Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Snow biking in Yellowstone and GTNP...NOT!

What is wrong with this picture?

According to the current Temporary Winter Use Plan governing Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, "...roads are maintained for touring and sightseeing, accessing trailheads, and park management. During the winter, all park roads are closed to wheeled vehicular traffic...".

So, I can ride a snowmobile, snowcoach, or cross-country ski on the many miles of existing groomed park roads in the winter but I can't ride my snow bike. I want to ride my bike from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful in the winter. I want to ride my bike on the groomed, closed-to-cars Grand Teton Park Road in the winter. Why should cyclists be treated any different than a cross-country skier or hiker?

Do I need to send Pugsley's to Dirk Kempthorne, Suzanne Lewis, and Mary Gibson Scott? Ok, maybe I will write letters instead and encourage my fellow snow bikers to do the same.

After a bit of digging I learned that the Final Environmental Impact Statement on winter use in the parks will be open for public comment in the winter/spring of 2007. The number of snowmobiles allowed each day is the hot topic so I don't know if my little crusade will even get a read. If I don't try I have nobody to blame but myself so I will post when the public comment period begins and when our letters will have the best chance of being read.

There is a lot of info regarding the Winter Use Planning on the Yellowstone National Park website.


Jim Macdonald said...

Question for you...

Back in the fall while the park was closed, a couple bikers were allowed to pass through Yellowstone. Admittedly, this isn't yet winter. Perhaps, the NPS isn't enforcing this strictly?

Just a thought...


Dave said...

Jim, I am surprised that you were allowed in the park during the "gray" period between when the park roads close to vehicles and when they open to oversnow travel. They are definitely enforcing the "no wheeled vehicles" rule though. A good friend was asked to leave when he tried to ride from Flagg Ranch to Old Faithful in early January.

Chris said...

Where do we write in? I'm willing to write a letter even if it's in vain.


Keith said...

Now if my eyes are seeing this correctly, the large 4 wheeled 2 mile to the gallon vehicle is acceptable?

Jim Macdonald said...

Hey, it wasn't me but a couple of other people, and I was shocked about it. That's why I brought it up and wondered how the hell they got through during the gray period when bikes aren't allowed in right now. It's absolutely ridiculous from a fairness standpoint.


Anonymous said...

Well Dave you probbly already know the history of the Buffalo Soldiers on bikes in Yellowstone? Historical precedent for sure! (Sorry, I'll quit being anon pretty soon)

Chris E.