May ?, 1997

Beginning of the Road

By Dane Sorensen


It is a crying shame that we canít agree on how to have fun outdoors in the BWCAW.  It saddens me that some of the best minds on the Range have not been able to solve what constitutes good clean fun.  The main problem is that everything folks can do creates by-products.  One manís by-products is another manís pollution.  There is no such thing as no-impact camping, unless you pay for a BWCAW camping permit and donít go. 

I humbly think the main reason the mediation process is failing is that not all the great minds were asked to mediate.  They never bothered to ask me.  I have often told myself that I am a legend in my own mind.  I thought my proposal to ban canoes and only allow sailboats was brilliant.  Canoeists are sweaty and produce all kinds of carbon dioxide.  Sailors quietly enjoy the water and let the wind do the work.  On our sailboat we can cook our meals on board and can even sleep on board. 

However, I now realize that this proposal does not help matters.  I would alienate the multiple use coalition and the environmentalists would want me recycled.  I think the solution is to simplify the mediation process.  This could be done by recognizing that a mediation board with more than one member is not likely to reach a concise agreement.  As every President since Richard Nixon has learned, deliberation is such a waste of time.  One person can act so much more efficiently.  It is obvious that the BWCAW Mediation board should appoint Singular Intelligence, a Committee of One, a Vicar of Nature, a Czar of Resolution Ė namely me Ė to solve the impasse.

Many complex affairs have been solved in this manner.  Oliver North saved Central America from the Commies.  Captain Kirk saved the galaxy without any committee meetings.  Mighty Mouse was judge, jury and executioner to all those nasty cats.  Yes, history is replete with examples of timely action by one enlightened individual.  Attila the Hun was so misunderstood.

I now think that there is room for snowmobiling anywhere in the BWCAW.  I think there is room for boat motors and water skiing on every lake in the BWCAW.  Canoeists would still be able to continue to enjoy their outings as before.  All this can be done.  It is only a matter of timing.  It is so simple that only a single being of advanced analytical thinking could come up with it.

Timing is important.   I would mandate that any boat or pontoon with a motor could enjoy the BWCAW anytime of the day from December to February.  Snowmobilers can enjoy zipping across all the BWCAW lakes from June through August.  Canoeists would be restricted to January and Kayaks are allowed in February. 

Motorcycles would be allowed only one month a year.  The perfect month would be March, where all the motorheads could slosh through all that wet March snow.  ATVs (all terrain vehicles) would be allowed in the BWCAW only during deer hunting season.  However, I would insist on ATV drivers wearing protective helmets with deer antlers.

Cross country skiing and snowshoeing would be restricted to July and so would dog sledding.  I would restrict the forest  service by allowing controlled burns only in December.  Furthermore, to cut down on air pollution the forest service must remove all trees before they burn them. 

Berry picking and ricing would be allowed every April.  Ice fishing will be allowed in November and May only. 

Like the wisdom of Solomon, I would allow everyone their fair share of this wonderful wilderness.  Everyone and every special interest would have their time in the sun.  Best of all, with my perfect timing scheme, I donít think we will need permits.  Any size group would be allowed to do their sport.

Finally, peace will return.  No more nasty letters to the editor.  Now I will wait by my phone for the mediation board to call and beg for my services.  When I finish with them I expect Clinton to call and ask me to mediate all his problems.  Such are the demands of legends.

Published sometime in 1997

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