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McCarter, Yellowstone - McCarter Joan 2008 An $8,500 Ticket...

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McCarter, Joan. 2008. “An $8,500 Ticket to Yellowstone.” New West , 25 July. http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/an_8500_ticket_to_yellowstone/C37/L37/ It's a familiar story these days. Science and common sense be damned--if a Bush or Cheney crony wants it, they get it. The east entrance to Yellowstone National Park is about 53 miles west of Cody, Wyoming, on a road running through the steep-sided Sylvan Pass, an avalanche waiting to happen most winters, given that there are 20 or so avalanche chutes in the pass. The National Park service has been having an ongoing dispute for years with Cody recreational business owners over keeping that pass open during high avalanche season, December through February. Last November, the Park Service had been set to issue a final decision, based on a variety of impact studies including environmental and occupational safety and risk management, to keep the pass closed three months out of the year. Then an all too familiar thing happened. But in November, just as a crucial ruling was to come out, an official in the Park Service’s Washington headquarters called Yellowstone and asked that key sections of the document be faxed for review by nine White House officials, including policy advisers to President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, said two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals. Cheney is a former Wyoming congressman. The episode fits a pattern of complaints by government scientists and experts who contend the administration frequently has overruled their work and imposed politically driven policies that benefit powerful economic interests, on issues from global warming to endangered species. For
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