MSA
4543 S. Division Ave.,
Wyoming, MI  49548

Ph. 1-616-361-2285
Fax. 1-616-363-0661

 

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Welcome to the Michigan Snowmobile Association

 

ALAN

DEBOLT

IRON RIVER MI 49935

1-Mar

AJ

THIEL

BLAKESLEE OH 43505

2-Mar

RICHARD

HUNT

MONTAGUE MI 49437

3-Mar

KAYE

HOUK

ROGERS CITY, MI 49779

4-Mar

LAUREN

ENZINGER

FREEPORT IL 61032

5-Mar

DONALD

BAKER

GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49544

6-Mar

JOHN

TENNEY

CHICAGO IL 60640

7-Mar

BOB

UNVERFERTH

KALIDA OH 45853

8-Mar

DAVE

MISKUS

MUNISING, MI 49862

9-Mar

KRIS

BEIBER

DORR MI 49323

10-Mar

KEN

MC CRUMB

ALPENA MI 49707

11-Mar

PAUL

JERNBERG

ADA MI

12-Mar

BRUCE

BRAKKE

AMES IA 50010

13-Mar

MIKE

REINERT

FRANKENMUTH MI 48734

14-Mar

DAVE

LOW

WAYLAND MI 49348

15-Mar

JEFF

DORLAND

LAKE CITY, MI 49651

16-Mar

CATHY

RHODES

KALAMAZOO MI

17-Mar

LIZZ

HOLZWARTH

MIO MI 48647

18-Mar

BRUCE

BURRY

LIVONIA MI

19-Mar

RON

CORBETT

WOLVERINE MI

20-Mar

ERICK

SMITH

MILAN MI 48160

21-Mar

BRAD

POTTER

LOWELL MI

22-Mar

DIANA

KULARK

CORUNNA MI

23-Mar

ANTHONY

DURISH

BURTON MI 48519

24-Mar

BRUCE

BENDER

MIDDLEVILLE MI 49333

25-Mar

MSA

Compliments

Bill Stegenga

26-Mar

BOB

RICHMOND

THREE RIVERS, MI 49093

27-Mar

ROLAND

REIGER

MILLERSBURG MI 49759

28-Mar

RICHARD

FISHER

FREMONT IN 46703

29-Mar

PEGGY

WIESE

CADILLAC MI

30-Mar

MARK

BRODY

LUDINGTON, MI 49431

31-Mar

 

Our season comes to an end on Monday the 31st. We would like to thank everyone for a great, safe season. We also want to thank the 64 Grant Sponsors (clubs and business groups) that sign, brush, and maintain the trails all winter. Grooming is still ongoing where it is needed, but because of low traffic, all the UP trails and most of the Northern MI trails are still in great shape. Remember On April 1, all of the land leases expire, so if you are planning on riding during Spring Break make sure that you are on State or National Forest property. Please stay off the private property, those landowners were kind enough to let us use their property during the winter, lets respect them when the season ends.

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The 15th Annual SAE Snowmobile Challenge was held at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI on March 4-8, 2014. This year 17 Universities registered for the event. The members of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association - Arctic Cat, BRP, Polaris and Yamaha - are proud gold-level sponsors of the event. Representatives from all of the manufacturers were involved in the event and supported the skilled students from the participating universities and colleges.

Kettering University, Flint, MI was the winner of the Internal Combustion Division. The second place spot was awarded to New York State University, Buffalo. The results highlighted the students' mastery of a variety of technologies.

Michigan Technological University has hosted the event for the last 12 years, and experienced the snowiest winter in years with temperatures solidly in the subfreezing range and presented ideal conditions for the SAE collegiate design competition.

This year, 9 of the 10 snowmobiles starting the 100 mile endurance run made it to the finish line. This accomplishment was remarkable in that in previous years, approximately 50% of the entrants did not finish the 100 mile trip.

The Zero-Emissions competition was won by McGill University. They are the only one of 4 to field a sled that was able to pass inspections and get out on the snow.

In addition to engineers and other supporting groups, the US Forest Service was represented at the Challenge. Forest Service representatives commented that the snowmobile industry and the clubs have made great strides, and with their partnership, this snowmobile challenge was great for the students and helped move forward a great partnership.

The SAE Snowmobile Challenge included activities such as

a. An endurance run from Houghton, MI to Copper Harbor, MI.;

b. Technical presentations on emissions and design parameters;

c. A subjective handling event;

d. An acceleration test; and

e. Scientific testing of emission levels, and sound levels.

Plans are underway for the 2015 Challenge which will be held at Michigan Technological University. The snowmobile manufacturers will work with the planning team in designing event activities and standards.

 

Here are the WINNERS for February

For the MSEAF Daily Four Raffle.

Each one of these people won $100.00

TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE!!

A $100 Winner Each Day of the Year!

1-Feb

JOYCE

WIESE

CADILLAC MI

2-Feb

ARTHUR

JANKENS

WEST BRANCH MI 48661

3-Feb

ROGER

SHELINE

ELKHART IN 46516

4-Feb

AARON

BERT

STERLING HEIGHTS MI 48313

5-Feb

JEFF

BOLEN

RICHMOND MI 48062

6-Feb

AL

CARLING

WOODHAVEN MI 48183

7-Feb

CONNIE

BOWMAN

LAPEER, MI 48446

8-Feb

ROBERT

DEAN

SAGINAW MI 48609

9-Feb

STEVE

ANDERSON

DRUMMOND ISLAND MI 49726

10-Feb

STEPHANIE

RICHARDSON

KAWKAWLIN MI

11-Feb

DAVE

COOPER

CADILLAC MI 49601

12-Feb

ROGER

KILBURY

NATIONAL CITY MI

13-Feb

DAVE

NEUCHTERLEEIN

FRANKENMUTH MI 48734

14-Feb

MARTIN

BEATTIE

MARSHALL MI 49068

15-Feb

MELVIN

MOORE

PLYMOUTH MI 48170

16-Feb

WILLIAM

SKLUT

GROSSE POINTE MI 48230

17-Feb

GREG

MORRIS

BATTLE CREEK MI 49014

18-Feb

STU

VOLKERS

DETOUR VILLAGE MI

19-Feb

LINDA

BETHKE

MANCELONA MI 49659

20-Feb

FRANKENMUTH

SNOW CLUB

VASSAR  MI 48768

21-Feb

JUNE

CORCORAN

SAGINAW MI 48603

22-Feb

MARK

SORENSON

HILLMAN MI 49746

23-Feb

LINDA

BLANKEMEIER

LEIPSIC, OH 45856

24-Feb

HEATHER

MIDDENDORP

DORR MI 49323

25-Feb

HEATHER

WINTERSTEIN

SAGINAW MI 49609

26-Feb

MIKE

SAHR

SAGINAW MI 48601

27-Feb

GARY

HICKS

MANITOU BEACH MI 49253

28-Feb

MICHAEL

MALONE

WESTLAND MI 48185

 

Here are the WINNERS for January

For  the MSEAF Daily Four Raffle.

Each one of these people won $100.00

TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE!!

A $100 Winner Each Day Of The Year!

 

1-Jan HEATHER MIDDENDORP DORR MI 49323

2-Jan RICK PERDUE McCORDSVILLE IN 46055

3-Jan SHARON STEGENGA LYONS MI 48851

4-Jan KATHLEEN DICKIE CHESANING, MI 48616

5-Jan ROBERT MOFFATT DAFTER MI 49724

6-Jan ROBERT MUNDSTOCK NEW LONDON, WI 54961

7-Jan ROLLIN RHEA INDIANAPOLIS IN 46256

8-Jan MIKE MILLER MONROE MI 48162

9-Jan JAMES MUNRO GLADWIN, MI 48624

10-Jan CURT POMERVILLE BRIGHTON, MI 48114

11-Jan MARK BOUCKAERT ESSEXVILLE, MI 48732

12-Jan BOB WADE TRENTON MI 48183

13-Jan WILLIAM PERRY HARROD OH 45850

14-Jan STEPHEN ANDRASH LAKE CITY MI 49651

15-Jan ROGER CANAN HOWELL MI 48843

16-Jan RONALD CAY HOPE MI 48628

17-Jan GRAND TRAVERSE SNOW CLUB ACME MI 49610

18-Jan DAN DERRY ROGERS CITY, MI 49779

19-Jan DAVE COOPER CADILLAC MI 49601

20-Jan NORTHWEST MI REC COUNCIL LUDINGTON MI 49431

21-Jan SCOTT HEIM WARREN MI

22-Jan JOHN SOMMERS RAVENNA OH 44266

23-Jan DARRELL LIDDELL CLIO, MI 48420

24-Jan DARRELL LIDDELL CLIO, MI 48420

25-Jan MIKE MAHL WILLARD OH

26-Jan PAUL HEYL PLAINFIELD IL 60544

27-Jan SCOTT STRAWSER BELDING MI 48809

28-Jan DAVID DE NARD OWOSSO, MI 48867

29-Jan GERI HILLS HARRISON MI 48625

30-Jan CINDI BEATTIE MARSHALL MI 49068

31-Jan CURTIS WILLIAMS BRIGHTON, MI 48114

 

DNR: Snowmobile Trail #2 in Dickinson County reopens to riders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Jan. 9, 2014

Contact: Ron Yesney, 906-228-6561 or Debbie Munson Badini, 906-226-1352

Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Recreation officials today announced that snowmobile Trail #2 in Dickinson County has reopened to riders.
A stretch of Trail #2 located between Iron Mountain and Furnee Lake was previously closed due to logging operations on private land.

"The reopening of Trail #2 will allow snowmobilers to access Iron Mountain businesses, benefitting the community, economy and snowmobilers," said DNR recreation specialist Ron Yesney. "We would like to thank the Tri-County Snowmobile Club for their efforts to partner with the Department on all work necessary to reopen the trail."

 

The Military Hill issue is coming up again.

Basically the guys with their long track sleds (mostly) are leaving trail #3 and running up and down the slopes heading down to US-45.  The Michigan Snowmobile Program has put up signs, & $8,000.00 worth of fencing, more signs -  and we still have the issue.

The land belongs to the USFS, MDOT, DNR, and some is private.

The long term issue here is that if this continues we could eventually lose Trail #3.  The locals are upset as are the landowners.  It’s been planted with seedlings for erosion control and they are getting mowed down.

I hate to see a few people ruin things for everyone else.  Can you get something on your website and Facebook page about this?  I would appreciate it.  A little education might go a long way.  If folks know that this behavior could lead to us losing this trail, maybe they’ll stay on the trail.

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Environmental Litigation Gravy Train

By: Karen Budd-Falen — Budd-Falen Law Offices

Consider these facts:

  • • Between 2000 and 2009, Western Watersheds Project (WWP) filed at least 91 lawsuits in the federal district courts and at least 31 appeals in the federal appellate courts.
  • • Between 2000 and 2009, Forest Guardians (now known as WildEarth Guardians) filed at least 180 lawsuits in the federal district courts and at least 61 appeals in the federal appellate courts.
  • • Between 2000 and 2009, Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed at least 409 lawsuits in the federal district courts and at least 165 appeals in the federal appellate courts.
  • • In addition, over the last 15 years, the Wilderness Society has filed 149 federal court lawsuits, the Idaho Conservation League has filed 69 federal court lawsuits, the Oregon Natural Desert Association has filed 58 lawsuits, the Southern Utah Wilderness Association has filed 88 lawsuits and the National Wildlife Federation has filed 427 lawsuits.
  • • In total, the eight environmental groups listed above have filed at least 1,596 federal court cases against the federal government.
  • • Every one of the groups listed above is a tax-exempt, non-profit organizations. Every one of those groups listed above receives attorney fees from the federal government for suing the federal government.
  • • These statistics do not include cases filed in the administrative courts, such as BLM administrative permit appeals before the Office of Hearings and Appeals or Forest Service administrative appeals. These statistics only include federal district court cases.

On the other end, these same environmental groups are receiving billions of federal tax payer dollars in attorney fees for settling or “winning” cases against the federal government. Accurate statistics have not been kept by the Justice Department or the federal agencies, thus there is no accounting for the total amount of tax dollars paid; however, we were able to uncover these facts:

There are two major sources for attorney fees that can be paid to plaintiffs that “prevail” in litigation either by winning a case on the merits or by the Justice Department agreeing that the group “prevailed” in a settlement by achieving the purpose of the litigation. One source of funding is called the Judgment Fund. The Judgment Fund is a Congressional line-item appropriation and is used for Endangered Species Act cases, Clean Water Act cases, and with other statutes that directly allow a plaintiff to recover attorney fees. There is no central data base for tracking the payment of these fees, thus neither the taxpayers, members of Congress nor the federal government knows the total amount of taxpayer dollars spent from the Judgment Fund on individual cases. The only information regarding these fees that is available is:

  • • In fiscal year 2003, the federal government made 10,595 individual payments from the Judgment Fund to federal court plaintiffs for a price tag of $1,081,328,420.
  • • In 2004, the federal government made 8,161 payments from the Judgment Fund for $800,450,029.
  • • In 2005, 7,794 payments were made from the Judgment Fund for a total of $1,074,131,007.
  • • In 2006, the federal government made 8,736 payments from the Judgment Fund for $697,968,132.
  • • In only the first half of fiscal year 2007, the federal government made 6,595 payments from the Judgment Fund for $1,062,387,142.
  • • In total, $4,716,264,730 (that is billion with a “b”) in total payments were paid in taxpayer dollars from the Judgment Fund from 2003 through July 2007 for attorney fees and costs in cases against the federal government.

The second major source of payments to “winning” litigants against the federal government is the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). EAJA funds are taken from the “losing” federal agencies’ budgets. Thus, for example, the attorney fees paid under EAJA come from the “losing” BLM office’s budget. That is money that could be used for range monitoring, NEPA compliance, timber projects, archeology and cultural clearances and other agency programs. Within the federal government, there is no central data system or tracking of these payments from the agencies budgets. The only statistics we were able to compile are as follows:

  • • Between 2003 to 2005, Region 1 of the Forest Service (Montana, North Dakota, northern Idaho) paid $383,094 in EAJA fees.
  • • Between 2003 to 2005, Region 2 of the Forest Service (Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma) paid $97,750 in EAJA fees.
  • • Between 2003 to 2005, Region 3 of the Forest Service (Arizona, New Mexico) paid $261,289.85 in EAJA fees.
  • • Between 2003 to 2005, Region 4 of the Forest Service (southern Idaho, Utah, Nevada) paid $297,705 in EAJA fees.
  • • Between 2003 to 2005, Region 5 (California) of the Forest Service paid $357, 023 in EAJA fees.
  • • Between 2003 to 2005, Region 6 (Washington state, Oregon) of the Forest Service paid $282,302 in EAJA fees.
  • • Out of the 44 total cases in which the Forest Service paid EAJA fees between 2003 and 2005, nine plaintiffs were NOT environmental groups and 35 payments went to environmental group plaintiffs.

We also tried to track the fees paid to environmental groups in certain federal courts. For example, in the Federal District Court for the District of Idaho, over the last 10 years, WWP received a total of $999,190 in tax dollars for “reimbursement” for attorney fees and costs. Of the total cases filed by WWP in the Federal Court in Idaho, 19 were before Judge Winmill; eight of those cases resulted in a decision on the merits with WWP prevailing and with the total attorney fees being awarded of $746,184; six of the cases were settled by the federal government with total attorney fees still being awarded of $118,000. WWP won one case but attorney fees were not paid. WWP lost six cases. There were two cases in which the documents indicated that the federal government agreed to pay attorney fees, but the payment amount was kept confidential from the public.

In my opinion, there are a lot of things wrong with this picture. The federal government is spending billions in tax payer dollars without any accounting of where the money is going or to whom it is going. There is no oversight in spending this money, especially the money that is coming out of agency budgets that should be funding on the ground programs to protect public lands, national forests, ranchers, recreationists, wildlife and other land uses.

Nonprofit, tax-exempt groups are making billions of dollars in funding; the majority of that funding is not going into programs to protect people, wildlife, plants and animals, but to fund more lawsuits. Ranchers and other citizens are being forced to expend millions of dollars of their own money to intervene or participate in these lawsuits to protect their way of life when they have no chance of the same attorney fee recovery if they prevail. In fact, they are paying for both sides of the case—for their defense of their ranch and for the attorney fees environmental groups receive to sue the federal government to get them off their land. There are also numerous cases where the federal government agrees to pay attorney fees, but the amount paid is hidden from public view. Somewhere this has to stop and the government has to be held accountable for the money it’s spending.

DNR announces two snowmobile trail closures in western U.P.:

30-day closure in Dickinson County; seasonal closure in Gogebic County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 13, 2013

Contact: Ron Yesney, 906-228-6561 or Debbie Munson Badini, 906-226-1352

Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Recreation officials today announced two snowmobile trail closures, one in Gogebic County and one in Dickinson County:

Snowmobile Trail #11 South (Gogebic County)

This trail, which connects the communities of Wakefield, Mich., and Winchester, Wis., will be closed for the season. A reroute is not available. The trail is being closed due to logging operations on private land. The DNR and the Gogebic Range Trail Authority will work together in hopes of reopening the trail for next snowmobile season. For this season, snowmobilers are encouraged to use Snowmobile Trail #1 between Marenisco, Mich., and Presque Isle, Wis., as an alternate route.

NOTE: Snowmobile Trail #11 North between Wakefield and Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park will not be affected by this closure.

Snowmobile Trail #2 (Dickinson County)

A stretch of Snowmobile Trail #2 located between Iron Mountain and Furnee Lake is temporarily closed until mid-January 2014 due to logging operations on private land. Trail #2 is a major east-west connector route and no alternate route is available during the closure.

“The closure of Trail #2 will, unfortunately, leave snowmobilers unable to access Iron Mountain businesses until mid-January,” said DNR recreation specialist Ron Yesney. “We continue to work with the Tri-County Snowmobile Club and private landowners to avoid future trail closures and identify reroutes when possible.”

For further information regarding these closures, contact Ron Yesney at 906-228-6561.

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CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR TRAILER RAFFLE WINNER!

Jerry & Janice Collins of Edwardsburg, MI were the winners of the R&R 718S E Slasher Elite Enclosed Trailer, from MSEAF & R&R Trailers in Three Rivers, MI. The winning ticket was sold by the Edwardsburg Snowmobile Club. Congratulations also to the club which will share in the profits from this raffle.

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MSA representatives were attending the Snowmobile Advisory Committee (SAW) on Thursday December 5 in Munising, MI. One of the agenda items was an issue on Trial #4 between the Settings Restaurant, in Lakes of the North, and Gaylord, along County Road C-38. There was one landowner who decided not to sign a lease for snowmobile use on his property. The MSA Region 2 representative asked the DNR to allow the trail on that 600’ to be diverted to the county road right-of-way (ROW). The Grant Sponsor in charge of that section said that they have verbal permission from the county and that a written permission was asked for but not in hand yet. All parties at the SAW committee meeting thought that there would not be an issue, then later that day we saw this.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 5, 2013
Contact: Donald Klingler, 989-732-3541
Snowmobile Trail #4 in Otsego and Antrim counties closed

The Department of Natural Resources announced today that Snowmobile Trail #4 between Old-27 Highway in Otsego County and Lakes of the North in Antrim County has been closed due to the snowmobile club’s loss of land leases.

This is a major east/west trail connecting the Gaylord-area trails with the Jordan Valley and Blue Bear trails. With the loss of leases, it is now illegal to operate snowmobiles on these private lands. Trail enthusiasts should avoid riding this portion of trail until a route can be established. The snowmobile club continues to work with landowners and try to find an alternative route or permanent easement to reopen the trail.

Questions concerning the Snowmobile Trail may be directed to Donald Klingler or the Gaylord DNR Operations Service Center at 989-732-3541.

Lots of telephone calls to the right people, this was issued the next day.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dec. 6, 2013

Update: Snowmobile Trail #4 reopens in Otsego and Antrim counties


With new landowner agreements in place, Snowmobile Trail #4 in Otsego and Antrim counties has reopened, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced today.

The trail had been closed for a short time between Old-27 Highway and Lakes of the North; the reopening is effective immediately.

Trail #4 is a major east/west trail connecting trails in the Gaylord area with the Jordan Valley and Blue Bear trails. Complications with landowner permissions that allow the designated trail to run contiguously through public and private land had led to the temporary closure, but negotiations between the DNR, local snowmobile clubs and generous private landowners have allowed the trail to reopen.

Snowmobilers are asked to respect the sensitive nature of private landowner agreements that allow the state to have a connected snowmobile trail system by staying on designated trails and following all operating rules and regulations.

For more information about Snowmobile Trail #4, contact Gaylord Management Unit fire supervisor Donald Klingler at 989-732-3541.

To learn more about snowmobiling in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/snowmobiling.

Amazing how in this day of instant information how things can get sideways very fast. Good thing MSA members are on top of these issues.

 

Consumer Insight Study Shows Snowmobile Enthusiasts Consider Snowmobiling a Family Activity

Haslett, MI, October 23, 2013:  Thanks to snowmobiling, winter has become a season to enjoy.  Ask any of the three million people who take pleasure every year in the beauty of winter on the over 200,000 miles of groomed and marked snowmobile trails throughout North America.

Snowmobiling is one of the easiest motorized recreational life-style activities to learn, making it suitable for individuals of all ages to enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle in the winter, develop new friendships and extend old ones.  Today’s snowmobiles are now designed with a variety of comfort and convenience features that make it enjoyable to ride for hours.

Snowmobile Demographic Profile

According to recent research, more than 95% of snowmobile enthusiasts consider snowmobiling a family lifestyle activity.  Other important facts that Consumer Insight study found include:

  • Snowmobilers in North America spend more than $30 billion annually on the activity.
  • 75% of snowmobile owners are married and have children living at home with them.
  • 52% of snowmobilers trailer their snowmobiles to ride.
  • The average snowmobiler is 43 years old, with an annual household income of $68,000.

Economic Impact Empowerment Through Participation

In North America, there are nearly 3000 snowmobile clubs.  Virtually all are involved in trail maintenance, charity fund raising and family activities.  (For example, during the 2012-2013 season snowmobilers raised over $3 million for charities.)  In addition to these individual clubs, there are 25 state associations in the US and 13 provincial and territorial organizations in Canada.

It’s important to note that snowmobilers work together to plan, build and maintain their trails.  That work is done through area clubs, councils and associations.

Currently there are more than 225,000 miles of groomed and marked trails in North America.  This amounts to more miles of snowmobile trails than the entire US Interstate Highway system.

Advanced Technology

The continuing evolution and design of the snowmobile is a major factor in the lifestyle activity’s growth.

Snowmobile manufacturers have developed cleaner and quieter engine designs to lower the noise levels as well as emissions.

In addition, the continued popularity of longer snowmobiles that make it easy and comfortable for two people to ride shows the impact of the family on the lifestyle activity.

With programs such as ISMA’s “Safe Riders – You make snowmobiling safe” safety awareness program, continued emphasis is being placed on making the riding experience a safe enjoyable one.  ISMA encourages all snowmobilers to take advantage of snowmobile safety classes offered through state and provincial associations.  These are valuable in helping to familiarize new snowmobilers with proper responsible snowmobile behavior.

Popular Activity

The popularity of snowmobiling has spread to traditional skiing destinations like Vail, Steamboat and Aspen.  These and other resort areas have taken notice and are now offering snowmobile/ski packages.  In a recent article, SKI magazine noted that more families are doing more activities than just skiing during their winter vacations.

Because of this interest in varied sports, resorts are now offering a greater number of activities to remain competitive and bring in more families.  The resorts are discovering that snowmobiling is one of the most popular activities.

Family values and family recreation activity are very important parts of our heritage and snowmobiling provides a family recreation lifestyle that helps join and keep the family together.


 

National Park Service Releases New Rule for Winter Use in Yellowstone

Flexible plan allows for public enjoyment, resource protection; 2013/2014 winter season will serve as transition year for snowmobiles and snowcoaches

The National Park Service has published a final rule to guide winter use in Yellowstone National Park following extensive public review and comment.  The final rule authorizes oversnow vehicle (OSV) use in Yellowstone and contains provisions that allow greater flexibility for commercial tour operators, provides mechanisms to make the park cleaner and quieter than what has been allowed during the previous four winter seasons, rewards oversnow vehicle innovations and technologies that improve the Yellowstone experience, and allows for an increase in visitation. The final rule relies on impact analysis conducted through the 2013 Winter Use Final Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (final Plan/SEIS).

“This is a balanced and flexible plan that we believe will work for tour operators, for park visitors and for the iconic landscapes with which we are entrusted to protect,” said Superintendent Dan Wenk.  “We appreciate the public comment and review that has gone into informing this science-based approach that will provide a safe and positive experience for the millions of visitors who come to Yellowstone every year.”

The 2013/2014 winter season will be a transition year to the new rule during which the park will allow snowmobiles and snowcoaches under the same conditions in place for the past four winters. The one-season transition period will also allow time for the NPS to advertise and award concession contracts and for commercial tour operators to adequately prepare for the new rule.
Beginning with the 2014/2015 winter season, the previous management approach of fixed maximum number of OSVs allowed in the park each day will be replaced with a more flexible concept of managing vehicle access by transportation events, defined as one snowcoach or a group of up to 10 snowmobiles, averaging seven seasonally.  New best available technology standards will be required for snowmobiles no later than the 2015/2016 season, and for snowcoaches by the 2016/2017 winter season. 
Commercial tour operators will be able to use their allocated transportation events for snowmobiles, snowcoaches, or a mix of both, as long as no more than 50 of the authorized 110 daily transportation events are snowmobile transportation events. This approach allows the proportion of snowcoaches or snowmobiles in the park each day to be adjusted, allows for an increase in the size of snowmobile groups to meet demand on peak days, and permits an increase in vehicle group size per transportation event if voluntary enhanced emission standards are met.
The plan also allows one non-commercially guided group of up to five snowmobiles to enter through each park entrance every day. The park will be working with interested stakeholders to develop the Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program, along with the Yellowstone Snowmobile Education Certification. The rule also continues to allow OSV use on the East Entrance road over Sylvan Pass.
To reinforce the central approach of the agency and a key tenant of this successful rule making, park managers will continue to collaborate with the public by implementing an Adaptive Management Program, which will combine science with public input, to ensure that OSV use impacts stay within limits predicted in the final Plan/SEIS. The kick-off meeting for this program is November 22, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the campus of Montana State University in Bozeman, MT.  Interested members of the public are encouraged to attend.  More information can be found at http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/wuamp.htm.
Additional information and an electronic copy of the final Plan/SEIS and rule are available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yell.

Test Results Released on E-15 Fuel Impact on Snowmobiles

Haslett, MI, September 19, 2013: The US Department Of Energy (DOE) released a study conducted by Michigan Technological University which was designed to evaluate the effects of E-15 fuel on current and legacy snowmobile engines and vehicles. Three test scenarios were conducted to evaluate the impact of E-15 including cold-start performance and emissions; snowmobile drivability; and laboratory exhaust emissions over the useful life of the engine. Eight engines were tested over a two year period. The vehicles were tested in the laboratory and on the trail in real life driving conditions.

The conclusion of the testing by the DOE is that E-15 fuel is NOT approved for snowmobile use. Observations made during the study support the US EPA’s decision to NOT APPROVE E-15 fuel for snowmobiles.

The testing was conducted since E-15 fuel is being introduced into the marketplace and is viewed by some as an important fuel enabling the United States to achieve the goals of the Reformulated Fuel Standard passed by the US Congress.

Ethanol is being produced throughout the United States. Ethanol producers use corn, switch grass, and other related plant products in the production of ethanol. It is the directive of the present administration that 13.8 Billion Gallons of ethanol be produced and distributed in the marketplace. The goal is challenging because US Gasoline consumption is declining rapidly.

Since it appears the E-15 fuel will be made more readily available throughout the United States, it is important that owners of snowmobiles and of other gas-powered products realize that E-15 fuel may impact on the various engines.

The 69 page study highlights that one of the key issues related to snowmobiles is that exhaust gas temperatures and muffler exit temperature consistently increase with the use of E-15 fuel. The increased temperatures range from 15 to 40 percent, depending on the vehicle. This rise in temperature occurs because of the leaner air – fuel mixture.

Since it has been recommended that E-15 not be approved for snowmobile use by the EPA, there is concern in the marketplace that mis-fueling of snowmobiles can occur. Recent surveys show that approximately 50% of all Americans fill up their portable gas tank or vehicles that they are towing with the same fuel used to fill their tow vehicle (car or truck). Also approximately 2/3 of all Americans say that they assume that any gas sold at a gas station is safe for all of their vehicles – including snowmobiles, generators, boats, etc. Approximately 50% of Americans check the fuel pumps for warning labels when filling up their vehicles.

With various fuels entering the marketplace, it is more important than ever that customers carefully read any and all labels on gas dispensing pumps and understand the guidance messages placed on those pumps.

It should be noted that E-85 fuel has been available in the marketplace for many years. E-85 is a blend of fuel which is designed to be used in flex-fuel equipped cars and trucks only. E-85 is 85% ethanol. It should NOT be confused with E-15 which is 15% ethanol. E-10 fuel is 10% ethanol and has been available and used throughout the United States for years and is approved for snowmobile use.

The conclusion of the testing by the DOE is that E-15 fuel is NOT approved for snowmobile use.

The complete study is available online at http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/60115.pdf

SNOWMOBILE SAFETY CLASS

Come on down to the

Michigan Snowmobile Association Snow Show on September 21 at the US 131 MotorSports Park & Drag Way, right off US 131 at the Martin exit. While you are checking out all the new snowmobiles and clothing, your son or daughter can get that Snowmobile Safety Certificate to allow them to safely drive a snowmobile on the trails with or without mom and dad. Or hey if you need a little brush up on your safety skills, you can sit in and learn from the experts!

The Byron Center Snowmobile Club will once again offer this class FREE of charge. You will need a $5 bill for a lunch. The class will run from 9 AM until 4 PM. The entrance fee to the show is $12.00, the kids attending the safety class are FREE.

You must call to RESERVE your child's place in the class @ 616-361-2285

Remember, you make snowmobiling safe, practice zero tolerance while riding, and start your young riders out right!

 

Super Sled Shootout and MSA All Sports Show Is Back!

 

Eaton Corporation recently announced it will again feature Aeroquip performance products with its title sponsorship role at the third annual combined Michigan Snowmobile Association's Snow Show & Swap Meet and the American Snowmobiler magazine's Super Sled Shootout. Power for the entire outdoor show will be provided exclusively by Yamaha Generators.

The event will be held on September 20-21, 22, 2013, at one of the nation's premier motorsports venues, U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan.

Snowmobilers and motorcyclists from across North America will convene at the park-where the starting line is named Aeroquip Alley-to race on the quarter-mile, asphalt drag strip at speeds exceeding 180 mph and to view the latest in snowmobiles and accessory products, such as Eaton's Aeroquip performance hose and fitting products.

The weekend lineup will include:

Friday, September 20, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.-Snow Show and Swap Meet will feature snowmobile and ATV manufacturers, aftermarket and power sport products and more. Asphalt snowmobile racers, as well as motorcycle and drag racers, will participate in evening test and tune runs on the U.S. 131 track.

Saturday, September 21, 9 a.m. to dark-Snow Show and Swap Meet will continue with power brought to you by Yamaha. Following a morning test and tune session, the Super Sled Shootout will begin approximately at noon with premier Outlaw, All Motor, Pro 9.0 Index, Pro Stock, and Big Twin classes, as well as classes for all levels of sled riders and motorcyclists. Bracket races will follow.

Sunday, September 22, 9 a.m.-After a morning practice session, the Super Sled Shootout will wrap up with several class races and final bracket races.

For sponsorship info contact Jamie Bellman at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it For swap or sports show vendor info contact Bill Manson at the MSA at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it For media, magazine, or additional info contact Mark Boncher at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Contact: Jim Ferris, 906-346-9201 or Debbie Munson Badini, 906-226-1352


DNR invites public input on forest plans for Alger and Marquette counties

The Department of Natural Resources will host an open house on Wednesday, Sept. 11, in Ishpeming to provide information and receive public comment on proposed forest management treatments for 2015 in the Gwinn management unit, which includes Alger and Marquette counties. The open house is set for:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 11, 4 to 7 p.m.
    Ishpeming Field Office, 1985 US 41 Highway West, Ishpeming

Each year, DNR personnel evaluate one-tenth of the state forest. The inventory provides key decision-making information for foresters and wildlife, fisheries and other resource managers. The age, health, quality and quantity of trees and other vegetation are assessed to enable DNR staff to make informed decisions. Timber management, wildlife and fisheries habitat, minerals, archeological sites, recreational use, wildfire potential and social concerns are just some of the topics taken into consideration during this review.

Because the forest is inventoried approximately two years in advance, a year of entry is assigned to indicate when treatments will be prepared. Information currently under review has a 2015 year of entry. This means that treatment activities on lands being reviewed this year will actually begin in 2015.

Proposed treatments, which may include timber harvesting, replanting and other management activities, are designed to ensure the sustainability of all forest resources.

Bill O’Neill, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, said these open houses are a good way for interested residents, neighbors and stakeholders to learn – well in advance – about the DNR’s proposed treatment plans and to share input toward final decisions on those treatments.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the public to weigh in on what the DNR is doing to sustainably manage Michigan’s state forest land,” said O’Neill, who also serves as state forester. “Interested folks can take a look at proposed management plans and talk face-to-face with foresters and biologists about their questions and concerns. Having active partners in the management of our state forests is crucial to meeting the recreation, economic and conservation needs of current and future generations.”

To more easily and efficiently oversee the forest resources, the DNR divides each management unit into smaller units or “compartments.” This year the compartments under review are in Limestone, Mathias, Onota and Rock River townships (Alger County); Champion, Chocolay, Ely, Ewing, Forsyth, Humboldt, Ishpeming, Marquette, Michigamme, Negaunee, Powell, Richmond, Sands, Skandia, Tilden, Wells and West Branch townships (Marquette County).

Maps and information regarding proposed treatments will be available at the open house. The information can also be found at www.michigan.gov/forestplan. Compartment review packets for the 2015 year of entry can be found by selecting the shown map and clicking on the “Gwinn” button. Records of decisions, recorded timber harvests and other treatments for past years are available on this page.

On Wednesday, Oct. 2, the DNR will complete its formal compartment review to decide on final treatment plans for these areas. That review will take place:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 2, 9:30 a.m.
    Peter White Public Library (community room), 217 N. Front St., Marquette

Persons with disabilities who need accommodations for either meeting should contact Jim Ferris, 906-346-9201, a minimum of five business days before each meeting.

Contact: Matt Edison, 906-477-6048, ext. 2060 or Debbie Munson Badini, 906-226-1352


DNR invites public input on forest plans for Chippewa and Mackinac counties

The Department of Natural Resources will host open houses on Tuesday, Sept. 10, in Naubinway and Wednesday, Sept. 11, in Kincheloe to provide information and receive public comment on proposed forest management treatments for 2015 in the Sault Ste. Marie management unit, which includes Chippewa and Mackinac counties. The open houses are set for the following times and locations:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 10, 3 to 6 p.m.
    DNR Naubinway Field Office, 11569 U.S. Highway 2, Naubinway
  • Wednesday, Sept. 11, 3 to 6 p.m.
    Kinross Township Hall, 310 Curtis St., Kincheloe

Each year, DNR personnel evaluate one-tenth of the state forest. The inventory provides key decision-making information for foresters and wildlife, fisheries and other resource managers. The age, health, quality and quantity of trees and other vegetation are assessed to enable DNR staff to make informed decisions. Timber management, wildlife and fisheries habitat, minerals, archeological sites, recreational use, wildfire potential and social concerns are just some of the topics taken into consideration during this review.

Because the forest is inventoried approximately two years in advance, a year of entry is assigned to indicate when treatments will be prepared. Information currently under review has a 2015 year of entry. This means that treatment activities on lands being reviewed this year will actually begin in 2015.

Proposed treatments, which may include timber harvesting, replanting and other management activities, are designed to ensure the sustainability of all forest resources.

Bill O’Neill, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, said these open houses are a good way for interested residents, neighbors and stakeholders to learn – well in advance – about the DNR’s proposed treatment plans and to share input toward final decisions on those treatments.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the public to weigh in on what the DNR is doing to sustainably manage Michigan’s state forest land,” said O’Neill, who also serves as state forester. “Interested folks can take a look at proposed management plans and talk face-to-face with foresters and biologists about their questions and concerns. Having active partners in the management of our state forests is crucial to meeting the recreation, economic and conservation needs of current and future generations.”

To more easily and efficiently oversee the forest resources, the DNR divides each management unit into smaller units or "compartments." This year, the compartments under review are in Raber, Rudyard, Pickford, Kinross and Drummond townships (Chippewa County); and Hendricks, Moran, Hudson, Garfield, Portage and Newton townships (Mackinac County).

Maps and information regarding proposed treatments will be available at the open house. The information can also be found at www.michigan.gov/forestplan. Compartment review packets for the 2015 year of entry can be found by selecting the shown map and clicking on the “Sault Ste. Marie” button. Records of decisions, recorded timber harvests and other treatments for past years are available on this page.

On Thursday, Oct. 3, the DNR will complete its formal compartment review to decide on final treatment plans for these areas. That review will take place:

  • Thursday, Oct. 3, 9 a.m.
    Quality Inn, 561 Boulevard Drive, St. Ignace

Those with disabilities who need accommodations for either meeting should contact Karen Rodock, 906-635-5281, ext. 56167, a minimum of five business days before each meeting.

Contact: Steve Anderson, 989-275-4622, ext. 2740 or Ed Golder, 517-335-3014


DNR invites public input on forest plans for Roscommon and Ogemaw counties

The Department of Natural Resources will host an open house on Sept. 11 in Roscommon to provide information and receive public comment on proposed forest management treatments for 2015 in the Roscommon management unit, which includes Roscommon and Ogemaw counties. The open house is set for:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 11, 4 to 7 p.m.
    Roscommon Field Office, (just off I-75 exit 239, behind the Roscommon Operations Service Center) at 8717 N. Roscommon Road

Each year, DNR personnel evaluate one-tenth of the state forest. The inventory provides key decision-making information for foresters and wildlife, fisheries and other resource managers. The age, health, quality and quantity of trees and other vegetation are assessed to enable DNR staff to make informed decisions. Timber management, wildlife and fisheries habitat, minerals, archeological sites, recreational use, wildfire potential and social concerns are just some of the topics taken into consideration during this review.

Because the forest is inventoried approximately two years in advance, a year of entry is assigned to indicate when treatments will be prepared. Information currently under review has a 2015 year of entry. This means that treatment activities on lands being reviewed this year will actually begin in 2015.

Proposed treatments, which may include timber harvesting, replanting and other management activities, are designed to ensure the sustainability of all forest resources.

Bill O’Neill, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, said these open houses are a good way for interested residents, neighbors and stakeholders to learn – well in advance – about the DNR’s proposed treatment plans and to share input toward final decisions on those treatments.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the public to weigh in on what the DNR is doing to sustainably manage Michigan’s state forest land,” said O’Neill, who also serves as state forester. “Interested folks can take a look at proposed management plans and talk face-to-face with foresters and biologists about their questions and concerns. Having active partners in the management of our state forests is crucial to meeting the recreation, economic and conservation needs of current and future generations.”

To more easily and efficiently oversee the forest resources, the DNR divides each management unit into smaller units or "compartments." This year, the compartments under review are in Lyon, Lake, Gerrish, Higgins, AuSable, Richfield, Backus, Nestor, Roscommon and Denton townships (Roscommon County); and Foster and Rose townships (Ogemaw County).

Maps and information regarding proposed treatments will be available at the open house. The information can also be found at www.michigan.gov/forestplan. Compartment review packets for the 2015 year of entry can be found by selecting the shown map and clicking on the “Roscommon” button. Records of decisions, recorded timber harvests and other treatments for past years are available on this page.

On Oct. 23, the DNR will complete its formal compartment review to decide on final treatment plans for these areas. That review will take place:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 23, 9 a.m.
    Roscommon Operations Service Center, 8717 N. Roscommon Road

Those with disabilities who need accommodations for either meeting should contact Steve Anderson, 989-275-4622, ext. 2740, a minimum of five business days before each meeting.

Update on RTP

Your voice for Snowmobile Trails has made a difference!

With your help, we staved off several attacks on funding for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), including Senator Rand Paul's attempt to divert funding from the program.

In a few short days, supporters like you logged thousands of phone calls and email messages to Congress -- and the pressure paid off.

The House withdrew their Transportation Bill yesterday due to lack of support. Today the Rand Amendment and other Amendments failed in a vote on the Senate Floor.

Transportation funding bills in both the House and the Senate have been left to be resolved after Congress returns from vacation in September.

But our fight is far from over.

Congress may have left town for recess, but we'll need your continued support to protect RTP, a very important source of funding for snowmobile trails.

Right now we have to keep the pressure on Congress to preserve the already dwindling funding for trails. Take the time to talk with your Congressman and Senators while they are back in the district for the next month. Remind them of the important role recreation and trails play in your area.

Thanks again for speaking out. Your voice is making a difference!

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Our scholarship winners have been selected; it was a difficult decision as there were many great essays. Sure would be nice if we could give each entry a scholarship.

Our American Income Life winner is Bethany Mc Carry from Auburn Mi

Our Patricia Jernberg, Nursing Scholarship winner is Samantha Carey from Morley Mi.

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DNR invites public input on forest plans for parts of Cheboygan and Otsego counties

The Department of Natural Resources will host an open house on Aug. 1 in Vanderbilt to provide information and receive public comment on proposed forest management treatments for 2015 in the Pigeon River Country management unit, which includes parts of Cheboygan, Montmorency and Otsego counties. The open house is set for:

  • Thursday, Aug. 1, 3 to 6 p.m.
    Pigeon River Country Office, 9966 Twin Lakes Road, Vanderbilt
    (Will cover proposed forest treatments in Cheboygan and Otsego counties)

Each year, DNR personnel evaluate one-tenth of the state forest. The inventory provides key decision-making information for foresters and wildlife, fisheries and other resource managers. The age, health, quality and quantity of trees and other vegetation are assessed to enable DNR staff to make informed decisions. Timber management, wildlife and fisheries habitat, minerals, archeological sites, recreational use, wildfire potential and social concerns are just some of the topics taken into consideration during this review.

Because the forest is inventoried approximately two years in advance, a year of entry is assigned to indicate when treatments will be prepared. Information currently under review has a 2015 year of entry. This means that treatment activities on lands being reviewed this year will actually begin in 2015.

Proposed treatments, which may include timber harvesting, replanting and other management activities, are designed to ensure the sustainability of all forest resources.

Bill O’Neill, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, said these open houses are a good way for interested residents, neighbors and stakeholders to learn – well in advance – about the DNR’s proposed treatment plans and to share input toward final decisions on those treatments.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the public to weigh in on what the DNR is doing to sustainably manage Michigan’s state forest land,” said O’Neill, who also serves as state forester. “Interested folks can take a look at proposed management plans and talk face-to-face with foresters and biologists about their questions and concerns. Having active partners in the management of our state forests is crucial to meeting the recreation, economic and conservation needs of current and future generations.”

To more easily and efficiently oversee the forest resources, the DNR divides each management unit into smaller units or "compartments." This year, the compartments under review are in Nunda and Forest townships (Cheboygan County); and Corwith Township (Otsego County).

Maps and information regarding proposed treatments will be available at the open house. The information can also be found at www.michigan.gov/forestplan. Compartment review packets for the 2015 year of entry can be found by selecting the shown map and clicking on the “Pigeon River Country” button. Records of decisions, recorded timber harvests and other treatments for past years are available on this page.

On Wednesday, Aug 21, the DNR will complete its formal compartment review to decide on final treatment plans for these areas. That review will take place:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 21, 9 a.m.
    Pigeon River Country Office, 9966 Twin Lakes Road, Vanderbilt

Persons with disabilities who need accommodations for either meeting should contact Scott Whitcomb, 989-983-4101, a minimum of five business days before each meeting.

 

 

 

 

Press Release

Contact: Ed Klim

Phone: (517) 339-7788

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

10:00 A.M. EDT, June 25, 2013

Worldwide Snowmobile Sales Jump 12%

Haslett, MI, June 25, 2013: A long lasting winter and continued enthusiasm and interest in snowmobiling powered snowmobile sales to increase worldwide to 144,601 new sleds sold this past year. This is an increase of over 15,000 units, which is a 12 percent gain from last year. Sales in the United States were flat at 48,536 new snowmobiles sold, while sales in Canada rose over 8 percent to 44, 022 new sleds sold.

The snowmobile community is optimistic following the above average snowfall throughout most of North America this past season. The 2014 manufacturers spring snowmobile shows reported dramatic increases in attendance. In many of the spring shows, visitation was up over 30 percent. Spring orders are up and that points to a good 2014 sales year!

The snowmobile industry reports an increase in registered snowmobiles in North America to approximately 2 million registered sleds. Increased registration in Northern Europe and Russia continues, and there are over 700,000 registered units in the European community and Russia.

Snowmobile related tourism also increased in North America and beyond. This can be seen in economic impact studies conducted throughout North America by major business colleges and universities. Miles ridden by snowmobilers (which is always predictive of economic impact) showed a 20 percent increase in the 2012-2013 season. This is a result of good riding conditions and improved and expanded trail systems.

The average age of a snowmobiler this past season was determined to be 43 years of age. The average age increased slightly due to the fact that many younger adults are struggling to pay off school loans and are struggling due to the slower growth of the economy.

Surveys conducted by ISMA have shown that slightly over 70% of first-time buyers in the snowmobile market purchased a used snowmobile. Many of them are young adults and they move on to purchase a new snowmobile later in life.

The majority of snowmobilers in North America are Club members and/or Association-Federation members (over 50%). These active, involved, outdoor enthusiasts build the trails and support snowmobiling access. Snowmobilers are also active charity fundraisers who raised over $3.4 million dollars for National Charities last year.

The Go Snowmobiling website serves as another strong indicator for the interest in snowmobiling. This year more than 4.4 million visited the Go Snowmobiling site. This is a 15 percent increase above last year. Statistics show that approximately 20 percent of those visitors are individuals who do not own a snowmobile but are expressing a great deal of interest in owning a snowmobile and going snowmobiling. It was also noted that approximately 20 percent of the visitors to the site visited the rental outlet pages of the site. Indications are that many of the individuals visiting the rental site do not own a snowmobile but want to rent one during the ir winter vacation. This activity and interest in renting bodes well for future sales and the growth in the snowmobile rental market.

Additional surveys have found that snowmobilers are active in many outdoor activities. Many snowmobilers are also boaters, motorcycle riders, camping enthusiasts, hunting enthusiasts and general outdoor recreational activity participants.

Many individuals have discovered that snowmobiling is a great recreational family activity in the winter. Many of those individuals are snowmobiling for reasons such as viewing the scenery, be with family and friends, and to get away from the usual demands of life and be close to nature.

The continued broad-based growth of the snowmobile community includes the increased number of visitors and exhibitors in snowmobile shows. States and provincial organizations continue to grow and expand club membership. Many organizations report that new trails are being developed to support the positive economic impact of snowmobiling and job growth for the rural community. Economic impact studies generated by universities in North America show that snowmobiling is growing in importance as part of the overall economic engine and job growth for winter tourism. Estimates show that snowmobiling now generates more than $30 Billion Dollars of economic activity in North America. The economic activity generated by snowmobiling provides many jobs and investment opportunities and generates considerable tax revenue for local governments which eagerly support snowmobiling.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2013

Contact: Jason Hartman, 989-426-9205, ext. 7640 or Sarah Lapshan, 517-241-1736


DNR invites public input on forest plans for Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella and Midland counties

The Department of Natural Resources will host open houses on July 16 and 17 in Gladwin and Harrison to provide information and receive public comment on proposed forest management treatments for 2015 in the Gladwin management unit, which includes Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella and Midland counties and the southern part of Iosco County. The open houses are set for the following times and locations:

  • Tuesday, July 16, 3 to 6 p.m.
    Gladwin Field Office, 801 N. Silverleaf St., Gladwin
    (Will cover proposed forest treatments in Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella and Midland counties)

  • Wednesday, July 17, 3 to 5 p.m.
    Redding Township Hall, 8391 W. Temple Drive, Harrison
    (Will cover proposed forest treatments in Clare County)

Each year, DNR personnel evaluate one-tenth of the state forest. The inventory provides key decision-making information for foresters and wildlife, fisheries and other resource managers. The age, health, quality and quantity of trees and other vegetation are assessed to enable DNR staff to make informed decisions. Timber management, wildlife and fisheries habitat, minerals, archeological sites, recreational use, wildfire potential and social concerns are just some of the topics taken into consideration during this review.

Because the forest is inventoried approximately two years in advance, a year of entry is assigned to indicate when treatments will be prepared. Information currently under review has a 2015 year of entry. This means that treatment activities on lands being reviewed this year will actually begin in 2015.

Proposed treatments, which may include timber harvesting, replanting and other management activities, are designed to ensure the sustainability of all forest resources.

Bill O’Neill, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, said these open houses are a good way for interested residents, neighbors and stakeholders to learn – well in advance – about the DNR’s proposed treatment plans and to share input toward final decisions on those treatments.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the public to weigh in on what the DNR is doing to sustainably manage Michigan’s state forest land,” said O’Neill, who also serves as state forester. “Interested folks can take a look at proposed management plans and talk face-to-face with foresters and biologists about their questions and concerns. Having active partners in the management of our state forests is crucial to meeting the recreation, economic and conservation needs of current and future generations.”

To more easily and efficiently oversee the forest resources, the DNR divides each management unit into smaller units or "compartments." This year, the compartments under review are in Freeman and Garfield townships (Clare County); Edenville Township (Midland County); Grim and Bourret townships (Gladwin County); and Moffatt, Clayton, Arenac, Adams and AuGres townships (Arenac County).

Maps and information regarding proposed treatments will be available at the open house. The information can also be found at www.michigan.gov/forestplan. Compartment review packets for the 2015 year of entry can be found by selecting the shown map and clicking on the “Gladwin” button. Records of decisions, recorded timber harvests and other treatments for past years are available on this page.

On Wednesday, July 31, the DNR will complete its formal compartment review to decide on final treatment plans for these areas. That review will take place:

  • Wednesday, July 31, 9 a.m.
    Harrison Field Office, 2115 Sullivan Drive, Harrison

Persons with disabilities who need accommodations for either meeting should contact Jason Hartman, 989-426-9205, ext. 7640, a minimum of five business days before each meeting.

Meister Gave Up!

The case against the Huron Manistee National Forest to outlaw Snowmobiling and Hunting was dismissed. I’m not sure what the background story is, or what the motivation was at the time. The result, as we interpret it, is that the new plan will simply go into effect. Though we know that plan was logically inconsistent and flawed, it does not change the existing use/restrictions in the Manistee and Huron forests.

ASHWAUBENON, WI — The International Snowmobile Congress will meet Thursday through Saturday at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center.

The 45th annual meeting, hosted by the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs, is expected to draw 500 attendees from the United States, Canada, Sweden and Russia.

The event will include meetings of major snowmobile organizations as well as breakout sessions on such items as multiple use of trails, land use, environmentally clean snowmobiles and trail grooming equipment.

The website is isc2013.org.

 

DNR invites public input on forest plans for Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau and Manistee counties

The Department of Natural Resources will host open houses on Tuesday, June 25, and Wednesday, June 26, in Traverse City and Kalkaska to provide information and receive public comment on proposed forest management treatments for 2015 in the Traverse City management unit, which includes Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau and Manistee counties. The open houses are set for the following times and locations:

  • Tuesday, June 25, 4 to 7 p.m.
    Traverse City Field Office, 970 Emerson Road, Traverse City
    (will cover proposed forest treatments in Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee and Grand Traverse counties)
  • Wednesday, June 26, 4 to 7 p.m.
    Kalkaska Field Office, 2089 North Birch St., Kalkaska
    (will cover proposed forest treatments in Kalkaska County)

Each year, DNR personnel evaluate one-tenth of the state forest. The inventory provides key decision-making information for foresters and wildlife, fisheries and other resource managers. The age, health, quality and quantity of trees and other vegetation are assessed to enable DNR staff to make informed decisions. Timber management, wildlife and fisheries habitat, minerals, archeological sites, recreational use, wildfire potential and social concerns are just some of the topics taken into consideration during this review.

Because the forest is inventoried approximately two years in advance, a year of entry is assigned to indicate when treatments will be prepared. Information currently under review has a 2015 year of entry. This means that treatment activities on lands being reviewed this year will actually begin in 2015.

Proposed treatments, which may include timber harvesting, replanting and other management activities, are designed to ensure the sustainability of all forest resources.

Bill O’Neill, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, said these open houses are a good way for interested residents, neighbors and stakeholders to learn – well in advance – about the DNR’s proposed treatment plans and to share input toward final decisions on those treatments.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the public to weigh in on what the DNR is doing to sustainably manage Michigan’s state forest land,” said O’Neill, who also serves as state forester. “Interested folks can take a look at proposed management plans and talk face-to-face with foresters and biologists about their questions and concerns. Having active partners in the management of our state forests is crucial to meeting the recreation, economic and conservation needs of current and future generations.”

To more easily and efficiently oversee the forest resources, the DNR divides each management unit into smaller units or "compartments." This year, the compartments under review are in Platte, Inland and Weldon townships (Benzie County); Whitewater, Union and Fife Lake townships (Grand Traverse County); Clearwater, Kalkaska, Garfield, Oliver, Bear Lake, Cold Springs and Blue Lake townships (Kalkaska County); Solon Township (Leelanau County); and Cleon Township (Manistee County).

Maps and information regarding proposed treatments will be available at the open house. The information can also be found at www.michigan.gov/forestplan. Compartment review packets for the 2015 year of entry can be found by selecting the shown map and clicking on the “Traverse City” button. Records of decisions, recorded timber harvests and other treatments for past years are available on this page.

On Thursday, July 18, the DNR will complete its formal compartment review to decide on final treatment plans for these areas. That review will take place:

  • Thursday, July 18, 9 a.m.
    Stone House, 419 S. Coral St., Kalkaska

Persons with disabilities who need accommodations for either meeting should contact Dave Lemmien, 231-922-5280, ext. 6840, a minimum of five business days before each meeting.

DNR invites public input on forest plans for
Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Mackinac and Otsego counties

The Department of Natural Resources will host open houses on Tuesday, June 25, and Wednesday, June 26, in Gaylord and Indian River to provide information and receive public comment on proposed forest management treatments for 2015 in the Gaylord management unit, which includes Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Mackinac and Otsego counties. The open houses are set for the following times and locations:

  • Tuesday, June 25, 3 to 7 p.m.
    Gaylord Field Office, 1732 W. M-32, Gaylord

    (will cover proposed forest treatments in Antrim, Charlevoix and Otsego counties)
  • Wednesday, June 26, 3 to 7 p.m.
    Indian River Field Office, 6984 Wilson Road, Indian River
    (will cover proposed forest treatments in Cheboygan, Emmet and Mackinac counties)

Each year, DNR personnel evaluate one-tenth of the state forest. The inventory provides key decision-making information for foresters and wildlife, fisheries and other resource managers. The age, health, quality and quantity of trees and other vegetation are assessed to enable DNR staff to make informed decisions. Timber management, wildlife and fisheries habitat, minerals, archeological sites, recreational use, wildfire potential and social concerns are just some of the topics taken into consideration during this review.

Because the forest is inventoried approximately two years in advance, a year of entry is assigned to indicate when treatments will be prepared. Information currently under review has a 2015 year of entry. This means that treatment activities on lands being reviewed this year will actually begin in 2015.

Proposed treatments, which may include timber harvesting, replanting and other management activities, are designed to ensure the sustainability of all forest resources.

Bill O’Neill, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, said these open houses are a good way for interested residents, neighbors and stakeholders to learn – well in advance – about the DNR’s proposed treatment plans and to share input toward final decisions on those treatments.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the public to weigh in on what the DNR is doing to sustainably manage Michigan’s state forest land,” said O’Neill, who also serves as state forester. “Interested folks can take a look at proposed management plans and talk face-to-face with foresters and biologists about their questions and concerns. Having active partners in the management of our state forests is crucial to meeting the recreation, economic and conservation needs of current and future generations.”

To more easily and efficiently oversee the forest resources, the DNR divides each management unit into smaller units or "compartments." This year, the compartments under review are in Warner and Chestonia townships (Antrim County); Boyne Valley, Peaine and Wilson townships (Charlevoix County); Hebron, Tuscarora, Ellis, Wilmont and Waverly townships (Cheboygan County); Carp Lake, Maple River and Friendship townships (Emmet County); Bois Blanc Island (Mackinac County); and Bagley, Chester and Charlton townships (Otsego County).

Maps and information regarding proposed treatments will be available at the open house. The information can also be found at www.michigan.gov/forestplan. Compartment review packets for the 2015 year of entry can be found by selecting the shown map and clicking on the “Gaylord” button. Records of decisions, recorded timber harvests and other treatments for past years are available on this page.

On Wednesday, July 24, the DNR will complete its formal compartment review to decide on final treatment plans for these areas. That review will take place:

  • Wednesday, July 24, 9 a.m.
    Otsego Lake Township Hall, 10584 S. Old 27, Waters

Persons with disabilities who need accommodations for either meeting should contact Joyce Angel, 989-732-3541, ext. 5440, a minimum of five business days before each meeting.

MSA SUMMER CAMP-OUT

by Don Wing, MSA recreational chairperson

The 2013 MSA Camp Out is scheduled for June 21-23. Note: June 21 is first day of summer and attending the MSA Camp Out would be an excellent way to start your summer. Come celebrate with your MSA friends at Camp Cadillac during the 2013 MSA Camp Out.

An Excellent Venue – Camp Cadillac Camp Cadillac has a petting zoo, heated swimming pool, volleyball courts, pond fishing, barrel rides for children 10 years of age or weighing less than 75 pounds,  horseshoes, hay rides, and hiking. They do have a limited number of cabins for rent. Cadillac is a beautiful area to visit. There are two lakes for boating, fishing or swimming, many golf courses as well as gorgeous scenery. Yep, I’m a bit biased since this is my home. There is also a windmill farm approximately 10 miles from the campground and a lookout tower looking over the Caberfae ski area. The White Pine Trail is excellent for bicycling as well as the bike path around Lake Cadillac.

Camp Out Specifics

West Shore Snowmobile Council and North Side SnowVets have volunteered again this year to host a fish fry on Friday evening. Those who attended last year raved about the excellent fish. This is not a meal you will want to miss! You will need to bring a dish to pass in the event. Anticipate dinner to be about 6:30 p.m. to allow travel time to the event for attendees. We will have another potluck on Saturday evening. It is a Country Boil. Breakfast Sunday morning will be cooked by the MSA officers. We are still looking for sponsors for these two events. There will be a root beer float break on Saturday afternoon. Gogebic Area Grooming is sponsoring this event. A road scavenger hunt is planned for Saturday. Those participating will be given clues and/or coordinates. More details will be available at the Camp Out. Camp Cadillac offers day passes for those who can’t spend the entire weekend.

The cost is $33 per night for full hookup, $30 per night with water and electric only. A limited number of cabins are available. It is necessary that you register with the MSA office after May 15 to gain the control number to get that price at the Camp Cadillac. Registration with the MSA office is also critical to planning the event and ensures that enough food is prepared. I look forwarding to seeing all of you at Camp Cadillac on June 21-23, 2013, for an exciting, fun-filled weekend.

JUDGE SIDES WITH BACKCOUNTRY SKIERS IN USE LAWSUIT

What does that mean for the Michigan Snowmobiler? BAD NEWS!

Why is it bad news, Michigan has three National Forests, The Huron-Manistee in the lower peninsula, and the Hiawatha and Ottawa National Forests in the upper peninsula.

In 2005 when the US Forest service published their Travel Management Rules & regulations designating areas of use and non-use by all off-road vehicles, snowmobiles were excluded. Why were we excluded? Because of the work done by MSA (Michigan Snowmobile Association) and ACSA (American Council of Snowmobile Associations) educating the Forest Service personal in Washington DC. When the snow melts, so do our tracks!

"The court finds the OSV (over-snow vehicles) exemption is contrary to law," the judge wrote. "The Court finds that the 2005 Travel Management Rule is arbitrary and capricious to the extent that it does not require designations for the use of OSVs upon the national forest lands."

So here is why this is bad, right now the Ottawa and Hiawatha allow snowmobile to use all forest roads and trails, unless closed by some other order. The Huron Manistee restricts snowmobiles to roads and groomed trails only per a previous lawsuit by Mr Meister.

If this ruling is allowed to stand all three forests may be required to restrict snowmobile to the groomed trails only. That kind of a ruling would end thousands of miles of off trail riding on logging roads, fire lanes, and two tracks.

The ruling is currently being reviewed by the Forest Service, we have no idea if an appeal is planned yet. ASCA, the Idaho Snowmobile Association and the Blue Ribbon Coalition were interveners in the first lawsuit filed, and will have standing to appeal if the NFS does not. I'm sure a legal defense fund will be forthcoming from ACSA www.snowmobilers.org

Judge sides with backcountry skiers in use lawsuit (Story)

Monday - 4/1/2013, 7:10pm ET

JOHN MILLER
Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- A federal judge in Idaho says the U.S. Forest Service broke the law when it didn't craft rules to govern snowmobile travel, handing powder-loving backcountry skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts a victory that could extend to national forests nationwide.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush ruled Friday that the Forest Service must go back to work on its 2005 Travel Management Rule and draw up regulations designating areas of use and non-use by all off-road vehicles, including snowmobiles, on national forest lands.

The Idaho-based Winter Wildlands Alliance had argued the agency's decision to allow individual forests to exempt snowmobiles from the rules was illegal and has created conflicts between snowmobiles and backcountry skiers.

The judge agreed with the skier's group, ordering the Forest Service to write a new rule consistent with his decision within 180 days. The decision will lead to changes in national forests in Idaho, but could also prompt national forests across the West and other states to revisit its off-road policies.

"The court finds the OSV (over-snow vehicles) exemption is contrary to law," Bush wrote. "The Court finds that the 2005 Travel Management Rule is arbitrary and capricious to the extent that it does not require designations for the use of OSVs upon the national forest lands."

Mark Menlove, executive director with the Winter Wildlands Alliance, said the decision was a monumental victory for backcountry skiers and other winter recreationists seeking a peaceful experience in the woods.

The group's goal is to not shut down snowmobiles in national forests, but force the agency to designate specific boundaries that carve out distinct areas for those who want to explore on powered sleds and those preferring skis, snowshoes and hiking boots.

"Many of our members use snowmobiles more and more to get to certain places, so we're not in any way asking the forest service to ban them," Menlove told The Associated Press on Monday. "But we are asking for some balance there, where our constituents can go and find peace and powder snow in the backcountry."

The U.S. Attorney's office in Idaho, which represented the Forest Service in the case, said the review process has not yet started to determine if an appeal is appropriate. Government lawyers also declined to comment on the decision.

But the ruling was disappointing to Idaho's snowmobiling community and the groups that joined the lawsuit to defend the existing rule. Sandra Mitchell, public lands director for the Idaho State Snowmobiling Association, said she was prepared to take part in the process of drafting a new rule and defending the recreational opportunities and the rural economies that benefit from the snowmobiling industry each winter.

"Obviously we want to ride in a responsible way, and be in places where we don't have negative impacts," Mitchell said. "But we also want to ensure that opportunities exist not just now but for future generations. Snowmobiling brings thousands of people to Idaho to recreate, and that's a huge driver for economies in the winter for rural Idaho."

Be one of the first to see the new 2014 snowmobiles by

Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo and Yamaha

March 19 Delta Plex Arena, Grand Rapids, MI

March 26 Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi, MI

4:00 PM until 9:00 PM

 

It is official, MSA & Snow Country Trails Conservancy (SCTC) saved Trail # 8 from closing between Michigami & Three Lakes. The paperwork is all done, deeds and easements filed, use agreements are in the hands of Moose Country Snowmobile Club & the Baraga Grooming Club. SCTC will be in the forefront to use the funds from the Permanent Trail Easement Fund to acquire easements to keep all the snowmobile trails in Michigan open to snowmobilers.


 

NEW TRAIL CONNECTOR PROPOSED, PLEASE COMMENT

The District is proposing that a new snowmobile trail be created allowing snowmobile riders to connect from Trail 320 to existing trails near the lakeshore. This will allow snowmobile riders the opportunity to plan longer trips and connect existing snowmobile trails along Lake Michigan to existing trails to the east.

This connector will connect the West Shore Trail System to the Baldwin Trail System

Proposal:

As shown on the enclosed map, the proposed trail will start at Trail 320 on South Branch Road in southern Lake County and continue west through private and National Forest System lands. The Trailriders Snowmobile Club, our partner who maintains the trail, has spoken with landowners along the proposed route and received permission to use private property for sections of the trail along Anthony Road. On National Forest System lands the trail will be located on open Forest Roads and closed roads. There will also be .4 of a mile of new trail constructed west of Woods Trail to connect with an open Forest Road. This will involve removing some trees and constructing a trail tread using Forest Service standards for snowmobile trail construction. The total approximate mileage of new trail on National Forest System lands will be 9.1 miles. Gates will be installed and closed in the non-winter months on the closed roads.

Click here for details. USFS Trail Updates 2-4-2013

 

David Low presents a check to the MSA officers as a donation from the Wayland Legion Building Corporation.

A big thankyou to David from MSA

SAE Snowmobile Challenge for 2013

HASLETT, MI, January 10, 2013 – The Snowmobile Challenge for 2013 will be held March 4-9, 2013 at the Keweenaw Research Center at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI. This year 21 teams have registered for the event – the most ever in the history of the event!

The members of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (Arctic Cat, BRP, Polaris and Yamaha) are proud gold level sponsors of the event. Staff from all of the manufacturers will be involved in the event and many serve as judges and reviewers of the many activities.

The SAE Challenge includes such activities as:

1. an endurance run from Houghton, MI to Copper Harbor

2. technical presentations regarding emissions and design presentations

3. a subjective handling event

4. an acceleration test

5. scientific testing for emissions levels and sound

Further information on the Snowmobile Challenge can be found at www.mtukrc.org .

**************************************************************************

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 3, 2013

Contact: Donna Stine, 517-241-3774 or Ed Golder, 517-335-3014


DNR invites public review and input on

Draft Michigan Comprehensive Trails Plan

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that a draft of the new Michigan Comprehensive Trails Plan for motorized, non-motorized and water trails is available online for public review and comment.

The draft plan can be viewed on the DNR’s Michigan Snowmobile and Trails Advisory Council webpage and also is available on the DNR's State Parks and Trails and Pathways webpages. Comments can be submitted via an online survey that is posted along with the draft. The DNR will accept comments and feedback on the draft plan through Friday, Jan. 25.

The trails plan addresses the status of Michigan’s motorized, non-motorized and water trails, and will serve as a guidebook in future decision-making on DNR trail-related programs. Michigan’s trails are enjoyed by equestrians, off-road vehicle enthusiasts, snowmobilers, hikers, bikers and cross-country skiers all across the state.

"In offering this draft plan for broad public review, the DNR seeks to get the best possible feedback from the people who most use our extensive trail system and those who would like to enjoy it more," said DNR Parks and Recreation Division Chief Ron Olson. "Michigan is home to a vast and varied trail system. Our goal is to provide a consistent, quality resource that best meets the needs of the steadily increasing number of trail users.”

Michigan’s extensive trail network – and the outdoor recreation, health and economic benefits it brings to nearby communities – is contributing to Michigan being recognized nationally not only as the Great Lakes State, but also as the Trail State. Michigan’s more than 12,000 miles of trails include over 6,000 miles of snowmobile trails and more than 3,600 miles of off-road vehicle trails. The state’s 2,600-mile rail-trail system is the largest in the nation and continues to grow. Nearly 600 miles of trails are designated equestrian trails, including the 300-mile Shore-to-Shore riding trail. Currently, the Michigan Heritage Water Trails is an initiative connecting communities using navigable waterways with the first designated trail - the River Country Heritage Water Trail - in St. Joseph County.

 

Contact: Ed Klim

Phone: (517) 339-7788

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

12:00 P.M. EDT January 2, 2013

International Snowmobile Safety Week 2013 – January 13-19th

HASLETT, MI, January 2, 2013 – The four snowmobile manufacturers are please to support and encourage participation in the upcoming International Snowmobile Safety Week January 13-19-2013. Snowmobilers have placed safe, responsible snowmobiling at the top of their list for years and have made great strides in safety education and enforcement. Snowmobile safety is a year around project that is supported by safety trainers, clubs, associations, enforcement officials, dealers and the manufacturers throughout the world.

In 1995 the snowmobile community joined together and developed the Safe Riders! You make snowmobiling safe™ safety campaign, and since its inception, literally millions of pieces of information have been distributed throughout the marketplace, encouraging and insisting on safe snowmobiling behavior. The Safe Riders! DVD is used by safety trainers throughout the world. In addition to the safety DVD, the manufacturers have also developed radio and TV public service announcements reminding snowmobile enthusiasts of the need to snowmobile responsibly and safely. Also available are the Snowmobiling Fact Book, and Snowmobile Safety brochure.

The Safe Riders! campaign focuses on key areas of concern that are the major causes of snowmobile accidents. Those key issues are depicted in our snowmobiling safety posters (also available free of charge from the ISMA Office) and include:

1. Snowmobiling and alcohol don’t mix, don’t drink and ride

2. Know before you go, always check local ice conditions

3. When night riding, slow down, always expect the unexpected

4. Ride safe, stay on the trail, always respect private property

5. Cross roads with care, don’t become road kill

6. Ride smart, ride right, always stay in control.

7. One is the loneliest number, never ride alone

8. Know the risks and be prepared, make every trip a round trip (be avalanche smart).

If you manage a club or local snowmobile association and are interested in participating in the International Snowmobile Safety Week, we have available the Safety Week Campaign Action Manual on our web site www.snowmobile.org . The manual provides tips on how to organize a local safety campaign and promote the Safe Riders! position. (Tip: We encourage snowmobile safety year around and if the weather doesn’t cooperate we always encourage you to promote safety in your area any time during the year.)

If any snowmobile enthusiast, manager, club president, or safety trainer is interested in obtaining any of the free Safe Riders! information for distribution, please contact the ISMA Office at (517) 339-7788 for an order form. The order forms can also be requested through the ISMA web site at www.snowmobile.org.

It is important that all of us remember to be safe riders and that only we TOGETHER make snowmobiling safe. Encourage and insist on proper behavior by your family and friends while snowmobiling, and with Mother Nature certain to provide us with great snowmobiling conditions…..eventually……this winter, let’s always remember the safety guidelines that are so important to keep our winter recreation of choice alive.

MERRY CHRISTMAS From MSA

OK, all you happy snowmobilers..........it is snowing North of Big Rapids, the snow is a heavy wet base building snow, which is good for all the trails. Now I want to caution all of you that may take tomorrow off to go out and ride.

  • There is not a base built yet.
  • High winds will most likely bring down some limbs and branches.
  • With no base steering will be a push situation.
  • With this type of snow the groomers will most likely only pan the trails until more snow.
  • You will be following the contour of the land, bumps, rocks, roots, and water holes will exist.
  • Have a great ride, and remember to stay to the right.
  • Practice "Zero Tolerance" while riding.



 

 

 

TRAIL NUMBER 8 CLOSES BETWEEN THREE LAKES AND MICHIGAMME

MSA AND SNOW COUNTRY TRAILS CONSERVANCY SAVE THE DAY!

Time Line As Follows

October 2012-500 acre parcel sells to Illinois man

October 2012- Moose Country Club and Baraga County CVB ask for permission to cross property. (All grooming entities must have a land control document to groom a trail across private property)

November 2012- Land owner declines request due to liability issues.

November 2012- DNR contacts landowner and explains snowmobile program, landowner still declines but entertains a request to purchase section where trail goes through.

November 2012-DNR contacts MSA to inform us of the problem.

December-2012 Talks between landowner and DNR about purchase stall due to time period it takes to purchase land by the state.

December 6-2012 Trail Closure issue is discussed at Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup (SAW)

December 6-2012 MSA representatives talk to officers of the Snow Country Trails Conservancy (SCTC)

December 7 -2012 MSA and SCTC officers meet with landowners attorney in Ishpeming. A tentative deal is struck with the landowner

December 12- SCTC signs sales agreement, 60 days to complete, immediate use of trail, documents signed and conveyed to clubs for grooming.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 12-08-2012 BOARD OF DIRECTOR’S MEETING

A presentation was made by Deb Peters of the Foremost Insurance Company describing the company and explaining their Affinity program and the different kinds of coverage they can provide.  A handout was given to all in attendance.  Later in the meeting, it was decided to have MSA “partner” with Foremost Insurance and help to market this program through our resources as a fund raiser for MSA.

President Bruce Wood and the MSA office continue to receive several phone calls, letters, and e-mails concerning the trail permit prices and the trail signage changes.

MSA has been awarded an ISMA grant which was then matched with a Pure Michigan grant for a two day event focused on “Take a Friend Snowmobiling”.  The first day will be February 9, 2013 in Cadillac, and the second day will be February 23 at a location in the U.P.  Each day will consist of 2 short rides and the video work will be done by Mike Grant.

The next Ride In is February 15-17, 2013 at the Sault Kewadin.  Rooms are $75/night.  The complete meal package is $70.  Make ALL reservations through the MSA office.

The next Groomer Workshop is March 1-2 at the Comfort in Newberry.  Rooms are $73/night.  The complete meal package is $60 for four meals.  Make ALL reservations through the MSA office.

The next summer Campout will be June 21-23 at Camp Cadillac in Cadillac, MI.  Sponsorships for the Friday and Saturday dinners are in place.  The MSA officers will again cook breakfast on Sunday morning.

MSA had two booths at the Novi Snow Show and sold more trail permits and memberships than ever before.  Overall, membership in MSA is starting to grow again.

Despite the lower attendance, the 2012 MSA Convention at Bay City is being considered a success.  The committee is looking into sites for the October 25-27, 2013 convention including the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City.

All clubs are reminded to keep track of their member’s volunteer hours for other organizations throughout the winter for tabulation and submittal next spring.

It appears that an agreement is in place that will satisfy the CN RR so they will allow the snowmobile trail to cross the tracks in Wetmore for this season.  This is an important crossing for that area, (trail #419) and the issue has been ongoing for a long time.  There is a possible trail closure (or reroute) of trail #8 between Tree Lakes and Michagamme due to a property issue, but a meeting was held on December 7th that will hopefully allow the trail to remain open this season if an “Intent to Purchase” agreement is put into place.  This parcel may become the first piece of land purchased using the Permanet Trail Funds.  There will be a 10 mile reroute of trail #14 between Marquette and Big Bay onto County Road 510 due to logging on private property.  Signs will placed at each end of the reroute advising snowmobilers of the long reroute.

MSA will be a $1000 sponsor for next years’ ISC at Green Bay, Wisconsin.  The bids for the 2016 ISC location have been sent out, and the board voted to have the MSA office contact various Michigan communities to obtain bidding information so we can decide at the January meeting if Michigan should submit a bid proposal.

All clubs and COUNCILS are reminded to turn in their list of newly elected officers to the MSA office or Secretary Al Green.  Some councils are behind in their dues, and some are not having their delegates attend the MSA meetings.  Remember, decisions are made by those who attend and participate.  Next year’s meeting dates are: January 19, (Exec . Comm.),  March 23, (Board of Directors),  May 11, (Exec. Comm.),  July 20, (Board of Directors),  September 14, (Exec. Comm.),  December 7, (Board of Directors), and the Annual meeting will be October 26-27 during the convention.  The January through September meetings will be at the Quality Inn in St Ignance.

Keith Litchfield made a presentation where he would like to inspect all groomers for maintenance issues, and pull “oil Scans” as a way to save the program wasted dollars in equipment repairs.  Those in attendance felt the idea had merit and suggested Keith contact all grant sponsors with his proposal.  At this time, it would be up to the grant sponsors to pay for this service, but the idea will be presented to the DNR for future funding consideration.

At the SAW meeting on the 6th, the DNR reported the initial grooming rate for this season will be $5.13 per mile.  Nine grants sponsors have volunteered to make out an additional weekly grooming report this season that will hopefully better track the true costs of grooming.  Much more info will be gathered on these reports than is being obtained on the current DNR reports.  A committee will be looking into the Grant Manual handbook to see if any changes are needed prior to next season.

Paper cut-out Snowmobile ready for use

Haslett, MI, DECember 7, 2012: The Take a Friend/Go Snowmobiling campaign is pleased to present a new addition to its list of ready to use snowmobiling campaign material.

The all new ready to cut-out and assemble paper snowmobile model is here for free distribution and use. Introduced at shows in North America, this snowmobile cut-out paper model was originally created for children at the shows and safety training programs held throughout North America. It was discovered that not only children and young snowmobilers enjoy printing and assembling the paper snowmobile, but adults of all ages jumped into the mix and participated in snowmobile contests at shows.

The attached snowmobile cut-out, with assembly instructions, is easy to distribute electronically and can be used to liven up table decorations at functions, classrooms, etc. The paper snowmobiles can be assembled quickly.

The concept and the artwork was created for the Go Snowmobiling Campaign by our poster artist, the wonderful Robert Van Nood. Robert is the artist behind the ISMA Safe Riders! poster series. His creative genius is recognized not only in the snowmobile business but in other Power Sports industries and outdoor recreation activities worldwide. The first ISMA poster “Snowmobiling and Alcohol don’t mix / Don’t Drink and Ride” was created for ISMA in 1996 by Robert Van Nood. His artistic skills continue to provide us with fun, educational and promotional tools to help support snowmobiling.

Please print off a few copies of the paper snowmobile and send us your thoughts on our newest addition to the Go Snowmobiling collateral material. You can send us pictures on www.Facebook.com/GoSnowmobiling to highlight how you are using the cut-out in your club and association events. We encourage you to send this fun piece to your members, local media and place it on your web sites. The snowmobile cut-outs will be available on our websites: www.snowmobile.org and www.gosnowmobiling.org .

 

Ready, Set, Snow!

MEDIA RELEASE –                                November 30, 2012

Legend Manufacturing Inc. purchases former Alma, (Pine River Township) Michigan Wal-Mart facility.  Legend will repurpose the approximate 123,000 square foot facility to become their new center for the production of high quality aluminum trailers.  The company anticipates the project will grow to have upwards of 150 jobs.

Headquartered just north of St. Johns, Michigan Legend Manufacturing is known as the premium aluminum trailer manufacturer.  The decision to significantly increase the production capacity will ensure that the company will be able to supply its growing North American market.

Legend, a family owned company founded by siblings Nathan, Jason, and Lisa Beck, was conceived about a decade ago.  The three who are owners of one of the nation’s largest trailer retailers, Beck’s Trailers, realized there was a significant disconnect between what the customer wanted and what manufacturers were willing to provide.   Nathan Beck explained that his frustration in trying to provide customers with a truly high quality product led to the decision to form Legend Manufacturing.  He stated, “Our family reputation and determination to supply the best products led us to cut our own path and begin manufacturing our own trailers.”  Jason Beck further explained, “Legend continues to prove that when given the choice, consumers would prefer to have a quality product from a company they trust.”

Nathan Beck explained, “The economic down turn in 2008 allowed Legend to go back to the drawing board to produce another line of products for the price conscious buyer who desired Legend quality.  In October of 2009, the Thunder   All-Aluminum Trailer was born.  Since its inception, the factory has been producing product volume at the equivalent rate of two manufacturers its size.  It became clear there was a need to significantly expand and restructure the manufacturing operation.

Over the course of almost two years Legend analyzed, explored, planned various scenarios, and examined multiple location possibilities both in State and out of state for the expansion of the company.   After a lot of optimistic work, which included examination of expanding at the existing location to moving out of state, it was very clear that the best path for the company was to be in a new location in Gratiot County.    Nathan Beck remarked, “We were in a very frustrating quandary trying to decide what to do when one of our suppliers suggested we examine a Gratiot county location.  We were connected with Don Schurr at Greater Gratiot Development.    “Don listened to our desired features for our business, a location and, what we wanted in a community relationship.”  Schurr suggested they examine the former Wal-Mart building in Pine River Township just north of the Alma corporate line.

Schurr commented, “When Legend explained their ideal location, what they were looking for in community attributes, and what they hoped for in municipal relationships it was immediately clear to me that a location in the former Wal-Mart building in Pine River Township would be perfect.”

Nathan Beck stated, “Don brought in all the individuals necessary for us to make a business decision, including the Gratiot County building inspector, Township officials, and representatives of the MEDC.  I know we have a lot to do but with everybody’s help, it is going very well.”

Although the Wal-Mart building was available and for sale, securing the building was not a standard transaction.   Wal-Mart Corporation, for competitive reasons and to protect the interests of the community, is selective in deciding who will purchase their properties.  They have a process to establish credibility, longevity, and find proof positive that the sale of one of a former location is a good plan for Wal-Mart and the community.   The Legend business plan proved to be the best for Alma, Michigan, and Legend Manufacturing Inc.

Pine River Township Supervisor Kevin Beeson commented, “We welcome the Beck family and Legend Manufacturing to our community.  We are thankful that we are part of such a great community that understands the importance of working together.  Our partners at GGDI were instrumental in making this transition possible.  The folks at Legend have a vision to successfully repurpose the recently vacated Wal-Mart store into a premier manufacturing facility and we plan to work closely with them to make sure their dream becomes a success.”

Both Beeson and Schurr are certain Legend will be an excellent addition to the Gratiot community.  The corporate philosophy since the beginning as stated in the Legend motto has been “Buy it for Looks, Keep it for Life”. This fits well with the Gratiot community philosophy of helping companies locate and continue to grow.

____   Additional project information

In addition to Legend Premium Aluminum Trailers and Thunder All-Aluminum trailers, the company also produces the Legend “Ice-Master” premium ice shanty.  The deluxe little “houses” provide lightweight shelter for fishing, hunting or any outdoor sport where protection is required.  Inside features can include an insulation package and heater, surround sound, A/C, and anything else to achieve the customers’ highest comfort level.

One thing is for certain, Legend is not just building trailers.  They are building a far better trailer with smart and affordable price points.  The company employs a very good team of 60 craftsmen including fabricators, welders, wood carpenters, electricians, general labor, and cosmetic designers.

Legend will add additional workers to their existing team, and a second shift is certainly in the plans for the near future.  There is a long list of companies with employees who supply this Made in Michigan brand with components, supplies and aluminum.  Additionally, truck drivers, office staff, and factory representatives make up a large Legend team.

People who are interested in a career at Legend Manufacturing may apply on line at the Legend website noted below.

There is quite a list of modifications that must be performed to the building prior to move in, but Becks are very optimistic and plan to be up and running as soon as feasible.

Additional information / contacts:

LEGEND Manufacturing, Inc:   Nathan Beck
Legend Manufacturing Inc. at www.LegendMfgInc.com or call 989-227-0800

 

The Michigan Snowmobile Association would like you all to get a look at the new, as well as deleted signs for this year. If you have not heard the DNR announced three years ago the snowmobile and ORV sign manuals would be retired and the two systems would be merged into the MICHIGAN MOTORIZED TRAIL SIGNING HANDBOOK. A group of DNR forest managers, law enforcement, ORV and snowmobile users, and ORV and snowmobile advisory committee members met for two years to recommend the changes. The following will update one sign a day until complete. See the complete manual at http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/MotorizedTrailSignHandbook04-02-2012_381136_7.pdf

 

Regulatory and selective exclusion signs convey to the trail user specific restrictions on the trail, road or support facilities such as trailheads. Selective exclusion signs are typically 12 x 18 inches, reflective white signs with black lettering or symbols, or recreation symbol with red slash. Exception: 6 x 18 inch ORV selective exclusion signs may be used.

Regulatory and selective exclusion signs convey to the trail user specific restrictions on the trail, road or support facilities such as trailheads. Selectiveexclusion signs are typically 12 x 18 inches, reflective white signs with black lettering or symbols, or recreation symbol with red slash. Exception: 6 x 18inch ORV selective exclusion signs may be used.

Combination Horizontal Alignment/Intersection (Left) signs may be used on snowmobile trails to give notice of changes in horizontal trail alignment less than 90 degrees where an intersection occurs within or immediately adjacent to a turn. Examples include where a snowmobile trail exits a public roadway, power line right-of-way or other travel corridor open to vehicular traffic.

Combination Horizontal Alignment/Intersection (Right) signs may be used on snowmobile trails to give notice of changes in horizontal trail alignment less than 90 degrees where an intersection occurs within or immediately adjacent to a turn. Examples include where a snowmobile trail exits a public roadway, power line right-of-way or other travel corridor open to vehicular traffic.

 

One-Direction Large Arrow signs (Left and Right) shall be used on snowmobile trails to give notice of changes in horizontal trail alignment of 90 degrees or greater. One-Direction Large Arrow signs are 10 x 20 inches, yellow reflective sign with black arrow and border.

Private Drive and Private Drives Ahead signs may be used to warn trail users where driveways cross a snowmobile trail

A supplemental plaque with legend NEXT XX MILES may be installed below a Private Drives Ahead sign

Object markers may be used to mark obstructions within or adjacent to the trail. Object markers are 6 x 24 inches, reflectorized yellow signs with black diagonal markings.

Stop Ahead signs shall be installed approximately 350 feet in advance of all Stop signs on all snowmobile trails.

Stop signs shall be placed at all trail intersections with improved state roads, county roads, plowed roads or other locations that warrant stopping. Stop signs shall be placed only on the right side of the trail.

Yield signs shall be a used where trail traffic should be cautioned to slow down and be prepared to stop.

Snowmobile trail reassurance markers should be placed at intervals of 1/4 to 1/2 mile along the trail.

Snowmobile trail number markers should be spaced at  approximate two mile intervals along the trail. The snowmobile trail number markers should correspond to maps showing the same trail numbers. This marker should also be used at all trail junctions and intersections, and should be posted within a clear sight distance from the junction or intersection.

Snowmobile community route markers should only be used within the limits of cities, towns, and villages to designate locally approved community snowmobile routes.

Congested area signs may be used in cities, villages, towns or other locations where the occurrence of vehicular traffic, and/or pedestrians warrant slowing motorized vehicles to slow down. Congested area signs may also be used at staging areas, trailheads or other congregation points where traffic congestion warrants.

If used, Information Arrow/Guide signs should be placed along the trail to inform trail users of destinations such as cities, towns, and villages. When applicable, Information Arrow/Guide signs should be used in conjunction with Service Information signs.

This sign may be used in areas where low swampy areas adjacent to the trail do not freeze up. It should also be used in areas where early and late winter weather would cause wet holes or low spots on or adjacent to the trail.

Attention All Snowmobilers

WTCM and the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce are teaming up for a SNOW DANCE! If you can make it... join us, the bigger the group the better chance of making it snow.
Join us this Friday Nov 23rd at 11am...Down Town TC at the corner of Front and Cass.

American Snomobile Magazine article regarding the new MSA Smart Phone App for Trail Conditions Reports

The Article says to use the MSASNOW.COM for the description, instead use MI Trails

http://cs.amsnow.com/sno/b/news/archive/2012/10/24/msa-sells-snowmobile-trails-app-for-phones.aspx

Apple has approved the iPhone application for distribution in their App store. The app for the Android is also available, either for $2.99

The description is as follows:

MI Trails : the MSASNOW.COM Snowmobile Trails Application.

Get Michigan Snowmobile Trail Condition Reports from the groomers on your smart phone. The Michigan Snowmobile Association's network of groomers is the best source of up to date trail information.

Groomer's Report on trail conditions

Time and date of reports

Local weather

Trail Maps

WHITEHALL, MI – Apparently, fourth time is the charm for snowmobiling in Whitehall. click for more information.

http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2012/11/whitehall_voters_approve_snowm.html

888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888

November 12, 2012

Appeal Decision for Huron-Manistee National Forests Final Supplemental

Environmental lmpact Statement to the 2006 Land and Resource Management Plan

Appeal Decision

Based on my review of the appeal record regarding the issues raised on appeal, I am affirming

the Regional Forester's decision. Your deciiion mèets the requirements of appiicable Federal

law, regulations, and policy as well as responding to the findíngs and di¡ection of the Meister

panel.

This decision is the final administrative determination of the Department of Agriculture unless

the Secretary, on his own initiative, elects to review the decision within l5 day"s of receipt

(optional appeal procedures, section l7(d).

JAMES M. PENA

Reviewing Officer for the Chief

See the whole decision... click on the HMNF Issue at the top

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE

Winner of the MSEAF Truck Raffle

Bob Richmond, Three Rivers, MI

Bob Opted for the cash prize.

THE 2012 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILE ASSOCIATION AWARD WINNERS

The MSA 2012 SNOWMOBILER OF THE YEAR

Bill Bradfield

Cadillac, MI

MichCanSka Snowmobile Club

The 2012 “Elza Inman”

GROOMER OPERATOR OF THE YEAR

Gail Scott

Lake Gogebic, MI

Lake Gogebic Area Grooming

The 2012 MSA Corporate Member of the Year

SLED SOLUTIONS

Traverse City, MI

Paul Anderson

Jodi Coghill was presented the

Presidents Award, from President Bruce Wood

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 10-27&28-2012 ANNUAL MEETING

The income and expense reports for the past fiscal year, and the current year to date were reviewed by Treasurer John Houk who also answered questions about specific line items.

Executive Director Bill Manson reviewed his report covering his many meetings and activities for the past year, and then answered questions from the membership concerning our involvement in the legislative rides, and the status of the Permanet Trail system. He concluded by thanking the membership for allowing him to continue working for MSA.

Jim Dickie read the highlights of the snowmobile related bills currently in the house and senate. None of the bills are seeing any action at this time due to the election.

John Houk explained that a new APP is available for smart for $2.99 which will provide a direct link to the MSA trail page. Scott Townsend explained how the APP works and the benefits of having it. MSA will receive a portion of the sales of this new APP.

Al Green discussed the meeting held to discuss the stud issue on the White Pine Trail (Grand Rapids to Cadillac Rail Trail). The DNR has assured us that snowmobiles will NOT be removed from this trail. Ken Scott reported there has been some progress on the trail between Hurley and Wakefield. Bruce Wood reported that investigation is still ongoing for a trail reroute and new bridge near Military Hill. This year, $7500 of program dollars will be used to construct a fence along the edge of the tail at the US 45 Highway to try to prevent the illegal hill climbing that has been ongoing. Galion Faith reported that there trail system near Deckerville is now over 98 miles long and they are working on adding three more loop expansions. Rod Altman reported that the new trail expansion into Rogers City is moving slowly with no progress. The local club will be making more contacts in the near future. Jim Duke announced the CN RR crossing in Wetmore (trail #8) is still closed due to insurance issues. Senator Tom Casperson has been notified. Bruce Wood announced that either him or Bill Manson attended all six of the fall grant sponsor meetings and that the signing changes were the main topic at all.

Ron Corbett reported that attendance at the fall snow show has been down resulting in less sales and less memberships. A “new approach” was tried at the Martin show and it had good results. He has challenged all MSA members with this challenge: “Each One—Reach One” hoping that every member recruit at least one new rider as a member this upcoming year.

Don Wing Reported the 2013 Ride-In will be February 15-2-17 at the Sault Kewadin Casino. Room rates have been lowered to $75 per night. Final arrangements are in the works. The 2013 summer Campout will be June 21-23 at Camp Cadillac with camping to be $35 per night.

Jim Duke reported on current and past ACSA activities and events including the Fly In trip to Washington last April, and the past ISC Congress near Boston in early June. Next year’s ISC Congress will be in Green Bay, Wisconsin. MSA has already reserved rooms.

Bill Manson announced that MSA was just awarded an ISMA grant for $4000 to put on a program to promote the “Take a Friend Snowmobiling” theme. It is tied into another $4000 Pure Michigan Grant which combined together will be a $8000 project. Bill is starting to work on the details of the project.

A motion was made to reappoint Bill Manson as Region #3 and Jim Duke as Region #1 MSA representatives to the Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup.

Kay Houk announced that the charity report letters will be mailed out to ALL clubs soon. All clubs are urged to keep track of their non-snowmobile related volunteer hours and then report them to Kay next spring.

The following were re-elected to serve as MSA officers for 2013:

President Bruce Wood

Vice-President Ron Corbett

Secretary Al Green

Treasurer John Houk

MSA Breaking News;

Apple has approved the iPhone application for distribution in their App store, the App will cost $2.99. This App and will allow iPhone users the ability to check up to date trail conditions on their smart phone. The description is as follows:

MI Trails : the MSASNOW.COM Snowmobile Trails Application.

Get Michigan Snowmobile Trail Condition Reports from the groomers on your smart phone. The Michigan Snowmobile Association's network of groomers is the best source of up to date trail information.

Groomer's Report on trail conditions

Time and date of reports

Local weather

Trail Maps

More Breaking News; The MSA Trail Condition App is also available for Android now as well on the Google Play store.

 

09-15-2012 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING

The proposed budget for 2012-2013 was introduced by Treasurer John Houk, discussed, and then approved by the board.

Bruce Wood announced there will be a Saucy Track workshop hosted by Bader’s on October 25, 2012 at the Pellston groomer barn starting at 9:00 am.

Due to the legislature just coming back from summer recess and the upcoming campaign break, there has been almost no action on any of the snowmobile related bills.  All current bills will carry over into the next legislative session.

MSA had 40+/- volunteers that assisted at the Nelson Snow Show.

The 2013 MSA Ride-In will be February 15-17 at the Kewadin Casino/Resort at the Sault.  The MSA Groomer Workshop will be March 1st and 2nd at the Comfort Inn in Newberry.  The MSA 2013 Campout will be Camp Cadillac June 21-23.

Vice-President is working hard to change the current trend of declining memberships.  People are just not joining ANY organizations like they used to.  He is attending several shows, stressing how MSA is working for all snowmobilers to maintain a place to ride.  He is also looking into new types of memberships including discounts to military and public servants.

The 2012 MSA Convention and annual meeting will be October 26-28 at the Doubletree Resort in Bay City.  Full meal packages will be $60 and rooms will be $89.  Suites are available for $119.  ALL reservations must be made through the MSA office by October 12.

The Forums on the MSA webpage are not up to date due to so much spam.  (NOTE)  due to the spam, the forum page is now completely shut down.

The two scholarship winners have been chosen and awarded their scholarships.

Jim Duke will be attending the October 12 Friends of the Forest Meeting (for the Hiawatha) and making a Power Point presentation about snowmobiling and MSA.  There have been no meetings held for the Huron-Manistee, and Ken Scott discussed several of the personal changes/eliminanations  in the Ottawa Forest.  The next USFS Enlightenment ride is planned to be held in the Ottawa Forest.

ACSA has been very busy since Congress: the dues structure is being reviewed, the new officers are taking over, By-laws are being reviewed and there is discontent from some of the eastern states resulting in Vermont and Massachusetts  making a decision to not renew their membership dues.

President Bruce Wood showed the new insulated drink cups that MSA will be selling. (The engraving on the cups has changed since he first showed them).

Bill Taylor made a presentation to the board about a meeting held in Lewiston concerning the ATV/ORV organization.  Bill indicated he felt the average ATV rider and the DNR did not want the program to change and become more like our state wide organization.

Bruce Wood announced the five groups that were selected to receive new groomers this winter and discussed how the selection process took place.

A discussion was held concerning looking into purchasing a more economical vehicle for Bill Manson to drive instead of the truck.  Expected costs, insurance, and several pros/cons were discussed.  It was decided to place an ad on our website asking for a donation of an economical vehicle.

Bill Taylor passed out a notebook containing the history of a trail near the Lewiston Fun Ones club house and discussed the status of the current trail reroute by the DNR.

Bill Manson explained the history of the MSA volunteer coats from Choko and the need for additional coats.  After discussion, it was decided the Executive Board would make a final decision on who can order coats.

Bill Manson announced that Foremost Insurance Company wants to get involved with MSA again.  The Liberty Mutual Insurance Company does not have exclusive policy with MSA.  Foremost is to present a proposal at the December BOD meeting.

The next SAW Meeting will be October 16th at the RAM Center at Houghton Lake.  Public is welcome.

There was a discussion on the new Sign Manual about turns versus curves.  Bruce announced that the new signs will not arrive until early October.

There will be a trail reroute, on Trail #8 around Moose Mountain, resulting in seven additional miles of trail.  This will make for a better trail.

How Many Folks Visit Designated Wilderness?

Haslett, MI, September 19, 2012: There are many groups working in the United States attempting to designate more Wilderness Areas or “Wilderness Study Areas.” If they are successful, we will have more land put aside in the United States that is seldom, if ever, visited by outdoor recreationists. The Wilderness Act became law in 1964 and defined Wilderness as “undeveloped federal land retaining its primeval character and influence. The natural forces prevail without man’s interference in Wilderness. Man is a visitor who doesn’t remain and his works are substantially unnoticeable.”

The main focus of Wilderness Management is perpetuation of its Wilderness Character. Wilderness is a place where the natural forces prevail and fire is among those forces. The suppression of forest fires in the United States costs taxpayers $2.5 Billion annually. Fires also pump as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in a few weeks as automobiles and trucks do in an entire year.

Here is some information regarding Designated Wilderness within the United States:

1. The United States National Forest and Grasslands encompass approximately 193 million acres. Within these units there are 439 Designated Wilderness units comprising approximately 37 million acres or 19.2% of the US Forest System. These 439 Designated Wilderness units do not include millions of other acres designated as Wilderness Study Areas or administratively managed as defacto Wilderness Areas.

2. The Wilderness Act prohibits commercial enterprises, structures, roads or motorized equipment (i.e.: snowmobiles, ATV’s, chainsaws, bicycles, strollers, handcarts, etc.). Wilderness Visitation accounts for 3.3% of all total US Forest Service Recreation visits. Recent Forest Service data indicates there were a total of 199.7 million recreation visits to the US Forests nationwide. In contrast, Designated Wilderness visits account for only 6.6 million visits.

3. When interacting on Wilderness Designation issues, it is helpful to know that we presently have a lot of Designated Wilderness in the US and very few people visit Designated Wilderness areas. For information on visitation and use in our National Forests, you can visit the USFS web site: www.fs.fed.usda.gov .

 

ACSA GRAND RAFFLE WINNERS 2012

Drawing was held on June 1, 2012 at the ACSA Office

Jason Biacco                                    Arctic Cat

4350 Arbour

Commerce Twp, MI

Syracuse Snoflakers Club               Polaris

2549 L Road

Syracuse, NE 68446

Dean Reames                                   Ski-Doo

10733 Bair Lake St.

Three Rivers, MI 49093

Sandy Sternod                                 Yamaha

30986 E. Lake Martin Dr. SE

Covington, WA 98042

 

 

MSA Appeals The Huron Manistee National Forrest Decision

click the HMNF Issue above for the whole appeal letter!


HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 5-5-2012 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING

A moment of silence was held in memory of Connie Duke, active and loved MSA Life Member, wife of Jim Duke and mother of Karyn Hautamaki. Our prayers and best thoughts go out to Jim, Karyn and their families during this very difficult time.

MSA trail permit sales for last season appear to be 35% lower than last year. DNR trail permit sales are expected to be down by the same amount. The reduced sales will mean less dollars for trail maintenance and groomer replacements this upcoming year.

MSA has completed the move into the new office owed by MSEAF and the staff is working on unpacking and organization. Several people have stopped by to say hello. A donation of a front sign board and lettering was made by an MSA member. There are several maintenance projects still to be performed.

This year’s National Vintage Snowmobile show will be July 13-14 at St Ignace, Michigan which is the first time the show has been held in Michigan. MSA will have a full page ad in the show magazine. Over 300 Vintage Sleds are expected to be on display. The official trail dedication and ribbon cutting for the new NE State Trail will be June 23, 2012. Some of the local clubs and MSA will be present.

The 2012 Campout will be June 22-24 at Old Mill Creek east of Mackinaw City. There will be no organized golf this year, but there will be organized games for kids and adults alike. The Friday night Fish Fry and Saturday night meal, will be potlucks with sponsorships. The Sunday morning breakfast has been sponsored and will be cooked by the MSA officers. All campers must pre-register with the office to get the control number for the reduced camping rate. Please plan to come and enjoy the fun with fellow MSA members.

Attendance at the spring “Sneak Peak” Shows was way down. The average age of the attendees was close to 45, and those that did attend the shows were serious shoppers.

The 2012 Annual Convention and membership meeting will be October 26-28 at the Double Tree Resort in Bay City. The theme will be lumber Jack and Jill. The Friday night events will be hosted by MichCanSka and the Mid Michigan Snowmobile Council.

The 2012 MSA All Sport Show and Ams Oil Shoot Out will be September 21-22 at the Martin Speedway. This year the MSA tent will act as the entrance funnel and there will be some changes in the swap meet layout. Some vendors and manufacturers have already purchased their sites.

Bids for the 2013 Groomer Workshop will be going out soon, with chosen location hopefully announced at the July meeting.

Only 40 clubs submitted their 2011 Charity reports. A new method of collecting the information will be considered for the future.

MSA has ordered one “helmet cam” to be used for recording MSA events and rides and then posting on the web.

The SAW committee and several MSA members will be working on the snowmobile portion of the new Statewide Trail Plan. Any one with concerns, suggestions, or comments should contact MSA prior to the June Campout which is when the committee will start on formulating the plan.

Purchasing of non-new grooming equipment is being looked into due to the increased maintenance cost of existing equipment, and the large need of more and better equipment with less money available to buy the equipment.

 

2012 MSA Camp Out Returns to Mackinaw City

 

As the snowmobile season comes to a close, Michigan Snowmobile Association (MSA) members are reminded that snowmobilers know how to have fun all year long. It’s time to register for a great summer event – the MSA Camp Out.

This can’t- miss event offers something for the entire MSA family including kids’ games, swimming, great food and fun for everyone. This year’s event is set for June 22-24 at the Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping campground in Mackinaw City. Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping video

Campers are encouraged to bring a dish to pass for the Friday and Saturday night potluck dinners, which will run from 6-7 p.m. on both evenings. The North Side Snow Vets will be hosting dinner on Friday night frying up some tasty fish. The Seney Snowmobile Association and Fox River Motel will host dinner on Saturday night (Road Kill Stew is NOT on the menu).

Bonfires will be held both Friday and Saturday nights. Don’t forget your tales of fun on the trails and your lawn chairs – summertime campfires provide the best environment to exchange stories of good rides and great times. Don't forget to bring a package of plain donuts to roast over the fire along with your marshmallows.  YOU MAY NOT BRING YOUR OWN firewood into the park because of the Ash tree disease.

The fun continues on Saturday with a wide variety of kids’ games that are ideal for the children or grandchildren. The exact time for the games will be announced at the event.

Sunday morning the officers and the Alpine Snowmobile Club, Dubie Groomers, and the Michigan Snowmobiler Newspaper (Andy Twork) will be providing and cooking breakfast for all the campers.

Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping

A Great to Place for Fun!

Along with all of the scheduled MSA activities, Camp Out guests can enjoy facilities at Mackinaw Mill Creek including a heated swimming pool, one-mile of beautiful lake shoreline, a basketball court, two playgrounds, an arcade and Camp Store. There is also FREE mini golf. The Old Mill Creek State Historic Park is just down the road, featuring a zip line and rock climbing wall. The campground is located just five minutes from Fort Michilimackinac and the Mackinac Island ferry docks. It offers a beautiful view of the Mackinaw Bridge and Mackinac Island. The Car show in St Ignace is also going on all weekend.

MSA has negotiated a group rate for campers. Full hook-up campsites are $35 per night for up to three occupants and $2 per person beyond that. There are also cabins available.

ATVs and scooters are not allowed, but campers can bring their own golf cart as long as they register them with the campground office.

WE WANT TO KNOW HOW MANY ARE PARTICIPATING SO PLEASE CALL THE MSA OFFICE FOR A CONTROL # at (616) 361-2285 .

2012 Camp Out Details

Date: June 22-24, 2012

Location: Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping: 9730 U.S. 23, Mackinaw City,            (231) 436-5584      www.campmackinaw.com.

Campsite Fees: Full hookup: $35 a night for three occupants and $2 for each person more. There are also a limited number of cabins available.

What to Bring: Camping gear, a dish to pass for Friday and Saturday nights’ potluck dinners,  swimming suit and of course don’t forget your stories of past rides on Michigan trails.

WE HAVE MOVED!

Please note that we have moved to the south end of Grand Rapids to the suburb of Wyoming. The new address is;

Michigan Snowmobile Association

4543 S. Division Ave.

Wyoming, MI 49548

 

Highlights of 3-24-2012 MSA Board of Directors Meeting

There are 4 snowmobile related bills introduced in the House that are not receiving attention or any action.  Three other house bills and 2 Senate bills have had some movement or hearings.

  • Seven MSA volunteers attended the March 5-10 Clean Snowmobile Challenge at Houghton, MI at no cost to MSA
  • Approximately 100 MSA members attended the February 17-19, 2012 Ride-In at the Sault.  Bids were sent out for the 2013 Ride-In, and it will again be at the Kewadian Casino at the Sault.  Room rates will be lowered to $75 next year.
  • The 2012 Campout will be June 22-24 at Old Mill Creek east of Mackinaw City.  There will be no organized golf this year, but there will be organized games for kids and adults alike.  Friday and Saturday night meals will be potlucks with sponsorships.  Sunday morning breakfast will be cooked by the MSA officers and a sponsor may be coming forward.  All campers must pre-register with the office to get the control number for the reduced camping rate.
  • A motion was made and approved to reinstate the Life Membership option with an age based fee schedule and payment plan.  More details to follow.
  • MSA published our own magazine for the 3rd year.  Overall cost to MSA was less than $5000 which is 1/3rd of what it used to cost. Due to poor economy, ad sales in the magazine were way down or the magazine would have paid for itself.  Options for future ad sales were discussed at the annual magazine review meeting with expectations of the magazine making a profit next year.  Marie needs stories and pictures for next year.
  • The 2012 Annual Convention and membership meeting will be October 26-28 at the Double Tree Resort in Bay City.  Bids for the 2013 and 2014 conventions will be going out in late April.
  • The 2012 MSA All Sport Show and Ams Oil Shoot Out will be September 21-22 at the Martin Speedway.  There will be layout changes for the vendors this year.  Letters are at the printers now which will be sent out soon to vendors and dealers.
  • MSA hosted an Enlightment Ride on February 27th and 28th in the Christmas area for several top ranking DNR and Forest Service personal.  This important ride was very successful, and several new partnerships and contacts were made.
  • Approximately 90 people from 19 different grooming groups attended the March 2-3, 2012 Groomer workshop in Ishpeming, MI.  There were 2 brush cutters, 8 different brands of groomers, and 5 different brands of drags available for demonstrations in the 22” of fresh snow.
  • Four MSA members attended the annual Fly In at Washington D.C. on March 18-20 and met with 1 of our U.S. Senators and several of our U.S. Representatives.  They also attended the ACSA and Midwest Chapter meetings.
  • The annual charity report forms have been sent out to all clubs, and are due back to Kaye Houk by April 23, 2012.  We need ALL clubs to report what they have done for others, as this useful information is used by the ISC and sled manufactures.
  • Donations from wills and estates of deceased MSA members are being considered as a new way of planning our financial future.
  • MSA has a new landlord!  MSEAF purchased a commercial office building in Wyoming, MI and MSA will be renting from that organization at a much lower rental rate.  MSA will be moved into the new building by May 1st.  There is plenty of office space, a large conference room, and a 2 stall garage for “cold storage”.
  • Draft #6 of the new sign manual was recommended for approval by the SAW committee on March 1st and should be finalized soon.  Eleven existing signs will be removed from the trails including winding trail, narrow trail, 2-way trail, and chevrons.  CURVES will no longer be signed, just TURNS.  There will be 6 new or changed signs.  The 2012 sign order form is going out to the grant sponsors this week and is also available “on-line”.  The finalized sign manual should be “on-line” soon.
  • Several MSA members will be attending the June 5-9 Congress at Sturbridge, MA.
  • MSA will be buying a “helmet cam” to be used for recording MSA events and rides and then posting on the web.
  • There seemed to be a lack of DNR law enforcement or presence in the western end of the UP this past season.  MSA will investigate and also ask the DNR for a state wide accounting report.  Snowmobile registration renewals were way down this year along with trail permit sales.
  • All Michigan trail user groups will be creating their own trail network plans this year.  MSA directors, clubs, councils, and grant sponsors should all submit their ideas and thoughts to the MSA office prior to the June Campout, so that a draft plan can be discussed and proposed at the July board meeting.

 


 

The Department of Natural Resources (Department) is committed to understanding our partners’ impressions of the Department. As we strategically plan for our future and the future of our natural resources, we would like your help.

We would like to know your membership’s opinions about the Department’s strengths and weaknesses and the threats and opportunities that face the Department and natural resource management over the next five years. We are also want to know more about how our partners are involved in natural resource management and outdoor recreation. We are using a variety of tools to collect this information including focus groups, phone interviews, a statewide citizen survey, Department employee survey and this survey of partners. I am asking that you electronically send out the survey to your members, which can be found at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DNRstrategicplan. It is important to note that the completed survey will not be sent back through your organization but will be available to the Department for analysis. The Department will not have access to who filled out the survey or their email address. Please feel free to forward this entire note to your membership. We are asking that the survey be completed by March 30, 2012.

The information collected from all of these sources will be compiled, analyzed and provided to the Department’s Management Team to assist in the strategic planning process. The strategic plan will be completed by August 2012, and copies of the plan will be provided to your organization.

I greatly appreciate your help in ensuring that the Department has a comprehensive awareness of our citizens’ and our partners’ thoughts about the Department and the future of natural resource management and outdoor recreation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Donna Stine at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 517-241-3774, or Pat Stewart at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 517-335-1833. We would also appreciate if you will or will not send the survey to your membership.

Thank you for your help.

Rodney Stokes

Michigan Snowmobile Association thanks Senator Stabenow
On Tuesday, the Michigan Snowmobile Association presented Senator Stabenow with an award of appreciation for her commitment to the Recreational Trails Program. Michigan has thousands of miles of recreational trails for snowmobiles and off-road vehicles, and these trails attract millions of visitors every year. “These trails are part of our Michigan way of life, and I will keep fighting to make sure they remain available for recreational use.”
Read More

GOP lines up to punt on highway bill

03/21/12 08:10 PM ET

House Republicans moved to punt consideration of a long-term highway bill until at least this summer, announcing Wednesday that they would seek to approve a three-month extension of current funding next week.

The short-term bill would give House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) more time to rally his conference around a five-year, $260 billion measure that would use revenue from new domestic oil-and-gas drilling to pay for highway projects.

 

Conservatives have balked at Boehner’s bill, and he has been unable so far to unite his conference behind an alternative.

 

Most observers saw the chances of Boehner’s bill becoming law as low, given opposition to the new drilling from the White House and some Senate Democrats, but moving the bill through the House would have served as an important political victory for the Speaker. In an election year when the economy and rising gas prices are on voters’ minds, Boehner has sought to seize the advantage by casting his conference as champions of domestic energy while criticizing President Obama’s opposition to new drilling.

This narrative has been complicated by opposition within Boehner’s own party to his five-year bill, and by the Senate’s passage, in a bipartisan vote, of a two-year, $109 billion highway bill. The best way for Boehner to get back on offense would be to win support in the House for his own highway bill.

The top Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said Wednesday the short-term bill would at least buy Boehner time to build support for the five-year bill.

“That’s what we’re trying to get the votes for,” committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) told reporters off the House floor.

Democrats worked hard Wednesday to portray the decision to move a short-term extension instead of the Senate bill as a failure of Boehner’s leadership.

“He had his chance to put together a partisan bill,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said of Boehner in a news conference Wednesday. “He failed and failed again.”

But Schumer and other Senate Democrats did not outright reject the idea of passing the short-term extension, which would prevent an interruption in the collection of the federal gas tax set to expire March 31.

The gas tax brings in about $36 billion per year to the federal government, and Democrats said the money it generates provides funding for millions of construction jobs.

The short-term measure House GOP leaders said they would move would authorize the collection of the gas tax through June 30. This would be the ninth extension of the last multiyear highway bill, which expired in 2009.

The move is the latest in what has become a rollercoaster ride for the House GOP’s measure.

After party leaders failed to win backing from their conference for the initial bill, they floated shorter versions of 18 months and two years. When those also met resistance, Boehner tried again to rally support for the long-term bill before threatening to take up the Senate’s two-year measure.

Now it appears the Speaker has returned to square one, dispensing with plans to either pass or tweak the measure the Senate sent to the House.

“I’ve talked to leadership — they’ve committed, we’re committed,” Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, said in reference to the five-year bill. “We’re going to make some tweaks to it to make sure we pick up enough support.”

Shuster, a member of the GOP whip team, said he thought party leaders would have better results this time around.

“Last time we whipped this thing, there was a lot of confusion out there,” he said.

Shuster said the hope was that the 90-day extension would provide enough time for the House to pass its bill and go to a conference committee to reconcile differences with the Senate. The Senate measure, he said, “is a bill that’s got a lot of problems with it.”

House Republicans said the two-year Senate bill does not provide enough certainty for transportation contractors, and Boehner desperately wants to include the key element of the House measure that links infrastructure spending and domestic energy production.

Schumer and other Senate Democrats argued again Wednesday that after the two false starts, the House should simply pass the Senate bill. They also warned that the short-term extensions endanger the trust fund for highway projects, which is supported by the gas tax.

“It’s death by 1,000 paper cuts,” Schumer said. “Every time you extend it, the trust fund gets lower and lower, and it’ll be gone by ... the end of the year.”

Asked by The Hill if the Senate would reject a short-term House extension if the alternative was an interruption in the gas tax, Schumer said: “We’re urging them not to put us in that position, or America.”

SAE Snowmobile Challenge 2012 – A Great Success!

 

HASLETT, MI, March 13, 2012 – Clarkson University of Potsdam, NY, captured first place in the 2012 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge, which drew to a close March 10 at Michigan Technological University.

Kettering University, of Flint, placed second, with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville earning third place in the internal-combustion category.

The University of Alaska-Fairbanks won the zero-emissions category.

The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is a collegiate design competition of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Engineering students from participating schools re-engineer a stock snowmobile, while preserving the riding quality demanded by snowmobile enthusiasts. A total of 12 university teams participated in the internal combustion category.

The Challenge’s zero emissions category, for battery-powered sleds, is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. NSF uses electric snowmobiles while conducting atmospheric research in pristine arctic locations. The electric or zero emissions challenge is running up to 20 miles with one battery charge. Five teams participated in the zero emission category.

This was the 13th annual challenge. The snow was great and all the events ran smoothly.

Awards were presented for recognizing the best balance between cost, fuel economy, performance, design, handling and acceleration.

The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is sponsored by Michigan Technological University by the Keweenaw Research Center and the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

The members of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (Arctic Cat, BRP, Polaris, and Yamaha) are gold sponsors of the event and support the competition throughout the year.

Plans for next year’s event are being discussed and preparations are under way for another great event.


Snowmobilers' Rights Protected in Huron-Manistee

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- January 31, 2012

Contact: Bill Manson-616-301-2743

On September 29, 2010, Kurt Meister, a southeast Michigan attorney won a case against the USDA Forest Service claiming that his right to enjoy public lands in Michigan were being infringed upon by noisy firearms hunters and folks using snowmobiles on designated trails. His solution? Ban guns and snowmobiles on almost 70,000 acres of the Huron-Manistee National Forest.

Finally the Record of Decision for the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) and Amendment 1 to the 2006 Land and Resource Management Plan for the Huron-Manistee National Forests was signed by the Regional Forester, Charles L. Myers, January 27, 2012.

THE MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILE ASSOCIATION, a non-profit group that has served as Michigan's voice for snowmobilers in Michigan since 1982, quickly organized a response fueled by sound science-based management principles and its members who believe strongly in the rights of Michigan's citizens to snowmobile on public lands.

The USFWS adopted "Alternative 4" which maintains the rights of snowmobilers will be preserved on designated trails and the hunters to hunt in all areas as were allowed previously. While this was not MSA's choice (we wanted alternative #3) Alternative #4 will allow the same use that snowmobilers enjoyed over the past 6 years. What alternative #4 will do by not designating the Semi Primitive Non Motorized (SPNM) areas to Semi Primitive Motorized (SPM) areas, that may leave the door open to further lawsuits.

The USFS ruling was not without some potential problems however. The agency also announced that it will retain the objective in several areas in the Huron-Manistee to provide for a “less-roaded opportunity” relative to the rest of the forest. Any road closures would still have to go through analysis and public comment before a site-specific decision would be made.

We understand the Forest Service's desire to eliminate some roads that either were not intended to be permanent or were illegally created, but there must be a process in place to determine which roads will be closed so that adequate access is maintained. There is a fine line between creating a more solitary experience for those who are seeking that and shutting the public out of the land that they own.

We will be watching this process very closely to ensure that snowmobilers are considered in those decisions.

While the first battle in this war has been won thanks to the efforts of MSA and its members and partners, it is not yet over. The decision is still subject to appeals and MSA will be actively monitoring the situation to ensure the final outcome is the best one for Michigan's snowmobilers.

Please feel free to forward this on to your snowmobile friends, and for further updates get you e mail address to MSA  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 


 

MSA would like to congratulate the following as

winners of the 2012 MSEAF "SUPER RAFFLE"


Drawn first was Lynn Pauly of Traverse City MI, she chose the 2012 Arctic Cat, ProCross F1100, the winning ticket was sold by the Grand Traverse Area Snowmobile Club


Drawn second was Janet Schaefer of New Boston, MI, she chose the 2012 Ski-Doo MXZ TNT 600, the winning ticket was sold by MSA


Drawn third was Scott Lampinen of Chassell, MI he chose the 2012 Polaris 550 Shift, the winning ticket was sold by the Range Snowmobile Club

 


 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DECEMBER 10, 2011 MEETING HELD AT FOGGY’S IN CHRISTMAS MICHIGAN

*President Jim Dickie called the meeting to order at 9:03 am and in following tradition, he then turned the meeting over to our new President-Elect, Bruce Wood.

*Introductions were made and roll call of the Board of Directors was taken.

*The posted minutes of the July 23, 2011 meeting were approved.

*Treasurer John Houk briefly discussed the prepared treasures report.  He then announced to the members that the Executive Board have decided to start looking into purchasing commercial property in the Grand Rapids area due to the every rising rent costs at the current office location.

*Bill Manson gave an update on the many committees he is a member, of and the presentation he made to Consumer Energy personal in Jackson regarding snowmobile safety and history.  He has also been meeting with several of our elected officials in Lansing discussing snowmobile topics.

*Tom Meyer gave an update on 9 snowmobile related House bills currently introduced and the status of each one.  Bill Manson then gave an update of Senate Bill 248 which if passed would cap the amount of total acreage the DNR can acquire the surface rights to and how that could affect our snowmobile program.

*Bruce Wood announced that Don (and Judy) Wing will become the chairman of the Recreation Committee.  Don announced they are currently finalizing plans for the Feb. 17-19, 2012 Ride in at Sault Ste Marie, and are also working on plans for the June 22-24, 2012 Campout at Mackinaw City.  Reservations and meal packages for both events are to be made through the MSA office.  More details will be listed in the MSA magazine.

*Bruce Wood then announced that Ron Corbett will be chairing the MSA membership committee and *Gail Scott will continue to chair the publication’s committee.

*Karyn Hautimaki read off the current membership numbers which total 12,853 voting members.

*Jim Duke presented a recap of the last MSA Convention held in Cadillac, and thanked the Cadillac Winter Warriors for all of their hard work.  Next year’s convention will be held October 25-27, 2012 at the Hilton Double Tree River Resort in Bay City, Michigan.  Jim Duke will continue to be the Convention committee chairman.

*The MSA website which is still maintained by a volunteer in Kalamazoo was discussed.  Currently there is a “test” being performed on the trail report page to change the color of the push pins from red to green for any grant sponsor who is updated in the last 10 days.  Everyone needs assist with selling ads on the trail report pages.

*Jim Dickie gave a report on the last Michigan Trails and Greenways meeting of which MSA is a Life member.

*During the Friends of the Forest report, Jim Duke discussed all of the reroutes being performed by the USFS to get trails out of low lands and onto harder, higher ground.  Tom Meyers then reminded everyone to submit their comments to the USFS by 12/23/11 concerning the Meister law suit in the Huron-Manistee Forest.  MSA supports Alternative #3.  Please submit your own comments as form letters do not carry much weight.

*Al Green announced that letters will be going out to the equipment vendors soon for the March 2-3, 2012 Groomer Workshop to be held in Ishpeming.  The office will be sending out letters to the grant sponsors right after the holidays.  Al Green will remain as chairman of the Groomer workshop.

*Kaye Houk announced she will be sending out notices to all clubs soon reminding them to keep records of everything club members do for others, not just snowmobile related items.

*A proposal to revise the current by-laws concerning the way MSA meetings are conducted was passed out and discussed.  Several members made comments.  There was no motion made to support a by-law revision, so discussion ended.

*John Griffin stated that as the times change, MSA must also change the way we do business.  He gave several examples of how other organizations are maintaining financial stability through donations.  John is going to continue to work on a donation based program.

*MSA support of Easter Seals was discussed and a decision to support Easter Seals in a non-monetary format was made.

*Jim Dickie announced that MSA will participate at the I-500 Race again this year by having volunteers assist with various work assignments and a membership booth.

*Draft #5 of the new signing manual was discussed at the SAW meeting on Thursday and again at this meeting.  There is a lot of confusion in the interpretation of “turn” or “curve” and how each is to be signed.  Look for more info on this in the future.

*The “Back to the Bricks” car show in Flint was discussed and it was decided that MSA would be involved again this year.  The show is a good place for MSA exposure and there will be a membership/donation booth.

*Bruce Wood reported the Novi Snow show had near record attendance this year.  MSA sold almost 1800 trail permits.

*The 2012 meeting dates were announced.  Check the MSA web site for dates, times, and locations.

*MSA members will soon be receiving raffle tickets for an Airens snow blower in the mail.  The winning ticket will be drawn at the MSA Ride-In.

*Joe Kuchnicki from Harbor Springs was elected to the MSA Board of directors as a delegate-at-large from Emmett County.

*Bill Manson gave a recap of the SAW meeting held on Thursday 12/8/11:  The new grooming rate will be $5.27 per mile, consideration into purchasing new “demo” equipment is being looked into, the grooming reimbursement sheets are being looked into trying to better capture the actual equipment maintenance costs, and the changes that are taking place in the DNR and DNR personal.

*At the conclusion of the meeting, Bruce Wood thanked Jim Dickie and John Houk for all of their hard work during the very difficult times the last 2 years and presented an Appreciation Plaque to Jim Dickie.

 

Snowmobile trails in Michigan are open from December 1st through March 31st.
The Michigan Snowmobile Association is a volunteer organization dedicated to the
improvement of the sport of snowmobiling in Michigan.