Yellowstone National Park is expected to open on schedule next month, thanks to two nearby towns raising money to snowplow the entrance roads.
The chambers of commerce from Jackson and Cody took Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead at his word and found cash to pay the Wyoming Department of Transportation to plow the south and east entrances of Yellowstone.
National Park Service officials had warned that a major delay in the openings would occur due to federal budget cuts in the congressional sequester.
"This is a uniquely Wyoming solution that benefits the entire country because it gives the public the access to Yellowstone it has typically enjoyed. Yellowstone is spectacular, one of the crown jewels of the National Park system, and we want all to be able to experience its many wonders as they have in the past," Mead said in a news release. "This is also a win for Wyoming's economy because businesses can start hiring on time and providing jobs that people and communities count on."
Yellowstone officials announced Tuesday that WYDOT will start clearing the roads from those entrances in early April. Meanwhile, the park service will be plowing Yellowstone's interior and expects to have the roads from West Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful open to vehicles by 8 a.m. on April 26, weather permitting.
The road from Norris Junction east to Canyon Village and then south to Fishing Bridge Junction is set to open May 3.
The East Entrance over Sylvan Pass to Fishing Bridge will be plowed by the Wyoming state crews and should open, as originally scheduled, May 3.
Wyoming crews will also head north from the South Entrance to Grant Village, West Thumb Junction and Fishing Bridge, which is also scheduled to open as originally planned, May 10.
The Chief Joseph Scenic Highway, which links the towns of Red Lodge and Cooke City/Silver Gate near the Northeast Entrance, will open June 14.
The interior road from Mammoth to Cooke City is the one road plowed throughout the year.
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