Letter of the Day (Dec. 3): Snowmobiles near BWCA

  • Updated: December 2, 2013 - 6:04 PM

At 1 million acres, the wilderness area has its own buffer zone. Take a hike and find the quiet.


The snowmobile trail would run about midway up along the Royal River bluff at right.

Photo: RICK BRANDENBURG • Special to the Star Tribune,

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I was dismayed to learn that certain “conservationists” are objecting to the possible presence of a 2-mile snowmobile trail that is not even inside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (“Groups split on snowmobile trail at edge of BWCA,” Dec. 1). It appears that the conservationists just might hear or even actually see such machines being operated outside the park boundaries. Shades of cellphone towers all over again! The BWCA comprises just over 1 million acres. Is that not enough space for one to gloriously pretend they are skiing or snowshoeing in 18th-century America and revel in the beauty without now creating some sort of “buffer zone” to protect them from such PTSD creating sights? What would be next: a buffer zone outside the buffer zone to deal with really noisy things or obnoxious sights? Zone A, B, C …, etc.?

For 15 wonderful years during the winter months, I would hike the Superstition Wilderness Area (a measly 160,000 acres) in Arizona, enjoying bountiful and beautiful flora and fauna and landscapes. If I only had known what the conservationists know, I could have insisted that Apache Junction and Gold Canyon, two fine communities bordering the area, erect immense walls and/or noise barriers so as to mask that horrible civilization 5,000 feet below my route along the ridgeline.

Get real, folks. With 1 million acres, you could move a little bit in and not have to stomp on the people who just want to enjoy a Minnesota winter in their own way.


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