Message for WA Snowmobiler From WSSA
Posted on 01/15/21 at 01:53 PM
The Washington State Snowmobile Association (WSSA) issued this important information update:
Here are a few things we think you should be aware of:
1. Hwy 20 area Forest Service Emergency Closure banning snowmobiles.
2. Senate Bill 5092 & House Bill 1094 with language to strip NOVA (off-road) funds.
3. WSSA Awards submission info & deadline.
4. New trail grooming map from State Parks.
5. Snowmobile WA app.
Item #1: Snowmobilers and many others are dismayed at the Emergency Closure order for an area along Hwy 20. WSSA is involved and here is an update from Wayne Mohler, our Land Use Chair:
"Snowmobilers along State Hwy 20 west of Mazama received an unwelcome New Years notice from the US Forest Service. Effective January 1 through June 30, three off-trail areas on either side of State Hwy 20 near Washington Pass are closed to snowmobiles and snow bikes. Violators of this temporary closure are subject to a fine of up to $5,000. See https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD870762 for details. This was a very harsh and unexpected way to start the new year! Predictably, the Forest Service suggests that the snowmobilers can go elsewhere. As you can imagine, this loss of ACCESS is very disturbing to the snowmobiling community as well as many other recreation groups who feel they, too, can easily be banned or evicted from public lands important for their recreational pursuits. The WSSA Board unanimously supports referring this uncalled for action to our respective congressional representatives, with the caveat that, in the meantime, we are attempting to engage with the Forest Service at higher levels. Fighting this closure has drawn alot of support from other groups, which is a good surprise and immensely appreciated. Those that have let the Forest Service know what you think – Thank You. Those that haven’t - please let them know!
Item #2: It has recently come to our attention there are two legislative bills in Olympia, which if passed as written, would take the NOVA funds used in support of off-roading (ATV/UTV/motorcycle & 4x4) and given to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to use for non-motorized purposes. As of today, it appears both bills have had hearings in their respective chambers. WSSA is concerned about this bill as we may see a similar attempt to take (sweep) our dedicated Snowmobile Fund as the legislative session progresses. We also realize many of you enjoy motorized recreation year around and this attempt to take funds may directly impact you. If you'd like to keep abreast of this info, we suggest you 'follow' the WOHVA (Washington Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance) Facebook page.
Item #3: Every year WSSA celebrates stand outs in the Washington snowmobile community. If you are aware of an exceptional nominee, we encourage you to nominate them. Categories include:
Snowmobiler/Snowmobile Couple of the Year
Grooming Coordinator of the Year
Snowmobile Club President of the Year
Snowmobile Club of the Year
Snowmobile Dealer/Associate of the Year
Snowmobile Trail Groomer of the Year
Deadline for nominations is February 1st. Details can be found under the 'Awards' tab at www.wssa.us.
Item #4: Have you seen it? The new grooming map provided by our State Parks Winter Rec Program? It is updated daily with grooming information from the previous day and shows grooming activity for the preceding seven days. A big thanks to Jason Goldstein for getting this out there to the public. It is currently in beta testing and State Parks welcomes your feedback. Check it out here:
Item #5: Have you checked out the latest update to the Snowmobile WA app? Available in both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. You can also explore the map at home on your PC or laptop. View the map here: https://mapswa.com/snowmobilewa For more info on all the map products available, including an updated ORV offering, visit Washington Hometown at https://www.washingtonhometown.com/
Don't forget to read the monthly WSSA Snoflyer for more info on all items of interest to Washington snowmobilers.
WSSA Publicity Secretary
WSSA Snoflyer Editor/Publisher/Ad Sales