Ban on float planes baffles me

So let me get this straight - according to the Adirondack Mountain Club, the presence of float planes on Lows Lake was ruining the "wilderness experience" of canoeists; and this is why the organization pushed a lawsuit which led to the current APA decision that will ban float-plane access to the lake in 2011.

Their argument was a bit more complex - using the State Land Master Plan as a primary reason - but this is what it boils down to.

This whole issue has me totally perplexed. There are so many bizarre elements of the environmental argument on this issue that it would require a treatise by Bertrand Russell to sufficiently go through them all. But I will make an effort to highlight some of the most interesting and paradoxical elements.

First of all, Lows Lake is in itself not a "natural" entity. It exists only because of two man-made dams which block the flow of the Bog River.

This is intriguing, because by default anyone canoeing Lows Lake is not having a "wilderness experience" by definition. They should just as well be paddling around a swimming pool.

Another bizarre element revolves around the arbitrary standards the Mountain Club uses to define acceptable technology for a "wilderness experience."

No one is going to argue that a canoe is a manufactured tool, created by humans to serve a purpose. An airplane also fits this definition.

Instead, the standards used by the environmental organizations hinges on level of complexity.

They assume that a canoe is a more "natural" tool simply because it is more antiquated technology.

So if I have this right, 17th century technology is fine, but 20th is much to modern to allow for one to actually enjoy the wilderness.

The inherent paradox of this is that the canoes being used are often composed of far more modern technology than the aircraft themselves. Tom Helm's Cessna is not made of composite, space-age materials after all.

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