Legislature Approves Laws Regarding Snowmobiling; Some Changes Planned for 2015

Just when we thought snowmobiling made it through that silly time of year, the “Lame Duck” session of the Michigan legislature; our elected officials passed some legislation that affects our recreation.

There were two pieces of legislation that did pass before the end of the 2014. However, if you partake of Zero Tolerance while riding, the first will not affect you.

For the last four years, our state legislature has introduced bills to make the recreation community — ORVs, boats, and snowmobiles, adhere to the same blood alcohol level (BAC) as the motor vehicle law for cars in this state. That level is .08.

For some reason when the BAC was lowered for roadways the level stayed at .1 for all other motorized off highway uses. With the passage of the legislation, the levels for all motorized vehicles are now .08.So if you still drink and ride, take note! Drunk driving is drunk driving, and now all BAC levels are the same.

A Change on How to Dispose of Wrecked Sleds

One of the other provisions passed into law during the Lame Duck session had to do with how a wrecked or totaled snowmobile is disposed of. There are now rules in place for how to dispose of the different parts of the sled. This was done so that certain parts of the sled don’t harm the environment and pollute the ground or air.

More MSA News…

The MSA Snow Show will be moving out of the rain. After four straight years of rain at the Martin US 131 Motorplex, we have given into Mother Nature. We will be moving the show into the dry atmosphere of the DeltaPlex Arena and Expo Center in Grand Rapids. Not only did the location of the show move, but the dates for the show have changed! The MSA Snow Show will be held Oct. 16-17, 2015. More information will go out to our vendors and attendees during the coming months. Look to future editions of the Michigan Snowmobile News for more information.

MSA officials are also very excited about our 2015 MSA Convention and General Membership meeting. The event will be held at a great venue. We are traveling to Mackinaw Island and the Mission Point Resort. Dates for the Convention have also changed. The dates will be Oct.  9-11, 2015. I’m mentioning this now because MSA was able to secure a great rate of $89 per night. You will never get a better rate than that on the Island, especially during the peak color season. Plan on attending and seeing the beautiful Mackinaw Island in the fall. Get your friends to come with you, and then draw straws on who goes to the meeting and who sight sees around the Island!

Saying Good-Bye

On Nov. 13, MSA lost a great person and friend with the passing of our vice president, Al Green. I would like to take a little space here to tell you about Al.

I cannot put into words how I feel about this loss. Al was involved in so many things, helping make snowmobiling better for all of us. I met Al because of his involvement with his club and the grooming effort in Cadillac. The more he got involved, the more he gave — helping to make all of the trails in Michigan look and ride the same. What I mean by this is that Al worked hard with MSA, and the Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup (SAW) to make sure that all of the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) personnel were looking at the big picture; the same for signing, brushing, and grooming.

As vice president of MSA, Al worked hard to make sure that all MSA members worked just as hard as he did to make things better for you the snowmobiler. Al and I had many conversations about all of the issues affecting snowmobiling, but he also made sure that it was still fun to ride. He planned rides, going out with MSA friends, his family, or riding buddies. We will never be able to fill Al Green’s shoes, but we will move on, and continue our work on behalf of snowmobiling. He would want that. We all need to try and model ourselves after Al’s passion for the sport, his diligence to the cause, and his humor and antics on the trail. Keep it Track Side down Al, and may God speed your journey!

At the December MSA Board of Directors meeting MSA past president, Rick Brown was appointed to fill the vice president vacancy left by the death of Al Green. Brown will serve as vice president until the 2015 MSA General Membership meeting, Oct. 9-11. At that time an election will be held to fill the vacancy.