Judge will not block Yellowstone snowmobile plan

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- A judge in Wyoming says he has no authority to block a federal plan to reduce snowmobile traffic in Yellowstone National Park this winter.

Wednesday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer may mean no more than 318 snowmobiles will be allowed in the park each day this winter. Last year, the park allowed 720 snowmobiles.

The number that should be allowed in the world's first national park has been the subject of a long, convoluted legal battle.

Snowmobile proponents, including the state of Wyoming, say the activity is important to the economies of communities around the park during the winter. Environmentalists contend the machines cause noise and air pollution in the park.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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