Snowmobiles are no-go

Federal judge kills a National Parks plan to increase the recreational sport

Snowmobile enthusiasts and manufacturers got a rude awakening last week, when a federal judge nixed a plan that would’ve allowed for a significant increase in the number of the machines in a couple of the nation’s most precious parks.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, of Washington’s Federal District Court, ordered the National Park Service to dissolve the Bush administration’s plan authorizing 540 snowmobiles a day into Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. (Ordinarily, about 260 snowmobiles are allowed into the parks each day.)

In his 63-page ruling, he contended the plan placed recreation over conservation and ordered the park service to come up with another, reported the New York Times.

In the lawsuit brought forth by representatives of the Montana-based Wilderness Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and several other conservation groups that had rallied together to protect the parks, air pollution and stresses to wildlife were the main points of contention.