Mary And Snowmobiles
As I noted a couple days ago Mary Bomar, the nominee to take over leadership of the National Park Service from Fran Mainella, thinks snowmobiles are compatible with Yellowstone National Park. And as I noted in that post, not everyone agrees with her.
As Kristen Brengel from The Wilderness Society told me, "They went so far as to hire a company to help them work with stakeholders, but these kinds of comments do not give us confidence that the concerns raised by the scientific community and other stakeholders are getting equal treatment to those made by the snowmobile industry."
Not only do the folks at the National Parks Conservation Association agree with Kristen, but so does the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees and the folks at the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
"I'm disappointed in Mary's comments about the snowmobiles in Yellowstone," Bill Wade, the chair of the coalition's executive council, told me. "There is evidence that even with the reduced numbers during the past two winters that there still are impacts. To suggest otherwise is not wise.
"In our judgment, Mary ought to remain silent on this issue and allow the EIS process to work the way it is supposed to, without any hint of, or the appearance of pre-decisional opinions or influence."
Over at the GYC, Amy McNamara, the organization's national parks program director, had this to say:
"I am surprised by her response. We are in the midst of a multi-year decision making process and the public deserves a process that is not pre-decisional. The environmental review now being undertaken in Yellowstone concerning winter access should be guided by law, policy, science, and public input. This is the policy for Yellowstone and for all National Parks – and recently reaffirmed by the new NPS Management Policies. The American people expect no less."
Now, the snowmobile question was just one fielded by Mary. In all, there were more than 60 questions tossed her way. Thanks to Scott Silver at Wild Wilderness, you can find the complete set and Mary's response's here.