Does wilderness allow oars? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-13-2010   #1
 
mountains, Colorado
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Does wilderness allow oars?

As I understand it, the wilderness act bars the use of motorized or mechanized travel. With this understanding, I am assuming that one can not use oars since they are a mechanical advantage. Thoughts? (no worry either way, as I think we could still paddle it)

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Old 04-13-2010   #2
 
the fort, Colorado
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never had a problem with it myself. wheels are the biggest no-no.
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Old 04-13-2010   #3
 
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The Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness up in Northern Minnesota is the tightest wilderness I've ever been in about enforcing the Wilderness Act. You can paddle your kayak or canoe up there, but you can't use a dolly with wheels to portage it. Paddling is different than rowing though........Do oars constitute a violation? Dumn question on the surface, good question just below the surface.
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Old 04-13-2010   #4
 
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Mountain bikers talk about this a lot, and how oars or the springs in ski bindings help people travel legally in wilderness areas. Basically, it seems like machines simpler than a wheel/axle are ok.
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Old 04-13-2010   #5
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Doesn't "mechanized" mean something with moving parts? I can see how ski bindings are mechanized, but an oar does not have moving parts in and of itself. Interesting question.
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Old 04-13-2010   #6
 
mountains, Colorado
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...I was thinking of Brown's Canyon and the Grand (both have discussions about becoming wilderness areas). I could see it being problematic on the Grand due simply to the amount of gear that one is required to float it. It would be tough to run (although not impossible) in a paddle boat. It might be kind of cool and usher in a new style of multi-day river running. Does River Runners For Wilderness have a position on this issue? What if the park service decides that oars are indeed mechanized travel?
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Old 04-13-2010   #7
 
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
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MF Salmon, Selway, Gunnison

All of those rivers travel thru existing wilderness areas. All three have commercial outfitters who run rafting trips with oar rigs. The trick to the GC would be that all of those motor rigs that go down the river would be banned if it became a wilderness area. It would be interesting to see how that would affect the numbers of people that travelled down the river. Without the option for shorter trips outfitters might find it hard to fill in those permits with clients that are able to spend a couple of weeks on the river. Maybe that would mean more private boater permits.

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Old 04-13-2010   #8
 
Durango, Colorado
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The Salmon is in a wilderness area and they use oars up there without a problem.

Got beat to it.
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Old 04-13-2010   #9
 
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Mechanical advantage is applied every time you move your mouth (or leg for that matter). Or the pomp used to inflate the flotation in your boat. Big jump from that to a wheel.
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Old 04-13-2010   #10
 
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pump, sorry
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