YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) -- The final rule outlining snowmobiling plans in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday.
The rule, which authorizes snowmobile and snowcoach use for the next three winters, becomes effective 30 days after publication and will be in effect when the parks open for the winter season on Dec. 15.
The final rule requires, among other things, daily limits on the number of snowmobiles that will be allowed in the parks; commercially guided access only in Yellowstone National Park; and use of best available technology to reduce emissions and effects on the landscape.
For this coming winter, a maximum of 720 snowmobiles will be allowed into Yellowstone each day: 400 through the West Entrance, 220 through the South Entrance, 40 through the East Entrance, 30 through the North Entrance, and 30 at Old Faithful.
A total of 140 snowmobiles, with no guiding requirement, will be allowed daily in Grand Teton National Park and on the parkway connecting the parks.
The plan was released after a "finding of no significant impact" earlier this month.
Environmental groups recently filed a lawsuit over the proposal, saying the government failed to take into account the effect that roads groomed for snow machines have on wildlife, particularly bison.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)