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It is the world's best-known national park, with a controversy that no amount of snow can bury. Rosy-cheeked snowmobilers extol the glories of riding through a winter wonderland, while environmentalists decry the noise, the air pollution, and the harm to wildlife. There seems to be no room for compromise. In this first book-length study of winter use in any national park, Michael Yochim examines the long standing conflict between the National Park Service and groups who favor or object to snowmobiles in Yellowstone. By illuminating the fundamental drivers of the controversy - American values, community identity, industry influence, and political tampering with policy - he doesn't merely document the debate but shows how increasingly politicized battles have taken a toll on the autonomy of the NPS and its ability to protect the park.
Michael J. Yochim is an outdoor recreation planner with the National Park Service at Yellowstone National Park, where he has worked for more than twenty years, and has written extensively about the snowmobile controversy in national periodicals. He is the author of Protecting Yellowstone: Science and the Politics of National Park Management.
Exhaustively researched and thoughtfully written, Yochim's chronicle of this momentous, colorful, and often dismaying controversy could not be more timely. All serious observers and participants of the 'snowmobile wars' should be prepared to expose our convictions to the test of this excellent primer. Paul Schullery, author of Mountain Time: A Yellowstone Memoir "Yochim writes clearly and effectively on an issue of great significance and presents a complicated story with great skill and ease." David Louter, author of Windshield Wilderness "Informative and timely, this is a significant contribution to the literatures on parks, public lands, and environmental issues in general." William R. Lowry, author of The Capacity for Wonder: Preserving National Parks"