I have paddled for over 10 years around the globe and absolutely support YNP's banning of boaters in the park. As a Montana native, I am grateful for traffic-free rivers. As a Montana PADDLER, I respect whitewater and have witnessed too many amateur boaters running rivers they have no business being near. That said, if YNP and hell, GNP opened the doors to kayakers, the surge of novice boaters and people making unsafe decisions (I'm not singling out 'kayakers' as particularly unsafe, but it's a risky sport and rivers are not playgrounds. Accidents have, and will happen even to the best) would lead to inevitable and countless rescue missions.
I have been to the Black Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Lamar stretches of epic whitewater in YNP. I grew up south of Glacier and marveled in the numerous steep creeks relatively untraveled. YNP is home to seriously challenging rivers with dire consequences if a boater is inexperienced and/or unaware of how to maneuver big, technical rapids.
There are so many amazing rivers and creeks we can access in Montana/Idaho/Wyoming that this article strikes me as nothing more than selfish kids wanting to stick it to the man. As a kayaker, Montanan, lover of adventure and untamed territories, I extend my own apology to Ranger Tim Reid for the existence of this article and its' irritating content.
I truly hope my fellow kayaking peers support the ban on these rivers and speak out against those opposing the bans and publishing articles that make us look like unappreciative brats.
Missoula News/Independent Publishing |
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