LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 6.5.13

By on June 4, 2013

Keep the Snake motor free

During the past 55 years, we have been privileged to float all sections of the Snake River, privately as well as a river outfitter. We are passionate about our commitment to maintain the “remarkable values” of the Snake, as noted in the Craig Thomas Snake Headwaters Legacy Act passed in 2009. We actively supported and were involved with the effort culminating in that successful designation, but our first involvement with Wild and Scenic Rivers legislation dates back to 1968, when a small group of us first explored the concept for the Snake River. We are passionate about our commitment to a quality experience for every Snake River user. In 1998, we were involved in creating the Snake River Fund, the organization which now shores up lagging Forest Service funds. The Snake River Fund a “voluntary, donation-based, grassroots organization has supplied funding to support river personnel, facilities upkeep, river volunteers, safety training, law enforcement, guide education and other river user services” and provides leadership as stewards of the river.

In May we submitted a letter to the Wyoming Game & Fish urging a ban of all motorized craft on the Snake River. We firmly believe that it is a huge mistake to allow any motorized craft anywhere on the Snake River from the south boundary of Grand Teton National Park to Palisades Reservoir. Permissive regulations allowing motors are difficult if not impossible to reverse, nor are their effects.

With the exception of a handful of proponents for motorized crafts, the vast majority of users floating the Snake, hugely appreciate and enjoy the tranquility and safety of no motors. Consider the rapidly increasing number of kids and adults of all ages floating in kayaks, rafts, fishing dories, paddle boards and inner tubes for whom motors create major safety issues.

The remainder of the Snake River below Palisades Reservoir, approximately 900 miles as it flows toward the Columbia, allows motorized craft. It is vital that our short special section of such a unique and vulnerable river be motor free. It is not too much to ask.

Motors are not appropriate from the south boundary of Grand Teton National Park on any portion of the Snake River downstream to Palisades Reservoir. We urge you to contact the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission supporting a ban all motorized craft. Thank you.

 – Frank and Patty Ewing


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