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Letter from Congress Urges Director Bomar To Ban Snowmobiles from Yellowstone National Park


National Park Service Director Mary Bomar has been asked by nearly 100 members of Congress to ban snowmobiles from Yellowstone National Park.

The letter, signed by 86 members of the House of Representatives, focuses both on promises Director Bomar and Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne have made in regards to letting science guide management decisions and on their past support of the Park Service's Management Policies.

Both you and Interior Secretary Kempthorne have declared that an emphasis on conservation of our national parks is the 'heart' of the Management Policies and the 'lifeblood' of our Nation's commitment to national park stewardship. $10 million in taxpayer funded studies have repeatedly shown that conservation of Yellowstone requires the phase-out of snowmobile usage. Your decision will either demonstrate a commitment to the 2006 National Park Service Management Policies based on the best science available or a disregard for them.

With a Record of Decision expected by mid-November on Yellowstone Superintendent Suzanne Lewis's endorsement of an alternative that calls for as many as 540 snowmobiles allowed per day into the park, the letter is hoped to put more pressure on Director Bomar to overturn the superintendent's decision.

Not surprisingly, no members of Congress from Wyoming, Montana or Idaho signed onto the letter.


Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but it appears that now it's Congress turn to do the about-face double talk. I guess that since we're dealing with a current issue, the statement about "preserving the soundscape" is all well and good. But shouldn't that same logic apply to the over-flights at the South Rim? Or are the operators in Arizona too politically entrenched and making too much money for the same standard to apply?

Not only the overflights, but the "underflights" at the Grand Canyon as well -- those military jets whose pilots that think it's some yukkity yuk rite of passage to break the law and fly through the lower gorge -- they should be stopped as well. Oh and the mother screaming across the campground to her son fishing in the nearby creek about what time he needs to be back at the campsite for dinner, oh and the hog riders crusing through the Badlands and Devils Tower, and the diesel engine tour buses that run their engines for an hour while the nametagged crew peruses the gift shop...

Director, Terry and Brenda just want to say hi and that we are proud of your work!

First, I've got to say that picture of Bomar's torso-less figure with snowmobiles underneath is downright creepy. Fits Halloween, though.

Secondly, it's unfortunate that only 14% - 17% of congressional representatives signed the letter. That's a small minority. I like how the letter ends: "We expect you to live up to your commitment." I'd suggest adding: "And if you don't, we will hunt you down and shoot you like a bison or a Katmai grizzly!"

I'm not sure the U.S. Congress has any credibility when it comes to living up to commitments.

If Congress is involved, you can be sure that any kind of "management" will make the situation worse. "Regulation" is another bureaucratic term for "more expensive" as it expands government worker pools that must be paid for with our money. As I look at the names of Congressional members in the letter, it is the same old disingenuous cast of characters that blindly follow expanding anything governmental. These wonks don't give a rat's behind about "the environment".

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