Park concerned about Sylvan Pass costs

Yellowstone Park’s East Entrance was kept open in 2008-9 winter at the cost of $3500 per snowmobile!

Park concerned about Sylvan Pass costs. By Gazette News Services. Billings Gazette.

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Prior to the season, financially strapped Yellowstone Park wanted to abandon the costly effort to keep this high altitude entrance open. News reports were that VP Dick Cheney personally intervened to overrule the NPS.

Now we see the cost.

11 Responses to “Park concerned about Sylvan Pass costs”

  1. Virginia Says:

    I see they finally wrote a tiny, tiny article about this in the Gazette. Would it be they are embarrassed to show the taxpayers what they are getting for their money?

  2. jimbob Says:

    If that doesn’t show the hypocracy of Republican administration, I don’t know what does. Smaller government? Lower taxes? Who will pay to keep the snowmobiles going? Lying, tyranny, and special interests….should that really be OUR government? I’m no fan of the Dems either, but at least they don’t lie about lower taxes and less government.

  3. Layton Says:

    “I’m no fan of the Dems either, but at least they don’t lie about lower taxes and less government.”

    Right —– at least 50% right anyway. Seems like most (some? part?) of St. Obama’s cabinet FIRMLY believes in lower taxes — they don’t pay them!! 8)

    Give it up!! There isn’t a nickle’s worth of difference between this administration and the last one. It’s ALL spelled P-O-L-I-T-I-C-S. Or, if you prefer, use the alternate spelling O-N T-H-E T-A-K-E!!

  4. Chuck Parker Says:

    It’s not just the cost that’s embarrasing–We’re paying for helicopters to drop bombs in Yellowstone National Park to provide access for snowmobiles. That’s wrong on so many levels it’s difficult to comprehend.

  5. Mike Says:

    Completely agree, Chuck. What a waste.

  6. Chuck Parker Says:

    This is not about Democrats, Republicans or business interests in Cody–it’s about NPS bureaucracy. It’s no accident when the NPS arouses political and business opposition to closing Sylvan Pass to snowmobiles, or the whole park to snowmobiling. The NPS wants to park open to snowmobiles in order to maintain the size of its bureaucratic empire.

    Close Sylvan Pass and the East Entrance, and the next thing you know taxpayers might ask how much money the NPS could save by closing the South Entrance to Old Faithful. And Mammoth to Norris Junction.

    Why not just groom the road for snowcoach traffic from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful and let it go at that? If you’re writing an EIS with reasonable alternatives, that’s the only alternative that makes sense, but Yellowstone in winter is not about common sense, it’s about bureaucratic empire building.

  7. Salle Says:

    The problem with snowcoaches is that the thing they do best is breakdown. they are heavy on the carbon footprint ~ get about 1 mile/gallon of gas and are only barely cost effective if they are packed full of passengers.

    Even some park personnel are now talking about just keeping the roads plowed for folks to just drive in like in summer only that some places, like Sylvan and Dunraven passes will be closed for obvious reasons. It’s also becoming popular among the snowmobile outfitters in West Yellowstone. If the park is to remain open during the winter, that would be the most practical option…

  8. jimbob Says:

    I didn’t make my point very well, but usually there IS some reason behind decisions that go against common sense like this one. MAYBE it is like Chuck Parker says, but I like to believe that there have to be some competent people that would speak up, even in government. I think they are just caving to political pressure that’s put on by the local towns and industries. That’s been the history.

  9. Salle Says:


    I would say that you have a VERY valid point concerning the pressure from the towns. It would apear that they seem to forget why there is a business for them in the first place. The problem I see is that they want to be the “special ones” who decide what the policies of the park will be and that anything, like the wildlife needing a break or whatever, is beside the point because all that matters is whether they make that almighty dollar or not. Wildlife and wildness be damned. But in fairness, not all the business owners are like that, but a large number of them are. I would suggest finding out who they are by looking at who is a member of the local chamber of commerce(s) in the surrounding areas. It seems that the chamber(s) are onlty interested in making business for their members and not much else, especially the inhabitants of the gate communities who are the workforce for trhe businesses. Try finding a place to rent that is aceptable in quality that is also affordable to rent, without a roommate in every room (including the bathroom!).

  10. Chuck Parker Says:

    Gateway communities, NPS, park concessionaires all business partners.

    When Ronald Reagan/James Watt took over in 1980, there was a lot of yammering about budget cuts for Yellowstone, so Superintendent Townsley scheduled talks about the situation in Cody, Jackson, etc. He pointed out that since keeping the park open for snowmobilers cost so much and served so few people, it only made sense to shut down for the winter.

    Of course this was a ploy to get local business interests to complain to their congressional delegation, which they did. And the MT, ID, WY congressional delegations made sure the Yellowstone Park budget had funding for snowmobiling.

    All the winter use plans and EISs have been a hoax–the NPS wants the bureaucratic empire that goes with snowmobiling in Yellowstone.

  11. JB Says:

    Boy, the conspiracy theorists are out today!

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