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Dec. 4, 2006 – Snowmobile Report

Winter X Games Add Freestyle
The ESPN Winter X Games have added a new snowmobile competition to its roster this winter: freestyle.
The X Games will take place in Aspen, Colo., on Jan. 25-28. Snowmobile racing has been a part of the Winter X games since 1998 in the form of snocross. Hillcross racing was a part of the event from 2001 to 2005. Freestyle was a demo event in 2004, but there were no medals or prize money.
In its inaugural year, snowmobile freestyle will feature 10 riders competing on a dedicated course. Riders will take individual runs on jumps ranging from 45 feet to more than 100 feet long. Judging will be based on the tricks performed.
Trails Reopen In Idaho
Snowmobile access to trails and backcountry areas in northern Idaho were re-opened by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Robert Whaley on Nov. 7.
The order is part of an ongoing lawsuit, filed by environmental groups, that challenges federal agency analysis of snowmobile impacts on an endangered population of woodland caribou.
On Sept. 22, a court order asked parties on each side of the suit to work together for an agreement on the area. The snowmobile and environmental groups presented a joint proposal for relief, while the U.S. Forest Service proposal called for the opening of additional areas and trails for snowmobile access. The Nov. 7 order acknowledged the joint proposal with an emphasis toward the forest service proposal.
Specifically, the court’s order reauthorizes snowmobile trail grooming on numerous popular routes, including the trail linking the east and west sides of Priest Lake, in the Pack River-Snow Creek area, and riding along the Smith Creek-Cow Creek Trails near Bonners Ferry.
The latest order will likely remain in place until the Idaho Panhandle National Forest develops a winter recreation plan, a process that could take a year or more.
Hall Of Fame Planned For Eagle River
The World Snowmobile Hall Of Fame is being set up in a vacant Eagle River, Wis., storefront and will be home to some of the International Snowmobile Hall Of Fame collection.
The World Snowmobile Hall Of Fame is at the junction of three trails and within sight of the Eagle River Derby Track. The hall is not affiliated with the derby, nor with the Decker family, who own the derby track. The World Snowmobile Hall Of Fame will be within a short trailride from the Snowmobile Hall Of Fame in St. Germain.
Tom Anderson, an investor in the World Snowmobile Hall Of Fame, said his intent is not to compete with the St. Germain hall. psb

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