Group seeks cooperation for winter access through Cooke City

RUFFIN PREVOST YellowstoneGate.com

CODY, WYO. — Montana business owners and residents in Gardiner, Cooke City and Red Lodge joined with Wyoming colleagues in Cody recently to discuss how to ensure winter access to each other’s communities and to Yellowstone National Park after record flooding last month. The flooding washed out bridges and roads throughout the region and left the park’s north and northeast entrances closed to tourist traffic.

Citing June’s catastrophic floods and the possibility of being cut off from automobile access to food, medical care and essential supplies this winter, members of the newly formed Park Access Recommendation Committee (PARC) said they plan to meet sometime in August with public officials in Montana and Wyoming to develop a plan to plow an 8-mile section of U.S. Highway 212 traditionally left unplowed for use by recreational snowmobilers.

PARC members said during their online meeting that if repairs to heavily damaged sections of the Northeast Entrance Road between Cooke City and Gardiner are not completed by winter, U.S. Highway 212 would be the only option for residents to connect by auto to the outside world. They are also looking for additional winter tourism from auto visitors to help make up for an

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