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Public Statements

Letter to Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the Interior, Re: Plan to Allow Snowmobiles in Yellowstone this Winter

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Delegation Pushes for Plan to Allow Snowmobiles in Yellowstone this Winter

U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso and U.S. Representative Barbara Cubin, all R-Wyo., have asked the Department of Interior to put in place a temporary plan that would allow snowmobiles and snowcoaches in Yellowstone National Park this winter.

Following a Federal District Court's ruling which threw out the Park Service's plan to allow 540 recreational snowmobiles and 83 snowcoaches per day, the delegation reached out to Department of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne today, urging him to take swift action to put in place an interim plan that would provide for snowmobile and snowcoach access to Yellowstone this winter.

"We urge you to take immediate administrative action on emergency rulemaking for winter use in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway. Gateway communities in our state are struggling to prepare for the winter season under the cloud of uncertainty created by recent legal battles over winter use. Immediate action by your Department can help to provide stability to these communities," the delegation wrote.

"We ask that you immediately move forward with plans to prepare and implement an interim plan for the 2008-2009 winter use season in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway. This is a crucial time for business owners and community leaders in Wyoming. The Department of Interior has an opportunity to offer certainty and stability to these communities, despite the ongoing court battles."

Text of the full letter is included below:

September 30, 2008

The Honorable Dirk Kempthorne
Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C. Street NW
Washington, DC 20240

Dear Secretary Kempthorne;

We urge you to take immediate administrative action on emergency rulemaking for winter use in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway. Gateway communities in our state are struggling to prepare for the winter season under the cloud of uncertainty created by recent legal battles over winter use. Immediate action by your Department can help to provide stability to these communities.

As you know, Judge Emmett Sullivan's ruling on September 15, 2008 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the National Park Service' plan for winter use management of Wyoming parks. In the wake of this decision and continuing legal battles, administrative action is required to allow snowmobile and snowcoach access to the parks this winter. The many families visiting the Wyoming parks and the small businesses hosting them depend on this immediate action.

We ask that you immediately move forward with plans to prepare and implement an interim plan for the 2008-2009 winter use season in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway. This is a crucial time for business owners and community leaders in Wyoming. The Department of Interior has an opportunity to offer certainty and stability to these communities, despite the ongoing court battles.

Sincerely,

Senator Michael B. Enzi

Senator John Barrasso

Representative Barbara Cubin


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