I and the Bird

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Kempthorne Follow-Up

Most of the debate over Gail Norton's original National Parks management policy changes, and Dirk Kempthorne's reversal of the plan last week, have focused on the use of loud, obnoxious snowmobiles, personal watercraft and ORV's at the park.

The main grip people have with these machines is that they are LOUD. And it's true. My grandfather owns a camp on Cobbosseecontee Lake in Maine and I've been woken up or had relaxing evenings disturbed by jetskis roaring across the lake. Most environmentalists do not have a problem with the machines, when operated according to park guidelines, save the disruptive noise. So, wouldn't this technology solve a lot of problems?

Quieting a controversy? Prototype hybrid system for snowmobiles using new motor design could pave the way for guilt-free fun in winter.

This article was written in 2004, and I can't find anything more recent than that. Few people would have a problem with people zipping around on quiet, non-polluting machines (that's what a mountain bike is, after all), so why hasn't this technology become a reality?
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