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Discussion Starter #1
thanks to all of us, that Steward fellow posted a very good apology:

Unconditional surrender
Hell knows no fury like a snowmobiler scorned
By HARTLEY STEWARD -- Toronto Sun
Wow! I must have been in some foul mood last week. On Friday, I ranted on about the snowmobile to such an extent you might have thought I was talking about the devil himself. I called snowmobiles all manner of nasty things and wasn't that kind to the people who ride them, either. In fact, I was downright rude.

It was an intemperate piece that unfairly characterized the snowmobile crowd as a bunch of louts and I have no problem apologizing to them.

I could also have been sentenced to 30 days for overwriting. I used pretty well all the loaded adjectives at my disposal, overstating almost everything to make my points.

I made my points, for sure, but the readers have made theirs as well.

Except when I periodically write about the amazing soup diet, I don't think I've received more mail. Mostly e-mail. Snowmobilers certainly own computers and know how to use them. They also know how to put a guy in his place.

I was called everything from an incompetent journalist to a dumb ####### who needs to get a life. Both could well be true. My ancestry was questioned in some considerable depth and I was warned to stay off the snowmobile trails if I wanted to stay healthy.

But not everyone ranted back at me in the fashion I ranted at them.

Most wanted me to know that many small businesses - restaurants, lodges and resorts, for instance - just could not afford to stay in business over the winter if they were not be accessible to the snowmobile crowd.

BIG MONEY

That's true, of course. The money generated by the sport in North America is measured in billions. In my neck of the woods, I know several restaurateurs who admit they depend for their very existence on the patronage of the snowmobile crowd.

But a more interesting refrain ran through many, if not most, of the letters.

Those who use snowmobiles for excursion deep into the countryside wanted me to understand that the machines do not frighten wild or domestic animals. I felt - apparently mistakenly - that the noise of a snowmobile would surely send the deer and moose into panic.

Indeed, I'm informed the opposite is true. A silent trekker on snowshoes or cross-country skis will quickly scare off deer, moose and other wild animals while a snowmobile, which can be heard coming for miles, does not bother the wildlife.

One retired logger wrote of running his noisy chain saw for hours in the woods during logging operations. He wrote that the wild animals, out of curiosity, he supposed, gathered to watch him. The noise didn't frighten them a bit, but the minute he turned off the chain saw they ran for cover.

Several snowmobilers reiterated this point and chastised me for my ignorance. Consider me chastised and much better informed.

"Why do you think," one couple asked, "hunting is not allowed from a snowmobile?"

Some of my critics were downright poetic when writing about the glories of their hobby. They described the beauty of the wild with great flair and sensitivity and talked about the wonders of reaching places deep in the countryside no one else had seen.

"The silence and the scenery are awesome," one man wrote. "Far from doing anything to harm the landscape, I want only to share it with the animals. I would do nothing to hurt the wilderness."

One letter writer pitied me because I would never know, due to my bias against snowmobiles, the joys of a solitary ride by moonlight through the snow and trees.

Many admitted some snowmobilers were, indeed, the sort of louts I singled out in the column. But all insisted they were not in the majority and the snowmobile community was getting better every year at policing its own.

One thing is certain. No group is more passionate about its hobby or more articulate in its defence than the snowmobiler.
----------------------------------------------

Good work gang!  We obviously came across as the cut above which we are.  The Ottawa Sun even printed my letter in their "Letters to the Editor" today so everyone knows how we feel.

Thumbs up to everyone.  Ride on!!!
 

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I just wish I could see the original article.  I don't think you can view it now at their web site.  All you can see is the apology.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
sledhead670 - the original article:

Take back the countryside
The case for banning those infernal snowmobiles

Think about what a winter's day in the country was like before the invention of the snowmobile.

Clear blue skies and clean white landscapes. And silence. Blessed silence. As far as the eye could see, nothing moving on the snow-covered fields. If you got lucky, you might spot a deer or a moose or even a lone wolf on the hunt.

Now, if it moves through the snow, it is likely a snowmobile. Belching gas fumes into the atmosphere, roaring louder than a wounded water buffalo, smelling up the countryside and scaring every living thing for miles around. Even the cows in the fields cringe as they scream by.

If you see a deer today, he'll be running for his life; bewildered by the snowmobiles coming at him from all directions.

The other day I heard a big-time snowmobiler at the gas pump agree that, yes, the machines could be a nuisance. Nuisance? That's like calling a suicide bomber troublesome.

The fact is, the snowmobile is so much more than a nuisance. It is a curse. It has come between man and nature in a serious way. It is simply too intrusive to bear. It has changed things too much; altered our world too much; made too big a difference in our lives.

As far as I can see, use of snowmobiles is permitted pretty well everywhere. On rural roads and city streets, farmers' fields, frozen lakes and rivers, bush trails, roadside drainage ditches, hydro rights of way. And at any time of day or night.

I guess you might be in trouble roaring along in the collector lanes of Highway 401, but everywhere else with a few inches of snow seems to be all right.

Designated areas

I'm of the opinion that a good case could be made for banning the use of snowmobiles in most of the areas in which they are now legal. I think the Ontario government should seriously consider legislation which bans snowmobiles in all but designated areas.

Snowmobilers should not be allowed indiscriminate use of the countryside. They should not be allowed to violate the land at first dawn, roaring and ravaging their way across the virgin snow, molesting our countryside and terrifying the wild animals.

They should not be allowed access to public roads or city streets. That they are makes no sense.

Last year in Canada, almost 47,000 snowmobiles were sold. The phenomenon is growing and soon no one anywhere will be safe from them.

The average snowmobile owner is 42 years old and drives his machine 1,202 miles per year. In North America, he has, for his use, 225,000 miles of groomed and marked trails.

I think he should be limited to running his machine on those trails. More trails and racing tracks can be developed as the demand arises.

The snowmobile is the antithesis of nature. It no more belongs plowing its vulgar way through the snowy countryside than a personal watercraft belongs screaming down tiny estuaries and trout streams, scattering the local fowl and disturbing the fish.

Frankly, I can't understand the appeal of the snowmobile in the first place.

I dine sometimes at a small country restaurant, which, unfortunately, offers a large parking lot. During the winter, packs of snowmobilers - I've seen as many as 20 - descend on the parking lot at lunch hour, racing their engines, jockeying interminably for the preferred parking spots.

It is difficult for me to imagine anything more disruptive or less appealing. Once done with the macho display in the parking lot, the snowmobilers invade the dining room, snowman-like in their ridiculously padded snowsuits, taking up floor space and the extra chairs with their enormous black helmets.

It is a brash, awkward and unseemly affair, which pretty well ruins the dining experience of anyone already in the restaurant.

I think if snowmobilers were to be banned from public thoroughfares and village streets, resorts catering to them would spring up across the country, much like ski resorts, where they could indulge their intrusive pastime without disturbing non-snowmobilers; without defiling the winter landscape.

We could recapture our countryside.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
krusty - i don't know about his superiors but a lot of people from this board reamed him out good!!!  check the responses to my original post "Article to read" and also "Sledhater" posted by Littlegreensixer.  This guy really struck a nerve - a lot of people emailed him!
 

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WOW!
  That was quick!haha  
I am pleased to see that he was man enough to see our side of it and keep an open mind rather than just get bitter for us not seeing it his way.
Just goes to show what we are capable of when everyone, "does their part" so to speak....

Did anyone get a personal reply back?  I never did, just curious.
 

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Gotta give the guy ALOT of credit.  Most people would have dug their heels in and argued to no end.  He admitted guilt and now see's "us" as he should. Hehe, i guess i wasn't the only person who mentioned hunting from a snowmobile.
 

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Great to see the guy reconsider his stance! Snowmobilers get a chance to see territory during the winter that almost nobody else can. That's why I don't understand these groups that try to ban us from the state and national parks. I understand their concerns about noise and pollution, but maybe if these people would turn their wraith onto the engine manufacturers, we'd have quieter and cleaner running sleds, lawnmowers, snowblowers, etc. It's amazing to me that we don't really have that yet!
 

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Thanks Thundercatzr, I guess some of you green guys are all right after all!  LOL.  The old saying applies here "United We Stand, Divided We Fall!"
 

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Discussion Starter #10
my pleasure, sledhead670 - and you are bang on!  Brand means squat when someone insults us.

BTW, where is Cayuga?
 

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That will teach them not to mess with the best sport on earth.

I told you all before on the other thread that this guy was OK.  He just didnt know what the hell he was talking about.  Hell it sounds like he might give snowmobiling a try.

Hopfully it will be on a skidoo so he will have a positive experience.  LOL
 
 
 

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Good job everyone !!!
 Nice to see most of you were civil in your replys to him ...lol   I sent him a nice short email last night but i was kinda hoping that some of you had more time to explain the facts to him .....and you did . The guy can't be all that bad if he printed an apology , most people would have stuck to thier opinion no matter how uninformed they were. Was I the only one that sent an email to his superiors at the paper ?  


Now that that is done can we work on making it snow ?
 

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The last sentence of the apology says it at about our sport.I vow to do what it takes to keep our sport alive.Its all about passion.All of us must stick together.We are all in it no matter what color your sled is.(but I do like the yellow ones)lol
 

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Helmets off to all snowmobilers for standing together! If only the tree-huggers had the intelligence and will to see our side of the story like this journalist, the world would be a better place!
 

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For those of you that just clicked to read and only got pg 2 go back and read page 1.

For all the new guys on this forum this just demonstrates the power and love we all have for the sport.
 
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