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Letter: Clubs encourage new memberships

To the Editor:

Once again it's that time of the year to start thinking snow -- at least for those that snowmobile, ski or have a winter pastime. With this comes the annual effort of snowmobile clubs across the state of Wisconsin to mark what many have called the best snowmobile trail system in the world.

These self-funded snowmobile trails don't just magically appear, they become reality through the hard work of local, county and statewide snowmobile clubs and associations. It takes the combined effort of volunteers in these clubs, like the New Richmond Trailblazers working together through County Snowmobile Alliances, and the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs (AWSC) to ensure we have trails to ride.

If you're a snowmobiler, we need your support to help keep this great sport alive and well. If you're not a member of a snowmobile club you should seriously think about becoming one.

The great trails in Wisconsin are a result of active club members working to obtain rights to the trails and to mark, maintain and takedown the trails. It's time to take action and join a club today.

If you're not a member, or doing something positive to move our sport forward or to help ensure we have access to land and safe trails, you really don't have the right to complain and someday may not have the right to ride. You can do something about it -- join a club today to help ensure the future of our sport.

A huge thank you needs to go out to our landowners! Our statewide trail system accesses both public and private land, so we need to be thankful of all the private landowners who allow access to their land for this great winter pastime. Even with all the hard work the clubs put in, this wonderful trail system wouldn't be possible without landowner support. We can't thank them enough!

As snowmobilers, we have the responsibility to respect the access we have to this land. Keep this in mind the next time you think about jumping off the marked trail or riding on the trail system when it's not open. Don't do it, stay on the marked trails when riding and stay off the trails when they aren't open!

The St. Croix County snowmobile trails are generally open Dec. 15 through March 15, pending snow conditions. Trail status is updated on the St. Croix County Parks hotline at 715-772-6824 or at the New Richmond Trailblazers Web site at:

All too often, we hear only about the negative issues related to snowmobiling, and not about the positives. Unfortunately, as with most other things in life, a very small percentage of snowmobilers cause the majority of the problems that most of us have to deal with. If you're a snowmobiler that falls into this category, think about the detrimental impact your actions may have on our sport. Do you want to be the person that caused a trail to be closed, or even worse, caused injury or death to yourself or others? Think about this the next time you're about to do something irresponsible.

There are many positive things snowmobilers do for our local community.

The New Richmond Trailblazers organize fundraisers to offer an annual scholarship to New Richmond High School graduating seniors and donate to the local food shelf and Empty Bowls, Y-Partners program, and other important causes in our area.

The Trailblazers also clean up sections of County Road for the Adopt a Highway program and club members help to organize and instruct the annual Snowmobile Safety program in the New Richmond and Somerset area. All riders that were born on or after Jan. 1, 1985 must have completed the safety course and received a certificate to be legal to ride.

Club members also have the opportunity to participate in club events -- from the social aspect of club rides, club meetings, etc. to trail marking, and fundraising.

The New Richmond Trailblazers meet the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. October through March, at the Laurel Supper Club just east of New Richmond on State Highway 64. New members are always welcome so we hope to see you there.

For more information, you can visit our Web site at:

New Richmond Trailblazers

Snowmobile Club