Snowmobile and snow coach use numbers for Yellowstone National Park for the start of the 2009-2010 winter season are higher than reported earlier this week. Statistics released on Tuesday for December 2009 failed to include snowmobile and snow coach travel originating from Old Faithful.
The figures reported for December 2007 and December 2008 did include travel originating at Old Faithful. The error led to an under-reporting of daily average and peak day snowmobile and snow coach use in December 2009, and would have indicated a greater decline in both snowmobile and snow coach use compared to previous years than actually occurred.
The corrected preliminary figures show an average of 190 snowmobiles and 36 snow coaches operated in the park from the December 15 start of winter season to the end of the month. Even with the corrected figures, both numbers are down compared to the same period in 2008 and 2007.
Limited, managed snowmobile and snow coach travel over groomed, snow-packed park roads is permitted this season under a new temporary plan, which allows up to 318 commercially guided, snowmobiles, and up to 78 commercially guided snow coaches per day in Yellowstone.