Across the Country

Christine Jourdain, Executive Director, American Council of Snowmobile Associations

New Year…..New Challenges and Old Challenges

As we enter the new year, it would be great if we only had new binary option in india challenges. But, unfortunately, in the snowmobile world, our biggest challenges are probably our old challenges.

Safety….we all say we practice it, but in reality, do we? Most of us do. But that small percentage is the percentage that gets us the nasty headlines. And those nasty headlines are what gets our sport in trouble year after year.

Since International Snowmobile Safety Week is January 14-20, what better time to think about “Safety”. Many of the Governors in the snow states will proclaim Snowmobile Safety Week, some will proclaim January Snowmobile Safety Month. Hopefully some of the local media will pick up those articles and make people aware of snowmobile safety. Or, more importantly, the lack of snowmobile safety by that small percentage of people that ride snowmobiles. Notice that I said people that ride snowmobiles – they’re not real snowmobilers – because if they were, they would practice being safe.

Does “safety” mean boring. Absolutely not. Being safe means you remember you are not the only one out there snowmobiling. Being safe means using common sense while riding. Being safe means not drinking and driving. Why should snowmobiling be any different than driving your car, or boat, or motorcycle or RV? It shouldn’t.

I’ve said it before – and I’ll say it again….let’s make those newspaper reporters look for stories. Let’s make every effort not to hand those headlines to them.

When riding in a group, be sure you have an experienced leader. Make sure everyone knows the hand signals. Make sure the speed is right for the whole group. It’s never safe when a group gets split up –those people who are meeting you on the trail don’t know you’re split up–and those people that get left behind are unsure where they are going. Always travel at a safe speed for everyone in your group.

Zero Tolerance. Remember, that does not mean “no drinking”…..it simply means wait until you park the sleds for the day. Think you can’t do it? Bet you can. Think you’ll miss it? Bet you won’t. Think it will help the sport? Oh yeah, more than you’ll ever know. Because I get the binary option legal in india call from the reporters. I’ll tell you the topics they always – I mean always – want to talk about. Yup, alcohol. Think one drink won’t hurt you? You’re probably right – but it sure hurts our reputation. Keep that in mind.

Another old challenge that we always have – conflict. All indications are that we will have a great snow year this year. That probably means more traffic out on the trails, and crowded trail heads. Keep in mind the reason you have loaded the sleds and made the drive. It’s for recreation!! Don’t get side-tracked…..you’re there for fun!!

New Challenges…..what would we do with out them? We’d probably have more time for snowmobiling!!

The new challenges we face aren’t really new: land access, sound, and groups that don’t think we belong. There will be new twists, but the same basic principles will be the basis for their complaints.

What’s the real challenge? Getting snowmobilers involved. We made great progress during 2000 in really rallying the troops. More lawmakers heard from snowmobilers than ever before. Now we need to keep up the communication.

Why? Because we will continue to see petitions and lawsuits from green groups that want us banned. We will continue to see the fallout from some of the Clinton/Gore movements, such as the Roadless Policy and returning the National Forests to “pre-European conditions”. We will have snowmobile emission regulations released in the fall by the EPA, and on and on.

It’s simple to figure out. Those groups are on a mission. They firmly believe that we do not belong. They feel that we are invading their territory. They believe we invade their sense of sight, sound and smell. They are not willing to give up – because they are on a mission.

We just want to have fun. But, we are going to start fighting harder and fighting smarter if we want to maintain our privilege to snowmobile. So, we will ask for your help. All we ask is that you respond when we ask for letters and/or phone calls. Because we need you if we are going to fight harder and smarter.

And, most importantly, we need you to be safe out snowmobiling this winter. You’re there for the fun and for the experience. Please practice safety every time you’re out riding this winter. Please have every person in your group practice safety. We’ll all benefit, in fact, we’ll all win if we all play by the same rules. Safety is the one thing that will help us –or hurt us– in all of the new challenges that await us.

Be safe. Have fun and have a great winter!!