|WSSA is the Only Group Working Fulltime to Protect Your Snowmobiling Access in Wyoming – You Need to Support Them
Kim Raap, Trails Work Consulting
If you snowmobile in Wyoming today, it’s because the Wyoming State Snowmobile Association has been working for around 40 years to build snowmobile trails and promote snowmobiling access. And if you hope to continue snowmobiling in Wyoming in the future, you’ll only be able to continue riding because WSSA is working hard to protect your access. As a snowmobiler, you need to recognize that state snowmobile associations like WSSA are the only organizations working hard fulltime for snowmobiling access. And they’re working hard for you regardless of whether you’re a member or not.
Make no mistake about it – in today’s world you must ‘buy’ access to our public lands by bringing money, volunteer resources, and partnerships to the table. Without such efforts – whether you like it or not – we would not have the snowmobiling access and trails we enjoy today. Thanks to the foresight and long-standing work by WSSA, we have a funding program in Wyoming based upon snowmobile registrations and user fees that pays our way and helps facilitate our access. We need to thank WSSA for providing this important leadership, and if you snowmobile in Wyoming, you need to join a local club or WSSA to help support their work.
Environmental groups are working like never before to have snowmobiling kicked out of many great riding areas across Wyoming, so the stakes are higher than ever. Groups like the Winter Wildlands Alliance have formed and exist solely for one reason – they “hate” snowmobiles and continue to push the Forest Service for exclusive “quiet use” areas where snowmobiling would become prohibited. We simply can’t let that happen – WSSA needs your support now like never before.
WSSA established the ACCESS WYOMING Program in 2005 to respond to a growing number of attacks on snowmobiling and entered into an agreement with Trails Work Consulting to provide professional assistance to help navigate the numerous Forest Service, BLM, and National Park Service planning efforts across the state. These planning processes are complex and revolve around the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The good news is that agencies like the Forest Service can’t just close riding areas without first following NEPA. This generally requires that agencies must complete an Environmental Assessment (EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) – both which are complex and time-consuming – before they can make their decisions about closing access. The bad news is that environmental groups are extremely skilled at working these processes and have many fulltime employees to work against us – so we have to be targeted to be effective against their attacks.
If you’re not concerned about the future of snowmobiling access – you need to be. Consider supporting ACCESS WYOMING by making a contribution to help WSSA protect your access. Watch the WSSA Wrangler or visit www.snowmobilewyoming.org to stay in touch with WSSA’s public lands access issues.