Snowmobile trespass through Yellowstone NP west boundary increases

Park trespassing raises flags. By Daniel Person. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer




  1. Dave Smith Avatar
    Dave Smith

    An article in today’s Missoulian about ORVs mentions that the Forest Service and BLM regard illegal ORV abuse as THE number #1 problem on public lands, so bubbleheads on snowmobiles flaunting the rules in Yellowstone comes as no surprise.

    It’s bizzare that the same agencies try to minimize the damage done by ORVs by talking about “user created trails” instead of saying the ORV crowd is breaking the law and running amok on public lands so much that the scumbags have pounded in thousands of miles of their very illegal roads and trails. Illegal. Illegal is the key word here, and it’s crazy that the BLM and Forest Service are trying to hide it.

    The excuse for not doing anything meaningful about illegal ORV use is always the same for all federal agencies: money. If the Forest Service didn’t subsidize timber sales, it would have plenty of money for law enforcement to stop the ORV thugs. If the BLM didn’t subsidize grazing fees for ranchers, it would have lots of money for law enforcement to stem the tide of illegal ORV use. If Yellowstone Park didn’t spend 100s of thousands of dollars chartering helicopters and dropping bombs on Sylvan Pass all winter to keep the pass open for snowmobiles, the NPS would have more than enough money for law enforcement personnel to patrol the park’s West Side to keep out illegal incursions by bubbleheads on snowmobiles.

    It’s all about priorities.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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