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SNOWMOBILE DIGEST

May 19, 2005
Filed under Features

SLED TOURISM DOWN AT YELLOWSTONE
The number of snowmobiles entering Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park during the 2004-2005 snow season never came close to the daily limits imposed by the National Park Service (NPS).
The NPS says the average number of snowmobiles parkwide in January and February was just 239 a day. The peak day for turnout, in late February, attracted approximately 420 snowmobiles. The NPS limit is at 720 units daily.
Park rules also require that snowmobiles use the best available technology to reduce pollution and that a licensed guide accompany any sledders inside the park.

Pennsylvania to Survey Sled Users
Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) plans to begin polling snowmobile users in what it calls an attempt to better prepare for a popular winter activity in many state parks and forests.
Later this month, 3,000 questionnaires will be mailed to a random sample of registered snowmobile owners across the state to determine their interests and needs.
The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and DCNR’s Snowmobile/ATV Advisory Committee (SAAC) developed the questionnaire jointly. SAAC is comprised of ATV and snowmobile interest groups who are looking for ways to increase riding opportunities and improve snowmobile safety.
One goal of the research study is to collect information that will help SAAC, DCNR and others better plan and provide for snowmobiling activities. The study also will help document the economic impact the sport of snowmobiling is having in the state.
DCNR is responsible for titles and registrations of snowmobiles and ATVs. Currently, about 46,800 snowmobiles are registered in the state. Fees collected from registration, titles and fines are deposited into a Snowmobile/ATV Fund, which helps to fund trail maintenance and development, safety information and classes, and grants.
DCNR currently is undertaking an analysis of the location of trails both on public and private lands, registrations by county and liability issues of ATV parks. Over the last two years, DCNR has invested $5.5 million from the Snowmobile/ATV fund for land acquisition and special projects, such as parking and trailhead access.
“When winter weather permits, snowmobile riding is a popular outdoors pursuit across Pennsylvania that gets riders out into our state parks and forestlands,” DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis said. “We want to hear what snowmobilers like and dislike about how DCNR is addressing their sport, and providing for its future.”
Questions about the survey may be directed to Dr. Bill Elmendorf, PSU’s School of Forest Resources, at 814/863-7941 or wfe1@psu.edu.

Fast Goes to the Internet
Fast, Inc. plans to launch direct sales of the M-10 on its Web site, www.Teamfast.com.
A blow to dealers? Maybe not. Buyers on Teamfast.com are asked to fill in the name of a local snowmobile dealer. If the dealer doesn’t carry Fast products, buyers get a query list that asks them to choose from a set of other dealers that do stock Fast products. If no dealer is plugged in, the software will choose one according to ZIP Code and brand.
Then, using software from technology provider Reshare Corp., Teamfast.com will automatically assign revenue equaling a dealers’ net on each suspension sale on the manufacturer’s site back to a dealer.
“The dealer always gets the amount of money they would get had they done the deal themselves,” David Karpik, Fast Inc.’s director of sales, told e-zine Internet Retailer.
Karpik said he expects to spread the Reshare-powered program across more of Fast’s products after an initial limited launch scheduled for this month.

PRINCESS INAUGURATES SLED ROUTE
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden visited Kilpisjärvi, situated in the northwest of Finnish Lapland, to inaugurate a snowmobile route that bears her name.
The Princess Victoria snowmobile route runs for about 200 km, from Muonio to Kilpisjärvi, following the border between Finland and Sweden. The route is a part of the joint Arctic Trail network of the North Calotte Area — Sweden, Norway and Finland — that stretches approximately 5,000 km. The three countries worked together to form the trail system, which keeps riders on a well-marked and well-groomed path.
Joined by the Governor of the province of Lapland, Hannele Pokka, Princess Victoria cut the ribbons to the new trail before commandeering a sled for a solo 30-minute ride.
In her speech, Governor Pokka stressed the importance of safe and well-maintained snowmobile routes for reindeer herders and the many tourists the area attracts.

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