstone faces winter season without 3 key leaders

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk has accepted a temporary position as interim president of the National Park Foundation in Washington, D.C.

With only a month until snowmobiles and snow coaches begin entering Yellowstone National Park, three of the park's top managers will be tending to new duties in other locations. Though the timing is coincidental, and two of the moves are temporary, the circumstances will mean a big change in Yellowstone's daily leadership for the 2014-15 winter season. Yellowstone's superintendent, a top management assistant in charge of winter use and the park's lead scientist have all recently taken assignments in other states. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Yellowstone winter tour operators wary of new concessions contracts

Yellowstone National Park managers passed a major milestone last week with the release of a final winter-use rule that appears to have gained widespread acceptance as a workable solution to 15 years of ongoing legal challenges over snowmobile travel in the park. But it's unlikely park planners will have much time to celebrate their success, as there is a large piece of the winter-use puzzle that remains unsolved. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Debate over Yellowstone Park winter use dates back more than 50 years

While the ongoing public debate over the role of snowmobiles in Yellowstone Park may seem like a relatively recent development, winter use has been a contentious topic going back more than half a century. It's that legacy of past decisions and longstanding public expectations that has helped define the debate — and the options for moving forward — on how to manage winter use in Yellowstone. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

If a snowmobile rides through Yellowstone, does it make a sound event?

As planners move forward with crafting a new winter-use plan for Yellowstone National Park, they'll be gauging public response to the idea of so-called "sound events," one of the few new ideas in a decade of debate and court challenges over managing winter vehicle traffic in the park. Under two of the potential winter-use alternatives proposed by the Park Service in February, snowmobile and snow coach travel through Yellowstone would be managed by sound events — the total number of noise-producing trips made each day. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,