Posted by: Scott | Thursday, March 22, 2007

SOY Forum Tonight!

No, it’s not a forum on soy! It’s the Shut Out of Yellowstone forum! Be sure to get there early enough to get seated. Prelems start at 6:50 PM, and the forum goes live on KODI 1400 AM at 7:03 PM Some interesting reading material on Chris Turner’s Comfort Food Radio website:

Yellowstone Avalanche Report link
Cody Economic Study–YELLOWSTONE

Also available there, the press release from Shut Out of Yellowstone:

NEWS RELEASE
Contact Carol Armstrong, Home 307 587 6192
Cell: 307 250 4065
Email: cjarmstrong [at] bresnan [dot] net
For Immediate Release: March 9, 2007
Cody Wyoming

Shut Out of Yellowstone Forum scheduled to discuss East Gate closure issues.

The “Shut Out of Yellowstone” committee, a non-partisan citizens group, announced today that a public forum has been scheduled to openly discuss the proposed winter closure of Yellowstone National Park’s (YNP) East Gate. The forum will be Thursday, March 22, 7 – 9 p.m. at the Cody Auditorium. It is open to the public and the committee encourages interested residents to attend and participate.

A panel of invited guests will address the issues raised by proposed management alternatives, including possible closure, and answer questions from the audience. Panel members include YNP Superintendent Suzanne Lewis, YNP Management Assistant John Sacklin, former Sen. Alan K. Simpson, Rep. Colin Simpson, Park County Commissioner Tim French, Cody Country Chamber of Commerce Board President Tim Mahieu, and a representative of ERG (Ecosystem Research Group). ERG recently completed a study about avalanche control and economic impact issues for Park County.

YNP administrators have proposed closing the East Gate in winter to mechanized traffic because of a perceived avalanche threat in the area known as Sylvan Pass. Records show that no one has ever been injured or killed in an avalanche on Sylvan Pass.

Park County political and business leaders as well as residents have voiced concerns that the closure of the East Gate will not only harm the county economically but also set limits on the rights of its citizens to use the Park President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed was for “The benefit and enjoyment of the people.”

In the past, a howitzer has been used successfully for avalanche control. It was recently replaced by a far less reliable system employing helicopters dropping charges into the avalanche area. In 2006/2007, the helicopter was grounded several times because of mechanical difficulties and bad weather.

A recent study commissioned by YNP revealed that if Sylvan Pass is not cleared during the winter time, the East Gate could be closed as early as October and opened as late as June. These extra months of closure would have a devastating effect on the economy of Park County, jeopardizing the livelihoods of thousands of area residents.

For these reasons, residents of the town that Buffalo Bill Cody built are making their opposition known to proposed plans to limit winter access to Yellowstone’s East Gate, the gate Buffalo Bill Cody pioneered.

Oh, and by the way, the Wyoming State Legislature agrees with us locals!

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