WHAT IS THE COLORADO SNOWMOBILE ASSOCIATION?
In 1970 a group of avid snowmobilers sought a way to expand their riding pleasure and pool of fellow enthusiasts across the beautiful, rugged mountains of the great state of Colorado. In so doing they formed the Colorado Association of Snowmobile Clubs, Inc. This very forward thinking crowd saw the advantage of banding together in number, not just to fellowship and ride, but to create a like minded group of enthusiasts to speak up for their beloved sport. The group soon began to morph into the Colorado Snowmobile Association and become an outspoken group for the rights of winter motorized recreationists and protection of access on public lands. CSA became a 501(c)3 not for profit corporation in 2000. In short, this allows donations to CSA to be tax deductible. The non-profit purpose for CSA is to ensure safety and conservation in motorized winter recreation. CSA is passionate about its mission to
Advance, Protect, and Preserve the sport of snowmobiling in Colorado.
The emphasis on the pleasure of riding was not lost as time progressed. Through the partnership with Industrial Expositions (now Affinity Events) the Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Expo has grown bigger and better each year showcasing the best riding destinations in the Rocky Mountain West, the best sleds, accessories, clothing and trailers on the market.
CSA is currently comprised of 35 clubs, 27 of which groom their portion of nearly 3000 miles system of trails in Colorado. Each club is independent of the others and offers their own brand of fellowship and riding experiences. These clubs work diligently with public land agencies to ensure access and limitless riding in their areas. The grooming clubs own and operate their own equipment to groom, mark and maintain miles of trails through central and western Colorado and hold special use permits from either the US Forest Service or BLM to operate on public lands. Many also have agreements with local municipalities and private landowners to operate on their lands. These trails are guaranteed multi-use trails encouraging winter recreationists of all kinds to use their system. Many systems support Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, dog-sledding and winter hiking/camping activities as well as snowmobiling. CSA also supports the grooming operations of Vail Pass Task Force and their efforts in providing multiple winter recreation opportunities.
The grooming clubs of CSA work hand in hand with Colorado State Parks and Wildlife to make certain these operations continue. In the late 70’s CSA and Colorado State Parks and Wildlife pushed for legislation to create a registration program in Colorado to, in part, fund grooming operations throughout the state. Now every snowmobile that operates in the state of Colorado pays a registration fee to Colorado State Parks and Wildlife, including out of state machines, at last count there are 33,200 sleds registered. Approximately 80% of this registration money is put back on the snow through the grooming program and education and regulation enforcement. Each year the 28 grooming programs apply for allocated funds to operate their individual grooming programs. The allocated funds reimburse expenses of the programs and are allocated based on a formula that includes intensity of use and miles of trail. The majority of the programs are run by volunteers who work for the sheer enjoyment of their sport.
Another piece of the funding from registration money enables the clubs to purchase and maintain their grooming equipment. This capital fund is subsidized by federal money through the Recreation Trails Program (RTP). Clubs, in need, apply yearly to this fund for money to update their grooming equipment. The money is awarded based on need, benefit to the overall program and ability to match the request.
Colorado State Parks and Wildlife and CSA also partner up each year to offer classes in avalanche awareness education, back-country survival education and rider safety education.
The Colorado Snowmobile Association works with other recreation groups to better everyone’s experiences. They have a seat on the Vail Pass Task Force which oversees the function and form of the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area in the White River National Forest. CSA is a member of the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA) and the International Snowmobile Council (ISC). This membership allows a seat on the voting body of these national and international coalitions. Regionally, CSA has a seat on the Western Chapter of ACSA and the Western Chapter of ISC.
CSA also is a member of Snowmobile Alliance of the Western States (SAWS) and is a founding member of Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO). We strive to communicate with and distribute communication to and from all of these organizations to better the efforts of all motorized recreationists in facing the challenges before us.
In addition, the administration of CSA works closely with the United State Forest Service and BLM on access issues. Meetings with local, state and regional managers are held throughout the year to assure a voice for snowmobiles on public lands. Each year ACSA sponsors the DC Fly-In, an opportunity for all of the state associations including Colorado to meet with their congressional legislation and speak about what is important in their states in regards to winter recreation.
To help facilitate CSA’s presence and effectiveness in access issues a Right To Ride Fund was established in the early 90’s. Donations to this fund are used exclusively to forward the cause of access to public lands. Although no one really wants to enter a legal battle, this fund will help ensure CSA’s ability to enter a legal fray when necessary to protect our sport.
For further questions or information on CSA, click on “Contact Us” with your question. To join CSA click Join! to join online. To make donations to CSA or to the CSA Right To Ride Fund click on Donate or send your donation to 325 River Rock Drive, Johnstown, CO 80534.