Federal Judge Issues Ruling On Snowmobiling And Trail Grooming In Yellowstone And Grand Teton National Parks

In a recent decision, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered the National Park Service to issue new rules for winter recreation in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Judge Sullivan had ruled last December that the Park Service failed to adequately address the adverse environmental impacts of snowmobiling and trail grooming on bison and other Yellowstone wildlife.

Michael Markarian, president of The Fund for Animals, stated, "Although we reached a winter use settlement with the National Park Service nearly a decade ago, snowmobiling and trail grooming continue to devastate Yellowstone's air, water, and wildlife. We hope that today's ruling is the beginning of the final chapter in this debate, and that this winter Yellowstone and its wildlife will be protected, not subjected to continued abuse."

Today's ruling prohibits the government from issuing new snowmobile and trail grooming rules at the last minute, as it did in 2003, so that all interested groups can have an opportunity to challenge the rules in court if necessary.

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