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Snowmobiles do not impact on wolf activity

The AmericanVoyageursNational Park is located in northern Minnesota, south of the Province of Ontario and close to Lake Superior.  The park is notable for its gray wolf packs and large population of moose.  It is also home to black bear, white-tailed deer and bald eagle.

Snowmobiles have been totally banned in 1992, after opponents claimed they affected wildlife.

 On November 2001, the 218 054 acre (466 sq. m.) Park reopened 11 bays to snowmobiling.  Today, this sport is permitted on these bays as the result of a study published by Research Professor Rolf O. Peterson, from Michigan, who is a world authority on wolves.

Mr Peterson stated that there was no significant link between wolf activity and human use on those 11 areas of the park that were closed in 1992 to snowmobiling based on a piece of «Junk Science», or statement without any scientific basis.  Moreover, in summer, this park induces fishermen to use unleaded bait or lure in order to protect all species and water.  We are not there yet ! 


National Park Superintendant Barbara West indicated that «The bays were now open in the year 2001 due to the best available information now being available to guide our decisions

Today, the park even offers a map, scale 1 :50 000; it helps visitors, including snowmobilers, to get around safely, to visit the park and to observe animals in their natural habitats.  The map is a useful tool for snowmobilers visiting the open bays.

American National Parks are known to be very conservative.  If they are accessible as long as visitors respect some rules, more accessible than our parks and natural reserves in Québec for snowmobiles, dogs and other pets, is it that we are trying to be «more catholic than the Pope» or «whiter than white» ?

A snowmobile equipped with such an engine as the Ace 600 rides about 33 miles / gal. and produces less noise than a vacuum-cleaner 10 feet away, i.e. less than 73 decibels.  So, do our environmental prohibitions from our so great Governments have followed the evolution of technology and the important studies on the field ?  We have already talked about these greener than ever snowmobiles and about the severe american environmental standard.We shall come back on the performance and reliability in our long-term trials.

Without giving into soap opera, could we say that the strategists in the Mirador Communication Society recommended to our election organizers to keep alive the argumentation about snowmobiling so that they could trick us in the meantime with other issues ?  Such as the savage logging and sandpits not regulated in the wildlife reserves, the Plan Nord in public northern forest, the shale gas extraction in rural zones, the piles of orphan mine wastes on the public lands, etc… Could that be possible ?

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