State of the Sport – Update on Snowmobiles in North
HASLETT, MI, October 2,
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:
State and Provincial
American Council of
Snowmobile Associations (ACSA) and Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations
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:
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
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
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
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.
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.
manufacturers, in cooperation with ACSA and the CCSO, work closely with
land managers regarding trail management, maintenance, mountain riding
designation, and proper postings.
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.
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.
has sponsored scientific studies that have proven no detrimental effects
of snowmobiling on soil, vegetation, or wildlife.
continually sponsors economic impact studies to show the importance of
winter recreation to towns, counties, and states in the snow-belt region.
manufacturers continue to develop snowmobile engines that are clean.
New snowmobiles have EPA certified engines, which insure clean air and
water and healthy recreation.
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.
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.
Snowmobile Manufacturers Association