Field reports

SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 2009

Economy impacts rifles, boats

OUTDOOR INDUSTRY – A U.S. rifle company announced it is closing shop this week and a major boating company is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Muzzleloading Inc., announced it will cease manufacturing Knight Rifles, a top manufacturer of in-line muzzleloaders.

The Decatur, Ala., company has sold more than 1 million muzzleloaders since 1985. Industry insiders say sporting rifle sales have not tagged along with the mushrooming sales for other firearms that started last fall.

Also this week, Genmar Holdings Inc., manufacturer of Ranger Boats and products from 12-foot fishing boats to luxury yachts, filed for Chapter 11. Sales dipped in 2008, but plummeted since then.

Irwin Genmar, company president, said the company has lost nearly a quarter of its dealers to a tough economy. With a flood of repossessed boats on the market, even more dealers are, according to Jacobs, “just hanging on”

He expects the company to re-emerge strong, and sees no trouble for the Ranger line of boats.

In contrast to the market for hunting rifle sales, the fishing boat industry has not been as heavily impacted by the economy as other boat markets, he said.

Staff and wire report

Cyclist to get campground

BICYCLING – A campground tailored to the needs of people on long-distance bicycle tours is being developed along the Beaverhead River in Twin Bridges, south of Butte.

Construction contractor Bill White says the campground is ready for cyclists. White says he got the idea after talking to some of the hundreds of cyclists who pass through Twin Bridges on Adventure Cycling’s TransAmerica Bicycle Route.

The camp has a flush toilet, a shower, a clothes drying area, a secure place to lock bicycles, plus a few bike tools.

Associated Press

Glacier targets mack attack

NATIONAL PARKS – Glacier National Park has released a plan to remove invading lake trout from Quartz Lake.

Until recent years, Quartz, located in the park’s northwestern corner, was the Columbia Basin’s largest natural lake with native fish populations that had not been compromised by non-native fish species.

While mackinaw are native to some waters on the east side of the park, they pose a serious threat to native cutthroats and bull trout.

Rich Landers

Oregon has new ATV rules

OFF-ROADING – New rules in Oregon require that children under 16 riding all-terrain vehicles on public land be supervised by an adult.

The rules also say the adult must complete a state-approved safety-training class with the young riders.

From 1998 to 2003, Oregon recorded more than 1,200 injuries from ATV crashes, said John Lane, state ATV safety education coordinator.

ATV-related accidents rose 78 percent from 2001-2003, with more than 20 percent of ATV injuries occurring to children younger than 15, he said.

The Legislature in 2007 required the department to phase in ATV Safety Education requirements for riding on Oregon’s public lands.

The minimum age will increase every year until all riders are required in 2014 to carry an ATV Safety Education Card while riding on state land.

Associated Press

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