I don’t know which way you answered that question, but I have news for you, YOU ARE a hardcore snowmobiler! Why? Because you have taken the time to join the only state association in Michigan that advocates to keep your trails open to you. If you are a member of the Michigan Snowmobile Association (MSA), you are a hardcore snowmobiler. You want to make snowmobiling better in the state, and to do that you joined MSA! As a member of MSA, you know that MSA works with the Department of Natural Resources and your state legislature on behalf of all snowmobilers in the state of Michigan. There are 230, 000 registered sleds in this state, in 115,000 households statewide.
MSA membership continues to decline. We need every current MSA member’s help! Get together with that friend, relative, or riding buddy who isn’t a member of MSA and tell them they need to join the association. At one time the MSA had almost 25,000 members. It was then that the recession hit, and apathy started to set in. That lack of interest and concern continues, and our membership numbers have continued to decline. For more than 10 years, MSA has felt that decline. We have to get our membership numbers up! Without MSA, Michigan would not have the smooth, groomed trail system that all snowmobilers have come to enjoy and expect. Michigan offers the finest snowmobile trail system in the country, and MSA is directly involved in maintaining, preserving, and enhancing that trail system. Without a strong MSA membership, our trail system will change. Where else does a simple $25 (cost of an individual membership) get you access to such beautiful winter scenery?
With Your $25 Membership …
Membership allows MSA to have a full-time staff. Staff who attend DNR meetings, meet with legislators, and go to national forest meetings.
Membership dollars also allow us to take legislators and officials out on snowmobile rides. The single most important thing MSA does is to get a non-snowmobiler (who is in a position of power) on a sled out on the trail. We show them what snowmobiling is all about. We show them first-hand that snowmobiling is a fun, family recreation. It does cost money to take these decision-makers out on the trails, but the payback on that investment can’t be measured. The relationships we form on these rides have made a difference when it comes to decisions related to our sport and potential land closures.
We have to keep snowmobiling a “top-of-the-mind” sport when it comes to our legislators and this takes money.Also, let people know that by joining MSA, they have greater legislative power. MSA is your voice in Lansing and Washington, D.C. – monitoring regulations and proposed legislation that will affect snowmobiling. Again, stress to them that without MSA’s involvement, continued monitoring and influence, they wouldn’t have a trail system! To further their voice in Lansing, MSA has a full-time legislative consultant and a full-time office staff, all working on snowmobile-related issues – locally, statewide and in Washington, D.C. Explain to non-members that MSA continues to promote a positive image, proving that snowmobilers are dedicated to charity work and are strong environmentalists.
Facts to Inform Your Riding Buddy
When you talk to that riding buddy, use some of these facts. We all love to have fun out on those trails, but there are things most snowmobilers don’t know.
- Since the inception of MSA, 2,500 miles of quality trail have been added to our state trail system that now boasts of over 6,500 miles of marked and groomed trails and over 30,000 more miles of undeveloped trails in state and federal forests where snowmobiling is permitted.
- There are 68 grant sponsors (a grant sponsors is a club or business association) that maintain all of the trails in the state of Michigan.
- It takes $5.13 a mile every time the groomer moves to make your trails stay smooth.
- Pure Michigan and tourism dollars do not go into Snowmobile Trail Improvement Fund.
- Nearly 100 percent of the your trail permit money and snowmobile registration dollars go into Snowmobile Trail Improvement Fund for the development, maintenance, and improvement of snowmobile trails. A small portion of your trail permit dollars go to the seller of that trail permit. A small portion of your registration dollars is put into the Michigan Permanent Trails fund.
- MSA is funded through membership, raffles, and donations, NOT Trail Permits!
- MSA is the voice of all snowmobilers in the state, not just its members, and MSA needs to be supported by all snowmobilers.
We are at a pivotal point right now! Simply put, we need to get more members. If we don’t, our trails and our right to ride will start to take a downward turn. We need to get MSA membership numbers up, or we will see a drop in services and potentially see trails close.
Membership Is Our Future
Please support your MSA by recruiting your family, friends, and riding buddies. Let them know how important their membership is to the future of snowmobiling. Our recreation is under constant attack. It is only through unity and the proven strength that an organization like protect and preserve our chosen recreation.
I know we preaching to the choir (you are a members of MSA), but it’s time for choir to go out and preach for and with us. If you’re too scared to sing, send us a list of your riding buddies. Send us the e-mail of that friend who isn’t a member of MSA, and we will send information out to them.
What Does MSA Do for Snowmobiling?
MSA is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the success of snowmobiling in Michigan. MSA facilitates the over $10 million dollar snowmobile program, that is funded 100 percent by you – the snowmobiler.
MSA also Works at:
- Protecting and Preserving Your Privilege to Ride
- Representing Your Rights
- Promoting Your Rights
- Keeping You Informed
- Promoting Safe and Responsible Use
- Maintaining and Enhancing Trails
- Sponsoring Fun-Filled Family Activities