A Message from the President.
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