Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: Mark Pfeifle or John Wright
For Immediate Release:Dec. 11, 2003
Statement of Interior Secretary Gale Norton on
Winter Use Rule for Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks

"The final rule we are proposing today represents a common sense solution to years of conflict. This rule allows Yellowstone employees to closely manage snowmobile use in ways that protect wildlife and resources while maintaining a quality visitor experience.

"Our balanced compromise represents nearly three years of hard work and careful planning. The plan discounts the extreme and unacceptable options - a complete ban on snowmobiles versus unrestricted access and continued reliance on older and polluting technology.

"In anticipation of this rule, gateway community hotel operators and restaurant and snowmobile vendors have gone to great lengths to accommodate this season's visitors, many of whom have had their plans in place for at least a year.

"Many park visitors, who look forward to seeing the unique beauty of Old Faithful erupting against a white winter landscape, will have an enhanced experience since the new snowmobiles will be significantly quieter and cleaner than the old technology machines.

"The final rule is flexible and can be modified to ensure that wildlife, park employees and park resources are protected."


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