Jan. 22, 2007 – Snowmobile Report

Utah creates special group to encourage recreation business
The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development has formed a special “Economic Cluster” for the Outdoor Products & Recreation Cluster to encourage recreational business in the state. Other clusters in Utah include aerospace, high technology, defense and homeland security.
Scott, which makes goggles and snowmobile outerwear, is included in this cluster.
For the past year the economic development group has had a growing focus on bringing corporate headquarters to Utah through a combined effort of business incentives, favorable tax climate and a reliable workforce.
Criteria Announced For Bill Townsend Scholarship
Criteria has been announced for the Bill Townsend Memorial Access Scholarship, in memory of the former snowmobile racer, guide and grassroots leader. The $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student in the field of parks and recreation management, natural resources management, public administration, or natural resources/public administration law. The applicant’s scholastic emphasis should potentially be beneficial for motorized recreation management/access that includes snowmobiling. Applications are due on April 2. For more information, view www.snowmobilers.org.
Two States Draw Up New Trail Maps
At least two states have overhauled their trail maps for this season. Utah has reworked its nine area maps into a 17-map series. The new maps are smaller than the earlier additions and will be distributed for free. Last year, maps sold for $2. The maps are produced by the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. Massachusetts also has made its first statewide trail map.
Derby Scheduled To Go Live On Internet
The Eagle River World Championship Snowmobile Derby was scheduled to be broadcast live on the Internet, a first for the event.
The oval races, which were slated for Jan. 20-21, were scheduled to air on the track’s Web site. There was a charge to view the live action, and it was likely to cost more than a day pass to the event, said track owner Chuck Decker. Decker added that the set-up for the broadcast “wasn’t cheap,” but said the track already had most of the video and computer equipment on-hand.
The full roster of racing Saturday and Sunday will be covered, including championship qualifying, feature finals in all the Pro and Semi-Pro classes, the Sno-Cross Championship and, of course, the world championship.
Snowmobile Plans Under Fire in Two Areas
Two Western snowmobile areas are again under scrutiny. The winter plan for the Flathead National Forest in Montana is being challenged by the Swan View Coalition and Winter Wildlands Alliance. The groups say the plan’s provision that allows snowmobiling after April 1 will affect grizzly bears.
According to the plan, snowmobiling in some parts of the forest lasts into May. The proposed winter plan is a collaborative effort between the Montana Snowmobile Association and the Montana Wilderness Association.
Wyoming’s state planning office is questioning the latest Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks winter plan that proposes the closing of Yellowstone’s east entrance fort for the winter and to allow only commercially guided groups. State officials are concerned about the economic impact on Cody, Wyo., should the east entrance close. They also cited the National Park Service’s founding documents, the Organic Act of 1916, to keep the park open to snowmobile visitors without approved guides. psb

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