As the Landowner and Public Relations Coordinator for the Club I feel justified in chiming in here to clear a few things up, hopefully add some insight, and defintely add my opinion.
First of all, the current Town of Webster law on snowmobiling, amended last year to its current form, with WRR input, is very fair to snowmobilers living in Webster. It provides us unlimited use of the roadways to get to and from our trail system from 8am to 1am. Unfortunately, some do not abide by it. There is no need to be in anyones lawns at all, you can legally ride the right edge of the road. If there is not enough snow to do so, then that is a very good indicator that there is not enough snow to make it to and from our trails from Town.
Next, the WRR do NOT support an outright ban on snowmobiling in the Town as it will solve nothing. In fact, it will be counter productive. For example, let's say 100 snowmobiles start from their houses to ride. Under current law 95 of them will probably do as they are supposed to. Five will not. How many will get caught? One or two at best; that's not the Police's fault, it is a fact of life. The Community has 5 trouble makers per the law. Under an outright ban, most likely 100 won't leave their houses to ride, but probably 20 will risk it. The same one or two will get caught. Now the Community has 18 trouble makers. Problem only gets worse with a ban.
The solution is three fold. First, the Police make an effort to follow snowmobile tracks back to a house where a trouble maker lives and talk with the offending rider. They can't ticket them due to how the law is written, but they can warn them. Second, the snowmobiling community makes an effort to load sleds on a trailer and take them to a trail head. The Ames plaza on 104 is perfect. We do not have permission to use it, but I'll beg forgiveness on behalf of the Club for that if we get any objection. Don't go down the road of it taking too long; that's a load of b.s. Third, the fines for breaking the snowmobile law in Webster are stiff. $250 first time, $500 second, $1000 third.
As for the notion that the Club's leaders need to get together and fight this; no they don't. This does not impact the Club's trail system. Mr. Nesbitt has already stated that any ban would not include permissed trails. As it is our trail system is 98% outside Webster.
I suggest that the snowmobilers who live in the Town, and don't have trailers should be stepping up to fight this. Here is your chance to step up and do something for the snowmobiling Community. The leaders of the WRR already have more important matters to attend to given the limited amount of volunteerism within the Club. This is not the Club's battle.
Would a ban cost us some members? Maybe, but I don't think so. Our membership is up 200% in two years. This is due to the SRRA enacted last year, it has nothing to do with trails. That being said, our trails are excellent. I have brought people from other local clubs and they praised our trail system for its grooming, signage, and the high number of sleds using them. If you don't like them and/or don't ride them, you should not join our club. Join where you ride, period. If putting them on a trailer means you will only ride Williamson's, Lakeshore's or another club's trails, then so be it. But join that club if you are going to ride their trails. And volunteer.
As always, those who believe improvements need to be made should step up to a leadership position. None of us claim to be any better at this than any other member of the Club. I can 100% guaranty to you that you can be President of this Club next year if you wish. In fact, I'll guaranty you any position you want. Just step up and name it.
Until someone else steps up to fight this battle, it will not be a focus of this Club. The leadership of the Club will maintain its focus on doing the best job it knows how of attending to the immediate needs of the Club. We will assist the Town as requested, and we will make our Club's position known (it already is known to the Town, I assure you), but we will not proactively pursue this.
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