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The president of the Washington State Snowmobile Association is asking for the help of all snowmobilers to keep a local area from being designated as Wilderness. As most of you know, if it is designated as Wilderness, snowmobiles and all other forms of motorized recreation are banned. (This includes mountain bikes too!)

Below is a sample letter you can use or edit, or feel free to write your own. Time is of the essence as the comment period deadline is May 18th. Due to that fact, I rummaged around and found a couple of fax numbers you can send to. (They work as I faxed my letters today!)

You don't have to be a western sledder to make comment, and the WSSA president encourages you all to write. Only as a large snowmobile team can we keep areas across the country open to all of us. (Remember, the extreme green groups will have comments coming in from all over the country on the other side of this issue……)

Fax your comments to:

Floyd Rogalski
Cle Elum Ranger District
803 West 2nd Street
Cle Elum, WA 98922
Fax: (509) 674-1530

Catherine Stephenson
District Ranger
803 West 2nd Street
Cle Elum, WA 98922
Fax: (509) 674-1530

Sonny J. O'neal
Forest Supervisor
215 Melody Ln.
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Fax: (509) 662-4368

More details can be found here:

http://yoda.bmi.net/wssa/html/red_alert.html#RedAlert

Matt
Doo owner
Manta owner
Join the Blue Ribbon Coalition today! - http://www.sharetrails.org
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Sonny J. O'neal
Forest Supervisor
215 Melody Ln.
Wenatchee, WA 98801

Dear Mr. O'neal:

Please consider my family's comments on the I-90 Wilderness Study. After reviewing the proposal, we ask that the 10 proposed areas remain as is and NOT be accepted as designated Wilderness.

Areas 8, 9 and 10 are areas used extensively by snowmobilers. Area 10 contains a good road in it making it unacceptable for Wilderness designation. Snowmobilers have been using these areas for years and desire the opportunities of climbing in bowls and riding cross-country. Also snowmobilers enjoy the opportunity to ride in areas 2, 4, and 5 and therefore they are not suitable for Wilderness.

Also the other areas may not be used much by snowmobiles, but other recreational users use them and by designating them Wilderness, groups like mountain bikers and large groups such as horseback riders may not be allowed to use those areas that they have traditionally enjoyed.

According to their websites, 40% of the Wenatchee National Forest and 42% of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest are already designated Wilderness. Recreation on public lands continues to grow and only a small percentage of recreationists use the Wilderness Areas. According to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness website, over half of Washington's population lives within a one hour drive of the Wilderness Area. If the vast majority of the people use the non-Wilderness areas, then there is no reason to take more land away from them.

The proposed new boundaries are hard to manage administratively and to avoid user conflicts when arbitrary lines are put across slopes. I ask that the current Wilderness boundaries be maintained with no additional Wilderness.

There has been talk of creating Backcountry Recreation Areas and this looks like an ideal situation to implement such a program. The land could be protected from development yet allow active management to address concerns arising in the future that can be applied without needing an act of Congress to address any problems. With so many potential recreationists living nearby, please manage and preserve the land so all can enjoy the use of the land and so future generations can also enjoy those lands.

In closing my family asks that all of the areas NOT be designated Wilderness and that there be consideration for the extensive amount of snowmobiling that takes place in Areas 8, 9, and 10 which also contains roads. Also Areas 2, 4, and 5 have offered snowmobiling opportunities and we ask that those continue.

Thank you for allowing us to comment on the proposed areas.

Sincerely,
 
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