On Tue, 7 Oct 2003 20:06:19 -0400, Scott Braaten <[log in to unmask]>
>I agree, and disagree.  What about environmental impacts of riding a sled
>where ever you please?  I do not want to start an environmental debate
>because I know very little and would make a fool of myself, but I still
>have to think there is some negative impact of letting sleds run wild out

Negative Impact 1:  Noise.  When I lived in UT it was becoming harder and
harder to find a day in the backcountry where you wouldn't hear sleds or
helicopters.  Most people treasure the quiet on their bc excursions, sled
noise can easilytravel for miles up a drainage.

Negative Impact 2:  Disturbing mammals.  In the wasatch I often saw elk in
the wintertime from a distance.  In a harsh winter they often struggle to
survive, sometimes even coming down to the neighborhoods at the mouth of
Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons.  A large number of noisy machines
speeding by in their winter range can cause these animals to expend needed
energy while moving to avoid the intruders.(I know someone will say that
skiers are intruders too, but the fact is that you simply don't cover as
much ground or cause as much disturbance when powered by your own legs.)

Negative Impact 3:  Highmarking ruins a perfectly good patch of skiiable
powder ?-).

Negative Impact 4:  Money spent rescuing 'bilers caught in avalanches(gotta
play the money card to appease our right wing friends).  The Utah Avalanche
Forcast Center has said that a higher % of 'bilers goes into the
backcountry without proper knowledge or precautions, and gets caught in
slides at a higher rate.

All that said, there were days when I wished I could get a ride on a sled
up the Mirror Lake Highway into the Uinta Mountains to get a choice of
dozens of untouched 10-11,000' peaks.  In Vermont there's nothing I can't
walk to in a day(except maybe in the Breadloaf area), so why bother?

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