Yellowstone National Park has been described as a winter wonderland.
“We find that a lot of people from across the United States enjoy going into the park on snowmobiles, because … you’re out in the fresh air,” said Bill Howell, part owner of a local snowmobile and snowcoach tour company. “You get to see things on a snowmobile. With your guide you can stop and take pictures.”
But conservation groups have been seeking to ban snowmobiles here for more than a decade. Even snowmobile enthusiasts now admit the machines became a problem in 1990s.
“The amount of machines and the amount of people going into the park skyrocketed, a lot more than I think anybody had ever predicted or thought would happen,’ Howell said. “And as a result it probably did get a little out of hand.”
In this edition of This American Land we take a look at efforts to create a balance between the use of snowmobiles in Yellowstone and those who aim to limit motorized access to the park.