Snowmobilers are very passionate about their sport. This passion ensures laws are in place, safety programs are established, trails are maintained and that all of these things are being promoted. Let our campaign begin! During 2011 and 2012, Snowmobile North Dakota (SND) and the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD) had the opportunity to listen to snowmobilers and set the new goals and objectives for the snowmobile program. A total of six legislative objectives were proposed. Some of the items included increasing snowmobile fines, requiring dealers to register at the time of sale and eliminating the excise taxes on snowmobiles. These new goals were collected at regional trail meetings and in the strategic planning survey used to develop the 2013-2017 North Dakota Snowmobile Program Strategic Plan. For more information on the current strategic plan please visit our website www.snowmobilend.org.
After receiving direction from the membership the past few years the following three items were proposed for the 2015 Legislative Recommendations: Increase the snowmobile registration fee to $60 per two year period (currently $40). Transfer the snowmobile registration administration from the North Dakota Department of Transportation to the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department.
In order to enhance education opportunities and promote a fun family activity; snowmobile riders ages 10 and 11 may ride on public property including the state snowmobile trail system, as long as they have been certified by the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department and are riding in the presence of a parent or guardian.
Special thanks to NDPRD for working on the transfer of the snowmobile registration administration and the increase in the snowmobile registration. NDPRD has been working with the North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) for three years researching and building up the campaign. This fall the Directors from NDPRD and DOT signed a decision document stating both agencies are in favor of transferring the snowmobile registration administration from DOT to NDPRD. Senators Kelly Armstrong (Dickinson) and Oley Larsen (Minot) are sponsors of this bill. SND is heading up the youth snowmobile operation legislation. Research has been conducted regarding the surrounding states laws helping establish the proposed language. Special thanks to the Valley Snow Drifters for informing Senator Tom Campbell about the snowmobile legislation. Senator Tom Campbell, along with Senators Kelly Armstrong, Oley Larsen and Tyler Axness, and Representative Jon Nelson have agreed to help sponsor the legislation.
The 64th Legislative Assembly officially opens January 6th, 2015. Both pieces of legislation will be introduced by the Senate and should be reviewed by the Senate Transportation Committee before going to the floor for a final vote. If they pass the floor vote, then the bills will cross over to the House of Representatives side on February 27th. Please make sure to reach out to your local Representatives and Senators with your support for these pieces of legislation. SND will use email blasts to inform everyone when committee hearings and votes will take place, so please make sure you are watching your email. If you are currently not on our email list please contact SND. It’s important to fill the room with snowmobile jackets and show our support!