The snowmobile policy in Yellowstone National Park has been a topic of discussion since the 1950's. America’s national parks are meant to be relatively untouched and hold a great deal of aesthetic qualities for people to enjoy. Snowmobiles, although a favorite winter pastime to many, carry with them a number of external costs. Noise pollution, high levels of emissions, disrupted ecosystems, and damage to the surrounding areas are among some of these costs to be considered. The policy that currently exists focuses more on the moneymaking side rather than the preservation and perhaps the restoration of the park in some areas.In 1963, the first visitors entered the park on snowmobiles. Due to the popularity of the sport the park officials were forced to implement some kind of a policy. In March of 1968, park administrators convened and formulated the first winter use policy for snowmobiles. This new policy consisted of three parts:
• Formally permitting and encouraging visitation to the park’s interior by oversnow roads
• Grooming the oversnow roads to make them more comfortable for travel
• Authorizing the park concessionaire to open a lodging facility for overnight use at Old Faithful.
Snowmobiles are far more polluting than cars and produce higher noise levels that disturb animals as well as the "natural quiet" of the park. I think something needs to be done about the volume of snowmobiles allowed into the park, currently around 320 per day in the winter. I would like to see snowmobiles banned from the park. What do you think?