Illegal snowmobiler in Jewel Basin survives 8 hrs under avalanche. Will face penalties

This happens every winter, some folks ride illegally into an area closed to snowmobiles and meet an avalanche. Jewel Basin is in the Swan mountain range, east of Kalispell, Montana. Story no. 1.  Story in the Casper Star Tribune

Story no. 2.  Illegal and ill-equipped snowmobiling. Montana Avalanche Victim Survives An 8 Hour Burial. By Lucia Stewart. New West.

Story no. 3. Added on March 10. Opinion of the Missoulian. Snowmobilers need ethic of responsible play “SUMMARY: Irresponsible, illegal snowmobile use creates needless dangers and invites greater restrictions.”

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My personal opinion is, it isn’t worth shedding a tear for a snowmobiler caught in an avalanche inside an area closed to them. If they survive the avalanche, jail them.







Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan