Comments sought on proposed Crater Lake snowmobile rules
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, Oregon
December 22, 2000
By Lee Juillerat
Public comment will be taken on a proposal to eliminate snowmobiling at Crater Lake National Park, although the Bush administration will probably have the choice of not enacting the prohibitions.
The back-and-forth discussions on the snowmobiling issue stem from the change of administrations.
Crater Lake Superintendent Chuck Lundy said he has been instructed by the National Park Service to proceed with the proposed rule changes, which would eliminate snowmobiling on eight miles of road between the North Entrance boundary and the North Entrance overlook.
Crater Lake is one of four Park Services being studied for a possible rule change.
Lundy said the park staff is currently reviewing environmental assessment documents dealing with the impacts of eliminating snowmobiling, including economic impacts at the Diamond Lake Resort and other regional communities. Comments by park staff will be forwarded to necessary parties.
According to information provided to Lundy, the proposed rule changes will be announced in the Federal Register in mid-January, when a 60-day public comment period will begin.
Lundy said his conversations with Congressional staffers, including aides for Sen. Gordon Smith and Rep. Greg Walden, both R-Ore., indicate the incoming Bush administration will decide whether or not to enact the rules. Aides have previously indicated they expect the proposed changes will be dropped.
Under an agreement between Congress and President Clinton, the omnibus budget includes a provision that says no action can be taken finalizing the rule changes until July 1, 2001, or after the Clinton administration leaves and the Bush administration takes charge.
“I want the public to be aware that when this proposed rule change comes out they can comment on it,” said Lundy. “There should be substantial public interest and we encourage people to provide their comments and ideas.”
Regional Editor Lee Juillerat covers Lake, Siskiyou, Modoc and northern Klamath counties. He can be reached at 885-4421, (800) 275-0982, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.