County Receives Snowmobile Trail Grant Funds
Little Valley - Nine area snowmobile clubs that maintain trails in Cattaraugus County will benefit from annual snowmobile registration fees collected by New York State. New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation recently awarded Cattaraugus County, the municipal sponsor, $122,050.00 in funding to help improve and maintain the over 400 miles of funded snowmobile trails in Cattaraugus County.
The registration fees paid by snowmobilers provide the funding to perpetuate a statewide system of trails thereby requiring no use of taxpayer funds. "Registrations of snowmobiles were down earlier in the season due to weather, but numbers quickly rebounded," said Crystal Abers, Chair of the County Legislature. Ms. Abers also thanked the Department of Economic Development, Planning & Tourism personnel as well as Daniel Martonis, GIS Coordinator, for taking the lead to provide marketing and GIS mapping support for the program. The department once again ensured that every snowmobiler in New York State, that is a club member, received the Cattaraugus County Snowmobile Map by having the map inserted into the November issue of New York Snowmobiler. As of March 1st, statewide registrations totaled 124,218 with 98,755 registered as club members. James Griffith, County Clerk, reported that 3,563 sleds were registered through the County DMV offices in the 2006-2007 season. Cattaraugus County had 2,203 sleds registered for the 2005-2006 season and we do not yet have the final number of Cattaraugus County registered sleds for this year.
(l-r) Jerry Burrell - Chairman of the Development & Agriculture Committee, Jim Lemke - President of the Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, Inc., Crystal Abers - Chair of the County Legislature, Lisa Foster - Federation Secretary, Sheri Webster - NYSSA Director and Federation Trail Coordinator, Jim Boser - Vice of Chair of the Development & Agriculture Committee presenting the $122,050.00 check from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
... businesses scattered throughout the County benefit from visitor spending -
"The key to the snowmobile trail program in New York is that it is part of a comprehensive system that includes funding for a Statewide Insurance Policy, Snowmobile Safety Courses, Law Enforcement, Groomer Training Courses and Trail Maintenance Grants" stated Thomas M. Livak, Director of Economic Development, Planning & Tourism. "This interconnected trail system is the result of thousands of hours of volunteer labor and cooperation of countless landowners," said Mr. Livak. Jerry Burrell, Chairman of the Development & Agriculture Committee commented, "An updated snowmobiling brochure was again printed and distributed this year providing free trail maps to visitors which in addition, identifies numerous small businesses along the trail that offer snowmobilers assorted services. Small businesses scattered throughout the County benefit from visitor spending. Signed snowmobile trails can be found in virtually every township in the County and many Villages as well." Jim Boser, Vice of Chair of the Development & Ag. Committee, pointed out the fact that, "Snowmobiling is a growing family sport that provides a great quality of life for local residents while also attracting outside visitors to the area. In fact there has been a noticeable increase in family groups riding here in Cattaraugus County this year."
Representatives from the Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, Inc. attended a special ceremony today in the Cattaraugus County legislative chambers to accept the grant award from the County Legislature. The Cattaraugus County Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, Inc. comprised of representation from all nine active snowmobile clubs in the County, prepared the initial grant application on behalf of the County and will handle distribution of the funds to all nine clubs receiving funding this year. The Federation President Jim Lemke, NYSSA Director and Federation Trail Coordinator, Sheri Webster, Federation Treasurer, Cathy Hill and Federation Secretary, Lisa Foster, along with countless other volunteers coordinated this lengthy process whereby all the clubs access trail funding through one municipal sponsor (Cattaraugus County). Jim Lemke stressed the fact that credit for the over 400 mile trail system goes first and foremost to the landowners for their cooperation, without which, none of this would be possible. "The intent of the statewide system is to keep snowmobilers on clearly designated trails rather than on lands where their use is not permitted," he said. The statewide insurance policy provides protection for those landowners that participate in the approved trail system.
... there has been a noticeable increase in family groups riding here in Cattaraugus County ... -
The Department of Economic Development, Planning & Tourism again assisted the Snowmobile Federation in securing trail grant funding from NYS Parks. Thomas Livak, Department Director, explained the importance of growing tourism niche markets like snowmobiling. The statewide inter-connected trail system (currently over 10,000 miles) promotes "snowmobile touring" which is a growing activity among snowmobiling enthusiasts. Snowmobiling has become more of a touring activity where enthusiasts ride 100 to 200 miles per day spending substantial amounts of money on fuel, food and lodging which also means sales tax revenues for the County. Snowmobilers are known for driving long distances to reach key destinations in Canada, the Adirondacks and New England, but Western New York offers an excellent close convenient option. Snowmobiling has become a major economic engine for some communities already with daily expenditures reaching $100 per snowmobiler. For more information on Snowmobiling in the Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County contact Cattaraugus County Tourism at 1-800-331-0543 or visit our website at www.EnchantedMountains.info.
Remember: Please ride safe and ride with respect. Please consider joining a snowmobile club in your area. It is through the hard work of these volunteer-based not-for-profit groups that residents and visitors alike have access to such a great network of trails.
Enjoy snowmobiling in the Enchanted Mountains!
Snowmobile Clubs Receiving Trail Grant Funds include:
|Ashford Snowmobile Club, Inc.||$6,300|
|Enchanted Mountain Snowmobile Club, Inc.||$12,300|
|Franklinville Snowsled Club, Inc.||$18,150|
|Portville Snowmobile Club, Inc.||$8,100|
|Snow Bounders, Inc.||$38,875|
|Southern Tier Snowdrifters, Inc.||$8,250|
|Tri-County Drift Hoppers, Inc.||$7,525|
|Western New York Snowmobile Club of Boston, Inc.||$3,725|