Text: H.R.5044 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/27/2002)

[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 5044 Introduced in House (IH)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 5044

To require the Secretary of the Interior to implement the final rule to 
    phase out snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park, John D. 
 Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, and Grand Teton National Park, and 
              snowplane use in Grand Teton National Park.



                             June 27, 2002

   Mr. Holt (for himself, Mr. Shays, Mr. Hall of Ohio, Mrs. Davis of 
California, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Crowley, Mr. Frank, Mr. George Miller of 
   California, Mr. Clement, Mr. Capuano, Ms. Rivers, Mr. Waxman, Mr. 
 Filner, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. DeFazio, Mr. Udall of Colorado, Mr. Brown 
of Ohio, Mr. Hinchey, Mrs. Maloney of New York, Ms. McKinney, Ms. Lee, 
Mrs. Mink of Hawaii, Mr. Markey, Mr. Boucher, Mr. Smith of Washington, 
   Mr. Sherman, Mr. Hoeffel, Mr. Moran of Virginia, Mr. Becerra, Mr. 
Pallone, Mr. Kennedy of Rhode Island, Mr. Clay, Mr. Rothman, Mr. Stark, 
   Mr. Andrews, Ms. Brown of Florida, Ms. DeLauro, Ms. DeGette, Ms. 
McCarthy of Missouri, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Honda, Mr. Towns, Ms. Woolsey, 
 Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Lantos, Mrs. Johnson of Connecticut, 
 Mr. Engel, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Wexler, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Serrano, 
Ms. Solis, Mr. McNulty, Mrs. Lowey, Mr. Ford, Ms. Slaughter, Mr. Payne, 
   Ms. Lofgren, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, Ms. Eshoo, Mr. Maloney of 
Connecticut, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Israel, Mr. 
Wu, Mr. Weiner, Mr. Price of North Carolina, Mr. Evans, Mr. Moore, Mr. 
 Inslee, Mr. Dooley of California, Mr. Doggett, Mr. Kirk, Mr. Simmons, 
  Mrs. Morella, Mr. Farr of California, Mr. Deutsch, Mr. Nadler, Mr. 
    Coyne, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Olver, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Hastings of 
  Florida, Mr. Abercrombie, Mr. Conyers, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of 
  Texas, Mrs. Jones of Ohio, Mr. Levin, Ms. Norton, Mr. Tierney, Mrs. 
Tauscher, Mrs. Capps, Mr. Carson of Oklahoma, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Udall of 
       New Mexico, Mr. Meehan, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mr. Neal of 
Massachusetts, Mr. Green of Texas, Mr. Meeks of New York, Mr. Delahunt, 
Mr. Lynch, Mr. Roemer, Mr. Frost, Mr. Matsui, Ms. Waters, Mr. Brady of 
   Pennsylvania, Mr. Rangel, Ms. Velazquez, Mr. Baca, Mr. Baird, Mr. 
   Ackerman, Mr. Dingell, Ms. Berkley, Mrs. Clayton, Mr. Borski, Mr. 
Fattah, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Mr. Gonzalez, Ms. Hooley 
of Oregon, Ms. Watson of California, and Mr. Gilchrest) introduced the 
    following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources


                                 A BILL

To require the Secretary of the Interior to implement the final rule to 
    phase out snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park, John D. 
 Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, and Grand Teton National Park, and 
              snowplane use in Grand Teton National Park.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Yellowstone Protection Act''.


    Congress finds the following:
            (1) The January 22, 2001, rule phasing out snowmobile use 
        in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and 
        the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway was made by 
        professionals in the National Park Service who based their 
        decision on law, 10 years of scientific study, and extensive 
        public process.
            (2) An environmental impact statement that formed the basis 
        for the rule concluded that snowmobile use is impairing or 
        adversely impacting air quality, natural soundscapes, wildlife, 
        public and employee health and safety, and visitor enjoyment. 
        According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the 
        environmental impact statement had ``among the most thorough 
        and substantial science base that we have seen supporting a 
        NEPA document''.
            (3) The National Park Service concluded that snowmobile use 
        is violating the mission given to the agency by Congress--to 
        manage the parks ``in such manner and by such means as will 
        leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future 
        generations''. The National Park Service also found that 
        snowmobile use is ``inconsistent with the requirements of the 
        Clean Air Act, Executive Orders 11644 and 11989 [by Presidents 
        Nixon and Carter, relating to off-road vehicle use on public 
        lands], the NPS's general snowmobile regulations and NPS 
        management objectives for the parks''.
            (4) In order to maintain winter visitor access, the Park 
        Service outlined a plan to use the already existing mode of 
        winter transportation known as snowcoaches, which are mass 
        transit, oversnow vehicles similar to vans. The final rule 
        states that a snowcoach transit system ``would reduce adverse 
        impacts on park resources and values, better provide for public 
        safety, and provide for public enjoyment of the park in 
            (5) The National Park Service Air Resources Division 
        determined that despite being outnumbered by automobiles 16 to 
        1 during the course of a year, snowmobiles produce up to 68 
        percent of Yellowstone's carbon monoxide pollution and up to 90 
        percent of the park's annual hydrocarbon emissions.
            (6) Noise from snowmobiles routinely disrupts natural 
        sounds and natural quiet at popular Yellowstone attractions. A 
        February 2000 ``percent time audible'' study found snowmobile 
        noise present more than 90 percent of the time at 8 of 13 
            (7) In Yellowstone's severe winter climate, snowmobile 
        traffic regularly disturbs and harasses wildlife. In October 
        2001, 18 eminent scientists warned the Secretary of the 
        Interior that ``ignoring this information would not be 
        consistent with the original vision intended to keep our 
        national parks unimpaired for future generations''. National 
        Park Service regulations allow snowmobile use only when that 
        use ``will not disturb wildlife...'' (36 CFR 2.18(c)).
            (8) At Yellowstone's west entrance, park rangers and fee 
        collectors suffer from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning 
        due to snowmobile exhaust. According to National Park Service 
        records, in December 2000, a dozen park employees filed medical 
        complaints citing sore throats, headaches, lethargy, eye 
        irritation, and tightness in the lungs. Their supervisor 
        requested more staff at the west entrance, not because of a 
        need for additional personnel to cover the work there, but so 
        the supervisor could begin rotating employees more frequently 
        out of the ``fume cloud'' for the sake of their health. In 
        2002, for the first time in National Park history, rangers were 
        issued respirators to wear while performing their duties.
            (9) The public opportunity to engage in the environmental 
        impact study process was extensive and comprehensive. During 
        the 3-year environmental impact study process and rulemaking, 
        there were 4 opportunities for public consideration and 
        comment. The Park Service held 22 public hearings in regional 
        communities such as West Yellowstone, Cody, Jackson, and Idaho 
        Falls, and across the Nation. The agency received over 70,000 
        individual comments. At each stage of the input process, 
        support for phasing out snowmobiles grew, culminating in a 4-
        to-1 majority in favor of the rule in early 2001. More 
        recently, 82 percent of those commenting wrote in favor of the 
        National Park Service decision to phase out snowmobile use in 
        the parks.


    Beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary 
of the Interior shall implement the final rule to phase out snowmobile 
use in Yellowstone National Park, the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial 
Parkway, and Grand Teton National Park, and snowplane use in Grand 
Teton National Park, as published in the Federal Register on January 
22, 2001 (66 Fed. Reg. 7260-7268). The Secretary shall not have the 
authority to modify or supersede any provision of that final rule.