Nature fails to cooperate with Dick Cheney-

The Park Service wanted to halt the extremely expensive and dangerous practice of keeping Sylvan Pass just west of the East Entrance of Yellowstone open for snowmobiles.

As usual a handful of Cody businesses screamed that the economy would disintegrate if a couple dozen snowmobiles didn’t pass through during the winter, so Dick Cheney, who was once Wyoming’s lone congressman, personally intervened overruling the Park Service. Now the Service is struggling with Old Man Winter.

Story: Sylvan Pass opens and closes. Written by CJ Baker. Powell Tribune.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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.

6 Responses to Sylvan Pass opens and closes

  1. Rick Hammel says:

    When will Dick Cheney learn that Mother Nature always wins? His influence is coming to a halt very soon.


  2. TimothyB says:

    Dick Cheney personally intervened…overruling the Park Service…to keep Sylvan Pass open in the winter?????

  3. Barb Rupers says:

    From the national park travelers:
    For the winter of 2007-2008 the east entrance saw just 463 people pass through and head over Sylvan Pass, according to Park Service records cited by Mr. Stevens. For that traffic the park incurred avalanche control and maintenance costs of $298,806, or $645.37 per visitor.

    Perhaps those that want to visit during the winter should be charged to cover these costs; $650 per visitor; or perhaps the merchants of Cody could fork up the money since they want to have it open in the winter.

    Others put the cost higher: “To come up with a policy for Yellowstone, the Park Service set in motion an environmental impact study and a separate risk assessment, and both came to the same conclusion late last year: It would cost upward of $3.5 million to safely keep the route open and it would not be cost effective. Just 463 visitors entered the park last winter along that route, which would work out to roughly $8,000 per person.” San Francisco Chronicle.

  4. Salle says:

    Maybe dick needs a lesson in nature… how about if we turn off his taxpayer owned defribulator that was installed at taxpayer expense? … now that he’s leaving office… time’s up!!

  5. On Cheney and Sylvan Pass, this has been reported for several months.

    However, for the first time, Cheney admits that he was involved, though he says he only made “suggestions.”

  6. chuck parker says:

    NPS is spineless–Given that Cheney, the Wyoming Congressional delegation, and Cody business interests had the same right to comment on Yellowstone’s winter EIS as the rest of us citizens, the NPS has no excuse for sitting down in a smokey back room with these folks to making a behind closed doors decision on Sylvan Pass. I’m disgusted. This makes a travesty of the EIS process and democracy. It’s no different than doing an EIS on reintroducting wolves, taking 100,000 public comments on wolf reintroduction, then sitting down with ranchers and the Wyoming Congressional delegation and deciding whether or not to reintroduce wolves.


December 2008


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey