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Here's a note, from our former Vice President, clearing up some misconceptions new members often have about how NH's trails get maintained.

      “If you are not attending snowmobile meetings and joining trail workgroups, you are freeloading off the efforts of other volunteers!

Did you know that your registration fee's do not pay for the trails? Even joining a club is just part of the process. Unless you never leave your yard or the lakes, your chosen sport exists because of volunteers. Are you an active volunteer yet?

 

 





 

Memo

January 1, 2003

To NH snowmobile riders,

This is the first season under the State of New Hampshire's new snowmobile registration policy whereby members of snowmobile clubs receive a $30 discount when they register their sleds. As was the intention of this rule change, all clubs are attracting additional interest. However, many new (and some existing) members do not have a clear understanding of the clubs' functions or the State's roll in maintaining the NH trail system. I would like to explain what the Mount Major Snowmobile Club does (and does not do).

Mostly, we maintain the trails. Over the last several years I have been either the Trail Administrator, President, Vice President, or a Trail Master for our club. In each roll my efforts went primarily into expanding and improving our trail system. This is also where members' donations, State grants, and the majority of dues are being spent. Based on our Membership Application's survey questions, better trails (as opposed to club functions like Poker Runs, etc.) are what members are most interested in.

Like the vast majority of snowmobile trails in NH, the ones in Alton are not maintained by the State! It is the club volunteers that negotiate with private (and public) land owners for permission to snowmobile on across their property. It is also these volunteers that labor during the fall to clean and brush those trails. And finally, it is club volunteers that groom the trails. None of this work is paid for, it is a 100% volunteer effort. They do not even get reimbursed for sharpening their saw chains or the fuel they consume in lending their personal equipment to the cause.

What is all that trail money used for? Well for our club, it has been for purchasing groomers, renting excavating equipment to remove rocks from some of the worst trail sections, buying bridge materials, and paying for groomer fuel and maintenance.

Consequently, it's discouraging to hear from riders that "I paid $25 to join the club, plus registration, so the trails should be better..." Well, I can tell you that if it were not for the volunteers, it would take more like $250+ (from every member in NH) just to retain the quality of trail system NH already has! So, anyone looking for improved and expanded trails (anywhere in the State) should do more than mail in $25 and gripe. We need volunteers willing to go out and knock on landowners' doors. We also want trail clearing volunteers that actually show up (at our first planned outing last fall only one member, besides myself, was there)!

Please realize that, unlike Pittsburg where snowmobiling is such a vital part of their economy that they can hire full time groomer operators, our volunteers have day jobs. They then give up some of the best riding nights and weekend days to drag the trails. This means that our trails will not necessarily be all groomed 2 hours after the next storm ends. Note: I do get requests to "drive our groomers" but none to help maintain the equipment, which is the real chore! We do not allow anyone to run the drags who is not likewise responsible for getting unstuck or repairing their rig.

Sincerly,

Bob Bergeron
Vice President
Mount Major Snowmobile Club Inc.