On August 31, 2015, Yellowstone National Park announced that a public lottery will start on September 1, 2015, to determine the trip dates for Non-Commercially Guide Leaders wanting to visit Yellowstone this coming winter season (2015-2016). The lottery will remain open until September 30, 2015. Please see the Park Service website.
Please note, the BlueRibbon Coalition is an active member of the Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program working group. This group, established by the Park Service, has been working to help implement the Non-Commercially Guided Program, which was an important part of the Final Yellowstone Winter Use decision. Here are some of the highlights of the Non-Commercially Guided Program that starts this winter season.
First, each day during the coming winter season, there will be up to five snowmobiles in each of four Non-commercially Guided Transportation Snowmobile Events/trips, one from each of the four Yellowstone Park Gates.
Second, you will be required to possess a non-commercial snowmobile access permit which would be awarded annually through an online lottery system set to begin on September 1 for this season through www.recreaction.gov.
Third, each snowmobile operator will be required to have successfully completed the Yellowstone Snowmobile Safety Education Certification training course which is available online. The course was developed with the help and sponsorship of the Wyoming State Snowmobile Program. This “No Cost” course is now available at http://provalenslearning.com/yellowstone-snowmobile-education-certificate.
Fourth, you will be allowed to lead 2 non-commercially guided trips into the Park per season and the trips can last up to 3 days. Note starting this year, you will be charged $40 for each day of your permit 1 day permit $40; two day permit $80; three day permit $120.
Fifth, you will be required to use only current Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles in your group. Please consider signing up during the lottery period, which will run from September 1 through September 30, 2015. After the lottery is finished, and the initial trips are awarded, you can still sign up to lead a trip at www.recreaction.gov on a first-come-first-served basis for the dates still available. A total of only two trips allowed per season.
For additional information on the Yellowstone Winter Use issue, visit our dedicated website www.saveyellowstonepark.com.
Please remember one of our collective main efforts during the last SEIS Winter Planning process was to have a Non-commercially Guided access program for entry into Yellowstone. We accomplished that and now is your chance to plan a trip into the Park without a commercial guide. Please consider signing up during the lottery period at www.recreation.gov for an opportunity to lead a non-commercially guided trip into the park this season (2015-2016).