A Mes­sage from the Pres­i­dent.

Sno-Dak News - - Product Review - Duane Sut­ton, Pres­i­dent, Amer­i­can Coun­cil of Snow­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tions

The Hol­i­days are be­hind us, credit card bills are ar­riv­ing, we all be­gin to fo­cus on taxes and how to get out of pay­ing more than we feel we should, snow­mo­bile trails are signed and in some ar­eas groomed and are be­ing rid­den, and for those of us who snow­mo­bile, we are in the mid­dle of our fa­vorite sea­son. I hope you are all en­joy­ing it, and have been blessed with ad­e­quate snow.

I hap­pen to live in an area that hasn’t been so lucky yet, but I’m cer­tainly not giv­ing up hope. De­pend­ing on where you live, many are used to hav­ing to trailer to find good snow con­di­tions on an an­nual ba­sis. Oth­ers have the lux­ury of get­ting early snow, plenty of new snow, and have rid­ing con­di­tions all win­ter long many of us can only dream about. I envy those peo­ple!

Snow­mo­bil­ing is truly an ad­dic­tion in my opin­ion. It is a sport that con­sumes us year round. For the thou­sands of vol­un­teers that as­sist at all dif­fer­ent lev­els, it is a year round com­mit­ment. Many be­long to and serve at the lo­cal club level. Oth­ers get in­volved at the State, Na­tional, and even In­ter­na­tional level. To all those vol­un­teers every­where, I’d like to say THANK YOU. With­out all of you, snow­mo­bil­ing as we know it to­day wouldn’t ex­ist. It’s all of you that make the trails hap­pen, the rules and leg­is­la­tion nec­es­sary for our pro­tec­tion and safety pos­si­ble, and the con­stant aware­ness of threats to our sport be­come front and cen­ter to those who don’t get in­volved. I have the plea­sure to serve all of you as the Pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Coun­cil of Snow­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion (ACSA). Chances are, if you’re read­ing this, you are in­volved at some level in snow­mo­bil­ing. You most likely be­long to your lo­cal club, and in most cases as a re­sult, also be­long to your State As­so­ci­a­tion. You then in turn, again in most cases, be­come af­fil­i­ated with ACSA.

We are the um­brella or­ga­ni­za­tion that mon­i­tors and watches out for your snow­mo­bil­ing in­ter­ests at a va­ri­ety of lev­els. We serve as watch­dogs re­gard­ing con­tin­u­ous and on­go­ing threats to our sport and where we ride. ACSA has over the years built and nur­tured re­la­tion­ships with de­ci­sion mak­ers at the Na­tional Level in var­i­ous ar­eas of Gov­ern­ment. Th­ese re­la­tion­ships have proven to be in­valu­able when “know­ing the right peo­ple” has been a crit­i­cal part of fa­vor­able out­comes re­gard­ing po­ten­tial clo­sures to some of our fa­vorite ar­eas to ride. ACSA cur­rently has one full time Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor and one part time of­fice per­son. The gov­er­nance of ACSA is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of vol­un­teers who serve, for no other rea­son ex­cept, for the fact that they love the sport of snow­mo­bil­ing.

The ACSA Board of Di­rec­tors is made up of Del­e­gates from each of our mem­ber As­so­ci­a­tions. ACSA works closely with each state As­so­ci­a­tion and the In­ter­na­tional Snow­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion to stay on top of is­sues that arise and poli­cies that could have a neg­a­tive im­pact on our sport. In ad­di­tion, ACSA has a close work­ing re­la­tion­ship with the Cana­dian Coun­cil of Snow­mo­bile Or­ga­ni­za­tions, our sis­ter en­tity in Canada. As many of you know, each June, snow­mo­bil­ers get to­gether at the In­ter­na­tional Snow­mo­bile Congress (ISC) to net­work and to­gether work on snow­mo­bile re­lated is­sues. Many other snow­mo­bile re­lated or­ga­ni­za­tions are also rep­re­sented at Congress, mak­ing it one of the most crit­i­cal an­nual snow­mo­bile events. In June of 2015, we will gather in Ni­a­gara, NY for the 2015 ISC. Chances are, your state del­e­gate will at­tend and par­tic­i­pate in this.

I feel the most crit­i­cal func­tion of ACSA is or­ga­niz­ing the An­nual DC Fly-In. Each spring, del­e­gates travel to Wash­ing­ton, DC to get the lat­est up­dates from those in the know re­gard­ing snow­mo­bil­ing. Each Chap­ter of ACSA holds meet­ings, we meet as the full ACSA Board, and one full day of the trip, each del­e­gate vis­its their Con­gres­sional Del­e­gates as a re­sult of pre-ar­ranged time slots by our ACSA staff. This puts us face to face with the de­ci­sion mak­ers or their staff to ex­plain how crit­i­cal our sport is to their state’s econ­omy, and pro­vide them with valu­able up to date snow­mo­bile in­for­ma­tion.

An­other crit­i­cal func­tion of ACSA is to pro­vide financial sup­port to de­fend on­go­ing and con­tin­u­ous le­gal chal­lenges by var­i­ous anti-snow­mo­bile groups. The ACSA Le­gal De­fense Fund (LDF) was cre­ated many years ago to help with this financial sup­port. The LDF was re­vi­tal­ized a cou­ple years ago as a re­sult of a law­suit filed against the United States For­est Ser­vice in Idaho. Since that time, snow­mo­bil­ers every­where have re­al­ized how crit­i­cal this financial sup­port is and have con­trib­uted to our on­go­ing le­gal financial needs. I want to ex­tend a sin­cere thank you to all the in­di­vid­u­als, clubs, busi­nesses, and or­ga­ni­za­tions who have con­trib­uted. As a re­sult of your sup­port, I strongly be­lieve we con­tinue to make a dif­fer­ence in the out­come of the le­gal chal­lenges we face.

En­joy the rest of our fa­vorite time of year, be safe on the trails, and con­tinue to be Am­bas­sadors for our sport. It’s be­cause of you that our sport is strong and grow­ing. Let’s all help en­sure that our chil­dren, grand­chil­dren, and be­yond, are able to en­joy the beauty of win­ter missed by those who don’t snow­mo­bile. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion visit www.snow­mo­bil­ers.org

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