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Don't Rock the Mountain 

Lettter of the Week 

This week's feature letter comes from Evelyn Dong who presents us with a contrasting viewpoint on the Tumalo Backcountry proposal -- from a skier's perspective. Thanks for the letter Evelyn.

The proposal to expand the non-motorized recreation area to include Tumalo Mountain is selfish, wishful thinking. It will only serve to embitter snowmobilers against skiers, whether or not the proposal actually goes through.

While I agree it's nice to be skinning along in your own magical silence up Tumalo without hearing that motorized whine and see an entire bowl of untouched powder, I also think it's important to share.

I've never had a bad run-in with snowmobilers (snowmachiners, slednecks, sledders...whatever you wish to be called) here in Oregon. Around Tumalo, my experience has been cordial with snowmobilers. Generally, they slow down and wave if I happen to be skiing out on their tracks.

For those who think that snowmobiles are impacting the wilderness area in a negative way (i.e. fuel consumption, stinky exhaust, loud noises disturbing wildlife) it's not exactly as if Tumalo Mountain is a pristine, untouched reserve in the middle of nowhere. Can skiing on Tumalo even be considered backcountry in every sense of the word? And now that everybody and their mother is ripping turns in the bowl, Tumalo has turned into the Phil's Trailhead of backcountry snow sports. So, there's more of us skiers (but we'll let you splitboarding/snowshoeing snowboarders on our side too) and more of them (sledders)...big deal.

It's too late to redraw the lines of the game, so why don't we all recreate in peace?

Evelyn Dong

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