The Noise Industry

As a naturalist, I enjoy walking on the beach to the sound of crashing surf and frantic gulls. I relish tranquil bays, cathedral forests, the solitude of deserts and the quiet inspiration of mountain vistas. Unfortunately, there is a growing industry that often deprives us of such experiences.

Marketed as exciting ways to explore nature, jet skies, four-wheelers, dirt bikes and snowmobiles have invaded the landscape, polluting the environment with their noise and fumes. While essential vehicles for certain cultures and businesses, they have spawned a population of "nature lovers" who are more interested in speed and power than in the natural surroundings through which they race. Those of us who do not share their infatuation with combustion engines must, unfortunately, accept the side effects of their activity. National and State Parks, after all, are for the people, not so much for the environment.

Many who read this blog will perceive my views as just more selfish gibberish from a tree-hugging purist. I gladly accept that title if, in some small way, it would lead to more restrictions on the use of motorized noisemakers in nature preserves and wilderness areas.