Without a doubt the volunteer structure of our interconnected snowmobile trail system is under stress. Across the snow belt, volunteer efforts, time and energy are increasingly stressed by volunteer retirements, increased demand and greater responsibility and requirements. Add increased workloads, bureaucracy, political pressures, challenges of mother nature and the realities of having many more users than workers and the stress goes higher.
If the actual value of the services provided by this volunteer army was ever factored into the cost of a seasons trail pass, very few of us could afford the sport that we love. The efforts of volunteers make our sport possible.
So what can we as nonresident, non local users of a trail system which is made possible by the time and effort of local volunteers, do? At the very least, we can show them extreme recognition and respect by doing all of the following.
- Buy your trail pass early to give Clubs financial resources to work with
- Always stay on the marked trails, so future permissions are easier to get and trail locations can remain stable.
- Always take out whatever you bring in. Trash, blown belt pieces and anything else that started the trip attached to you or your sled.
- No modified exhaust on the trails
- Give a helping hand, if someone left trash behind, pick it up, stow it and take out.
- Treat all trails that pass near residences or businesses as quiet, low speed zones.
- If you see a trail or stop sign knocked over, safely pull over and stand it back up.
- If you see a rock that was pulled into the trail by a groomer, safely pull over and throw it out.
- Be respectful of any landowners who may be outside enjoying their own property. A person walking on the trail may own it.
- Give all groomers a “thumbs up” and go easy on their fresh work.
- Buy club raffle tickets
- Support businesses that support clubs
- Don’t needlessly trench up the trails.
- If you see a groomer operator taking a break, buy him a coffee
- Be respectful and appreciative of all trail check point personnel
- Be a voice of reason to those who disrespect volunteer efforts through their actions.
- Be a proud and positive ambassador of snowmobiling wherever you travel.
- Don’t do anything to make the job harder and do everything possible to make the job easier.