14 Responses to Where the Buffalo Groan
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Nicely done ..
It is a classic. Destined for round-the-clock main gallery showings at the George W. Bush Presidential library …
The image of all the little snowmobile bees trying to get in to the Park’s boundaries!
This was from 2003. I’ve been looking and looking for it since then. It’s timeless and points out the absurdity of having snowmobiles in the Park.
I’m sure Bush thinks it is one of his finest accomplishments.
This story did not show up on my computer – it is completely blank – just the title shows.
You may need to install Adobe Flash on your computer???
That is hilarious.
Really illustrates the absurdity of snowmobiles in Yellowstone.
Thanks Jim – however, I am on a public computer and probably cannot install Adobe Flash – so I will read it when I get home. I am anxious to read it as I feel very strongly about no snowmobiles in Yellowstone or any other national park.
Virginia–Years ago I wrote to Glacier, Yosemite, and other national parks that do not allow snowmobiles and asked, “why can’t I ride my snowmobile in your park?” It’s amusing and depressing to compare their responses about snowmobiles disturbing wildlife, snowmobile noise and pollution, snowmobiles being illegal in parks due to a Nixon Executive Order, etc., to the official NPS bogus defense of snowmobiles in Yellowstone.
Snowmobiling in Yellowstone today is all about welfare–the NPS/taxpayers spending millions for the benefit of business interests outside the park–and bureaucracy–the NPS really does not want to boot snowmobiles out of Yellowstone, because then how could it justify the current budget and staffing levels?
My, oh, my! I do love the Daily Show!
Chuck – thank you again for your activism. Living just outside Yellowstone and being a cross country skier – I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to try to ski into the park and be bombarded by the noise, smoke and rudeness of snowmobiles and their riders. Truthfully, it seemed as though a lot of their time was spent down by Pahaska trying to keep the damn things running – revving them up and blowing black smoke that never seemed to dissipate. It was interesting that the other national parks saw the wisdom of not allowing them to destroy their park and Yellowstone just didn’t get it. I think you are right about the staff wanting to have a reason to live in that beautiful place. I must say when we go up to ski in that area now, we are usually the only people around. It is great!
The good news is that hardly any snowmobile activity is taking place in West Yellowstone due to a few factors:
-there was no snow until late in the season
-few can afford to come to Yellowstone and then pay $125. + per person to hire a guide and rent from the guide licensed outfitters who require that you can only ride their sleds and not your own even if you have the required model(s) to go into the Park
-few have come to town event to ride the hundreds of miles of trails in the surrounding national forests
-most businesses in West Yellowstone are getting any business due to the low tourist numbers and their meager budgets
-suddenly one of the major snowmobile rental/guide business owners now has admitted that it wold be better for the Park to simply plow the roads in winter in order to allow the general public in during winter season since it isn’t profitable to do business as they have been since the hayday of the two-stroke sleds.
One can only hope that the businesses in a town that placed all its bets on an unsustainable tourist mechanism will come to realize that they need to adjust to the reality of these conditions and start acting accordingly. Otherwise the gate communities of the park will soon return to the summer only option as they were before the winter season option started upon the arrival of snowmobiles. Prior to that event the park was only open in summer.
Thank God and whomever that Glacier National Park does not allow snowmobiles. It lives up to its name as the crown jewel of our National Parks due the passions of those who protect it so well. Consequently, one can ski or snowshoe in winter and enjoy the wildness of being there, undisturbed by this now outlawed rogue and potentially invasive species.
From Montana The Magazine of Western History, 53 (Autumn 2003), 2-15.
Snow Machines in the Gardens
The History of Snowmobiles in Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, by Michael J. Yochim
Shards of metal lay on the snow next to the machine, and the acrid smell of gunpowder permeated the air. The snowmobile was seriously injured.
Late one December night in 1974 on Marias Pass, Glacier National Park ranger Art Sedlack put a bullet through a snowmobile. With this shot, Sedlack not only gained the upper hand in dealing with group of law-breaking snowmobilers, he also became an instant hero to all who valued wilderness. At heart, though, Sedlack’s shot revealed the conflict Glacier officials faced over the question of snowmobile use in the park. In October 1975 Superintendent Phillip Iversen announced the decision to ban the use of snowmobiles in the park.
At the same time, about four hundred miles to the south, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Jack Anderson was busily taking steps to allow snowmobiles into the park: opening a hotel at Old Faithful for winter use, maintaining roads for snowmobiles, and formulating a formal policy. Anderson was personally fond of snowmobiling, touting it as “a great experience and a great sport, one of the cleanest types of recreation I know.” To him, snowmobiling was the solution to a thorny dilemma: how to allow wintertime visitors to use the park without impairing it.1