View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

The Economics of Snowmobiles

Sunday's Post also carries describes the devastating effects of a judge's Yellowstone snowmobile ban on the town of West Yellowstone. It's the main portal of entry for snowmobiles into the Park. Businesses rely on stability and predictability to make decisions. Following the increase of winter tourism, many had expanded lodging, and bought new four-stroke machines. Nobody is suggesting they be made whole. And who knows where the money would come from for that, anyway.

Environmentalists are worried about the speculative life of a buffalo. In the meantime, real people are being destroyed here. Contrary to the assertions of those fit enough to ski for days without food or sleep, it's not just the five people who own the rental businesses are affected. It's all their employees. It's the hotel owners, operators, and their employees. It's everyone who sells gas or trail mix or goggles or chapstick or food.

"I don't think it was ever put aside for being not seen and appreciated. I think it was always put there for people's enjoyment. I just want a way to get a lot of people through there with minimal impact," she said.

Despite the general appearance of support for snowmobiles in West Yellowstone, Matthews said she is by no means a lone voice against them. She said that more than 80 percent of the 350,000 public comments to the National Park Service supported a ban, and many people in town have no love lost for the machines.

And what she wants is what matters. As mentioned before, that buffalo didn't seem the least bit disturbed. I have no way of substantiating her claims on the Park Service complaints, and apparently the reporter didn't even try. Even then, how many people fill out forms in support of the status quo? I know I don't like crowding and noise, but I also know that if I start locking out other people, I may be next.

Blogarama - The Blog Directory
help Israel
axis of weevils
contact us
site sections