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.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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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March 2007


‎"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