SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Toward a Solution - 4-wheelers and snowmachines
By Craig Moen


November 29, 2007
Thursday AM

Goodness! I guess I hit a nerve awhile ago with my comments on 4-wheelers and snowmachines. I really have sympathies with nearly everyone that has made a comment on the subject. I've had a lot of fun in the Bush with snowmachines and 4-wheelers. My main points, which hopefully haven't been forgotten are:

Respect nature. You're not respecting nature if you create ugly scars in the wilderness that will take decades to recover from your few moments of mindless fun. Stay on the trail. You don't NEED to drive a recreational vehicle to have fun.

Respect yourself and others. Wear a helmet. Don't press the envelope of safety or either you or someone else will end up dead. One death on this island related to 4-wheelers or snowmachines would dramatically change the tone of this conversation. I mentioned in my original post about experiencing that in the Bush. It really dampens the fun factor when someone you know dies as a result of reckless fun.

There's a way to accommodate both the mechanized and the natural folks that enjoy nature, and it's probably segregating areas for the two. People on ATV's don't like hikers and snowshoers waving their poles at them. In the same way, folks that are out there to more naturally engage with the wilderness don't appreciate the snowmachines and 4-wheelers or personal watercraft racing across the lake. (You're not enjoying the natural wilderness at that point. Might as well be at a theme park.)

I'd be glad to concede Lake Harriet Hunt and Brown Mountain to machines if there could be agreement to ban 4-wheelers and snowmachines off of at least one area that's accessible to folks on foot on the island. Better yet, if 4-wheelers could stick to those two areas because they've already been carved up already, no big deal.

I'd like to keep the conversation going and accomplish something here if possible. Sounds like the only organization related to the topic is the snowmachine folks. Would they be willing to expand the dialog to address the issue?

Invite the 4-wheelers and the foot-powered folks?

Craig Moen
Ketchikan, AK

Received November 28, 2007 - Published November 29, 2007


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