Judge won't boost snowmobile numbers in Yellowstone

A federal judge in Wyoming who in the past has supported higher numbers of snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park ruled Thursday that he could not overturn the National Park Service's decision to cap daily snowmobile numbers at 318 this coming winter.

In his brief ruling (attached below), U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer said that because the matter specifically before his court had been appealed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, he had lost jurisdiction over it.

At issue was Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar's decision this past July to direct the Park Service to follow a course that would limit recreational snowmobile use in Yellowstone to 318 machines per day, along with 78 snowcoaches, for each of the next two winters while the Park Service crafts a viable winter-use plan for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

Secretary Salazar's directive was the most recent that has ping-ponged the allowed number of snowmobiles in Yellowstone back and forth.

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