The 2011 snowmobile season marks the next stage of a new fee structure for snowmobile permit fees. This season the price for a permit is $45, an increase of $10 over last year’s price. The fee will remain $45 through the 2015 snowmobile season. A state law signed in 2008 provided for the incremental increase in snowmobile trail fees, which support maintenance and grooming of the state’s snowmobile trail network.
Michigan’s snowmobile trail network is successful because of the unique relationship that exists between the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and partners. The DNR provides grants to local snowmobile trail partners, who in turn are responsible for the grooming and maintenance of the trails.
“We have strong relationships with our partners in the snowmobile community,” said Jim Radabaugh, section manager for the DNR’s Recreation and Trails Program in the Forest Management Division. “It is because of our partnership with 68 snowmobile trail sponsors that Michigan is able to offer over 6,400 miles of designated, groomed and signed trails.”
The fee increase is necessary to offset the increasing snowmobile grant sponsor costs — such as fuel, engineering services and insurance — to maintain the designated and groomed trail network, and to fund long-term trail infrastructure needs, such as bridges and culverts.
“When it comes to keeping Michigan’s trails safe and groomed, a little goes a long way,” added Lynne Boyd, chief of the Forest Management Division at the DNR. “This fee increase is a way for every snowmobiler to do his or her part toward providing season-long access to miles and miles of magical Michigan trails.”
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations.