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Rep. Lummis Wants Non-Motorized Boats in Parks

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Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis is proposing a bill that would allow the use of hand-propelled vessels in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park as well as the National Elk Refuge at those bodies of water and times the superintendents deem acceptable.  Lummis explains that an absolute ban on the watercraft was imposedsixty years ago and seems somewhat outdated at this time.  She says it was put in place after World War II because there was so much fishing occurring out of boats which was impairing the fish population.  Lummis says, “We’re talking about the opportunity to kayak and use these waters without impact on fishing.” Lummis proposed the bill to the House Natural Resources Committee Thursday.  The bill seeks to generally allow canoeing, kayaking or rafting in the parks except for those places and times park management deems inappropriate.  Says Lummis: “The out and out ban restricts a really enjoyable activity; and the people who do it so well really are treading lightly on the land… and they don’t expect that by lifting the absolute ban on paddling that they would have the opportunity to paddle anywhere, any time.”  Lummis says she expects the bill will see action in the Congress early next year.

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