As Yellowstone National Park finishes digging out for spring and summer visitors after a snow-filled winter, the agency plans to discuss, revise and complete a new plan for winter use in the Park starting winter 2011/12.

In the Park’s preferred alternative, four different use levels for each vehicle type would
be implemented, the combination of which may vary by day. Snowmobile use would range from 110 to 330 vehicles per day and snowcoach use from 30 to 80 vehicles per day. These varying levels would provide for high and low OSV use days, allowing for a variety of motorized and non-motorized visitor experiences throughout the winter. Varying levels would also allow the NPS to observe how park resources react to different levels of use, learning through management.

The park is accepting public comment online, in written form, at a series of public meetings in June, and via online webinars. A brochure released Thursday about the drafted plan is meant to help community members prepare to add to the process of drawing a new management blueprint that will guide winter activities in the park for decades to come.

To comment online, go to: parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=111&projectID=29281&documentID=40801.

The webinars are for people who want to comment via phone or computer. They will be June 21 (Noon – 2 p.m. MDT) and June 22 (5 – 7 p.m. MDT

Six public meetings are scheduled for June 1 in Jackson, Wyo., June 2 in Cody, Wyo., June 7 in West Yellowstone, Mont., June 8 in Bozeman, Mont., June 21 in the Denver, Colo., and June 23 in Washington, DC. They will all be held in the evenings.

Click here to download the Draft Yellowstone Winter Use Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.