Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: John Wright
For Immediate Release: Oct. 12, 2004

Secretary Norton Presents Polaris Industries Inc.
with Best Available Technology Certification

Meeting cleaner, quieter snowmobile standards


Medina, Minn. - Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton announced today that Polaris Industries Inc. 2005 model snowmobile has been certified as meeting the standards for being compliant with the Best Available Technology. The BAT certification is a requirement for meeting the new, stringent noise and pollution requirements being phased in this winter in Yellowstone National Park.

"Snowmobiles are more than a means of recreation. Park rangers and the other dedicated personnel caring for those parks depend on snowmobiles during the winter," Norton said. "We believe that our national treasures should be, and can be, enjoyed by citizen stewards. While recreation should never become a cover for abuse, access to national parks must not be abolished."

Norton issued the BAT certification during a visit to Polaris Industries Inc. factory in Medina, Minn. When compared to the 2-stroke powered snowmobiles, the approved 4-stroke machines reduce hydrocarbon emissions by at least 90 percent, carbon monoxide emissions by 70 percent and sound levels at full throttle to no more than 73 decibels.

"We must not forget that the parks are ours - to be cared for, yes, but also to be enjoyed, Norton said. "The snowmobiles here are the embodiment of that balance. They have been certified as being compliant with the best available technology."

Norton noted that the National Park Service has a fleet of more than 250 snowmobiles. They are used in two dozen units of the national park system for many purposes, including maintenance, resource management, law enforcement, search and rescue and emergency medical services.

"The Park Service does not permit snowmobiles to run wherever they wish. Rather, it allows snowmobiles on only select trails, allowing access and recreation, but preserving the wild land," Norton said. "Such balances are consistent with the mission of the National Park System. They are also the ethos of the administration's environmental policy."


Snowmobiles Meeting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks' Best Available Technology (BAT) Requirements



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