2012 Supplemental Winter Use Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)
The first step in developing the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was to ask for public comment and suggestion on potential approaches to Yellowstone's winter use. This 30-day process, known as "public scoping," allowed public input on the NPS' draft range of alternatives and ran from February 8, 2012 to March 9, 2012. Afterward, park staff members analyzed approximately 70,000 scoping comments and other additional information as they refined the draft alternatives and prepared the Draft Supplemental EIS. That new document was released for public review and comment on June 29, 2012.
The purpose of this draft plan/SEIS was to establish a management framework that allowed the public to experience the unique winter resources and values at Yellowstone National Park. This draft plan/SEIS was used to determine whether motorized winter use in the interior of the park is appropriate, and if so, the type, extent, and location of this use.
Yellowstone Winter Use Draft Plan Newsletter (207 KB pdf)
2011 Environmental Impact Statement
In May 2011, the NPS released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for public review on the potential effects of the plan for motorized oversnow travel in the park. After months of public comment and review, during which nearly 60,000 public concerns were received, the NPS decided additional study was needed before putting a long-term plan in place. While the current plan is being developed, the NPS managed snowmobile and snowcoach access in the park during the 2011-2012 winter season under the same transition plan used the previous two winters.
2011 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (8.6 MB pdf)
2008 Environmental Assessment
Interim Rule for Winter Use in 2009-10 and 2010-11 (Federal Register, beginning at bottom of page 60159)
2007 Environmental Impact Statement
U.S. District Court for Wyoming, November 7, 2008 Ruling (126 Kb pdf)
2004 Environmental Assessment
Final Rule Published in the Federal Register Implementing the Temporary Winter Use Plan - November 10, 2004 (351KB pdf)
2003 Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement
Regulation Implementing the SEIS Record of Decision, December 11, 2003 (188KB pdf)
2000 Environmental Impact Statement
Winter Use Plans, Record of Decision- November 22, 2000 (268KB pdf)
History of the Debate
Winter use planning is one of the most contentious issues for park managers and visitors with the debate spanning more than 80 years.
Winter Use Planning and Litigation
Learn more about the long history of winter use planning and litigation in the park.
Winter Use Management
The final Rule authorizing oversnow-vehicle use in Yellowstone was published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2013.
Last updated: November 28, 2023