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State says studies show snowmobiles quieter
Associated Press

(AP) – Newer models of snowmobiles are quieter and pollute less than snowcoaches, according to two studies released by state officials Friday.

A state-commissioned study by consulting firm Jackson Hole Scientific Investigations showed that newer models have lower decibel levels than the family dishwasher or an acoustic guitar, the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources said.

State officials said information compiled by Southwest Research Institute of San Antonio also showed that snowcoach emissions are nearly six times higher than carbon monoxide emissions from the new generation of snowmobiles.

The state will submit the reports as part of the draft supplemental environmental impact statement on winter use of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has urged the complete ban of snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton, saying even limited numbers of snowmobiles may violate clean air standards.

The National Park Service is expected to decide this November whether to ban or limit snowmobiles. Snowcoaches, multi-passenger vehicles on tracks, are used during the winter in Yellowstone.

A snowmobile ban was approved late in the Clinton administration, but the Bush administration put the policy on hold after snowmobile makers sued.

Opponents of a ban play down the environmental impacts. They also note that snowmobiling is a large part of the regional economy.

The study by Jackson Hole Scientific Investigations said a test Feb. 6 found that three 2002 four-stroke Arctic Cats, making two passes at full acceleration in both directions, registered an average decibel level of 70.5. The study said an acoustic guitar played with one finger at a foot away creates a decibel level of 80; a lawn mower has a decibel level of 90; and power tools create 100 decibels.

The quieter of two snowcoaches, a Bombardier with a 318 Chrysler gas engine, averaged 73 decibels at a top-end speed of 30 mph based on two passes in each direction, according to the study.

The final and supplemental impact statements understate the emissions from snowcoaches by nearly 50 percent, according to Southwest Research Institute.

Snowcoaches average six riders per vehicle while snowmobiles average 1.2 riders per sled, the study said. Five new generation snowmobiles would provide the same visitor transportation as one coach, but would have total carbon monoxide emissions of 86.45 grams per mile compared with the snowcoach’s emissions of 99.2 grams per mile.
 

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That is some good news corey. It should hold some weight in this ongoing conflict, enough to hold the greenies off for a while
 

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ooppps that was me not ladyk, forgot to check login.
 
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