MEMBERSHIP: open to all 12-20 year olds who are SD Snowmobile Association members
MISSION: The purpose of the SD YETIS Youth Program is two-fold. First it is to give the youth an in-depth understanding of how the total snowmobile program is organized, starting from the local clubs up to and including International. Secondly, YETIS is considered a leadership training program for young snowmobilers. As dedicated volunteers are getting older, our goal is to train the younger members to take over leadership roles in order to keep our organizations strong and continue to be advocates for snowmobiling in our state.
Black Hills snowmobile trails seeing best conditions in recent years
Governor’s snowmobile ride slated for Saturday
By Lacey Peterson Black Hills Pioneer
Feb 17, 2018
BLACK HILLS — With recent snowfall and even more forecast for the coming days, Black Hills snowmobile trails are experiencing optimal conditions going into the Governor’s annual snowmobile ride today.
Shannon Percy, supervisor of the Black Hills Trails District with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, said each trail on the 350-mile trail system is in good to excellent condition.
“They (conditions) are awesome right now; we’re sitting at excellent basically all over our trail system,” he said.
The governor’s annual snowmobile ride is slated for this morning at the GF&P’s Hardy Camp, 20 miles south of Lead. Percy said the conditions couldn’t be better for the large influx of outdoor enthusiasts and with even more snow forecast over the weekend, the trail season outlook is great.
“That’ll really push us into March,” he said. “Which it’s been a couple years since we’ve been able to do that. This same time last year we were struggling to try to even get a ride going because we weren’t sure where we were going to go.”
This year, he said, it’s totally different.
“It’s great conditions,” he said.
Percy said the trail system currently has between 5-inches to a foot of base snow level on the trails.
“Lots of great snow,” he said.
The governor’s annual snowmobile ride is housed out of the GF&P facility at Hardy Camp however, the South Dakota Snowmobile Association coordinates the event.
Percy advised those wishing to take advantage of the good trail conditions procure a current snowmobile trail map as the system has re-routes each year and last year’s trails may be different than this year’s.
Maps can be found at all trailside businesses, local chambers of commerce, and outdoor sports outlets throughout the Black Hills.
Gary Gall, operations manager at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge, told the Pioneer Friday that trail conditions are the best he’s seen in a number of years.
“We haven’t had them all in excellent shape in years,” he said. “I personally went out riding two days ago and it was phenomenal.”
Gall said there are portions of the trail system that have 4-feet of snow coverage.
“It gets better the further south you go,” he said.
Gall said he would classify every trail to be in excellent shape.
“There is not a bare spot anywhere,” he said. “You can get off trail and it really is nice.”
“It’s going to be a great weekend,” Gall added. “We have all of our snowmobiles rented out.”
Julie Ebright, owner of Trailshead Lodge in Lead, echoed Gall’s sentiments.
“Best they’ve been in over six years,” she said.
The snowmobile season, which opened Dec. 15, 2017, will run through March 31.
Although people can still snowmobile after the official season closes, Percy said GF&P will no longer groom the trails.
Members of the Board of Directors gathered for a photo op just before Governor’s Ride 2018. From left to right: Darin Cooper, District one; Mike VanDenHemel and Tim Lund, District five; Diane Hiles, Treasurer;Gary Ulmer, Executive Director; Sheridan LaFramboise, District two; Johnny Rider, District seven; Mary Anne Grabow, Secretary/editor; Brian Erickson, Past President; Rachel Watkins, YETIS; Scott Erstad, President-elect; Jeff Thorne, District three; Jon LaFramboise, President. Not pictured: Duane Stahl and Travis Fischer. Snow and weather conditions were the best that they have been in YEARS and the event was a great success! Arctic Cat provided sleds for the event (and we appreciate their continued support!!!)Many thanks to the Winter Wheelers for their donation and Kitchen & Windows Unlimited Sioux Falls for their great support of the event. The Black Hills Snowmobile Club provided a delicious breakfast for everyone in attendance!
Here’s another photo of Jon riding on trails East River. (Beresford area) He said the riding was good today!
Our SDSA President is riding the newly groomed loop of the Trailbuster’s trail today .
Jon is in the area taking in a couple SDSA club meetings, and getting a few miles in on the trail while he’s at it!
We are an organization of Snowmobilers working to promote and protect snowmobiling in South Dakota and throughout the country. We work closely with South Dakota GF&P, local federal forest managers and many State and local legislators to keep the outdoor recreation of Snowmobiling alive and well in our State for generations to come. SDSA also partners with the American Council of Snowmobile Associations. ACSA works on a more national level and brings the state associations together as a single stronger voice for Snowmobiling.
We invite you to join us no matter where you reside. Numbers and membership are key to keeping our voice heard locally and abroad!
As a snowmobiler, you can experience riding the vast winter snow-covered landscapes throughout the country. But did you know about the national organization that represents you and helps ensure your right to ride? It’s time to learn about the American Council of Snowmobile Associations and the role you can play in its accomplishments.
Interviewed is Christine Jourdain, the longtime Executive Director of ACSA.
What is the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA)?
CHRISTINE JOURDAIN: “ACSA is a national organization that unites the snowmobile community, providing a voice for snowmobilers on national issues. Our mission is to promote snowmobiling as a safe, fun and environmentally friendly family sport. Our message is that there are all kinds of people involved in snowmobiling, from the factory worker to the teacher to the doctor, and it is a fabulous winter recreation activityfor families, utilizing the hundreds of thousands of trails and designated play areas across the Snowbelt.”
What does ACSA do to protect snowmobiling?
JOURDAIN: “We are the liaison between snowmobilers and the U.S. Forest Service, Park Service, Federal Highways, Homeland Security, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and all other federal agencies that have an impact on snowmobiling. We constantly monitor current and proposed regulations for anything that might impact your ability to snowmobile, specifically related to safety, access and environmental issues. We’ve done an annual fly-in to Washington, D.C., for the past 18 years so lawmakers and decision makers at the agencies know who snowmobilers are and who to call when there is an issue that may affect snowmobiling.”
How is ACSA involved with other groups?
JOURDAIN: “We work with many organizations including motorized groups like the motorcycle or RV industry, and non-motorized people like hikers, bikers and equestrians. It’s important to have partners we can work with when mutual threats arise. We’re also very involved with state snowmobile organizations and groups like Tread Lightly that promote responsible recreation.” As an individual, why should I join ACSA? How is it different than joining a snowmobile club?
JOURDAIN: “Snowmobiling has many challenges. Many are local – dealing with threats to trail systems related to individual land owners, or funding for grooming, for example. For that, club and state membership is vital. ACSA is your voice for snowmobiling on national issues. Part of our mission is to maintain riding access to the National Forest, Park Service and BLM lands and to make sure no laws or rules are passed that take away your privilege to ride in your favorite areas. National forests, for example, are very important to snowmobiling across the country – in the West, obviously, but there are also huge national forests
used for riding in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maine and other places throughout the country. We work with the National Forest Service to make sure that snowmobilers are a part of the picture going forward, both for access and funding. Oftentimes trails can be there but if no money is allocated to maintain, groom and sign those trails, those trails are no longer available.”
Name a recent example on which ACSA has worked to have a positive impact for snowmobilers.
JOURDAIN: “Snowmobilers are instrumental in developing and maintaining snowmobile trails on public and private land. To help, ACSA developed the snowmobileinfo.org website specifically to host and share lots of materials for clubs, associations and trail managers to assist with those efforts. The site includes landowner information and best practices for trail grooming and maintenance. Another major area of the website includes reports and links pertaining to the impact of snowmobiles, ATVs and other OHVs on the environment. It has all kinds of safety and access resources available, from posters and scientific studies to a calendar of safety education classes across the country. It is a truly great resource”
How can individuals and/or snowmobile clubs become more involved or become members of ACSA?
JOURDAIN: “A club or individual can easily join ACSA right on our website – snowmobilers.org. It’s a very low fee – just $15 annually for individuals and $25 for clubs. One of the most important parts is connecting – when important issues arise, you’ll be informed via email so you can contact the decision makers and help protect snowmobiling.”