WORST TREND LINE IN THE NATION
It's Not Just Snowmobiles
park busses contribute too
so do motor homes
-- In an article just released by the Star Tribune in Casper, Wyoming, is a report of declining air quality in Yellowstone National Park. In an unannounced finding, The National Park Service published the data on an obscure web site. The brief report can be found on another page with a map, (see below!).
-- National Parks on the west coast and in the eastern part of the United States show an improving trend, while those in the mountain west show declining trends. Part of the problem is state and local trends that either encourage energy development, or do not. Air pollution is on the front burner both in the east and the coastal west, but the mountain states seem to take clean air for granted.
-- In addition to the 129, or so, coal fired energy plants currently in some state of development; more large vehicles are visiting Yellowstone and other western parks. The diesel busses, (some owned by Yellowstone,) large motor homes, mobile campers, and visitation increases, all contribute to the problem.
-- The Star Tribune notes that: "Environmental Defense and three other groups have sued the federal government in U.S. District Court to try to force air quality improvement changes in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has authorized 33 million acres of new oil and gas development there, with as many as 165,000 new coal-bed methane wells, despite testimony from other federal and state agencies that the project would lead to serious air pollution at Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Theodore Roosevelt, Wind Cave and other parks."
-- The combination of no serious effort by Yellowstone to regulate giant tour busses, and the lack of commitment by the NPS to establish air quality standards, (and enforcement,) does not bode well for the visitor in the future.
-- If Yellowstone were as serious about busses, motor homes, and campers, as they are about snowmobiles, the park would be a better place for all concerned.
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