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I would suggest 3 things:

1. Similar to another post, I do not want to start an endless argument, but this is just an observation after riding for over 40 years and in riding different areas with different demographics (Rangeley/Eustis vs County/Quebec). I would charge a $200 annual fee for long tracks over 144" with paddles over a 1.5". There are two observations I have about this:

a. These sleds are not trail sleds and specifically made to trench/dig snow.....which is fine for off trail riding (I'm all for it), but far too often these people are not riding off trail and are tearing the daylights out of the groomed trails.
b. It seems to be a younger demographic riding these sleds, who I have seen have less regard for the hard work the volunteers put into trail maintenance. I stood at an intersection in Rangeley this weekend and watch a group of 5 of these guys take off spinning their tracks.....ruining a recently groomed trail....disappointing!
c. Similar to large trucks that cause more damage to roads, they pay a higher registration fees.....same concept should apply here.

Case in point....go ride in the county or Quebec vs Rangeley.....you don't see half as many long tracks in the county as in Rangeley.......and the trails are alot smoother for longer amount of time....I also noticed the fields were not all torn up and people seemed to actually stay on the trail (like the signs request).......just a different demographic riding in the county or Quebec. By the way I am a long time Rangeley club member and know the hard work these guys put in and it must frustrate them more than me!!

2. Also, another suggestion, which I saw in Fort Kent a couple a weeks ago is to setup a toll at the end of a busy trail intersections / gas stations on the weekend with a club volunteer. I was with about 6 guys we all dropped at least $20 in the bucket and had a great conversation with the groomer operator......great idea!!

3. Force a club membership ($50 min).....too many people riding that are not part of a club and have no respect for the work that goes into the trails

In addition to a financial challenge, it should also be a strategic challenge to keep the groomed trails flatter, longer......part of that is a club/respect issue.
 

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On a smaller level, during big weekends maybe setup a "toll" type of setup that accepts donations. A lot of fire departments and special Olympics type of operations do that here in maine - Put a sign up, have people standing on each side of the traffic, accept a donation (give a sticker) and move on. Easy way to collect a few bucks.
I oppose this idea. Donations should not be coerced.
 

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I am club secretary in Patten. I live in Gray and my registration money I believe $6 of it goes to the Gray club not the club I volunteer for or ride the area of. Our biggest problem is getting the younger generation to become members or even volunteer. Three of our officers are in their 70's and don't even ride. Hats off to them for continuing to make this club continue. They are getting tired and need people to step up. One of our groomers and trail master doesn't ride. Our member chair person is close to 80.

Clubs don't need just money we need people. We have three groomers one is 1972 and one a 1993. The other is 2010 but that's because money was received from insurance due to a fire that destroyed the machine. We need updated equipment but it is so expensive. New is $260,000 which is way out of reach. USDA would possibly give us $99,000 but we couldn't raise enough funds for the remainder $161,000. If we looked at used, you need the purchase and sale before you get the grant for Capital equipment grant of 40% but even if used was $100,000 we can't afford a loan for $60,000. In the past the older members fronted the loan for the equipment but NOBODY should have to put their house on the line to fund a groomer. So we continue to either pay for repairs or members tinker with it themselves.

The few volunteers we have are dedicated but we need People need to step up and help. By the end of the grooming season they are tired and don't want to look at doing more. Be great to have some fresh people to do what needs to be done. They need the break and difficult to get things started early in fall cause everyone has their things to do to get ready for winter.

As far as membership, we get $15 for a membership and the remainder goes to MSA another $15. Businesses pay $40 and $23 to MSA $17 to club. Associate pays $20 all to the club. So with a total of 100 members in which we get 12-18 at a meeting it's not a lot of money and it's even less volunteering their time.

Businesses in our area may give an extra $50 and some just the $40. Their financial support is not there but if the trail isn't groomed to get to them I'm sure it bothers them.

We are paid in the arrears from the state for the previous years miles groomed. We get more for ITS than club trails. The newer machine is paid more for grooming than the older ones.

I hear that other clubs need Volunteers as well. That's the biggest factor in keeping the clubs going. That's why some are folding due to lack of people stepping up to help. It's not just about the money. We do ok but It's People Who Make the Difference. If you aren't helping you have no reason to grip. I think the Clubs that do the best are the ones that are more Business Driven. They can put the pressure on other businesses around them to get the people to the area. I know our club needs more business support and local support.

The industry has changed in that we have a lot of out-of-towners and out-of-staters that come north to ride. So I understand those that don't have a place to go to and help because it will cost them to stay, eat etc. We are fortunate to build a camp up in the area but I need notice when something is going to be going on to plan to be there if I don't have other obligations. We are over 3 hours away.

I've chatted with a lot of nice people through keeping our FB group going and I know people want to figure this out. There needs to be more of a balance between enjoying the season and giving your time to help. Sorry it's so long. Needed to educate a little.
 

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Right On Moosehead Minnie! Thanks So Much for your Contribution! I am a land owner in Stacyville and Love coming up to the area to ride. I am an out of state resident and would love to volunteer to help out if I could. I know a few people in the Sherman area that say the exact same thing as you about volunteering to help. I give what I can to the local club but wish I could do more. I'll be retiring up in the area in about 10 years and hope to be able to contribute more then. Thanks a Lot!
 

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I am club secretary in Patten. I live in Gray and my registration money I believe $6 of it goes to the Gray club not the club I volunteer for or ride the area of. Our biggest problem is getting the younger generation to become members or even volunteer. Three of our officers are in their 70's and don't even ride. Hats off to them for continuing to make this club continue. They are getting tired and need people to step up. One of our groomers and trail master doesn't ride. Our member chair person is close to 80.

Clubs don't need just money we need people. We have three groomers one is 1972 and one a 1993. The other is 2010 but that's because money was received from insurance due to a fire that destroyed the machine. We need updated equipment but it is so expensive. New is $260,000 which is way out of reach. USDA would possibly give us $99,000 but we couldn't raise enough funds for the remainder $161,000. If we looked at used, you need the purchase and sale before you get the grant for Capital equipment grant of 40% but even if used was $100,000 we can't afford a loan for $60,000. In the past the older members fronted the loan for the equipment but NOBODY should have to put their house on the line to fund a groomer. So we continue to either pay for repairs or members tinker with it themselves.

The few volunteers we have are dedicated but we need People need to step up and help. By the end of the grooming season they are tired and don't want to look at doing more. Be great to have some fresh people to do what needs to be done. They need the break and difficult to get things started early in fall cause everyone has their things to do to get ready for winter.

As far as membership, we get $15 for a membership and the remainder goes to MSA another $15. Businesses pay $40 and $23 to MSA $17 to club. Associate pays $20 all to the club. So with a total of 100 members in which we get 12-18 at a meeting it's not a lot of money and it's even less volunteering their time.

Businesses in our area may give an extra $50 and some just the $40. Their financial support is not there but if the trail isn't groomed to get to them I'm sure it bothers them.

We are paid in the arrears from the state for the previous years miles groomed. We get more for ITS than club trails. The newer machine is paid more for grooming than the older ones.

I hear that other clubs need Volunteers as well. That's the biggest factor in keeping the clubs going. That's why some are folding due to lack of people stepping up to help. It's not just about the money. We do ok but It's People Who Make the Difference. If you aren't helping you have no reason to grip. I think the Clubs that do the best are the ones that are more Business Driven. They can put the pressure on other businesses around them to get the people to the area. I know our club needs more business support and local support.

The industry has changed in that we have a lot of out-of-towners and out-of-staters that come north to ride. So I understand those that don't have a place to go to and help because it will cost them to stay, eat etc. We are fortunate to build a camp up in the area but I need notice when something is going to be going on to plan to be there if I don't have other obligations. We are over 3 hours away.

I've chatted with a lot of nice people through keeping our FB group going and I know people want to figure this out. There needs to be more of a balance between enjoying the season and giving your time to help. Sorry it's so long. Needed to educate a little.
great post.

As an out of state rider, I find money being the only way I can realistically contribute unfortunately. We always try and move any downed branches, etc but I can't make it up early season to really help unfortunately

do any clubs offer perks or discounts for work hours? Just a thought, a sportsman's club I belong to in MA offers a discount on your membership if you do at least x amount of work hours to help the club
 

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Look to your northern neighbours. New Brunswick has done a kick ass job of securing a sled system for all to enjoy. The trail fees that are charged south of the border cannot keep any system going.
 
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I vote to make it mandatory to join at least one club. Preferably the area you ride, not the cheapest
 

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Look to your northern neighbours. New Brunswick has done a kick ass job of securing a sled system for all to enjoy. The trail fees that are charged south of the border cannot keep any system going.
Yep NB does a great job!

Mandatory trail pass.

$25 of $41 plate fee goes to trails also.

You have to pay!
 
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