A compromise of sorts that would allow hundreds of snowmobiles into Yellowstone National Park each winter certainly should not be considered the last word on cold-weather tourism from officials of the park or the National Park Service.
The debate over whether to allow any of the noisy, polluting machines into the nation's oldest park should be on-going, with continuing research into their effects on wildlife, water, air and the natural ecosystem the park should protect.
An interim rule has allowed 318 snowmobiles and 78 large snowcoaches into the park each day. Park officials are proposing to allow more snowmobiles and coaches, but require most of them to be guided groups. The number of allowed vehicles would be based on "transportation events." Each snowcoach and each group with an average of seven snowmobiles and not exceeding 10 would equal one event, with up to 110 events permitted each day.