MnUSA nEWS Meeting on the Hill New Rules for Yellowstone? There could be new rules for snowmobile access before Yellowstone opens for the winter season. A protracted battle over appropriate access to the park may also come to a close. The most recent preferred alternative, presented by the National Park Service, is meant to manage access for snowmobiles and snowcoaches in Yellowstone National Park, while minimizing impacts on visitors, air and sound quality, as well as wildlife. The proposed rule will guide management of winter use in the park and will implement the preferred alternative in the Final SEIS. Under that preferred alternative, the park would permit up to 110 “transportation events” daily — which is one snowcoach or a group of up to 10 snowmobiles. Up to 50 transportation events may be groups of snowmobiles. The winter of 2013/2014 will be a transition year, during which the park will allow motorized over-snow travel under the same conditions in place for the past four winters: up to 318 commercially guided BAT snowmobiles and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches daily. The official comment period for this plan ended in late June, and a decision should be made before the park opens for the winter season. Too keep up with this issue, go to www.snowmobilers.org. MnUSA members hit the streets of Washington D.C. in April to meet with elected officials and their staffs to discuss snowmobile issues with them. Representing us are Nancy Hanson (New Hope), Mark Kavanaugh (Brainerd), Jerry Hanson (New Hope), Mark Steinmueller (Brook Park), Keith Twombly (Merrifield) and Greg Gellert (Fairmont) with western Minnesota’s 7th District Rep. Colin Peterson’s staff member, Richard Lee. Read more on page 5. May What? Trail Plans In the Works There’s a proposal on the table to extend the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail in Crow Wing and Aitkin Counties from Crosby to Deerwood, which is about 7 miles. The multi-use trail, which includes snowmobiling, is managed by the DNR. Before trail segments can be added, the proposed extention needs to undergo a public review process. Any interested party can read about the proposed changes and give a comment to the state. Snowmobilers are invited to make comments, too. Look at the plan (search for “Cuyuna draft management plan” at www. dnr.state.mn.us) and let the DNR know what you think — even if it’s as simple as telling them you’ll appreciate the connection. All comments will be compiled and considered during the next phase of the planning process. It sounds like something one can only do in the high Rockies, but some snowmobilers, like Chris Liffrig took a once-in-a-lifetime ride in Minnesota in May. Trails were officially closed, but it didn’t stop people from riding on their private property. Liffrig is riding in southeastern Minnesota. Summer 2013 7