It is believed that about 640,000 years ago (during the Pleistocene epoch), a massive volcano erupted, creating a caldera in the center of what is now Yellowstone National Park.
The coalition groups filing the lawsuit argued that snowmobiles endanger the health of the Yellowstone staff that work at the park entrances, where large numbers of snowmobiles enter the park during the winter and spring snowmobile season.
This is the fifth time in less than 10 years that the U.S. government is requesting public comment on snowmobile use in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
The latest round of public comment represents the fourth time in two years that the public has delivered this message about future winter use in Yellowstone.
The U.S. District Court for Wyoming on December 12, 1997 held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s final rules establishing a nonessential experimental population of gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho and southwestern Montana are unlawful and ordered the Service to remove all of the reintroduced wolves and their offspring from the Yellowstone and central Idaho areas.
The central part of Yellowstone has been uplifting and subsiding or “breathing” about five times during the last 9,000 years.
The controversial wolf-reintroduction program is an historic milestone as wolves were wiped out of the Rocky Mountains earlier this century to protect sheep and cattle. Most environmentalists hailed the program as a step toward restoring a long-lost natural balance.