Early start for Wyoming snowmobile season - KOTA Territory News

Early start for Wyoming snowmobile season

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The snow may have melted in town, but the white caps on the nearby Big Horns have snowmobilers thinking about the upcoming season.

"After that first snowstorm we definitely saw an increase in traffic here in the store and a lot more people were definitely calling and asking about snowmobiles and gear," said James Rivera, the manager at Big Horn Power Sports in Sheridan.

Due to the blizzard Rivera says snow machine sales kicked into high gear about two months earlier than usual.

"Normally we don't see a big, big tick in the snowmobile sales until after Thanksgiving. But this year we've seen a lot of interest in snowmobiles both new and used," said Rivera.

Considering how big the snowpack is already snowmobilers could enjoy a lengthy season.

"We've got a real good start. Presumably it'll all stick around unless we really warm up. We're well above the average, more than 200 percent in the eastern basins," said conservationist Andrew Cassiday with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

"The rule is you can't get off the trail until the middle of November, but guys are already going up, putting some break–in miles on their new snowmobiles just on the trails in anticipation of the opening of season," said Rivera.

Cassiday says depending on the elevation, there's six to 18 inches of snow in the Big Horn Mountain range.

Staying with snowmobiles, the National Park Service recently announced new snowmobile rules for Yellowstone National Park.

Taking effect in December of next year, no more than 50 groups of up to ten snowmobiles are allowed in the park. In December of 2015, snowmobiles will have to pass stringent air and noise pollution tests for park access.

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