Living in Little Cottonwood Canyon during the winter, I’m lucky to be able to enjoy backcountry skiing in both wilderness and watershed areas, zones that are free (read – prohibited) of snow-machine travel. If you’re reading this, most likely you’re a skier or snowboarder, and even if you use an old beat-up sled to get deep into the mountains, once you’re there you probably trade it for skins and slog your way up the mountainside to earn your face shots. Backcountry skiing is about solitude and isolation, a dance with the wilderness. When not used correctly, snow-machines can create a noisy, hectic, and often dangerous atmosphere. If you value you value the solitude and serenity of a quiet mountain range dressed in white, then you should know this: on June 18th, the Forest Service issued a long-awaited rule for public comment on designating areas as open or closed to winter motorized vehicles, this is a good first step, but comments from our backcountry community can make it stronger! Your help is both needed and essential to capitalize on this opportunity to bring balance to the backcountry. By designating specific trails and areas where over-snow vehicle use may occur, winter travel planning is an opportunity to bring balance to the backcountry. The community of backcountry skiers needs to be heard! Please consider adding your comment to the voices of support for human-powered winter recreation. To get a better grasp of the issues at hand, and help you draft a comment worthy of consideration, the Winter Wildlands Alliance has put together a very helpful page to aid you in navigating this beurocratic issue. Keep reading to see a few links that can help you along, as well as my annotated comment if you’re interested. LET’S DO THIS!!!
Election time creates an atmosphere of intense social interaction.Everyone seems to awaken to the fact that they have a voice, a choice, and an opinion.The concept that we are able, in part, to choose the direction and character of our future translates to many of us becoming emboldened to share the opinions and ideas that we would otherwise keep silent.And not only do we share them, but we often insist upon them, creating division and intolerance towards anyone with an opposite view.Most of this “sharing” or “discussion” is happening on an impersonal basis.While we still seem to be obeying the old laws of not discussing politics or religion in public, we have realized that the media, meaning all forms of media, from the press to social media, are more of a mouthpiece for opinions then they are a forum for open and understanding discussion.While this has become commonplace in news media through the skewing of facts and opinions to support a one-sided view, it has also taken hold in social media outlets like Facebook.I’m sure most of you who are reading this are familiar with the phenomenon I’m talking about, and probably many of you have taken part in it as well.The silent shouting and badgering, sarcastic mockery and outright hate for not only an individual, but also the entire demographic he stands for.And yes, the incessant and unrelenting instruction that you VOTE!