The Handbook of Montana Snowmobile Regulations
The Official Snowmobiling Handbook of the Montana State Parks - Web Version
Table of Contents
Protecting the Environment
Minimal Environmental Impact
- Snowmobiles have a minimal environmental impact when operated properly and when at least four inches of snow cover the underlying vegetation.
- A snowmobile’s ground pressure (weight per square inch) is less than that of a person walking.
- Snowmobiles are built to federally mandated noise control standards. Engine noise has little or no effect on humans when trails are properly located away from residential or business areas.
- Scientific studies indicate that compaction of snow by snowmobile traffic has no negative effect on crops, such as winter wheat or alfalfa. Compaction often eliminates snow mold, increases yields, and may decrease soil erosion.
To keep wild lands beautiful:
- Stay on established trails and keep away from tree farms, nurseries, and orchards. Plants and young trees are vulnerable to severe damage from snowmobiles.
- Avoid disturbing or harassing wildlife. If you encounter animals on the trail, stay seated and either continue slowly or stop until the animals depart.