On October 23, 2013, the National Park Service released its Final Winter-Use Rule, which establishes a more flexible method for managing snowmobile and snowcoach access in National Parks. Moreover, the rule requires snowmobiles and snowcoaches to meet sound and air emission standards established by the National Park Service.
Instead of a fixed maximum number of vehicles allowed in the park daily, the parks will allow 110 “transportation events” daily. A transportation event can consist of up to 10 snowmobilers or one snowcoach. Beginning in the 2015-2016 season, concessionaires must keep an average of at least seven snowmobiles per event or one snowcoach. An additional requirement is that concessionaires must have both snowmobiles and snowcoaches to be awarded a contract.
Some fear that the rule will be beneficial to larger corporations because small business owners will have to buy new equipment, such as a snowcoach, under the new concessions structure. Others fear that the rule will lead to a consolidation of permits, decreasing competition and increasing prices for park visitors.