Jack Welch, a leader of the snowmobile advocacy groups called the Yellowstone Task Force and the Blue Ribbon Coalition, said Thursday that he's generally pleased with the Park Service position but continues to review planning documents.
"The devil is in the details," said Welch, who said he's been snowmobiling in Yellowstone since the late 1960s. "First blush is we're pleased."
Mike Clark of Bozeman, Mont., is executive director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, a conservation group that focuses on the park.
"The park has put off enforcing any standards on best available technology until 2017, and that's perplexing," Clark said. "Why would you continue to allow these machines to operate in the park when they could be much cleaner than they are?"
Clark said his group would favor restricting winter travel in the park to snow coaches, which he said are cleaner than snowmobiles. And it doesn't make sense for the federal government to spend the money to keep Sylvan Pass open in the winter, he said.
"The average number of people going in per day is minuscule, and they're using artillery to keep the pass open," he said. "Somebody's going to get hurt up there, or killed eventually, and it's not necessary. It's too dangerous, and too expensive."
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