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E-M:/ Snowmobiles and ORV's

Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

     In this quiet window between snowmobiles tearing across the frozen 
     landscape and off-road vehicles chewing up the land, I would recommend 
     that people here in Michigan may wish to read an article by Ted 
     Williams in the current issue of "Audubon Magazine" about the impacts 
     of these vehicles on our environment.  While I have been aware that 
     two stroke engines like those used on snowmobiles and jet skis are big 
     polluters, I was astonished to learn that snowmobiles produce 250 
     times as much carbon monoxide and 1000 (yes, that is one thousand) 
     times as much hydrocarbon as an AUTOMOBILE! With only a few hundred 
     thousand people in the UP, it seems quite likely that at peak 
     snowmobiling time these vehicles produce MOST of the pollution of this 
     sort produced in that part of the state.  
     One of the people talked to by the author of the article, is George 
     Buchner, who devoted huge amounts of time, resources and energy 
     several years ago to trying to get Michigan to adopt rational policies 
     regarding ORV's, but who, as he says in the article, was driven out of 
     state by ORVers.  George and his wife suffered direct assaults, some 
     captured on video tape and still photos which he hauled to NRC 
     meetings and any other forum that would allow him to set it up.  He 
     had the audacity to want to prevent people from coming onto his 
     private property and destroying his land, as well as stopping the 
     destruction of other lands in Michigan, estimated at a cost of $1 
     billion by resource professionals a number of years ago.  George's 
     efforts made somewhat of a difference, leading to the legislation that 
     eventually made the Lower Peninsula's state lands "closed unless 
     posted open", but the damage is still going on.  
     Anne Woiwode

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