Okay, a little support would be nice here. You left us out to dry by not joining in the “wolves are predators delisting project,” thus making us look like wackos rather than common sense western citizens.
Now the National Park “Service” is talking about closing down the East Gate to winter use. This after millions have been spent on improvements to Sylvan Pass. Cody may be a small town, but many of the towns surround Yellowstone aren’t exactly huge.
The Park Service sites avalanche danger as a reason for closing the gate. However, the Park County (WY) Board of Commissioners hired a Montana firm to study this. Turns out, that there have been no recent deaths or even injuries on Sylvan Pass due to avalanches.
Environmental concerns (greenhouse gases, wildlife stress, etc…) have been sited. Well, since the East Gate has had a severely limited number of snowmobiles alloted to enter, I fail to see how emissions are that big of a factor compared to the peak of the summer tourist season with RV’s tour buses, SUV’s and cars sitting in line waiting to pay $25+ to enter.
Then they say that there’s not that much traffic through the gate. Well, maybe if they allowed more to go through and they weren’t creating such an uncertain situation at the East Gate, there would be more traffic.
Budget concerns have also been sited; however, two supervisors were recently hired to replace one. Surely a snow plow could have been purchased for the amount of the second supervisor’s salary.
So, for the communities surrounding Yellowstone, remember it’s your park too. For the communities not surrounding the park, it’s also your park. Maybe those of us in Park County, WY sound like we’re being childish or whatever, but remember, your gate (North, Northeast, South, or West) could be the next one that gets targeted for winter closure. Take a stand with us and support winter use of the East Gate!
Edited by Scott for corrections on Jan. 26, 2006