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THE OUTDOORS DIGEST | BRIEFS

Outcry over snowmobiles

September 30, 2003|J. Michael Kennedy

Now that the Bush administration has lifted a ban on snowmobiling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, four former National Park Service directors are saying it's a major mistake. The former directors complained in a letter to Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton this month, saying the snowmobile industry had reneged on a promise to make its machines cleaner and quieter. Instead, they say, snowmobiles are dirtier than ever and the manufacturers are guilty of betrayal. The ban was to have gone into effect this winter.

The four -- George Hartzog Jr., Gary Everhardt, Russell Dickenson and Roger G. Kennedy -- span almost three decades with the park service. Their complaint was based on findings by the Environmental Protection Agency, whose tests showed that some 2004 snowmobile models produced 40% to 213% more emissions than the 2002 versions. Industry officials countered that they would have models that would meet the park service's standards.

-- J. Michael Kennedy

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