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Washington, D.C. – The National Park Service released its final rule governing use of snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park through the 2006-2007 winter seasons last week.

The plan allows for 720, commercially guided snowmobiles in Yellowstone Park per day. All snowmobiles must meet certain emission standards. In Grand Teton National Park, 140 snowmobiles will be allowed per day. No commercial guides are required for these machines

U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, a long-time advocate for access and reasonable use of snowmobiles in the Park, believes the rule is more restrictive than necessary, but is pleased that at least it will provide some certainty.

“Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are roughly the size of Connecticut. I believe an area this size can handle more snowmobiles per day than the rule would allow without detriment to the environment. The machines are required to be cleaner and quieter than snowmobiles used outside the park and drivers have to keep speeds under 45 mph. Their use is also restricted to groomed trails. The guide requirement is also somewhat restrictive. I am pleased though that communities around the park are being given some planning certainty for their substantial investment to allow people to have the dramatic winter experience,” said Enzi.