Wyoming group argues to keep Sylvan Pass open. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.

Once you get east of Jackson, Wyoming, they don’t just disagree with policies, they compete in hyperbole to describe how much they disagree.

“Closing Sylvan Pass in the winter, they said, would be a devastating blow and one they vowed to fight. It’s just one step closer to the cliff for us,” said state Rep. Colin Simpson of Cody.

In fact Cody is growing very rapidly, and it is a long way from the East Entrance, which only 13 people used last winter. Because avalanche control costs $200,000 a year and grooming the road adds thousands more, divide 13 into let’s say $250,000 to see how much each snowmobile over the Pass costs the National Park Service to which you pay larger and larger entrance fees every year.

Wyoming representatives said 3500 used the pass each winter 1990s. That is still over $70 per snowmobile. Yellowstone’s winter plan holds numbers far below that. That number will never be attained again under any conditions that are under contemplation.

These businesspeople seem completely unconcerned about the danger to people who keep the road open, groom the trails, ride the snowmobiles, or pay the bills. The common word for that is “greed.” A notice that is a common theme in movies, e.g., Jaws, Volcano. Businesses tell everyone there is no danger, but then . . . .

The local political rhetoric is similar for the wolf. The wolves are not just a problem for a few ranchers, but a menace that is laying waste to Agriculture in the area. Big game herds are being totally wiped out (except for the number that shows elk number are not down).

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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