Club News Details

State of the Sport – Update on Snowmobiles in North America
Oct 09 2018

Ed Klim

(517) 339-7788


State of the Sport – Update on Snowmobiles in North

HASLETT, MI, October 2,
2018: Snowmobiling
is a catalyst for winter economies in the snowbelt of North America that
generates over $26 billion in annual spending by participants and providing
jobs, taxes and recreation when many hibernate. Over 2 million
recreationists enjoy snowmobiling in the US and another 700,000 in Canada each

The players are many and diverse, but they are all integral in moving
the sport forward. They include:

Individual Riders


State and Provincial

American Council of
Snowmobile Associations (ACSA) and Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations

International Snowmobile
Manufacturers Association (ISMA)

ISMA’s role is one of leadership from the four Original Equipment
Manufacturers (OEM’s) on issues that affect the sport, especially in the areas
of laws and policy with governmental units on the manufacturer of products, and
also with access and protection. Below are some of the ways the four OEM’s are involved
on a daily basis through ISMA:

  • The
    manufacturers collectively helped establish and are significant supporters
    and contributors to the American Council of Snowmobile Associations and
    the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations. These are the true
    activation arms for organization, political, and funding issues in their
    respective countries.

  • ISMA’s
    members, along with ACSA and CCSO, support clubs and associations in
    efforts to expand and protect trails, riding areas and other organized
    club activities. Financial support through grant programs and
    industry expertise and knowledge is available to support staff and

  • The
    ISMA Safe Riders program, sponsored by the manufacturers, began in 1995
    and continues today. The program support materials are available
    free of charge to clubs, dealers, associations and safety trainers.
    The campaign includes, posters, brochures, safety videos and other

  • ISMA’s
    Avalanche safety education and outreach support began ten years ago. Three
    years ago, ISMA partnered with Ascender 360 to make education access even
    easier through an online program. ISMA supports and communicates on a
    regular basis with the American Avalanche Association, Avalanche Canada
    and the US Forest Service Avalanche safety training teams.

  • ISMA
    announced a new Safe Riders video series featuring 13 chapters covering
    key issues on snowmobile safety September 6, 2018. The series will
    be available soon to support safety education and market expansion.
    Clubs and associations will be encouraged to use the new videos to promote
    membership as well as safety.

  • The
    manufacturers, in cooperation with ACSA and the CCSO, work closely with
    land managers regarding trail management, maintenance, mountain riding
    designation, and proper postings.

  • ISMA
    and ACSA have jointly intervened on behalf of states, clubs, riders and
    even the US Forest Service over 12 times on land access issues, protecting
    riders when unnecessarily attacked. Especially in the Western U.S. The
    most recent example being: Our intervention in the Over Snow Vehicle Plan
    in the Lassen Forest in California within the past year.

  • ISMA
    and ACSA have been involved since 1999 in numerous lawsuits preserving the
    right to ride in the oldest national park, Yellowstone – to assure the
    precedent set there is one of inclusion.

  • ISMA
    has sponsored scientific studies that have proven no detrimental effects
    of snowmobiling on soil, vegetation, or wildlife.

  • ISMA
    continually sponsors economic impact studies to show the importance of
    winter recreation to towns, counties, and states in the snow-belt region.

  • The
    manufacturers continue to develop snowmobile engines that are clean.
    New snowmobiles have EPA certified engines, which insure clean air and
    water and healthy recreation.

  • Sound
    levels and emission levels continue to decline in snowmobiles with new
    state-of-the-art exhaust and related sound systems. All snowmobiles
    pass a rigorous set of safety tests - including sound and emission
    testing. The tests are conducted by a recognized independent
    third-party testing laboratory.

  • ACSA
    and CCSO, with support from ISMA, organize a Fly-In every year to
    Washington DC and numerous receptions in Ottawa to personally visit the
    law makers and Ministers from snowmobiling states and provinces –
    reminding them of the importance of snowmobiling and giving them updates
    on snowmobiling activities in their states and provinces.

While the manufacturers play an important role, our sport is dependent
on volunteers to make it work. ISMA encourages all snowmobilers to support the
sport in some small way whenever possible – no matter if you live in Alberta,
Colorado, New Brunswick or New York, there are many other snowmobilers volunteering
on your behalf. Make your voice heard too by joining a local snowmobile club, a
State or Provincial Association, and ACSA or CCSO – even if you can only
contribute with your dollars. It all truly helps.

# #

Ed Klim


Snowmobile Manufacturers Association