Should the Park road from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful be plowed?
Earlier today “Salle” posted in our new “Have you run across any interesting news” section her views and a large number of links relating to this important (if judged by the huge amount of litigation) set of rules for using Yellowstone in the winter. There is an interesting view that rather than snowmobiles/snowcoaches, maybe it would be better to plow from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful in the winter. This would be similar to the long-standing plowing of the road from Mammoth Hot Springs out the northeast entrance of the Park to Cooke City, MT.
At any rate, an entire new set of rule-making for Yellowstone winter use is about to begin.
I thought it was an important enough news story to bring in as a “regular” post. Ralph Maughan
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“Salle” wrote on Feb. 5, 2010 at 8:29 AM
This past week Yellowstone NP has opened up for comments on winter use in the park. Recently there was a decrease in oversnow travel limits for the next two winters while this issue is addressed, once again. A big concern for the general public is that only those who can ~$150/person/day can go in to enjoy the park during winter, unless you are near the north entrance and can only go to Lamar Valley area between Mammoth Hot Springs and Cooke City. The rest of the park is only open to oversnow travel at the price noted above.
There is a massive decline in business activity for the gate communities and the only businesses that have any business to speak of are the (less than a dozen) permitees who facilitate oversnow travel.
Many, including some park officials, have been pushing for the park to just plow the road during the winter. Such a plan includes plowing from the west gate to Madison jct; Madison jct. to Old Faithful and to Mammoth HS. this would allow the general public to enter the park year round and with the regular fees that apply during the summer months. It also allows the general public to get to Old faithful and the northern sector in a couple hours rather than a five hour drive, one way, from the west gate – the major entrance to the park.