“Plow the plug” petition highlights divisions in mountain snowmobile, ski community

Less than a month after being reconnected to Yellowstone National Park following flood damage to roads in June, Cooke City residents are divided over access along a different section of highway.

A coalition of Cooke City residents, property and business owners have delivered a petition to Gov. Greg Gianforte asking him to support the plowing of an eight-mile section of Highway 212 in the winter.

Known as “the plug,” the section of roadway is left snow-covered in winter to allow snowmobilers and skiers to travel to trails in the surrounding Beartooth Mountains. Cooke City markets the experience as “sled to bed” in its promotion of winter tourism.

Cooke City is known for its winter snowmobiling and backcountry skiing, but is only accessed in winter via a road through Yellowstone National Park. Some residents and business owners want the road plowed on the opposite side of town to increase tourism and allow residents easier travel.

BRETT FRENCH, Billings Gazette

“Our primary concern is public safety,” said Cooke City Chamber of Commerce President Terri Briggs in a press release. “We have an aging community

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