(West Yellowstone, MT-AP) -- The first vehicle allowed through the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park was a snowcoach, at about 8:40 yesterday morning.
A snowmobiler from Manitoba would have been the first in, but he was turned back by park rangers. He and his wife and two friends did not have a guide.
He told the Billings Gazette that he'd had reservations since November, and he called the situation at Yellowstone a farce.
Under rules now in effect, all snowmobiles entering the park must be guided. The rules were drawn up under the Clinton administration, to limit air pollution and disturbances to wildlife in the nation's first national park.
Those rules were overturned by the Bush administration. But a federal judge last night threw out the Bush plan, and reinstated the Clinton plan, which calls for phasing out snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton parks.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)