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Annual Report 2012-2013

Submitted by: Keri Wanner 1

Table of Contents Message from the Executive Director Introduction Events Fundraising Marketing Partners North Dakota Snowmobile Program Strategic Plan 2013-2017 Enforcement Safety Education Program Snowmobile Registrations Snow Conditions Trail Information Comparison of Year End Snowmobile Trail Expenditures Trail Events Equipment Leadership


3 4 4 4-5 5-6 6 6-7 7 7 7 7-8 8 8 9 9 9-10

Message from the Executive Director Picture this! I’m sitting at a Snowmobile North Dakota (SND) booth promoting the state’s snowmobile trails in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the beginning of November. The plan was to head home on Sunday after the show only to find out the roads in North Dakota were closed because of a blizzard. The state was hammered and although we were ready to get home, the SND staff was pumped hoping this season was going to kick off with a bang. Needless, to say the bang came and went with November. The season started out slow with most of us crossing our fingers the snow would fall. One by one trail systems opened with minimal snow conditions but it was still better than nothing like the 2011-2012 season. Then, low and behold winter came with a vengeance. By the beginning of February, trail systems were opening for snowmobilers to play. A total of eleven trail systems opened with the majority grooming trails through April 1, 2013. It’s not very often, I take my yearend vacation to attend the Pink Ribbon Riders WY Snow Run and see better snow conditions in North Dakota versus the mountains but hey, I’ll take what we can get and when we can get it! True to the North Dakota recreation division’s form, we don’t sit idle very long. Each season that is entered the recreation division team works hard to find new projects that wow the North Dakota snowmobile community and of course the international one too. This season, we had a great opportunity through funding from the Recreation Trail Program and the International Snowmobile Manufacturer’s Association to shoot video footage for a snowmobile safety campaign covering topics from “Getting Registered” to “Wearing Helmets”. The videos turned out amazing and will be launched with a big campaign during the fall of 2013. With each season new challenges present themselves. This season’s challenge, grooming on a deficit budget! The snowmobile registrations hit there lowest point in over 10 years. It’s hard to make things happen on the ground when the funding doesn’t support the work. So working with the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD), a new plan was developed for funding and campaigning reminding snowmobilers to “Get Registered”. These new programs and marketing campaigns are sure to grab attention and we are crossing our fingers they work. As I close this year’s message I want to say thanks to all of the hard working members, volunteers, Board of Directors and staff for all of their work. You are what makes this program a success and keeps trucking from one season to the next. Cheers to the 2013-2014 season, let’s make it count! Sincerely, Keri Wanner Executive Director Snowmobile North Dakota 3

Introduction Snowmobile North Dakota (SND) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization that oversees the recreation of snowmobiling across the state. We’re contracted by the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD) to manage the state snowmobile trail system. SND is made up of snowmobile clubs, and individual/family and business memberships. Together these clubs and members make up 14 trail associations in North Dakota. The state trail system consists of over 2,800 miles of groomed trails. The trail program receives contract dollars from the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department to assist with the operation of the state snowmobile trail system. The organization also relies heavily on support from volunteers. MISSION VISION EXISTENCE

To build an organization and trail system that attracts residents and visitors alike to snowmobiling and serves as a model for others to emulate. To generate excitement for the sport of snowmobiling! We exist to advance the recreation of snowmobiling through a variety of activities including trail maintenance, marketing, promoting safety course education, and assisting with regulatory action by working with law enforcement.

Events Pink Ribbon Riders: SND hosted the 4th Annual Pink Ribbon Riders ND Snow Run. The event had approximately had 60 participants and raised $45,000 for the Pink Ribbon Riders. In four years, ND has raised over $150,000 for the organization. The Pink Ribbon Riders is a non-profit organization that creates breast cancer awareness for both men and women and provides $500 gift cards to breast cancer patients through its Patient Assistance Program. ND State Ride: The Ridge Runners hosted the State Ride on February 16th in Fordville, ND. Roughly 100 participants supported the event.

Fundraising The state snowmobile program promotes programs that help give back to the dedicated snowmobilers in the state. Here is a list of the grant programs the state snowmobile program participates in and promotes. Grant Program Furtle Turtles Grant & Aid Fund Microsoft Matching Grant Scholarship Fund

Description of Program or Where Funds Were Generated Funds raised at the convention to help with current causes/events 2012 Convention Silent Auction Table & SND Raffle Ticket Sales Funds raised based on Microsoft employees volunteer hours 2012 Convention Silent Auction Table & SND Raffle Ticket Sales Total:

Amount Raised $2,630.00 $1,750.00 $867.00 $2,050.00 $7,297.00

The following tables provide a more detailed description on how the fundraising efforts were used this past season. Furtle Turtles: This organization has raised over $9,065 since it was established. Grant Recipient Northern Lights Trailblazers-Rugby Fire Dept., Save the Lyric, Rugby Lions project Joy & Rugby Jaycees

Amount $2,250.00

Grant & Aid: A total of $20,900.79 has been donated to the Grant & Aid fund to provide up to three snowmobile clubs with the opportunity to enhance the local trail system. Club Lake Region

Grant Description Purchase materials for a new warming shack


Amount $1,231.71

Microsoft Matching Grant: Since 2008, Microsoft has donated over $6,511.00 to SND. Grant Recipient Snowmobile North Dakota Rural Cass Northeast

Description Marketing Opportunities & Host the Convention Club providing Microsoft Grant Opportunity Host State Ride Total:

Amount $563.55 $173.40 $130.05 $867.00

Scholarship: A total of $18,888.14 has been donated to the scholarship fund to provide youth financial assistance for continuing education. Applicants must be a member of an SND snowmobile club and have taken a youth certification course. Name David McAtee Andrew Ternquist

Club Northern Lights Trailblazers Ridge Runners

City Rugby Michigan Total:

Amount $450.00 $450.00 $900.00

Marketing The focus of the 2012-2013 season was to remind people SND exists and what the program offers. The website pageviews surpassed the 53,000 mark by over 40,000 pageviews. The SND Facebook page jumped 300 likes and the new Sno-Dak News Facebook page launched in October 2012 and reached over 500 likes in its first season. The program is excited to see the Sno-Dak News circulation jump by 1,000 each month making the total reach for the 2012-2013 season 36,000. In January of 2013, the SND staff and volunteer Board members headed to the Peace Garden trail system and spent a week with NDPRD and 241 Ink Productions shooting snowmobile PSA videos for future use by the snowmobile program. SND helped with the implementation and sponsorship of the event. The areas of focus included snowmobiling under the influence, sticking to the trail, helmet safety, ice crossing safety and general mechanics of changing a belt. SND received an ISMA grant to create an additional video focusing on snowmobile registration with a fun family activity theme. All the videos were shot in January 2013 and will be launched in the fall of 2013 with a snowmobile safety campaign. The goal for the 2013-2014 season, is

to continue increasing the snowmobile programs exposure statistics. Program Constant Contact SND Website Sno-Dak News SND Facebook Sno-Dak News Facebook

Followers 1,129 Contacts 95,719 Pageviews 10,000 Impressions 809 Likes 503 Likes

Additional Information On average the e-newsletter is viewed by 30% of the contacts monthly 18,489 total visitors (9,752 unique), Viewed 5 pages & spent 3 minutes/visit 3,000 e-magazine readers, Circulation is 6,000/month (Print & e-magazine) 65% are male, 54% are between the ages of 25-44 67% Male, 51% are between the ages of 25-44

Key findings in the North Dakota Snowmobile Program Strategic Plan (2013-2017) reflected where snowmobilers spend their time when they are looking to get outdoors. A total of 68.9% of the snowmobilers did more than 60% of their riding in North Dakota. It was also noted 61% of the snowmobilers will not travel more than 300 miles to ride. It’s great to see 91.9% of the snowmobilers were satisfied or very satisfied with their encounters on the trail with North Dakota law enforcement.


State/Provinces Riding Preferences Idaho Manitoba Minnesota Montana North Dakota Ontario South Dakota Wisconsin Wyoming

% 7% 3% 18% 13% 35% 1% 9% 2% 12%

Snow Shows Hay Days SND Convention SND State Ride Show ‘n Shine Saskatchewan Snow Show Snow Sneak Peek

Location North Branch, MN Rugby, ND Fordville, ND Bismarck, ND Saskatoon, Sask., Canada Fargo, ND

Target Audience Canadian Provinces, IA, MI, MN, ND, SD, WI North Dakota (primarily to SND members) North Dakota (primarily to SND members) North Dakota Canadian Provinces North Dakota & Minnesota

Partners SND continued partnerships in the 2012-2013 season with these amazing companies and organizations and look forward to many more great seasons working together to generate excitement for the sport of snowmobiling.

Snowmobile North Dakota partnered with Foremost Insurance in 2012 aimed at awareness and expansion. Foremost® is the Officially Endorsed Insurance Provider for Snowmobile North Dakota. A Foremost snowmobile policy provides the coverage customers expect, plus many valuable extras. Choose coverage for collision, safety apparel, optional equipment, transport trailers, liability, medical payments and more. We also provide an annual policy so if there’s an unexpected snowfall in the off-season, you can get out and ride! A part of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, we offer a broad range of personal insurance products including auto, manufactured home, specialty homeowners, landlord or rental property, seasonal or vacant property, motor home, travel trailer, motorcycle, off-road vehicle, boat, personal watercraft and collectible auto. Plus Foremost offers a variety of discounts including a multi-policy discount for customers with a qualifying Foremost or Farmers® policy.

North Dakota Snowmobile Program Strategic Plan 2013-2017 The third edition of a strategic plan for the snowmobile trail system in North Dakota was released in December of 2012. The first was commissioned to provide a framework for the further development of the program from 2003-2008 and the second covered 2008-2012. This plan determined snowmobiling enthusiasts have a lot of great emotion and passion for their sport. To view the current plan visit: Each year the SND Board of Directors develops an action plan of the Strategic Plan Objectives to pursue for the upcoming year. These objectives are split between the staff of NDPRD, SND and the SND Board of Director committees to help achieve everything outlined in the action plan. As we prepare for the next legislative session in 2015, it’s a major goal for the snowmobile program to research and establish several goals needing legislative support and changes. The staff has already started to purse meetings with related parties to move forward with the objectives. The SND Board of Directors promoted the Program Manager to the Executive Director in January of 2013. It has been a main area of focus to educate the Board of Directors on the role of the Executive Director as the season came to a close. Starting in the 2013-2014 season, SND will start educating the members on the new position as well.


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Focus Area #1 - Trail Management Equip Groomer with GPS tracking system to provide analytic repurposing and information dissemination. Strengthen relationship with Tourism Division to promote snowmobile opportunities in North Dakota. Focus Area #2 - Membership & Volunteer Recruitment Allow the program manager to act in an executive capacity with the roles and responsibilities for the organization's operations. Focus Area #4 - Program Administration Advocate for retaining the Recreational Trail Program as a state transportation funding priority. Focus Area #5 - Safety Education & Enforcement Develop a program to provide safety education for those under 12. Produce Public Service Announcements for trail safety and certification needs. Focus Area #6 – Legislative Recommendations Investigate having NDPRD take over registration. Currently the ND DOT is seeing significant increases in workload and $5 of the registration is taken to fund the registration process which NDPRD could do to increase amount of registration dollars going to the program. Require that dealers register snowmobile at the time of purchase. Consider reducing the allowable riding age to include under 12 to enhance education opportunities to those our research showed they are riding anyway.

Enforcement (Provided by: Erik Dietrich, Motorized Recreation Coordinator, ND Parks & Recreation) We were able to conduct 10 enforcement checkpoints and checked 630 snowmobiles with 32 citations. 160 out of state snowmobile permit were sold. Overall it was a descent winter with a late start and finish.

Safety Education Program (Provided by: Matt Gardner - Recreation Division Manager, ND Parks & Recreation) The ND Parks & Recreation Department conducts the snowmobile certification classes in the state. This past season, 149 youth (12 years of age and older) were certified with a total number of 11 classes. The safety simulator purchased in 2009, traveled around North Dakota to safety fairs, safety education classes and schools educating proper riding practices along with the new safety education trailer. The safety trailer uses ISMA’s safety messages, in the form of safety panels inside the trailer to teach safe and ethical snowmobiling.

Snowmobile Registrations Registrations in North Dakota are collected on a biennial basis and the current biennium comes to a close on June 30, 2013. In comparison to the same month from the previous biennium this is a decrease of approximately 18%.

Jun-09 Jun-11 Jun-13

Snowmobile Program Biennial Revenue (Comparing April of 1st Year in Biennium) Sled Registration Safety Gas Tax Trail Pass Dealer $5 Total #'s Revenue Revenue Revenue Revenue Safety Fee Revenue 15,835 $554,227.00 $9,311.36 $168,166.80 $5,430.00 $0.00 $738,035.16 17,691 $619,167.00 $17,160.00 $168,932.70 $8,535.00 $8,065.00 $823,239.70 14,552 $509,3110.00 $3,920.00 $148,467.30 $3,705.00 $5219.00 $670,622.30

Snow Conditions: General Trail Information # of Trail Systems 14

ND Trail Program Information # of Miles Official Season 2,800 Dec. 1st to Apr. 1st

Trail Requirement Min. of 4" base

Statistics from the current snowmobile season reflect a much better season than the year before. The season started approximately 2 months late and ran through the close of April 1st. With a total of 11 trails opening. 7

2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013

North Dakota Snow Conditions (Table based on inches and an average across the state) 4 Month - Total Amount of Snow Snow Base Snowfall Temperature # of Weeks Open 16.0 7.4 34.3 12.0 14 1.8 0.7 18.0 21.5 3 10.4 3.1 32.0 20.6 11

Trail Information: 3 Year Comparison The snowmobile trail program is ecstatic about grooming almost 19,000 miles of snowmobile trail this season. This is a far cry from the 1,095 miles groomed during the first year of the 2011-2013 biennium. Considering most of these miles were groomed during February and March, it shows the dedication of the snowmobile clubs and their volunteers making sure opportunity existed for snowmobilers to get out and ride. Season 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013

Miles Groomed 20,740 1,095 18,981

Fuel Expenses $38,206.12 $3,819.17 $51,062.46

Payroll Expenses $12,803.80 $1,096.95 $14,127.06

Equip. Maint. / Repair Exp. $12,918.84 $9,766.35 $6,050.40

Snowmobile Trail Expenditures - 5 Year Comparison Season 20082009 20092010 20102011 20112012 20122013




























Repairs $8,679.49

Contract Miles 3,352

Contract Grooming $33,520.00













Total $169,208.51

Cost/ Mile $132.69

# of Passes 72.37






















The following trail systems were open during the 2012-2013 season. The chart reflects the trail maintenance expenditures for each system. The total expenses for the season including all trails that were open totaled $96,913.65; the largest expense is fuel for the groomers. Trail systems are reimbursed for completing trail tasks such as signing, equipment maintenance and maintain (grubbing and grooming) the trail system. Trail




East Central Lake Region North Central Northeast Peace Garden Red River North Red River South Sheyenne Valley Sno-Trails Southern Valley Total:

1,197.6 1,795.7 1,267.1 5,208.4 2,638.9 1,240.7 1,789.0 1,162.6 779 0 17,079

$935.73 $2,070.65 $1,971.10 $4,335.53 $990.17 $1,093.99 $1,974.61 $755.28 $0.00 $0.00 $14,127.06

$3,203.12 $7,716.93 $3,158.44 $16,185.27 $5,454.24 $3,316.38 $6,931.28 $3,113.10 $1,983.70 $0.00 $51,062.46

Fluids / Parts $841.17 $906.69 $1,063.38 $106.02 $1,133.87 $82.99 $103.04 $2,104.47 $632.40 $0.00 $6,974.03


Maint. / Repairs $540.00 $1,065.00 $1,408.77 $1,008.46 $0.00 $1,118.87 $150.00 $330.00 $360.00 $0.00 $6,050.10

Contract Miles 83 0 0 0 0 90 0 0 619 1,080 1,872

Contract Grooming $830.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $900.00 $0.00 $0.00 $6,190.00 $10,800.00 $18,720.00

Total $6,330.02 $11,759.27 $7,601.69 $21,635.28 $7,578.28 $6,581.23 $9,158.93 $6,302.85 $9,166.10 $10,800.00 $96,913.65

Trail System Events SND works with a great group of people that assist with all aspects of the state trail system. Outside of trail management, one of those tasks is marketing the local trails by hosting events. Clubs do a great job of promoting early to engage snowmobilers as the winter approaches and then do an even better job hosting events to keep the program fun. Here is a list of events from this past season: Kick Off Party SnowJam Ice Oval Races Ice Oval Races Show n Shine Sno-Goers Banquet Dealer Demo Day NLTB Fun Run 10th Annual Snowbunny Run Poker Run Snowfest Radar Run Ransom Retro Ride Sno-Busters Benefit Run Trailblazers Fun Run Towner Fun Run Driftbusters Fun Run Gasmann Coulee Cruisers Fun Run Club Weekend Men’s Ride

East Central Valley Red River Sno-Riders Rural Cass Lake Region Lake Region Lake Region Missouri Valley Roughrider Snowmobile Club Beaver Valley Sno-Goers Roughrider Snowmobile Club North Central Northern Lights Trailblazers Northern Lights Trailblazers Northeast Northeast Trailblazers Moonlighters & Nekoma Trailblazers Northeast Trailblazers Sheyenne Valley Ransom County Driftskippers Sno-Busters Sno-Trails Dakota Trailblazers Mouse River Sled Runners Magic City Driftbusters Gasmann Coulee Cruisers All Clubs All Clubs

December 8, 2012 February 23, 2013 January 12, 2013 February 16, 2013 October 27, 2012 January 19, 2013 February 23, 2013 January 5, 2013 February 23, 2013 January 26, 2013 February 9, 2013 February 24, 2014 February 23, 2013 March 2, 2013 December 8, 2012 December 29, 2012 January 5, 2013 January 19, 2013 January 26, 2013 February 23, 2013

Equipment The snowmobile trail program manages over $1.9 million dollars in equipment; operating 14 Tuckers, 19 implements (drags), a couple snowmobiles and trail grubbing equipment (UTV’s, mowers, trailers). The equipment fleet has depended on the existence of the Recreational Trail Program and the grant opportunities it provides. SND is researching possibilities with ND Parks and Recreation to establish a Trail Crew that assists with snowmobile trail grubbing in the fall.

Leadership Officers President Laura Forbes

Vice President Sheri Hoffmann

Past President Marty Malachowski

Board of Directors Region 1 Dale Deibert Byron Norsby

Region 2 Mark Shipley Tonia Dosch

Region 3 Perry Brintnell Brian Sauer


Region 4 Dan Tveito Brad Rodin

Region 5 Troy Klevgard Kristie Thone

The following chart represents the standing committees for the state snowmobile trail program. Equipment


Regulations Awards & Nominations Trail Operations

2012-2013 Committee Listing Keep Board updated on 10 year equipment plan and plans for updates to equipment. Prepare paperwork for the RTP committee meetings. Review both the SND & the Trail Program proposed budgets the Executive Directors provides. The Board shall approve the new budgets before July 1st of each year. Committee members will review Executive Director review sheets. This committee will also review the employee hand book periodically. Executive Director changes such as raises, benefits changes, employee hand book changes will all need to have a final approval from the full board. The President will complete the final interview with the Executive Director. Keep the Board informed on Bills and Legislation that will affect snowmobiling in North Dakota. Review Bylaws and bring forth any changes to the Board for review before taking to the general assembly for a vote. Work on plans for safety on trails and also work with NDPRD on enforcement issues. Bring forth nominations to the Board for officers for the current elections and also work with the President and Board to appoint a replacement Board of Director in the event of a vacancy. Review and vote on applications for scholarship applicants and the award nominees. Committee works with NDPRD on reviewing incidents (accidents) involving but not limited to state equipment. The committee works with SND’s Trail Maintenance Inspector regarding repetitive signing concerns reported in the trail inspection reports. Reviews and determines if probation is needed.

Staff Staff Member Keri Wanner Tari Norby Todd Thronson Chelsey Thronson

Position Executive Director Administrative Specialist Trail Inspector Marketing Specialist

Description Manages projects and staffs, liaison between the Board & the Department Maintains membership information and assists with data input Inspects the state snowmobile trail system signing and maintains GPS tracks Designs Sno-Dak News e-magazine & Advertising Executive of sales


2012-2013 Annual Report  

Annual report on the 2012-2013 snowmobile season in North Dakota.

2012-2013 Annual Report  

Annual report on the 2012-2013 snowmobile season in North Dakota.