Winter testing the patience of even the most mellow riders
I am writing this column during one of the most snowless winters I can recall. Though it started with a good snow dump, the follow-up has been morose at best. The cabin got about a foot more, but that disappeared too, thanks to a couple of 40-degree days. The weather in Southcentral Alaska is beginning to look a lot like Seattle. With all the rain drumming on the metal roof of our cabin, I keep catching myself looking for the Space Needle whenever I gaze out the window.
Hopefully by the time you see this, winter will have arrived and the money that you spent during the holidays on a new sled or gadget will have proven themselves an invaluable addition and will actually be able to see some riding time.
A couple of serious items of note:
- By the time this hits the street, the new Hatcher Pass Management plan will have been signed off by the Lt. Governor and will be in effect. Look for new maps to be available along with lots of changed areas for access. We had a small net gain in the new plan, but most important, there are changes to some of the old boundaries and open/closed areas. The DNR/Hatcher Pass website has this information, and the ASSA will be assisting in distributing maps of the new management areas.
- The Alaska State Sno-X Lions Club made presentations to local community councils, as well as a formal presentation to the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Commission about utilizing the Jodhpur motocross area for winter snowmobile use. Jodhpur is a part of Kincaid Park in Anchorage. The Sno-X group has done an excellent job of planning and presentation and deserves the support that the motorized community can give them. Snowmobile riding in Anchorage has been banned since the 1980s, so this opportunity is an excellent step forward.
- The third thing in the works is the ongoing conversation among organized snowmachine clubs to focus on the advancement of a snowmobile program in Alaska that represents what snowmobile riders actually want in return for their registration dollars. Many items are on the table, and I hope that before the next issue of your SnowRider, we as a group will have had an opportunity to meet face to face and develop a plan forward that we can take to the Legislature this session. The current SnowTRAC program has been a good starting point, but we are at a crossroads in our state as to what can be done to take this to the next level in regards to funding, program direction and achievable goals for such a program. Keep in touch with your board of directors and offer assistance or information as you can.