Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) plans to begin polling snowmobile users in what it calls an attempt to better prepare for a popular winter activity in many state parks and forests.
Later this month, 3,000 questionnaires will be mailed to a random sample of registered snowmobile owners across the state to determine their interests and needs.
The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and DCNR's Snowmobile/ATV Advisory Committee (SAAC) developed the questionnaire jointly. SAAC is comprised of ATV and snowmobile interest groups who are looking for ways to increase riding opportunities and improve snowmobile safety.
One goal of the research study is to collect information that will help SAAC, DCNR and others better plan and provide for snowmobiling activities. The study also will help document the economic impact the sport of snowmobiling is having in the state.
DCNR is responsible for titles and registrations of snowmobiles and ATVs. Currently, about 46,800 snowmobiles are registered in the state. Fees collected from registration, titles and fines are deposited into a Snowmobile/ATV Fund, which helps to fund trail maintenance and development, safety information and classes, and grants.
DCNR currently is undertaking an analysis of the location of trails both on public and private lands, registrations by county and liability issues of ATV parks. Over the last two years, DCNR has invested $5.5 million from the Snowmobile/ATV fund for land acquisition and special projects, such as parking and trailhead access.
"When winter weather permits, snowmobile riding is a popular outdoors pursuit across Pennsylvania that gets riders out into our state parks and forestlands," DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis said. "We want to hear what snowmobilers like and dislike about how DCNR is addressing their sport, and providing for its future."
Questions about the survey may be directed to Dr. Bill Elmendorf, PSU's School of Forest Resources, at 814/863-7941 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2005 Powersports Business