MnUSA PRESIDENT Why Washington? Greetings from East Central Minnesota. Each year in the spring, the American Council of Snowmobile Associations hosts the Washington DC Fly-In. The three-day event lets us participate in networking and business meetings, educational sessions with government agency representatives and congressional staff and partners. It culminates with MARK meeting our elected officials. STEINMUELLER This year representatives from 16 states, including six from Minnesota, attended the Fly-In. Between the states, we often have common issues and concerns and we stand together on national issues. Through our meetings in DC, we keep up on land access issues and lawsuits on federal land in other states that could affect snowmobiling in Minnesota. Here in Minnesota we have snowmobile trails both in a national park and two national forests so how federal land is managed is important to our snowmobiling at home. Before we leave for DC, we make appointments with all 10 Minnesota legislators. Some meetings are with key staff members and others include the legislators themselves. We research items to discuss with the legislators and put materials together concerning snowmobiling in Minnesota, such as information on economic benefit, concerns with federal regulations and access, and snowmobiling in general. Many of the items we have discussed with legislators and the contacts we have made over the years in DC have had a very positive effect on Minnesota snowmobiling. For example, nearly every year we meet with Congressman Colin Peterson personally. When questions arose concerning snowmobile trails on Conservation Reserve Property, we had a direct contact to the answer. Sen. Amy Klobuchar makes a point to meet with us personally. Our discussions with her always include her support of tourism, snowmobiling and the Recreational Trail Program (RTP), which provides funding for all types of trails. The Senator was instrumental in keeping the RTP program alive. Support of this program through the years has provided much needed funding for clubs. Our support for increased funding for the US Forest Service for its trails has protected trails and created partnerships. Snowmobilers have many friends in government agencies through our trips to DC. Through the years we have met with the Chief of the US Forest Service, Secretary of the Interior and many other key agency employees — such as the head of recreation in Minnesota’s forest service district. The individual at federal highways that runs the RTP program is a friend of snowmobiling through our contacts in DC. This year we talked to our legislators about the Molpus threat to lock the public off their land. After our meeting with Congressman Nolan, a snowmobiler himself, he got his Minnesota staff involved. Although this was a state issue, many of the legislators offered to step in and help if needed. They all have contacts within their party in Minnesota. The Fly-In is an exceptional experience to see how our government works and to “Tell the Truth About Snowmobiling” to our legislators. Join us next year; information will come out early in 2014. Finally, I want to congratulate the Vicki Johnson family of St. Peter for their recognition as the American Council of Snowmobile Association’s Family of the Year. And to Ron Potter, former snowmobile program manager of the DNR’s Parks and Trails division, who received the Award of Excellence from the International Association of Snowmobile Administrators. Read more about it on page 20. Bemidji Sports Centre Bemidji 218-751-4477 Cannon Power Sports Cannon Falls 507-263-4532 Marshall 507-337-1000 Century Power Sports Stillwater 651-439-2035 Cities Edge Motorsports Shakopee 952-224-2054 Country Cat Sauk Centre 320-352-3534 Hamm’s Repair Warren 218-745-4298/800-889-5967 Johnson Auto Baudette 218-634-1636 Lighthouse Motorsports Rosemount 651-322-4420 MotoProz Mazeppa 507-843-2855 Northwood Equipment Aitkin 218-927-2140 Pokegama Lawn & Sport Grand Rapids 218-326-1200 Pro Cycle & Snowmobile St. Cloud 320-252-1556 RV Sports, Inc. Thief River Falls 218-681-1007 Sette Sport Center Owatonna 507-451-6922 Snell Powersports & Equipment Mankato 507-304-6786 Star West Motorsports Delano 763-972-5045 Thomas Sno Sports Ogilvie 320-556-3467 Trailside Sports of Amboy Inc. Amboy 507-674-3667 Waconia Farm Supply Waconia 1-888-741-3276 Westend Sports Center Red Wing 651-388-6591 Westside Sports Wadena 218-631-1113 Summer 2013 5