Boulder men cited for riding snowmobiles in wilderness area
Two Boulder area men were issued citations for riding snowmobiles in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness on Saturday, Dec. 19.
“We first heard them, then saw them riding a couple miles into the wilderness, and saw their snowmobile tracks going past wilderness boundary signs,” said Steve McCone, Wilderness Manager for the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District. “We waited until they came back out and wrote them tickets.”
Snowmobiles, like all motorized equipment, are illegal in wilderness areas. The 1964 Wilderness Act set aside wildernesses as places to enjoy primitive adventure and solitude, as refuges from the sights and sounds of the mechanized world.
“Every winter, snowmobilers trespass into the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, violating the intent of the Wilderness Act” said McCone. There have been incidents in the Sarvis Creek and Flat Top Wildernesses as well.
“There are boundary signs in many areas, and maps at winter trailheads, showing areas closed to snowmobiles. “We make the effort to inform riders but ultimately, it is their responsibility to know where they are and to avoid taking their machines into the wilderness,” McCone said.
Violations are punishable by fines of up to $10,000, one year in jail and the forfeiture of snowmobiles and other items involved.
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