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People Worldwide Like Snowmobiles

Good Research Proves It

Published online: Jan 08, 2008 Feature Ed Klim, President, International Snowmobile Manuf
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We have all read stories claiming the use of snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park is not supported by the majority of people. Whenever I read these articles I wonder where their data came from and why do some people have such a misplaced agenda?

 

I snowmobile and I know quite a few people who don't snowmobile. My non-snowmobiling friends do not think negatively of me or snowmobiling and, if the truth were known, they want to go snowmobiling. My small world is no different than the world in which we all live.

 

Many surveys asking for individual views on snowmobiling have been conducted. Time and again, in scientific polls, the results show Americans believe snowmobiles should be allowed in the National Parks. The most extensive scientific national study was performed by SWR Research based in Washington, DC. The study determined the majority of Americans viewed any discriminatory action by the Park Service against outdoor enthusiasts as an example of federal overreach. The overwhelming majority of people believe the federal government and other interest groups often attempt to fix a problem that does not exist usually at some political benefit to an interest group.

 

According to survey responses, 90 percent of all Americans believe responsible snowmobiling should be allowed in Yellowstone National Park.

 

More than 65 percent of all Americans agree that if one form of outdoor recreation is impacted negatively by government action it will eventually lead to similar negative impacts on other outdoor recreation visitors.

 

Also, 65 percent of Americans believe the effort to limit recreation represents the views of a very small minority of the citizens who happen to be members of the fringe environmental community.

 

The SWR survey was a broad based representative scientific survey. The breakdown of the individuals surveyed would show that 85 percent of those surveyed have visited a national park. Thirty-one percent were Republican, 36 percent were Democrat and 21 percent were Independent. Twenty-two percent of the respondents were 18-34 years old, 35 percent were 35-49 years of age and 40 percent were 50 years of age and older. Forty-eight percent were male, 52 percent were female and the respondents represented our society from New England to the Pacific Coast states.

 

Reviewing good scientific research is inspiring and supports my belief that the vast majority of Americans are clear thinking, honest individuals who don't wish to take somebody else's recreational opportunities away. Only a tiny percentage of the population, for whatever reason, have been radicalized and feel they have all the answers and should control our lives.

 

Studies conducted by an independent research firm also concluded the vast majority of individuals who don't snowmobile are very interested in snowmobiling.  As reported on numerous sites, non-snowmobilers rate their desire to go snowmobiling on a scale of 1-10 as a 9.  Non-snowmobilers view snowmobilers as interesting, exciting outdoor enthusiasts who have fun and enjoy life. We snowmobilers agree with that reputation.

 

My job takes me from Portland, OR, and Vancouver, BC, all the way to St. John's, NF, and Boston, MA, and beyond. I have spent time in the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway and Finland and some time in the heart of Europe. Yes, individuals worldwide are as interested in snowmobiling as those of us that live in North America.

 

In Europe, like North America, there is a small percentage of individuals who wish to control the behavior of others, but happily, common sense is prevailing and outdoor recreational opportunities are expanding in Europe as they are in Canada and the U.S.

 

We must be strong in defending our position and I believe we all gain strength in knowing that a vast majority of the population supports our values, our recreational opportunities and our winter lifestyle. So, the next time you attend a land access related public meeting and run into one of the few bigots that doesn't want you to snowmobile, maintain your cool, know they represent a tiny fraction of mankind and look him or her in the eye and tell them they are just plain wrong.

 

Then, invite them to "Go Snowmobiling."