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Snowmobile Congress Calls On U.S. Congress to Repeal National Parks Ban

9 June 2000

Snowmobile Congress Calls On U.S. Congress to Repeal National Parks Ban

    NASHUA, N.H. - The International Snowmobile Congress, which represents snowmobile associations and clubs in 28 states, today called on the U.S. Congress to take immediate action to repeal a ban on snowmobiles announced by the National Park Service on April 27.

    Citing the ban decision as abrupt and the decision making process unfair, the American Council of Snowmobile Associations passed a resolution asking the U.S. Congress to lift the snowmobile ban in national parks. The International Snowmobile Congress unanimously ratified the resolution and pledged to work with the government to develop alternative options to balance environmental and recreational goals.

    "It's absolutely inexcusable that the Park Service made this decision without input from four million snowmobilers, including families, seniors and disabled Americans who use snowmobiles for winter access to national parks," said Ken Nelson, president of the American Council of Snowmobile Associations. "Snowmobilers are responsible people who appreciate the wonders in the national parks just as much as the folks who drive through the parks in the summertime. It's blatant discrimination to single out snowmobilers like this."

    Representative John Sununu (R-NH), who will address the Snowmobile Congress today, called the ban on snowmobiles in national parks an unnecessary intrusion on the ability of local park officials to manage recreational activity and noted that no scientific study has ever concluded that snowmobiles violate any air quality standards.
    "The International Snowmobile Congress has done a tremendous job promoting responsible snowmobile use all across America," said Sununu. "National Parks and federal lands are a natural resource to be enjoyed by all."

    Two recent national polls show overwhelming public support to allow snowmobilers in national parks. Nearly eight of ten (78 percent) Americans believe snowmobiles should be allowed in national parks and only 11 percent support the ban snowmobiles, according to a new survey by SWR Research. Similarly, USA Weekend polled 76,971 readers and found that 78 percent are against banning off-road vehicles from national parks.

    Nelson pointed out that off-road is a misnomer in this case, since snowmobiles are only allowed on the same paved roads millions of cars, trucks and RVs use in the parks during the summer months.

    The American Council of Snowmobile Associations represents snowmobilers across the United States and promotes snowmobile education, safety and public land access.