I have in the past wrote about of my advocacy for snowmachine clubs and all that they do to support our winter trail systems throughout the state by; grooming, brushing and signing trails. This may be the last year many of these clubs get grant funding from State Parks for the grooming pool.These grants are 100% funded by the sale of snowmachine registration and DNR-DPOR takes 12% for Administration, cheap at $5 year sold in two year tags for $10. The whole program has been self funded and did not need outside general funds to operate. I have in the past wrote to DNR-State Parks-DPOR an DOT-DMV to see if they would allow non-motorized vehicles purchase registration to show our support (dog sleds and fatbikes). Unfortunately, they are unable to take our money.
Well it was bound to happen Snowtrac is no more.
"Funding for the Snowmobile Trail Grant Program was vetoed earlier this year by Gov. Bill Walker due to severe state fiscal crisis. The governor decided to allow money left in the program to be spent on the program rather than be spent on general state operations. DPOR decided how to divide the remaining money after getting input from the Snowtrac board’s review of grant applications.” Darcy Harris DNR-DPOR
$240,000 was left in the account and will be used on safety, signing and education projects. A total of $216,815 will be equally divided among 17 organizations for winter grooming in Fairbanks, Mat-Su, Kenai Peninsula and Juneau areas, for a total of $12,700 per group.And $10,000 to replace 300 tripods on 77 miles of trail between White Mountain and Nome.The Alaska Avalanche Information Center, Inc was awarded $10,000 to create educational signs to inform riders about safety in multiple locations around the state that are prone to avalanches.
Now that your sleds $5-year tag goes into the general fund and will likely never comeback to the riding community there is little incentive to register your sleds now.
I will encourage all backcountry trail riders to support your local clubs where you ride. Let them know you are a fatbiker, skier, etc.
Here are some of the clubs that maintain the trails where I ride. Feel free to add to the list if you have a club in your area.
Homer- Homer Snowmads
Ninilchick- Caribou Hills Cabin Hoppers.
Big Lake Trails Inc.
Willow Trails Committee
Hatcher Pass State Park (grooming)
Deshka-Mid-Valley Snowmachine Club
Montana Creek Motor Mushers
Lake Louise Wolfpack Snowmachine Club
Knik Iditarod Trail Blazers
Denali Hwy- Maclaren Lodge
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