After talking with people involved in this recent mess regarding snowkiting being made illegal, it is imperative that we get a list of signatures and e-mail addresses from all snowkiters (in addition to all around kiteboarders) to gain momentum in this obvious battle with the USFS. It is good timing in that there are many snowkiting events going on within the next month, so getting the word out and gaining support, in addition to educating the public will be important. The Oregonian called me and Tim asking us questions about the issue and will run a story on it next Thursday. I invited Scott Silver from Wild Wilderness out for a coffee or beer to discuss the issue and to understand his side and possibly educate him on ours, and this was his response.
Thanks for the invite, but it is one I will politely decline.
Whether or not snowkiting within designated Wilderness is permitted, is a matter for the USFS or the courts to decide. It is a legal matter and personal viewpoints have little bearing.
For obvious reasons, I prefer not to discuss our interpretation of relevant regulations and legal precedents.
I can share this. The snowkiting issue was on the agency's radar before it appeared on my own. Whatever they decide will reflect their understanding of the law.
My contribution to this issue was, perhaps, to expedite the agency's decision making process -- but my contribution was relatively insignificant in comparison to that of Bend Kite Crew, their Kite Fest, and the publicity it generated.
This only re-iterates to me the refusal for advocacy groups to welcome a challenge of ideas, ultimately turning a nose up on logic, and is actually disappointing as I thought we could possibly work together or at the very least, educate each other. I urge you to not badmouth Scott or these groups with name calling, as that gets us nowhere. Nonetheless, it is not surprising and only strengthens the urgency to fight it, before not only our spot is gone, but all spots across the country that lie within the wilderness boundary. I will be bringing a list to gain signatures and contact information to Idaho this next week in order to present to the USFS and the local departments that snowkiting should be included as an appropriate form of "non-mechanized" recreation and travel. Aaron Sales mentioned the idea of the US Snowkite Association, and it is one I think we should all get involved with. Please let me know what all of you think about it and how we should proceed from here.
I also request that you snowkiters in Europe help us out with any ideas or better yet, your signatures stating that you come to the US for snowkiting. I am open to any ideas so please let me know about it.
Sorry for the longwinded post. Contact me with your idea.