Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 39

Thread: Grooming Funds Threatened

  1. #1
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default Grooming Funds Threatened

    Fellow AOD snowmachiners,

    I urge you to contact both the Director of Alaska State Parks, Ben Ellis and your State Representative and encourage them to dismiss the proposal to reallocate SNOWTRAC funds away from winter trail grooming. The proposal in question was authored by Darcy Harris who is the current Trails Coordinator. Ms Harris has proposed several options, all of which would have the effect of cutting grooming funds 70 to 80 percent.

    One of the things she wishes to do is fund two ranger positions to police groomers receiving SNOWTRAC grants. Apparently, she is under the impression that grant recipients are not spending their grants on grooming, when the reality is most groomers operate at a financial loss and the grant monies merely lessen the amount they spend out of pocket.

    The Anchorage Snowmobile Club in cooperation with the Alaska State Snowmobile Association and our sister club the Curry Ridge Riders (who groom Petersville) are actively engaged to stop this proposal from becoming policy.

    This isn't intended to be a debate over registration, just reminding the group of where these dollars come from. SNOWTRAC is funded by snowmachine registration fees ($5 per sled per year). On average this generates about $225,000, of which State Parks takes 12% for program administration. This leaves around 200K for grants.

    In my opinion grooming is being singled out by a low level bureaucrat with a personal anti-motorized bias. No other grant program within DNR is scrutinized to the level being proposed and by all accounts trail grooming, as currently administered, is an unparalleled success as far as government programs go: low overhead, self-funded, and serves a broad constituency.

    I've attached the proposal for your consideration and information. Please do not interpret this request for correspondence as an invitation to attack Ms. Harris. This is about stopping a bad idea. It doesn't matter if you ride a snowmachine for fun, or a living, or mush dogs or snowshoe, or whatever; if you use the trail system in winter this affects YOU.

    Thank you,
    Erik Burney
    President
    Anchorage Snowmobile Club
    Snowmobile Trail Grant Program Restructuring Proposal 2012 (1)[1].pdf
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  2. #2
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    Uh oh.....is Darcy messin the hundreds of thousands of dollars of free money? I always like to find out the two sides of a story. Might email for her side of the story. It appears there's no accountability of all this money funneling to the mat-su borough joyriders, while the rest of Alaska doesn't see the benefit of this funding.

    Here is the contact info:

    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/grants/groompl.htm

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    950

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Uh oh.....is Darcy messin the hundreds of thousands of dollars of free money? I always like to find out the two sides of a story. Might email for her side of the story. It appears there's no accountability of all this money funneling to the mat-su borough joyriders, while the rest of Alaska doesn't see the benefit of this funding.
    I'd be willing to bet that most of that money comes from us mat-su borough joyriders. Taking over half the money allocated to grooming to pay for checking to see if the money is spent properly is classic government waste. It seems that you could set up better oversight without creating 2 new ranger positions.

  4. #4
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna
    Posts
    5,714

    Default

    Having ridden every single trail system groomed with SNOWTRAC monies last year in the Mat-Su Valley, I can certainly say that the funds the groomers received were not wasted in any way. In fact, with the amount of snow we received I cannot see how any of them even came close to breaking even. The money alloted it public knowledge and is very easy to police. There is no way they need any rangers to oversee it.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  5. #5
    Member AKsummit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Sutton, AK
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Uh oh.....is Darcy messin the hundreds of thousands of dollars of free money? I always like to find out the two sides of a story. Might email for her side of the story. It appears there's no accountability of all this money funneling to the mat-su borough joyriders, while the rest of Alaska doesn't see the benefit of this funding.

    Here is the contact info:

    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/grants/groompl.htm
    Why the Mat-Su reference? According to the maps in your link at minimum 80% of the state benefits from the program and Anchorage has the most people that frequent Petersville and Eureka/Lake Louise Trail system.
    Do you North Seattle people stay in Los Anchorage all winter???
    Boondocking & Bowls of Deep Fresh Powder !
    2002 RMK 700 144"
    2010 Summit 600 Etec 146"
    Weekends and Holidays Rule Mondays Usually SUCK

  6. #6
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKsummit View Post
    Why the Mat-Su reference? According to the maps in your link at minimum 80% of the state benefits from the program and Anchorage has the most people that frequent Petersville and Eureka/Lake Louise Trail system.
    Do you North Seattle people stay in Los Anchorage all winter???
    Never been to Seattle,

    But yes, we find 40 n 50 below zero weathah to be slightly uncomfortable during remote ice fishing/snow machining trips. I'm sad when some of the trails I run aren't groomed to high-way perfection or no trails at all, and Los Anchorage is temporary for me, before we move to our remote property after my education is done. We only braved the elements once when we headed to the last frontier in Sutton to pick up our final used utility machine from the former Iditarod Race manager (Jack) to haul our building materials next year.


    The lady said that she couldn't dare handle the thought of cutting firewood for 1-2 weeks at a time, and the boy doesn't like the smell of old ski doo tundra two stroke exhaust and dad barking at him how to run a machine through the woods.
    We don't handle the cold weather very well, so we stay out of the elements in Anchorage all winter dreaming of North Seattle:



    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    More pictures while we dream of North Seattle:



    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    I hope to someday aspire to be a bold Sutton frontiersman so far off the road system(and Los Anchorage)



    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    Same thing with the lady, she can't cut firewood, or catch burbot n grayling for crap:



  10. #10
    Member AKsummit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Sutton, AK
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Oh, you missed the whole point. Anchorage is a suburb of Seattle, ALASKA doesn't start until you cross the Knik when going north or hit Portage going south. The Muni hasn't been AK for at least 20 yrs.
    Nice pic's but still doesn't answer the question of your reference to "free money", "mat-su".
    Last edited by AKsummit; 06-18-2012 at 22:17. Reason: added to.
    Boondocking & Bowls of Deep Fresh Powder !
    2002 RMK 700 144"
    2010 Summit 600 Etec 146"
    Weekends and Holidays Rule Mondays Usually SUCK

  11. #11
    Member Bsj425's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    1,060

    Default

    Whats a groomed trail? Never been on one nor seen one up this way.

  12. #12
    Member mit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    702

    Default

    This system was broke before it got started, it needs to be reviewed and changes made.
    Tim

  13. #13
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    yeah, what about all the big lake fights between groomers? Calling the coppahs on each other for restraining orders? Crying about who gets dah money bag? Complaining they aren't doing their jobs? Peace out, have a good summah folks.

  14. #14
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    Personally I like the groomed trails for getting out to places to play and in general I don't mind paying for that to happen. That said it does seem just a tiny bit disingenuous for most of the groomers to claim they are doing it at a "loss" when factually speaking their winter business consists of snow-machiners staying in their lodges and riding the groomed trails. I have a hard time buying the idea that these folks are grooming trails out of complete benevolence and that they have wads of extra money to burn in the venture!

  15. #15
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default

    Lujon,
    Yes, loss. Most groomers spend more on fuel and groomer upkeep than they receive in grant money. Some groomers do have associated lodges so those additional costs are factored into their pricing structure. That's Business 101.

    BTW have you ever ridden Eureka?

    The Fimple family, who owns it, groom that area out of pocket (or at least they did in 09/10). Grooming makes Eureka lodge a more attractive riding destination and so they do it as part of their business but they also rely on donations to offset their grooming costs which run around 15K a season. When I encouraged them to apply for a SnoTRAC grant Mrs Fimple (Darlene IIRC) said they tried and the process was too convoluted so they decided to just eat the grooming costs.

    Trailboss here on the forum doesn't own a lodge & Dave Luce, who does, doesn't groom. The Curry Ridge Riders is just a club with members from Trapper Creek to Anchorage and they do a butt load of work in P-Ville. Brushing trails in summer/fall (out of pocket) and grooming in winter. Randy Crosby is a past President of CRR and the primary groomer of the P-Ville trail network and when he runs out of money the grooming stops. Guys like Randy don't groom to make a buck. He's passionate about snowmachining and access. He grooms because he feels it's necessary, wants it done right and he has the time. Same thing for the Wolfpack at Lake Louise. They groom the LL network because it's where they live and ride.

    BTW Our club gives about $4K in donations to various groomers in SC AK every winter. We're going to up that number this year.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  16. #16
    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    725

    Default

    As someone from Los Anchorage (okay, Eagle River but somehow I don't think the anti's are going to see a difference) I motor primarily to the north year round and have no problem with my registration dollars going to support groomed trails. Most of Anchorage/Eagle River is off limits to motorized recreational vehicles, so we have to go elsewhere for those activities. We ride a lot of ungroomed, untracked areas but we also use P-ville, Big Lake and Deshka/Yentna and frankly I'm glad those areas are groomed- at least to the point where we feel like jumping off into the deep stuff. If there's only $200K to fund grooming, I suspect that hiring two troopers would eliminate all of that and then some.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

  17. #17
    Member mit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    702

    Default

    It's a piss poor system and needs to be changed.
    Tim

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    950

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mit View Post
    It's a piss poor system and needs to be changed.
    Maybe so, but taking the money collected for grooming and spending the bulk of it on enforcement is piss poor government. It seems you could get more transparency and accountability without spending so much of the money you are supposedly trying to protect. How about an easy to use website that clearly shows who got what, what they said they'd do with the money, what equipment they use to groom, and weekly updates on what got groomed. Have some sort of user reporting to call BS on a grant recipeint that isn't doing what he claims to be doing. All that is way cheaper than two rangers doing patrols over half the state.

  19. #19
    Member AKsummit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Sutton, AK
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mit View Post
    This system was broke before it got started, it needs to be reviewed and changes made.
    Quote Originally Posted by mit View Post
    It's a piss poor system and needs to be changed.
    Opinions without facts are just that...is it because the North Star Borough with < 100k people gets less of the funds than South Central AK with > 400k people (> 50% of the state). IMO I think AK should be broken down into states along borough lines and let them take care of them selves as the residents feel.
    Boondocking & Bowls of Deep Fresh Powder !
    2002 RMK 700 144"
    2010 Summit 600 Etec 146"
    Weekends and Holidays Rule Mondays Usually SUCK

  20. #20
    Member mit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    702

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKsummit View Post
    Opinions without facts are just that...is it because the North Star Borough with < 100k people gets less of the funds than South Central AK with > 400k people (> 50&#37; of the state). IMO I think AK should be broken down into states along borough lines and let them take care of them selves as the residents feel.

    The Facts are clear it's a piss poor system, was ill conceived and should be abolished. All you have to do is some research to figure it out.
    Tim

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •