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for people who care about the West

Not all kayakers oppose limitations

 

As an avid kayaker in Grand Teton National Park, I was surprised to see it lumped with Yellowstone in "Forbidden waters" (HCN, 11/11/13). Grand Teton does not have a "blanket ban" on kayaking. To the contrary, 36.6 miles of the Snake River in the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway and Grand Teton National Park are open to paddlers, amounting to 58 percent of the recently designated wild and scenic headwaters. A mere 15.2 miles of the Snake River's tributaries are closed to boaters within the park, yet those waterways are accessible in the neighboring Bridger-Teton National Forest. If Rob Lesser had as much passion for the resource as he has for adventure, he might realize that it ain't "so simple." All forms of recreation affect park resources in some regard, from soundscapes to soil compaction. Water sports – including kayaking – carry a high risk for the transport of aquatic invasive species. I support Yellowstone's effort to minimize such unintended consequences from myriad recreational pursuits.

Jenner Harsha
Moran, Wyoming