(CN) – A Wyoming county wants more snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park. The Park County Board of Commissioner challenged the Interior Department’s rule that allows only 318 snowmobiles a day in the nation’s oldest National Park.
Park County claims the Department of Interior and National Park Service were arbitrary and capricious in writing the rule, which was released on Nov. 20.
For decades, Yellowstone’s daily snowmobile limit has fluctuated between 950 and 540, depending on who was president and whether the courts agreed.
A few days after the new rule was published, the 10th Circuit ruled that an off-roading group’s challenge of the former 720-per-day rule was moot.
Park County says that allowing more than 318 snowmobiles per day will not harm the park. It claims that the regulation exceeds the agencies’ authority.
The county also claims that the rule improperly regards snowmobiles as a “new” use, and fails to consider alternatives to guided tours.
It says the new regulation requires that “conservation of natural resources predominates by default over public use and enjoyment any time the two values conflict.”
The county sued in Cheyenne Federal Court. Represented by Bryan Skoric of Cody, it wants the rule set aside.