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
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
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
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
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."