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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2001, 06:00 PM
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BRC Alert: Rocky Mtn National Park Snowmobile Ban

Fellow snowmobilers, your help is needed to try and fight another closure. Below is a Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) action alert asking for our help. Included is information on where to send your comments. (I recommend both e-mail and snail mail to make sure they get your point!)

If you need a little help crafting your comments, I've included the BRC form letter at the bottom of this message you can cut, paste and modify to suit your needs.

Thanks for your support!

Doo owner
Manta owner

P.S. If you haven't already, join the BRC today!

Rocky Mt. National Park is following through on the National Park Service's (NPS) extremist intent, proclaimed with much fanfare last spring, to ban snowmobiling in all national parks. Officials have slapped together an erroneous and inadequate Environmental Assessment (EA) and followed it with their closure proposal published January 5 in the Federal Register.

They propose to close the 16-mile Milner Pass Road to snowmobiling. 10 miles of this road is now plowed for automobiles and shares use with snowmobiles. Snowmobiles now ride for six miles beyond the end of the plowed road to Milner Pass, from which can be viewed some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in all of Colorado.

They propose to leave open the North Supply Creek Access Trail, a short 2-mile stretch along the edge of the Park, which connects the town of Grand Lake with over 92 miles of snowmobile trails in the national forests beyond.

They offer scant rationale for denying snowmobiling visitors the world-class experience of viewing the unmatched mountain spectacle from Milner Pass. Don't you agree that this is what Colorado is all about?

Rocky Mountain National Park has always followed the appropriate federal rules, national park regulations, and appropriate planning processes in allowing snowmobiles. Now, NPS officials are asking us to believe that these rules and regulations have a brand new interpretation that requires a snowmobile ban. Where did this interpretation come from? A memo, a simple memo, apparently written by former Interior Secretary Don Berry, who is now Executive Director of the Wilderness Society. How outrageous can you get!

The EA also trots out the tired, disproved rhetoric from the flawed Yellowstone planning documents. Exaggerated emissions and sound impacts are repeated, even if they are not applicable to 16 miles of snowmobile trail (10 of which is shared with automobiles).

Curiously, the EA and proposed rule change fail to mention at all why the road is plowed at all. They need to disclose what other uses are occurring there, and those impacts on the social and physical environment. It's not unreasonable to request that no plowing at all occur, and that all 16 miles be open to snowmobiles only. It certainly is reasonable to request that there be safer management of snowmobiles on the road for the 10-mile section that is plowed.

Please write a short letter requesting the proposed regulations be withdrawn and supporting snowmobiling in Rocky Mountain National Park. Send to: National Park Service, Ranger Activities Division, 1849 C St., N.W., Room 7408, Washington, DC 20240. Fax: 202-208-6756. E-mail: [email protected]. Comments will be accepted through March 6, 2001.

Need more information? See the Rocky Mountain National Park web site at:


National Park Service
Ranger Activities Division
1849 C St., N.W., Room 7408
Washington, DC 20240

Dear Public Servants:

I wish to comment on the proposal to amend regulations for Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) for the purpose of eliminating snowmobiles on the Milner Pass Road. You claim this action is necessary because allowing snowmobiles does not conform to the National Park Service's (NPS) rules and regulations.

This novel and inaccurate interpretation of the rules surfaced in a NPS memo last spring. RMNP has followed the same rules in allowing and planning for snowmobile use since 1975. An extremist anti-snowmobile agenda that emerged in a memo issued April 26, 2000 should not take precedence over the historical good management of snowmobiling in RMNP.

The 16-mile snowmobile trail on the Milner Pass Road leads to one of the most spectacular vistas in Colorado. As National Park visitor, I should not be denied that experience. It is also very important that the North Supply Creek Access Trail remain open. This short 2-mile trail connects the town of Grand Lake with over 92 miles of snowmobile trails in the national forests.

These proposed regulations have been issued at the same time as an Environmental Assessment (EA) for RMNP that proposes several alternatives. You have negated the purpose of the EA, which is to evaluate and accept comment before a rule change is selected. I object to this defective process.

Both the EA and the rule change are flawed. The EA repeats exaggerated emissions and sound impacts from Yellowstone National Park planning documents that have been discredited and do not apply to RMNP. They have failed to disclose why the Milner Pass road is plowed for 10 miles, or the effects of the plowing. If plowing is justified, they have failed to propose better management of the shared snowmobile-auto use of the road. They have failed to sufficiently disclose the economic impact of the proposal.

Please withdraw the proposed regulation.


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