March 24, 2018

Mt. Jefferson Snowmobilers Under Attack . . . Again!

snowmobileIsland Park has been a winter playground for more years than snowmobiles have been around. It is a mecca for snowmobilers all around the country. In spite of the claims on the Utah license plates, Idaho has the best snowmobiling snow that ever fell on a mountain (hence all the Utah license plates here in the winter.)

Well, if Montana Senator Jon Tester has his way, much of that will change. Mt. Jefferson, long a favorite of boondockers and experienced riders is once again under attack from the tree huggers. They were willing to “allow” Tester to broker a deal with loggers, miners and others in the rest of Montana for increased use if he included closing Jefferson to snowmobiling in his bill.

I’m not sure what the environmentalists have against snowmobiles. They cause no erosion. Since nobody but snowmobilers use Jefferson in the winter, they aren’t a noise nuisance. Since the animals all leave up there in the winter, they aren’t offensive to animals. Basically, as near as I can tell, they just want public lands closed to the public. That’s the only explanation I can come up with.

The closure of Mt. Jefferson was defeated once before by the outcry of snowmobilers across the nation. I guess we’ll have to keep it up. If you would like to comment, please contact your own government representatives and let them know what you think about Senator Jon Tester’s “Forest Jobs and Recreation Act.” This is a good bill for Montana. No question about it. But it’s devastating for snowmobilers. There is no good reason for the closure of Jefferson other than to appease the tree-huggers. Let’s let them know that public lands are for the public.

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