CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Yellowstone National Park is looking to make some changes to winter operating dates and times.
First, the park is looking to standardize their winter opening and closing dates for Yellowstone’s East Entrance with opening and closing dates at other entrances.
“Under this change, the East Entrance would open no earlier than December 15 and close no later than March 15,” Yellowstone said. “The existing seasonal closures of December 15-21 and March 2-15 were originally implemented due to avalanche safety concerns on Sylvan Pass.”
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“With many years of implementation, the National Park Service now has the operational capacity and expertise to safely open the pass on December 15 and to keep it open until March 15. This change will standardize opening and closing dates for the entire park.”
The second change would modify the opening hours at the South Entrance. The entrance would open daily from 7-8 am.
“The current opening time means that contract holders/operators leave Jackson, Wyoming, well before sunrise, and before road conditions can be properly assessed and hazards mitigated by NPS staff,” the release adds.
The park is seeking public comment on the proposed changes. The adjustments would made to the park’s 2012-2013 Winter Use Plan and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)/ Record of Decision (ROD).
The park adds that the first proposed modification is allowed under the document “which allows for adaptive management.”
The changes to the hours would “not require revisions to the Final Winter Use Rule.”
“The park will make a decision on this proposal after evaluating public comments and completing compliance requirements for the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and other applicable laws and regulations,” Yellowstone says.
The public can comment on the proposals until Oct. 29.
“Comments may be submitted online at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/winteruseAM or by mail,” Yellowstone says. “Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or other means.”