(Brain)Storm How would you describe MnUSA in 21 seconds or less? • • • • “Public + MnUSA + Clubs + DNR = Trails” “MnUSA is here to protect your right/privilege to ride.” “MnUSA establishes, maintains, preserves snowmobiling opportunities in Minnesota.” “If it wasn’t for MnUSA, you would be riding a horse with snowshoes.” registrations, likely caused by poor snow conditions in the 2011-12 season as well as a reluctance in recent years to carry over funds. The projected deficit for this year is $1.6 million. MnUSA leadership has been working closely with the DNR since the summer of 2012 to help mitigate the losses, but there was not enough time to make it up prior to the 2012-13 season. As of now, the DNR’s snowmobile account is back in the black, though barely. The next step is to work on possible solutions — with expenditures and revenues — to protect the account’s balance. Instead of the usual breakout sessions, spring meeting attendees gathered into small groups to discuss snowmobile-related issues Spring These elevator speeches were among many that were suggested during a brainstorming exercise at MnUSA’s annual spring meeting, held in Walker on April 27. Suggestions for elevator speeches ranged from the explanatory to the cheeky, but encapsulated how members feel about the organization. The idea session was a part of an afternoon roundtable where snowmobilers sat in groups at round tables and brainstormed ways to address the greatest issues surrounding MnUSA and the sport. The conversations were electric. The small groups discussed big questions such as “Why do people join MnUSA?”; “How can MnUSA better connect with and support clubs?”; “How can we encourage members of every level to be more involved with snowmobiling?” and smaller items such as, “Do the MnUSA logo and colors need to change?” As groups came up with ideas, they were written on poster-sized sticky notes and attached to the wall. The result: a plethora of ideas — some feasible, some outside the box and some dreaming — but all thought-provoking in their own ways. Will we suddenly see QR codes on MnUSA marketing materials, as was suggested? Maybe. Suggestions made during the roundtable were just that — no action steps were made during the meeting. The roundtables were just part of the day’s agenda, which also included updates from MnUSA officers, a legislative report, and remarks from DNR officials on safety and trail funding. Kim Lockwood, the DNR’s parks and trails program administrator, addressed a trail funding deficit that left clubs in the lurch for their final grooming payments for grant-in-aid trails. He said the deficit was caused by a lack of snowmobile A wall’s worth of ideas were the result of the afternoon roundtable session. Summer 2013 13