Snowmobile Forum Updates Area Leaders
The Cattaraugus County Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, Inc., in co-operation with New York State Senator Catharine M. Young, New York State Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio, and the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning & Tourism co-sponsored a Snowmobile Forum at the Ischua Valley Country Club on Saturday, September 24th. About 75 state and local elected officials, snowmobile club representatives, business owners and other interested agencies were updated, through a series of talks and panel discussions, about the issues facing snowmobiling in Cattaraugus County and New York State.
Jim Lemke, President of the Cattaraugus County Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, was the moderator for the day's events. He acknowledged the late Senator Pat McGee for her untiring support of snowmobiling in Cattaraugus County. "Senator McGee originated the concept of organized snowmobiling in Cattaraugus County," said Lemke, "and her foresight is directly responsible for the trail system we have today."
Senator McGee originated the concept of organized snowmobiling in Cattaraugus County and her foresight is directly responsible for the trail system we have today.
Senator Young, in her remarks, thanked the clubs for their involvement in the local community and their continuing efforts to grow their sport. "It is vitally important for tourism efforts to take advantage of all of our beautiful four seasons", she said, "and snowmobiling is one of the prime winter season activities in this region."
Thomas Livak, Director of the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning & Tourism stressed the economic importance of snowmobiling and its ability to bring "outside" money into the County. Mr. Livak then issued a challenge to the local officials. "Which of our towns or villages", he asked, "is now willing to step forward and become the Snowmobile Capital of the Enchanted Mountains?"
It is vitally important for tourism efforts to take advantage of all of our beautiful four seasons and snowmobiling is one of the prime winter season activities in this region.
George Couell of the Snowmobile Club of Boston enthused over the development of Cattaraugus County's snowmobile trail system and stated "You are outdoing Erie County by 99 percent". He congratulated the snowmobile clubs of the County for their efforts and emphasized the importance of the commitment of the County government.
Some other topics discussed by the panels during the morning-long Forum included insurance and liability issues, law enforcement, landowner relations, and public education and safety. Several of the participants emphasized the fact that the snowmobile registration fees paid by snowmobilers completely support the Statewide trail system. Of particular interest to the group was the newly approved 70 mile trail corridor which will run from east to west across Steuben County and will connect the trails in the western region of the state with the many existing trails in the state's eastern and northern regions. This will create much more activity on Cattaraugus County's trails due to long distance "snowmobile touring", a growing activity among snowmobile enthusiasts.
Among those attending and participating in the Forum were Hal Fleischman, President, and Jim Jennings, Executive Director, of the New York State Snowmobile Association, and Robert Reinhardt, Director of Planning, and Jeffrey Meyers, Attorney, both with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. From Cattaraugus County were Dennis John, Sheriff and David Rivet, Commissioner of Public Works. The Seneca Nation of Indians, led by Chief of Staff and Tribal Councillor Michael L. John, attended along with representatives of the New York State Department of Transportation and Pennsylvania's Allegheny National Forest.
Which of our towns or villages is now willing to step forward and become the Snowmobile Capital of the Enchanted Mountains?
For further information on snowmobiling in Cattaraugus County contact Sheri Webster, Cattaraugus County District Director of the New York State Snowmobile Association at 716-257-3737