Yellowstone South Entrance opens on time

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — The South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park opened Friday and now nearly all park roads are open to auto traffic for the season.

The south gate lifted for a line of vehicles on the originally scheduled date. Federal budget cuts had threatened to delay the opening by up to two weeks.

The budget cuts took effect March 1. Yellowstone officials delayed plowing to save money. The decision worried local business owners, who fretted about less tourism.

The businesses and towns of Jackson and Cody raised $171,000 to hire Wyoming Department of Transportation crews to help with plowing. The effort enabled all park entrances to open on time.

Only the route over Dunraven Pass remains to be plowed. That section of road is scheduled to open May 24.

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