Congress To Consider Parks Regulation

Tue. November 14, 2000 12:00 AM by Newstream

Washington DC - When Congress returns this week, a few members will be pressing to block National Park Service regulation of snowmobile noise and pollution in national parks. President Clinton has declared opposition to a funding bill rider designed to derail the snowmobile regulations, setting the stage for another battle over a bill that must still be enacted this year.

The National Park Service has proposed prohibiting snowmobiles in many national parks to reduce pollution, noise, wildlife harassment, and conflicts with other winter visitors. In Yellowstone National Park, the most popular snowmobiling park, the machines would be phased out over three years, to be replaced with multi-passenger "snow coaches."

Right now, the National Parks Conservation Association and other conservation groups believe that the Park Service must be allowed to regulate snowmobiles to protect park resources. In Yellowstone, up to 70,000 snowmobiles churn out more than 3 million pounds of carbon monoxide in just three months. They also harass and disturb bison and other wildlife.

The core mission of the National Park System is to preserve unique, nationally significant places, resources, and experiences so that they will remain in their original, unimpaired condition for future generations to appreciate. By trying to keep snowmobiles in national parks, members of Congress are putting the profits of the snowmobile manufacturers ahead of the protection of our national parks.

News, photos provided by Newstream