Yellowstone National Park is an oasis of beauty, animals, geological hot spots, and rivers. The headwaters of the Yellowstone, Snake, and Missouri rivers all start in the highlands of this sanctuary. It is illegal to boat on any rivers inside the boundary of the park. This happens to be a big issue of mine. I was born in Bozeman Montana almost 20 years ago and have had this unlimited source of rivers so close to my back yard, never being able to use it.
Today I went and sat in on a court session for my little brother Nate-dog and 3 of his local friends. Due to their failed attempt of poaching almost 4 months ago all of them were sent to the headquarters of the park for judgment. They were threatened with 5,000 dollars of fines and 6 months of prison time being the highest possible punishment. After a 75 mile drive into the park and a 2 hour session in the court room they were charged with "Intent to kayak". With a $335 fine and 1 year of unsupervised probation they left the Yellowstone today for an entire year.
The Three Criminals left to right- Andy Walker, Erik Johnson, and Nate Garcia.
The gates marking no more kayaking for you.
Mammoth hot springs a huge attraction inside the park.
A nasty 70 footer yet to be hucked.
The epic Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone amazing class V canyons.
Another sick slide just dormant ready to be fired.
A sick set of drops.
Slides for days on end.
A dope rapid on the river they were caught on.
Yellowstone was set aside as a place for people to enjoy the beauty, see sights, and interact with nature. With all that in mind everyday people horseback ride all the way through the areas, leaving piles of shit, and beaten paths throughout the park. Snowmobiles run their loud and unclean engines while ripping paths up and down through forests disturbing all the natural elements within this area.
The reasons why kayaking down these amazing rivers is unable to happen is safety, and ruining a national park???? What's the difference between kayaking there in the park and 2 miles away at mesa falls? or on the Hells Canyon of the boulder? Kayaking is dangerous and we do it at our own risk. This is a very easy challenge to overcome. Put up signs, warnings, and permits? Then the impact of floating down streams? It is the most environmentally friendly sport I have ever done. No crowd, no trails, no building, no burning of Fuels; it is simple.
This is an incredible place, and I as much as anyone else, want to keep it clean and beautiful for generations to come. This is a flawed rule in a book of regulations that govern the park. In such an amazing place with such world class rivers this is a resource that could be used to help the park attract visitors and then bring in more money to use. The law is the law. However laws are made to be broken:)
Keep fighting the good fight "Y.L.A. for life!"
How you know you're in Montucky.