The history of your MSA!

MSA Flow Chart

What Has MSA Done For You?

In 1981 there were the following state associations in Michigan!

  • Michigan Association of Recreational Snowmobilers- MARS
  • Michigan International Snowmobile Association – MISA
  • Michigan Upper Peninsula Snowmobile Association – MUPSA
  • Snowmobile manufactures were dwindling, sponsorship money getting tight. Who or which association needs more sponsorship money, MUPSA, where the snow is, MARS, where the snowmobilers live, MISA where the snowmobilers race and provide R&D.
  • DNR, could not cope with all the demands from the three different associations. All wanted something different from the state.

June 1982 MSA was incorporated and in September 1982 it had 36 individual members.

January 1983 had agreement from MISA and MARS to transfer their respective recreational snowmobilers to the new MSA.

February   1983 MSA had its first general membership meeting, 232 individual members.

March 1983 MUPSA joined with MSA to complete the new association.

May 1983  first full board of directors meeting held in Marquette with 16 council areas represented.

September 1983 Grayling a special membership meeting was held to change the bylaw to create the Executive Committee to act in steed of the Board of Directors. The Executive Committee make up would be the four officers, immediate past president and 9 delegates chosen from the respective regions, 1-UP, 2- Northern Lower, 3- Southern Lower, 14 total.  The plan was to have the Executive Committee meet every 6 weeks,  and the full Board to meet at least every 3 to 4 months. The reasons behind this move were;

  • Less Travel
  • Better Communication
  • Ability to Focus On Regional Issues
  • More Involvement

December 1983, MSA works to pass first Out of State Snowmobile Permit. Passed and goes into effect April 1 1984

February  1984 MSA held its second annual meeting in Cadillac. MSA now has 908 members and 18 council member areas. Hot button issues at the convention were 3 wheeler issues on trails, get a return of gas tax dollars, early retirement from DNR, new out of state user fees.

December 1984 with pressure from the UP lodging facilities and MN, WI, IN, and OH saying they would boycott the state snowmobile trails, on the last day of the legislative year they remove the Out of State Permit.

May 1985 the four manufactures through the International Snowmobile Industry Association (ISIA) hire a Michigan lobby firm to assist MSA in getting a gas tax or permanent funding for the trail system.

December 1987 The Michigan Legislature passes the Recreational Improvement Fund (RIF). Two percent of the tax on all gasoline is deposited into the fund. The distribution is as follows; 80% to the Recreational Boating Program, 14% to the Snowmobile Trail Improvement Fund, 6% to be used by others with consideration of restoration of damage caused by ATVs.

December 1989 Membership stands at 4,800 and the topic of the day was increased fuel costs.

March 1991 MSA working with legislators pass legislation to revise the current registration law and direct funds to SOS, Law Enforcement, and trails also passed was a mandatory registration at time of sale and mandatory helmet use.

August 1991 MSA uttered the first words since 1985 called it a Snowmobile Trail Permit,  this would add funds from Mi residents as well as out of state snowmobilers.

March 1993 Legislation introduced to raise the registration fee to $22, full increase going to Grant Program for sheriffs. Other issues in the law change are retaining the interest on the Snowmobile Trail Improvement Fund. (STIF), a fine for stealing snowmobile trail signs, and introduction of a Trail Permit Fee.

June 1993 passed legislation giving landowners that allow trails, more protection from lawsuits

May 1994 Legislation passed for a Michigan Trail Permit for $10.00 per year Snowmobile Advisory Committee also put into law.  Registration numbers removed from side of sleds.

December 1994 MSA Membership is up to 13,000

March 1995 Laws change to allow a snowmobile trail along an active RR with owner’s permission.

April 1995 Fisherman want permit law changed to exempt them.

June 1995 American Council of Snowmobile Associations formed, International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association formed, first lawsuit to end snowmobiling in Yellowstone filed by the Fund for Animals.

September 1995 MSA membership is 14,000

March 1996 Sled dogs on trails was the talk of the time.

March 1997 MSA Membership is 17,000

July 1997 Registration decal changed and numbers added to decal. Stud Ban is first talked about.

September 1997 New sign manual for trail is enforced.

October 1997 MDOT working on road crossing tests for stud damage.

December 1997 MSA votes to support studs and there use on trails.

April 1998 MSA hires Reith Reily to do research on stud resistant asphalt.

September 1998 Legislation tying Drivers license to snowmobile DUI passed.

April 1999 Yellowstone lawsuit now cost over $100,000 to defend.

June 1999 MSA introduces its “Zero Tolerance” while riding Campaign

March 2000 First season of Zero Tolerance Campaign under the belt with fairly good results.

April 2000 Four years have passed without a new route around Mullet Lake on the Gaylord to Cheboygan trail. DNR contacted and reminded of their promise to find alternative route if snowmobile use could be curtailed along the lake trail in back of houses.

December 2000 Bills introduced a bill to raise the TP to $20 for 2001 and to $25 in 2004.

March 2001 Bills introduced to limit colored lens on headlights, and sleds no wider than 48”

April 2001 House passes fee increase, headlight bill.

March 2002 MSA Membership to 20,650

April 2002 We saw one of the strangest winters ever, Dec, Jan, Feb, no snow, March lots of snow.

May 2002 Test plots of the new stud resistant asphalt are being put on trails throughout MI.

September 2002 MSA takes over a major sponsor of For Women Only

December 2002 Mullet Lake issue was taken to the NRC where they danced it over the Trust Fund Committee.

March 2003 Legislature takes $7.5 M from boaters to balance the budget. Close call for a raid on snowmobile funds.

April 2003 Assumption of risk clause passes and signed into law.

August 2003 The US Congress holds a vote to end snowmobiling in Yellowstone and a tie vote defeated the measure, close call!

September 2003 had a committee set up to review the Mullet Lake issue, 12 meetings every two weeks.

August 2004 Mullet Lake issue has recommendation to go through Pigeon River Country.

August 2004 Chocolay Township proposes speed limit on trail through community

September 2004 MSA begins work on a non profit for permanent trails.

October 2004 MI Trail Permit raises to $25.00

October 2004 Snow Country Trails Conservancy formed to hold easements for snowmobile clubs across private property.

November 2004 Still no trail on the RR grade along Mullett Lake, and therefore no connection after Indian River to the Bridge

January 2005 DNR appoints Deputy Director to head up the Snowmobile Trails Advisory Workgroup.

February 2005 FWO raises $148,500 for Easter Seals-there was No Snow for the ride.

March 2005 Gov Granholm vetoes bill to allow a trail in the interstate ROW, voiding a possible link around the Mullett Lake issue.

June 2005 the Pigeon River Country Advisory group votes to not allow a snowmobile trail in the Pigeon River Forest

September 2005 Gaylord to Cheboygan workgroup is disbanded with the Mullett Lake trail issue not resolved.

October 2005 Three Million $ raided from Harbor Development fund.

October 2005 Recreationists in MI solicit signatures for a ballot proposal for the 2006 November elections to Constitutionally Insure Protected Funds from any raids by the governor and legislature. Enough signatures are collected for Proposal One to be added.

November 2005 Financial Intuitions (BANKS) want to make snowmobile have a title along with their registrations for lien purposes.

December 2005 Still no trail on the RR grade along Mullett Lake, and therefore no connection after Indian River to Cheboygan.

January 2006 Governor signs legislation to allow a snowmobile trail on a limited access Highway ROW with restrictions.

January 2006 MSA wins and Snowmobiles are allowed on the Chocolay Twp RR grade with a 35 MPH speed limit for the 9 miles through the Twp.

February 2006 MSA hosts the ACSA Enlightenment Ride and takes the Chief of the US Forest Service snowmobiling. Because of the ride snowmobiles are exempted from the new Travel Management Rule in all National Forests

September 2006 MSA asks the membership for their opinion about raising TP fees.

October 2006 MSA works with and the Governor directs the Director of the DNR to allow snowmobiles on the Gaylord to Cheboygan RR grade along Mullett Lake with a speed limit and curfew.

November 2006 MSA in the state and National elections are recognized as a large block of the “Snowmo-Vote” by the national news media.

November 2006 Proposal 1 passes that will now constitutionally Protect All Recreation Funds from a raid by the Governor or the Legislature.

February 2007 FWO is twenty years old and raised $173,850 this year and $1,920,245 over the last 20 years.

February 2007 DNR announces that this will be the last year they groom the last five trails they have been assigned. Four different clubs will pick up the mileage, we now have 65 clubs grooming and no DNR

March 2007 MSA working on a 10 year budget for the snowmobile program with the DNR.

September 2007 DNR revises Grooming Handbook and reneges on deal to allow the clubs to keep old groomers.

October 2007 MSA is 25 years old.

November 2007 MSA & Clubs say unless DNR holds up their end of deal they will not groom this winter. How the equipment is funded to the grant sponsors is the issue.

December 2007 DNR and Grant Sponsors reach a compromise, grooming will go on and the clubs will get their original investment into grooming equipment back from the program.

January 2008 Legislation passes to limit sound from snowmobile to 88db on stationary snowmobiles. Piped sled will be outlawed.

February 2008 MSA past officers start the Michigan Snowmobile Education and Advancement Fund (MSEAF) to work on all safety and education issues in Michigan regarding snowmobile safety. The 501(c)(3) corporation received it’s tax exemption from the IRS.

September 2008 MSA has legislation introduced to raise the TP by $10 and the Registration by $8.

November 2008 MSA unveils new addition to its web site, the Trail Report Page.

December 2008 Governor signs fee increase legislation. The trail permit will raise for the 2009/10  & the 2010/11 season to $35 and then the 2011/12 through 2014/15 season to $45 per year. After that the permit will be adjusted by the CPI for inflation. Also the registration increased from $22 to $30 for a three year registration, all of the $8 will fund our permanent trail easement fund.

October 2009 Governor Granholm abolishes Snowmobile Advisory Committee along with 25 other advisory groups. She orders a replacement with a seven member group made up of a hiker, biker, snowmobiler, skier, ORV, walker and an equestrian. MSA objects to 5 users with no funding put in place to manage and advise the uses of the Snowmobile and ORV funds.

January 2010 Governor back peddles and orders a new Michigan Snowmobile and Trails Advisory Council (MSTAC) with nine members, four snowmobile, two ORV, 1 hiker,1 biker, 1 MUCC.

February 2010 Legislation passes to add two equine representatives to the MSTAC bringing the total to 11

March 2010 MSTAC creates a Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup (SAW) subcommittee of MSTAC to handle snowmobile issues and work with the DNR (Back to where we started.)

September 2010 MSA introduces a new one time  Historic Snowmobile Registration to the legislature, it is introduced immediately. One time per owner for $50

October 2010 The Huron Manistee National Forest loses a lawsuit to a former Serria Club attorney, snowmobiling and hunting may be outlawed in those two forests. If allowed to stand snowmobile trails in the lower would be closed due to lack of continuity.

November 2010 MSA and the MUCC intervene on the side of the NF in lawsuit

January 2011 Historic Snowmobile Registration signed by Governor, takes affect October 2011

March 2011 Forest Service decides to do a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and revisits forest plan for snowmobiling and hunting in the Huron Manistee National Forest. They will seek public input from snowmobilers and hunters.

March 2012 NFS rules that all charges are unfounded and stays snowmobile and hunting in the Huron Manistee National Forest.

May 2012  Working with DNR on a Statewide Snowmobile Trails plan.

Oct 2012 trail summit at the RAM center. MSTAC, Natural Resources trust Fund Board, Waterways Commission, State Parks Advisory Committee, Michigan Historic Center. Facilitated session to identify common goals, trends, and priorities.

Nov 2012 DNR Law Enforcement’s Strategic Planning Meeting. Was on panel for discussion on relationships, partnerships, and changes.

Dec 2012 Worked with Snow Country Trails Conservancy to save trail #8 east of Three Lakes, purchased land and provided easements to Moose Country and Baraga grooming groups.

Jan 2013 MSA is on committee regarding the Public Land Management  Strategy Committee.

Feb 2013 Planned and carried out the “TAKE A FRIEND SNOWMOBILING” event in accordance with our grant from ISMA in the Cadillac area

Feb 2013  Guided Congressman Huizenga on his Town Hall Meetings via snowmobile. Excellent press on this ride, both Michigan and National.

Feb 2013 The MSA legislative ride had 12 Reps and Senators, DNR Director and the DEQ Director on a two day ride from Petoskey to Trout Lake and back

April 2013 National Forest Service in Idaho loses lawsuit. Lawsuit will require all NFS regions to add Over the Snow Vehicles to their Travel management Plans. Short story, all NFS land could be CLOSED unless posted open to snowmobiles via a travel management plan.

Dec 2015 MSA fought to keep trail 422 to Miners Castle open and won.  A reroute is in the works.

Just a few of the reasons to join MSA, without a strong membership we can not continue the work that needs to be done to enhance and protect our riding privledges!