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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
The Environment and Small Businesses
Until recently, snowmobiling was one of the biggest winter draws for Yellowstone National Park in the western United States.

Then the National Park Service began to phase out snowmobiling for environmental reasons. The number of snowmobiles permitted to enter the Park was severely restricted. Predictably, there followed a series of legal maneuvers involving two lawsuits. Things got really confusing when the lawsuits resulted in conflicting Federal court decisions.

Meanwhile, with spring almost here, the winter season at Yellowstone is a bust. The situation is bleak in towns surrounding the Park, especially West Yellowstone, which depends on the tourist trade. Most of the businesses in town are hospitality related -- hotels and motels, camps, restaurants, snowmobile rentals. And mostly all are small businesses.

Here's what one businessman from the town of West Yellowstone has to say:
    "... done heavy damage to the economy of a community named West Yellowstone.

    Hardly any of the commentators I've encountered on the issue seem to care about West Yellowstone. After all, it's not the commentators' livelihoods being wrecked. They can pretend out of their arrogance and ignorance that the town can recover nicely, and anyway, it's just business we're talking about, isn't it?

    Some in our midst seem to think business is the enemy of humankind, whereas the truth is nearly the opposite. Thriving businesses mean jobs and better health and better education and even the funding of all those government programs many of these very same anti-business types do care about."

Usually when you hear about a battle between environmental concerns and business interests it involves Big Business -- logging, oil, mining. In West Yellowstone's case, it's pretty much all about small business.
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