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Volume 29
Number 2
Fall-Winter 2012-2013
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Typographical illustration to indicate this is a sidebar article. Case Study
Sidebar: Need for special rule to authorize oversnow vehicle use

By Molly M. Nelson and Wade M. Vagias
Published: 4 Sep 2015 (online)  •  14 Sep 2015 (in print)
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The necessity for a special rule to authorize oversnow vehicle use in national parks stems from Executive Orders (EO) 11644 and 11989, which together require off-road vehicle use to immediately discontinue if such use will cause “considerable adverse effects on the soil, vegetation, wildlife, wildlife habitat, or cultural or historic resources of particular areas or trails of the public lands” (snowmobiles are considered off-road vehicles by the orders), and such areas must remain closed until the agency implements measures to prevent those adverse effects. Colloquially, this is known as the “closed unless open” rule.

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This page updated:  22 March 2013

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