What’s in a Name? As any enthusiast, we tend to throw around terms and acronyms that are a mystery to the outside world. These are important terms for a snowmobiler to know or understand: MnUSA - Minnesota United Snowmobiler’s Association, a member-based organization that gives a state-wide framework for snowmobiling. Services include lobbying in St. Paul, helping clubs develop trails, snowmobile promotion and education. The national version of MnUSA is the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA). Regions - MnUSA breaks up the state into regions, for administrative purposes. There’s a map of the regions on page 4 of this magazine. Each region has volunteer directors, who help facilitate communication between clubs and MnUSA. Snowmobile Clubs - Snowmobile clubs serve a great social function for snowmobilers, and are the true engines behind the trails. Not only do club members groom trails, they secure landowner permission, handle trail signeage, figure out re-routes when necessary and work with local authorities for safe snowmobiling. Many clubs provide youth safety training classes. While clubs may get reimbursed by the state for expenses related to trail maintenance, their time is nearly all volunteer hours. Clubs depend on its membership to lend a hand to keep things running smoothly. Clubs also serve an important social aspect with fun, interesting, like-minded people gathered to enjoy a favorite type of recreation. Many hands make for light work, and all snowmobilers, at a minimum, should support a club financially via dues. Better yet, show up at a meeting and get your hands dirty — and take pride in the trails you ride. Grant-in-Aid (GIA) Trails - You’ve seen the signs on the trail. What does it mean? It’s a trail that’s a part of a cooperative agreement between a club (which does the maintenance) a local unit of governement and the Minnesota DNR (which manages the funding for the grants). While GIA funds are mostly for maintenance and grooming, funding is sometimes allotted for capital improvements to trails. Clubs need to be meticulous in their documentation of trail work. Grant funds do not always cover costs of trail upkeep and grooming, which is why clubs often have fundraisers and donation jars. Conservation Officer - Also called a CO, is the police of our public lands and recreation areas. They wear uniforms, have badges and enforce the law pertaining to state and DNR regulations. They also teach safety classes and are a resource to the public. They are employed by the Minnesota DNR. Summer 2013 9