Ask not want skiing does for you, ask when,where,who,how, but not WHY?

Ask not want skiing does for you, ask when,where,who,how, but not WHY?

Post by Todd Peters » Fri, 06 Feb 1998 04:00:00


Minnesota...the land of 10,000 lakes...the state which invented
waterskiing... has just announced that "the House Environment and
Natural Resources Committee approved a bill that would prohibit the
use of (personal) watercraft on lakes of 200 acres or smaller, unless
local authorities decide to allow them".  I quoted this from the Saint
Paul Pioneer Press who also described the goal of this committee as
seeking to "protect the sacred solitude of the lake experience from
the droning acrobatics of personal watercraft".  This will affect 87%
of our lakes.  The recent legal tactics of states combining forces
against a foe (the tobacco industry) is proving that today's David can
kill Goliath through solidarity.  If our state passes this into law,
you may be next. Will this restriction of personal freedom create a
"slippery slope" for wider loses or into other areas?  I think we have
been on that slope for a while, asleep.

One mans solitude is another mans imprisonment.  I have talked about
this proposal to a few of my ski friends and their first reaction was
"so what, I hate those damn things too".  Wrong answer!  What is Mr.
Canoeist or Ms. Kayaker thinking of when you are throwing your wake
360's or your tumble turns or creating shoreline erosion?  Are they
protected from "the sacred solitude of the lake experience from the
droning acrobatics of ________"?  Today, the blank is filled in with
personal watercraft.  Tomorrow: skiers, power boats, sail boats, wind
surfers, lakes under 500 acres...whatever upsets their view of what
the world should be.  

If I were Mr. Canoeist, a left wing tree hugging retired
environmentalist, I would devise a plan which would use a simple yet
affective, time proven technique to win my views into law.  Divide and
conquer.  My ultimate goal is to ban all unnatural human disturbances
from nature.  The division lines between boaters has been created long
ago and makes this job very easy.  Skiers hate fishermen, fishermen
hate skiers, both hate jetskiers, sailboaters hate powerboats, and on,
and on.  I would start by picking a group who is both: A) least liked
by the majority of boaters and B) least powerful socially and
economically.  Then, I'd restrict the enjoyment of their sport,
creating envy between the classes.  After some time passed and perhaps
some statistics were gathered, I would then add "power boats" to the
above blank.  Of course, the personal watercraft people would now say
"so what, if I can't, they shouldn't too".  And on goes the process,
another step towards the logical conclusion.

The sport I love is enhanced by having small, long narrow lakes to ski
on.  I live on such a lake with my neighbors, and we respectfully
share this common resource.  However, there is always an exception.
Mr. Canoeist is real and lives on this lake also.  He told me once
that when his kids were young, he had a powerboat and would pull them
skiing on our lake.  But now as an environmentalist, he knows better.
Hypocrite or senility?  The fact that he is political, rich, and has a
lot of time on his hands has me concerned.  I suspect most lakes have
such a person.  Keep in mind that they are the small minority, and
only get heard by the people we put into office.  Draw your own
conclusions.

I don't think of myself as an alarmist, just a man who see's the
madness.  If we continue to allow these attacks on others "pursuit of
happiness" and freedom, where will you get support when your time
comes?  Is there a solution?  As long as we only see the small
picture, no.  Please wake up and speak up or you will be next!

 
 
 

Ask not want skiing does for you, ask when,where,who,how, but not WHY?

Post by Tom Ru » Sat, 07 Feb 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

>Minnesota... would prohibit the
>use of (personal) watercraft on lakes of 200 acres or smaller, unless
>local authorities decide to allow them... If our state passes this into law,
>you may be next. Will this restriction of personal freedom create a
>"slippery slope" for wider loses or into other areas?  I think we have
>been on that slope for a while, asleep.

Part of me say: "good riddance to bad rubbish" and another
small  part says "Oh oh!" in  sympathy, if only because of
teh slippery slope argument.  Regretfully (and I  am not yet
convinced the PWC industry has realized this) is that they
(PWCers) have, in the word of Pogo "Spotted the enemy and it
is us".  A lot of this is the result of the yahoo mentality
that  seems to ride aboard almost all of the PWCs I have
seen.  Without a word of a lie, last summer I saw only 4
PWCs being operated in a reasonable manner - and two of them
were piloted by the Police (RCMP) who now use then to  check
up on  houseboats and poachers.  And at some point a lake IS
too small for a PWC (or powerboat,  FWIW).  If not 200
acres, then  how much?

Quote:
>One mans solitude is another mans imprisonment.  I have talked about
>this proposal to a few of my ski friends and their first reaction was
>"so what, I hate those damn things too".  Wrong answer!  

Well, I too  hate those damn things.  Mostly because the
***head  a few doors down INSISTS on doing powerturns too
close to  shore.  I mean the freaking lake is a mile and a
half wide where we are and his activity all seems to be
centred  within 100 meters of the shore - like the damn
thing was on some sort of leash.

Quote:
>What is Mr.
>Canoeist or Ms. Kayaker thinking of when you are throwing your wake
>360's or your tumble turns or creating shoreline erosion?  Are they
>protected from "the sacred solitude of the lake experience from the
>droning acrobatics of ________"?  Today, the blank is filled in with
>personal watercraft.  Tomorrow: skiers, power boats, sail boats, wind
>surfers, lakes under 500 acres...whatever upsets their view of what
>the world should be.  

Well, I  have a canoe (one of those that even gets chine
lock) and most (practically all) boaters are very cognizant
of  their effect on me and my family when we are paddling
along.  OTOH, I've been buzzed  by PWCs.  Why is that?

Quote:
>...
>The sport I love is enhanced by having small, long narrow lakes to ski
>on.  I live on such a lake with my neighbors, and we respectfully
>share this common resource.  However, there is always an exception.
>Mr. Canoeist is real and lives on this lake also.  He told me once
>that when his kids were young, he had a powerboat and would pull them
>skiing on our lake.  But now as an environmentalist, he knows better.
>Hypocrite or senility?  

Well, there are ways to fight back you know.  The snowmobile
industry (also big in your area) had a similar problem. They
went to bat for their customers - but the customers had to
belly up to the bar and accept licencing, age restrictions,
codes of ethics, etc.  I suspect that you might be amenable
to that but not the average PWC  yokel.

Quote:
>The fact that he is political, rich, and has a
>lot of time on his hands has me concerned.  I suspect most lakes have
>such a person.  Keep in mind that they are the small minority, and
>only get heard by the people we put into office.  Draw your own
>conclusions.

Well, you could start by working to better communicate your
needs.  Perhaps set up a PWC association for  similar lakes
and set rules.  Identify yourself so that if a yahoo is on a
PWC, they'll not be automatically associated with
responsible riders (I assume there are at least a couple out
there <g>).

Quote:
>...  Is there a solution?  As long as we only see the small
>picture, no.  Please wake up and speak up or you will be next!

I'm not sure there is for PWCs - they are inherently
bothersome and environmentally unfriendly.  But you can try.

Tom

 
 
 

Ask not want skiing does for you, ask when,where,who,how, but not WHY?

Post by Bob Scibiens » Sat, 07 Feb 1998 04:00:00

IMHO it's a security & lazyness issue.  These guys are afraid to stray too far
from the safety of the shore.  They know deep down that they and their mount
can't be trusted, so why not stay close in where it's an easy swim in case of
trouble.

Bob

Quote:

>Well, I too  hate those damn things.  Mostly because the
>***head  a few doors down INSISTS on doing powerturns too
>close to  shore.  I mean the freaking lake is a mile and a
>half wide where we are and his activity all seems to be
>centred  within 100 meters of the shore - like the damn
>thing was on some sort of leash.


 
 
 

Ask not want skiing does for you, ask when,where,who,how, but not WHY?

Post by Paul Oma » Sat, 07 Feb 1998 04:00:00

After first hearing about this proposed ban, I shared your concern
about the possibility of it being extended to other watercraft, but
upon giving it more thought, I feel it could be the best thing that
could happen for us waterskiers.

I think it's highly unlikely to go beyond PWCs in a state that's so
heavily dependant on tourism.  Also, I think you'll find there are a
whale of a lot more registered power boaters in this state than there
are "Canoeists and Kayakers" and I'm confidant we could easily squash
any attempt at a statewide ban.

PWCs certainly are a nuiscance on smaller lakes that have the shelter
to provide the glass that us waterskiers crave.  200 acres may be
stretching it a bit, but I think it's perfectly reasonable to
restrict them from lakes that are too small for them to buzz around
in circles and not pose a hazard to other boaters that they often seem
oblivious to.  If memory serves, Wisconsin also has a PWC ban for
lakes under 50 acres and I haven't heard any attempts to extend that
to other watercraft.

 
 
 

Ask not want skiing does for you, ask when,where,who,how, but not WHY?

Post by Tom Ru » Sat, 07 Feb 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

>IMHO it's a security & lazyness issue.  These guys are afraid to stray too far
>from the safety of the shore.  They know deep down that they and their mount
>can't be trusted, so why not stay close in where it's an easy swim in case of
>trouble.

Yeah... and that way they are close enough for  a  surface
to surface missle...<g>

Tom