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Yellowstone: Don't Do As We Do?


    Winter's on the way.
    You can tell by the, well, by the snow that's falling outside my window. Oh, and because the folks up in Yellowstone have announced that they're shutting down their facilities after the oh-so-short fall season and planning for snowmobile traffic in the not-too-distant future.
    Now, what's interesting about this change of seasons is not only that Yellowstone's staff continues to ponder the latest multi-million-dollar environmental impact statement on whether snowmobiles are compatible with the park -- even though two previous EISes have stated unequivocally that they're not -- but that the park is being lauded for being environmentally conscious by switching much of its fleet of vehicles over to biodiesel.
    Yep, in a glowing article in the latest issue of Biodiesel Magazine the park is dubbed a market leader among the national park system for turning to biodiesel so it can protect the environment.
    "Yellowstone began its foray into the renewable realm with one diesel-powered vehicle, a tank full of pure canola-based biodiesel and an environmental challenge to reduce air pollution in one of the most beautiful spots on Earth," writes Ron Kotrba.
    "The pioneering efforts of Yellowstone have paid off. According to statistics obtained from the state of Montana, Yellowstone now reduces its carbon dioxide emissions by 500 tons annually by using biodiesel blends. This trailblazing effort has paved the way for the 50-plus national parks now using the clean fuel."
    Now, that's all fine and good, but why can't the park -- and in truth, it's really the Bush administration calling the shots on this issue -- be just as trailblazing and sensitive to the environment when it comes to snowmobiles?   

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