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I've been thinking about snowmobiles as a result of my annual visit--delayed until just this past weekend--to Yellowstone. The snow was just starting to fall around the Lamar Valley, in the far northeast corner of the Park, when I passed through. My treks thus far have all taken place in summer and early fall, and one of my primary goals for the near term is to see this remarkable place in winter. I've read story after story about the magic that takes hold of this place when the snow falls. I fully intend to experience it, and I don't want to see it through a cloud of exhaust. Editor's note: Joan McCarter's weekly blogs are part of a new feature on NewWest.Net/Politics called "Diary of a Mad Voter," a group blog, published in partnership with the Denver Post's Politics West intended give a glimpse into the hearts and minds of several independent-minded voters and thinkers in the Rocky Mountain West in the '08 election cycle. Check back this week at www.newwest.net/madvoter.

Buzz Kill: Snowmobiles in Yellowstone

I freely admit to having a few very strong biases. Perhaps the most basic, gut-level problem I have is with loud, whining, insistent, exhaust-emitting machines. Leaf blowers are truly a crime against nature–we have manual tools for that, ones that make little noise and do the job remarkably efficiently, with just a little sweat equity involved.

So perhaps my utter hatred for snowmobiles comes from the noise. Or maybe the smell. Or maybe it comes from the yahoos of my childhood, who thought recreation was getting liquored up and buzzing local ranch houses and cattle herds on their snow chariots in the middle of the night. In my book, snowmobiles should exist for one reason only, the one my aunt and uncle ranching in a remote corner of the county had. They never got plowed out, so the snowmobile was their only link to civilization–and supplies–for months on end.

I’ve been thinking about snowmobiles as a result of my annual visit–delayed until just this past weekend–to Yellowstone. The snow was just starting to fall around the Lamar Valley, in the far northeast corner of the Park, when I passed through. My treks thus far have all taken place in summer and early fall, and one of my primary goals for the near term is to see this remarkable place in winter. I’ve read story after story about the magic that takes hold of this place when the snow falls. I fully intend to experience it, and I don’t want to see it through a cloud of exhaust.

Which is likelier to happen this year than last, as Park Superintendent Suzanne Lewis has decided to support a plan allowing up to 540 snowmobiles in the Park per day. It gets better: the Park Service is intending to push the decision through by the Park’s winter opening date of Dec. 19 despite the fact that they missed yesterday’s deadline for issuing it, meaning that the 30-day public comment period on the decision will be cut short: “‘We still believe that we can get a record of decision signed, get a rule published, and open as scheduled, despite the fact that we did not meet today’s deadline,’ [Park spokesman] Nash said, adding the 30-day comment period is a policy, not a regulation, and could be shortened.” (Maybe the fact that nearly three quarters of public commenters on the Park’s proposed management plan want a ban on snowmobiles has something to do with their lack of concern that public comment will be cut short.)

One high-profile opponent of snowmobiles in the Park, former assistant Interior secretary for fish and wildlife and parks under the Clinton administration, Don Barry, sees in this decision the kind of interference with science that has become too familiar in this administration’s Interior department. Barry spoke to the Association of National Park Rangers last month:

“The park just came out with a final EIS authorizing 540 snowmobiles a day. The average for the last three years has been 250. Two-hundred-and-fifty,” Mr. Barry, now with The Wilderness Society, told the group during its gathering in Park City, Utah. “But the park feels obligated to come in at 540. Now what’s appalling about this decision is the only way they could get to 540, was to water down the park protection standards that go along with this. And the worst offense of all, they watered down the ones for wildlife harassment, for air protection, and noise. And the worst of all was what they did with the noise protection standards. They redefined in that EIS what a major impact on the soundscape was for Yellowstone National Park because of snowmobiling.

“And they defined the new standard of what a major impact was to require that the noise be heard over 20 percent of the entire park. Now you could have an atomic fart and you would not hear it, you would not hear it over 20 percent of the national park. But that’s what they had to do in order to justify and to authorize 540 snowmobiles a day.”

In the event that you haven’t been there, it’s a big ol’ place, 2,219,789 acres to be exact. The EIS actually stated that for a noise to be harmful it actually has to reach across 443,958 acres. That’s some science, huh. Beyond the noise, there are the serious questions about air quality, about the emissions from snowmobiles getting into the snowpack of the park, and the inevitable stress on wildlife that have been at the center of this debate for the past decade. With the current administration in charge, real science on all of these issues continues to be sacrificed for political expediency.

The reality is there are alternatives for seeing the Park in winter, even motorized ones. Snowcoaches have proven to be a cleaner, quieter, and highly popular alternative. By taking more people in with fewer trips and cleaner technology, the snowcoaches provide a great alternative to hordes of snowmobiles. Of course, for those who really want to experience the park close up, the same advice holds winter and summer. Get away from your vehicle and go on foot. Skis and snowshoes are more than welcome throughout the Park.

There are also alternatives for taking your machine out and making as much noise as you want. Millions of empty acres exist all around the Park’s circumference–why is it so damned important to take the damned things into one of our nation’s most sacred shared spaces? That’s why eighty-six members of the House of Representatives have asked the Park Service to phase out snowmobiles in the Park. Tellingly, none of the delegations from Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming signed onto the letter, instead they’ve urged the opposite.

On this issue, I come firmly down on the side of the national over the regional interest. It’s not just a regional resource–it’s an American icon. Yellowstone National Park holds the incredible distinction of being the world’s first national park, a place which is meant to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein,” as stated in the Organic Act of 1916, and “a public park or pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people,” as stated in the 1872 dedication. It would seem, for the longterm benefit and enjoyment of the people, it would make sense to take the most cautious road when it comes to managing this precious place.

Editor’s note: Joan McCarter’s weekly blogs are part of a new feature on NewWest.Net/Politics called “Diary of a Mad Voter,” a group blog, published in partnership with the Denver Post’s Politics West intended give a glimpse into the hearts and minds of several independent-minded voters and thinkers in the Rocky Mountain West in the ’08 election cycle. Check back this week at www.newwest.net/madvoter.

About Joan McCarter

Joan McCarter is a contributing editor at Daily Kos, writing as “mcjoan.” She has focused on Iraq, the traditional media, and electoral politics at the blog. During the 2006 election, McCarter focused her writing on Democratic prospects in the west. She traveled throughout the Rocky Mountain states through the last weeks of the campaign, researching and writing about Democratic candidates and campaign strategies. She is currently researching a book on western politics scheduled to be published in spring, 2008. McCarter worked on Capitol Hill for then Congressman and now Senator Ron Wyden. She has broad campaign experience and has been deeply involved in Democratic politics since childhood. She has a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Washington and worked as a writer, editor, and instructional designer at the UW from 1995-2006. She is currently a fellow at Daily Kos.

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29 comments

  1. where do you think your family would be able to buy a snowmachine if recreationalists don’t buy them too? If noise and pollution is actually behind the push to get motorized use out of the park, please tell me why anyone is in favor of the mandatory “guides”. It is intended to be insulting and so expensive that it eliminates a lot of people.
    I just do not understand why some are so reluctant to share. If quiet and solitude is the goal, why on earth would someone want to go the most popular palce that everyone wants to visit, then cry about too many people and too much noise. The area we live in abounds with areas of quiet and solitude, so why insist on having it for yourself in one of the most popular places on earth? Learn to enjoy the variety of folks visiting and enjoying the park too and know you are sharing a special place.

  2. Marion, you make some interesting points. Not particularly convincing to me, but interesting. For one thing, it’s pretty darned unlikely that keeping snowmobiles out of Yellowstone and Grand Teton will wipe out the entire snowmobile manufacturing industry.

    The mandatory guides were put in place in response to a problem of snowmobilers going off the allowed “roads” and harrassing animals, not to harrass the people.

    And you can turn your sharing argument completely around. There are acres and acres of beautiful places in the region that snowmobiles have full access too–can they not “share” this one amazing place with those of us who want a place to go where quiet and clean air is preserved?

  3. Marion – you seem to be UNABLE to get the point(s) of the various other writers to this blog – especially to the issues that effect you and/or your area!! These issuses are repeating and so are your tiresome points of view!
    First of all:1) there is NO conspiracy to lock you and your ilk out of the national parks or wilderness areas, so give it up with this WHINE!!
    2) Quality is “generally” MORE important to the visitors of these and other national and natural treasures (ever been to the Lovre in Paris to stand on line to see the GREAT paintings of history – they stagger the numbers through out the day – they also don’t allow cigar smoking/ghetto blaster rap music listeners to wake about either); Several of the BEST areas of wilderness are controlled by strict permits: I don’t like it, BUT it does help the quality, so I follow these regulations – for the benefit of ALL!!
    3) a “Guide” is there to monitor the behavior of the visitors (due to the bad behavior of previous vistors), for the safety of Non-survival savy folks and enhance the experinece or non-locals ; since the foks from NJ don’t know an elk from a deer or where the buffalo roam!! The Whole Guide Industry is based on these pts. – pretty much.
    4) Finally – as for the PURE Wilderness experience with total solitude and complete natural Quiet – I “agree” with you Marion – there ARE such places left in the West, WY , National Parks and Wilderness areas- BUT they are HRARD to get to, take lots of time and LOTS of effort ; THIS is what I like about these ares and “I” want these natural challeneges to excist and make it HARD!!

  4. Question, Joan, how’re people going to share Yellowstone with you if they are not allowed in? Listen to you tell them how great it is that you have it to yourselves? The sights in Yellowstone are like nowhere else on earth, and I believe the folks who go there are there to see it, not race and play like they do in the forests. Anyone who does can be fined and removed.
    I have heard of people chasing animals, but have never seen a photo of it and if you think about it, groomed trails are pretty necessary to get around. I have seen
    Findley’s video of the supposed ping pong of buffalo is exactly what happens when they are on the highway anytime, they go back and forth, especially if traffic backs up behind them in a tight place not easily gotten off of.
    You’re right just eliminating snowmobiles form Yellowstone would not stop the production, but I have never seen environmental groups satisfied with what they ask for, and I’m sure NFs are next and in fact there is that bill in congress brought by easterners to make all of the forests wilderness to eliminate all motorized activity. the very fact that this discussion is going on even after the numbers were cut way down and BAT technology was mandated, etc, it is not enough and will never be enough until environmentalists have it all to themselves…then they can start pushing each other out.

  5. I will be making my first Yellowstone winter trip this January. I have looked into the snowcoaches; but they do not appear that they would be very comfortable for me. I would rather deal with the cold than take a chance of being crunched up in a converted van. Hence, I will be using the snowmobile. Unlike Marion, I have no issue with the guide. I think this is probably a good idea for at least 80% of visitors. I could understand a program to allow folks to go unguided, provided they have gone through the same process that certified guides go through.

    I will be curious to see how the pollution is. I think using the BAT technology makes sense, as does the 540 number. I know a lot of people like to throw out the fact that they only average 250 per day the last three years. The key word there is average. That means there are days higher and days lower. I recall reading that the 540 number is in line with the max daily entry during the last three years. If that is the case, the daily average will likely remain at 250. To want to number lower than 540 would like be a further decrease over the last three years, which I suspect is the goal of many who are complaining about this.

    Maybe after my trip, I will change my mind. It seems most of the anti-snowmobilers are people who don’t and won’t snowmobile. I have never been on one myself. Plus, you would likely have to increase the number of snowcoaches in the park much more than the snowcoach advocates actually say in order to accommodate the amount of people with a level of flexibility that the snowmobiles offer. Of course, I suspect there is a large group that could care less about this and just want to make it inconvenient for people to actual go into the park and further reduce winter use. Call me cynical; but this is a national park and people deserve a right to be able to access the park.

  6. Interesting on what the net reveals isn’t it? I think it is worth noting that snow coaches will not have to meet the BAT until 1911-12 and are certainly more polluting than snowmachines. That of course will give the “me onlys” a reason to push them out when they decide they are too polluting and noisy etc.

  7. Hmmm, I just went and read the article she posted on that site. The commenters appear to be under the impression that snowmobiles would be something new pushed onto the park instead of having a long history of use going back 40-50 years.This is one problem with things being controlled by eastern city folks, they haven’t a clue.

  8. With the new rules on snowmobiles in the Park, snow machines are fewer in number, not as polluting, more fuel efficient and much less noisey.
    What’s much worse than snow machines is the annual summer onslaught of Harley’s in the Park. Overwhelmingly loud, with no mufflers, no pollution emission devices and no limits on how many of those ultra-noisey 2-wheeled machines are allowed in the Park.
    If we are looking for a more pristine Yellowstone Park experience, we should be working to limit motorcycles too!

  9. The author’s description does not accurately portray the “Best Available Technology” snowmobiles now required by the park service. These new snow machines use automobile and motorcycle engines. They use the exact same roads as cars and bikes in the summer. They are cleaner and quieter than some of the cars and bikes allowed to enter the park in the summer.

    So, if she believes these new sleds should not enter the park, then she also is implying that cars and motorcycles should not be allowed to enter the park. Think about it. The only difference is the road; plowed or packed. Same engines, same emissions, same sound levels, but no sleds when cars and bikes are OK? That’s a “Double standard”!

  10. I’m sure they will target motor cycles and diesels next, then autos until they push everyone else out. It is easier to push out a few hundred folks, most of whom are locals than it is to push out thousands who come from all over the country.
    Make no mistake the “me onlys” will not rest until they have total control and access just for themselves.

  11. To Dan R. – I agree with YOU whole heartedly; something about ALL motorized forms of recreation must be done in the Federal Lands. the QUALITY of the lands and the quality of the experience are above the needs/desires of the FEW!!
    To Marion; how do you sleep at night with EVERYONE out to get you and yours!!

  12. To Jay, you sort of made my point didn’t you?

    Quote: “something about ALL motorized forms of recreation must be done in the Federal Lands.” end quote

    I sleep fine.

  13. Marion; again, you don’t get it!! I said “Something” – perhaps it is something that even YOU could endorse – BUT will you even consider that – I doubt it!

  14. Marion, you can’t reason with the unreasonable, especially the ultra left, Daily Kos types (Kossacks). Environmentalism is their religon and all the facts in the world won’t sway their faith. Economies are disposable to them.

    After they ruin the economy of the US, that is when you will see real polution because corporations will no longer be able to afford safeguards and environmentalists will no longer be able to afford hybrids. We will denude the forests to heat our homes etc.

    Environmentalists have admited that Yellowstone polution is worse in the summer but there are too many of those summer visitors to attack, snowmobilers are a soft target and percieved as bubble head assholes by them so it is OK to wreck the economy of the gateway towns.

    I am a cross country skier and I dont like to ski on snowmobile tracks because it is harder to keep a good stride, I think that, that is half their beef with snowmobiles. PERSONAL DISLIKE.

  15. Daryl, I heard you went back home to California. Didn’t that work out? Is there still trouble with things out there? Are they still not making it right to let you go back?

  16. I’m going to Glacier National Park. No snowmobiles there. Yellowstone has suffered long enough, but with no end in sight to the bickering over the moral superiority of one use over another, the real issue – the Park’s mission and policy – will remain a footnote. We should maximize and preserve wilderness characteristics in national parks, not promote greed and speed.

  17. The divide between those who support “gasoline powered assistance” in all forms of recreation & life verses those who do not will not be settled anytime soon. Allen Greenspan in his recent book: “The Age of Turbulance” points out that in 2006 motorfuel consumed only 3.8 % of disposal income, thus US mileage driven continues to rise. Mr. Greenspan–no flaming libreal–who very much believes in human induce global climate change believes that a gasoline tax of $3.00/gallon should be implemented over a period of several years. In a highly precarious global economy of over dependence on Middle East Oil, that could be interruped at any time, to be engaged in such pointless frevioulous forms of motorized recreation is folly. Mr. Greenspan points out one additional fact: “one out of every 7 barrels of oil consumed world wide is burned on American highways” (a total 9.5 millions barrels per day) & 2.5 million barrels of this total is burned by American trucks that get less than 7 miles per gallon.

  18. Instead of a severe tax on gas it might be better to ration it. That would affect everyone equally, not just the poor and mid income (who’d soon be poor). That would be much more effective in reducing our use of fuel, especially for recreation while allowing necessary use for work and production to continue…….if that is what the objective is.

  19. Marion, by golly, you finally said something that I can agree with 100 percent. A gas tax just means that rich folks can continue to use however much as they please, while poor and middle class would be crippled financially. Many would buy gas at the expense of necessities, just as they do now with cigarettes, liquor etc., while others simply would not be able to afford necessary trips to the doctor, grocery store etc. Rationing might convince people who currently drive around in huge SUV’s and pick-up trucks (there is a use for both of these vehicles, but one or two people sight seeing or driving to get a quart of milk isn’t it) to get more fuel efficient vehicles. Simple high prices will never do that.
    Fifteen or twenty people in one snow coach just makes more sense than fifteen or twenty individual snowmobiles. I remember snowshoeing miles from the road one time in the park and we could still hear those confounded things. The problem with the coaches is that they are so darned expensive…sixty some odd bucks one way to Old Faithful! OK, 120 something round trip, now if I have a family of four!! Snowmobiling isn’t any cheaper with a guide and rentals. Another problem with the coaches is you need to be able to get on or off where you want. Coaches ARE the answer, but they need to improve them and make them accessible to the common folk. Right now, no matter how you go, you need to be pretty well off to enjoy the interior of the park in the winter.

  20. Mr. Hunter, the world is replete with hyprocrisy, so what’s new? The typical response of the “industrial extremists” is to question or reject all environmental science based not on fact or the hundreds of climate change research papers but on theology or ideology. Do you also reject all human health science? The science of human health & the science of climate change use identical research policies, precedures and practices to “govern” how they prove or disprove a given hypothsis. Yes, all science–in the beginning–is replete with uncertainties. Thus the reason for the research.

    People like you remind about the story of Copernicus who in the 16th century suggested that the earth was not a fixed body in the universe but rather it moved around the sun. The “educated elite” of the day held “hilarious parties” where they would stagger around & fall on the ground pretending that the earth was moving in order to ridicule the “Copernican Theory” whom they thought to be a “crank”. Yesterdays crank is todays genius.

    There are three favorite forms of condemnation of science: unpractical, too general or intangible. When you use the term “scam” you must mean intangible. The term science is used to designate a special form of knowledge generally headed by physics & math & statitics that are esoteric subjects to the vast, vast majority of humans. Far fewer people -today- understand science than they did 40 years ago because science of today is so much more complex. So Mr. Hunter, this doesn’t mean you are a bad person but mearly you are “scamed” by your ignorance.

  21. Why is it that in any discussion about the environment, global warming etc. somebody has to drag up Al Gore? He didn’t invent environmentalism, he didn’t invent global warming…heck, he didn’t even invent the internet! (nor did he ever claim to!) If you can’t blame something on wolves, it must be Al Gore’s fault! Indeed, I’m waiting for the true store of princess Di’s death to come out (Al Gore sic’ed a pack of wolves on her!)
    I don’t give a rat’s hind end how much jet fuel Al Gore uses, or how much electricity you use. The bottom line is that, whether you believe that global warming is all too real or as real as the tooth fairy, WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF FOSAL FUELS. More and more people around the world are deciding that they want lives like we have. Big homes lit up like a Christmas tree, two cars and an RV etc. We may not run out in our lifetimes; but one thing is certain, even if we drill every pristine place left on earth (Wyoming Range, Rocky Mountain Front, Alaska, you name it) we are going to run out. Prices will continue to go up and up, until many of us will not be able to heat our homes (much less light them) or drive to the grocery store. If we fail to find viable alternatives, a future similar to the movie “Mad Max”, where folks kill each other over a gallon of gasoline, may not be too far off base. Is that the legacy we want to leave for our children or grandchildren?
    Regarding our economy: green stock funds(that invest in environmentally responsible companies) such as the Winslow Fund
    consistently kick the SP 500’s hind end; because smart investors know that the future is green. It has to be, because if it isn’t, there may not be much of a future.

  22. Frank N; thank you so much for saying waht you said, how you said it and that you said it!! So many people on this site keep hashing out the SAME old tripe that has NO sunstance and keep blaming the same cause/people.
    I especially like the lady Di theory – sounds good to ME!!
    The Nay sayers can’t be swade with logic; some of these folks STILL believe that the South Shall Rise Again or that Galileo and Darwin are WRONG!!
    Keep it up – Namaste!!
    P.S. To H*LL with ALL OHV’s – anytime, anywhere and any season!

  23. Well Frank, are you saying that the fuel my little focus uses at 35 mpg is causing a lot more harm than Mr. gore and other gw advocates flying all over the world in their private jets? Where do you think thier fuel comes from?
    I for one will be far more impressed when I see all environmentalists, including global warmers LEADING by their own actions, not insisting that everyone except them must do without.
    For a very long time enviros have had all of these nice ideas that they foist off on other people because it won’t work for them, but is an absolute necessity for everyone else to sacrifice for. Now this is case where you absolutely cannot expect others to give up a drive to the movie while you fly around burning fuel by the barrel, not the gallon.

  24. No Marion. What I’m saying is that I’m proud of YOU for doing your part and driving a Focus! I’m doing my part by driving a Prius. Not because I believe in man caused global warming (I do), but because the darn thing gets 60 mpg! I put those little curly cue light bulbs in every socket in my house, not because I believe in man made global warming (once again I very much do), but because it saves me about ten bucks a month on my electric bill; and the darn things last forever! I invest in the Winslow Green Fund not because I believe in the environmentally friendly companies they invest in (I do wholeheartedly), but because I’m making 21% return on my money, while my other investments are lucky to make 10%.
    Living green and enjoying your slice of the good old fashion American pie are NOT mutually exclusive. In fact, by living green we may be able to afford a bigger slice!
    Do you know what I would do if I owned a snowmobile rental shop in West Yellowstone? I would sell all of my sleds and invest in a small fleet of snow coaches. I would equip them with every modern convenience that I could think of. I would offer separate and special trips into the park for photographers, cross country skiers and sightseers. I would offer drop offs and pick ups. I would offer family packages. Most importantly, I would offer it all at a price that even common folks like you and I could afford. That’s what a true forward thinking entrepreneur would do.
    Why would I do this? Not because it would be environmentally friendly (it would be), not because I’m a card carrying tree hugger (I am), but because I am farsighted enough to see the handwriting on the wall to realized that the day of snowmobiles in the park will end. Maybe not today or tomorrow. Maybe not as long as GWB is in the White House, but it will end. I would remember that it was Bill Clinton who banned them in the first place, and I would be looking at the very real possibility of another Clinton in the White House. Even if that doesn’t happen; even if sleds are allowed indefinitely, I would still make a lot of money by filling a very much needed niche. But if it did, I would be so far ahead of the curve that I would be rich beyond my wildest dreams, all while my competitors would be caught flat footed! And THAT is why I would do it!

  25. Frank, I have no problem with folks who are walking the walk promoting others doing the same, but I have a big problem with them saying they can waste all they want, but others cannot even have enough to be comfortable.
    By the way you might want to review a few things before you buy those snowcoaches. They have to meet BAT in 5 years I believe it is (2012), they are not even close at present and I have been told some have single digit mpg.
    I conserve jsut because I think it makes sense, but I do not believe man made global warming is anything but an attempt to control other people. I find it really hard to believe that folks like Mr. Gore actually believe what they are saying and yet continue to consume as much as they possibley can and expect others to make the sacrifices. How could anyone justify the kind of consumption if they think it is destroying the world?

  26. Frank,

    Marion also drives a very big diesel pickup. She just doesn’t bother to mention it when she’s trying to make a point with her Focus; it would ruin her story.

  27. Sorry, Mike, but a 3/4 tond Dodge is not a “very big” diesel truck, they don’t come much smaller now days. I also have a cab over camper on it that I use when it is too cold to camp in my focus or when I am counting sage chickens for G&F in the spring, the road to one lek is 4wd. I get 17-18 mpg with it with the camper on. works great.

  28. The northern hemisphere experienced a general cooling of the climate between the years 1150 and 1460 and a very cold climate between 1560 and 1850, they called it the little ice age.

    Some scientists say that a major volcanic eruption in 1258 A.D. and another in 1600 A.D. helped cool temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. The coldest period of the Little Ice Age is attributed to lower than normal solar energy. Unusually low solar activity, indicated by little or no sunspot activity between 1645 and 1715 likely triggered the Little Ice Age in Europe and North America. During this event, known as the Maunder Minimum, astronomers observed only about 50 sunspots over a 30-year period as opposed to a more typical 40-50,000 spots in a 30-year time frame.

    1748-1750: Norwegian glaciers achieved their historical maximum Little Ice Age positions; it has been warming ever since.

    Likely in the future we will have volcanoes erupt and the sun will cycle back to a period of low sunspot activity and the environmentalists will be longing for the days of the millennium 2000 warming trend when there was food for all.

    I too, drive a small commuter car, a Dodge neon, I like Marion have a pickup for doing things that can’t be done in my neon, it is smart to conserve.

    Environmentalists have lied to us about so many things i.e. Canadian Lynx hoax, Alar, the spotted owl, Yellowstone worker gas masks etc. why should we believe that man causes global warming when I believe that it is just another canard to get us to conserve and put snowmobile tour industries out of business.

    I have written many times that environmentalists are great watchdogs and many work for free, they have the potential of being a great asset but they need to quit crying wolf and quit crapping on their credibility, there is a lot of merit in that wolf story.

    I interviewed a Yellowstone gate worker that confided that she only wore the gas mask when prompted too when they knew the cameras were on the way.

    Mike, sorry to disappoint – I am here for good.

  29. You can however see the Lamar Valley in winter by car!

    North Yellowstone’s Winter Road