John Mercier

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Everything posted by John Mercier

  1. Fish and Game Rep

    It think the problem Dennis is that most riders have never attended any public meetings under the JLCAR system; so they don't realize that while it has a process that is already in statute (as you've shown above), that it is a process and not just a declaration by the ED.... so it can't be done at the last minute.
  2. Fish and Game Rep

    If your wondering... I used the Administrative Rules route to get a repeal of the reciprocity with VT understanding.
  3. Fish and Game Rep

    The lengthy legislative process being discussed by the Captain is the rule making process that Dennis pointed out. The process is already law. Much different than actually asking the Legislature to change the law. When we ask for a rules change through the prescribed legislative process... it takes time. When we ask for a law change... it not only takes time... it is required to have a financial impact statement at the bottom of the bill. When a legislator reads a statement like ''May impact revenue/expenditures by an unknown sum''; they start asking the questions. Usually those questions get asked again, for each committee that it flows through and both sides of the Statehouse. Dennis pointed out the easy route.
  4. Fish and Game Rep

    All Dennis mentioned was that it could be done through the current process without a legislative change. The RSA allows the Executive Director to determine what is the ''extent of the privilege'' of reciprocity. Legislatively, you are going to get into the finance questions... and that does not bode well for the desired outcome.
  5. Reciprocal Weekend Cancelled

    Because the Legislature is going to ask about the pressures placed on trail maintenance and enforcement. No federal funding of the Transportation Bill means no NRTP. No federal funding of the Interior Bill means no transfer of Dingell-Johnson and Pittman-Robinson, which means the F&G is going to have funding issues in the field. The State of NH must authorize expenditure of the federal funds in the State budget, and the State budget will have problems authorizing funds that they do not know when and what amount will be received. That is additional to the already existing situation of the short funding. What is being asked is to forego funding for the benefit of the local businesses... but it places pressure on system at risk.
  6. Reciprocal Weekend Cancelled

    I think the problem quickly becomes a focus on funding. Govt shutdown affects Transportation and Interior Appropriations bills.
  7. Buyers remorse phenomenon

    Patience. The snow will come.
  8. Reciprocal Weekend Cancelled

    The Legislature gets requested to act by having one of its members enter a LSR. No legislator made a LSR on the subject... even after the determination that a situation existed.
  9. Reciprocal Weekend Cancelled

    The Legislature didn't fail to act. The Legislature has to be requested to act. No one asked them to act because it is not in the financial benefit of any of the groups that you listed but businesses... and even then only short term. The reason that we hold registration free events is to secure future members and registrations. It is like getting a sample at the supermarket; they give away the small free sample in the hopes of gaining future paying customers. The Legislature has been made aware over the years that the benefit to tourism is directly related to the number of registrations, when those numbers drop - for example the snowmobile registrations going from nearly 80,000 to around 60,000 - the Legislature see the effect in the official tourism numbers - in the prior case the drop from $1.2 Billion to $589 million... had the $1.2 billion been adjusted for inflation that number would difference would have been even worse. The event permitting process is what the Associations want to so that clubs may seek the benefit of gaining memberships and possible future registrations that spread the cost of the trails and enforcement over a larger number of riders and keep the cost of registrations down.
  10. Reciprocal Weekend Cancelled

    The Legislature didn't change the statute. We can provide a registration free event whenever we would like through the event permit process. While both Associations understand the value of tourism, they are more concerned with dollars that support the motorized trail community directly. As costs rise, and are spread over a fewer number of riders, it becomes prohibitive for those on the margin. All three States have seen the demographics reports from the last US Census and the EBRI Retirement Preparedness data. It appears like a wedge that kills the Golden Goose, wiping out the tourism created by the motorized community.
  11. OHRV/Snowmobile Event Permits

    The local clubs sometimes do not get the information of the rules changes from the Associations... that would be a Executive/Director flaw at the Association. Sometimes the local clubs get the rule changes, but don't bother to inform the entire membership... so it seems to come as a ''surprise''. The easiest way to help Dennis is to get the information to him on time or early. I know that he has been very lenient in the past... more lenient than he should have been... as I myself have been involved with permit requests that should have been made months in advance but waited till the last minute due to weather concerns.
  12. Snowy winter on tap?

    It will come back. The trail on the lower end of my property generally sees sufficient snow after the January Thaw when the storm path changes...
  13. Some good news

    I'm sure by the time hits most would have simply changed out to something else to do.
  14. Some good news

    How many of us would be around in the next century to care?
  15. Proposed changes at F&G

    The Court system only gets what could be declared as a ''large slice'' because the fines are so small. Even if the F&G received 100% of previous year's fines... they only write about 1000 tickets with most being for $78. $78k is nice, but they are looking for $1 million per year at this time. The Feds are most likely a ''no''; as that opens to the gates to other federal land issues. The M&R is most likely a ''no'' as that opens up the coffers the NH Parks... and pulls money from other ''priorities'' that the new legislators are laying out. The most they could hope for there would be general funds to cover deficits in the SAR fund annually; and even that may come with strings attached to non-consumptive users. The kayak and canoe money would need to go into the public launches that F&G keeps complaining are only being funded by a percentage of boaters... so that money wouldn't be available to fix their field officer issues... and would sit in a fund that seldom gets used do to other adverse actions by local landowners. Even at the $248 NHSA proposal, they would need to write about four times as many tickets... and incur some hearing costs... so that might be as many as five times as many tickets.
  16. What did you do with your portion of the $10 million

    It should be an interesting year. New State budget proposal will be submitted by the Governor... some of that is DOA. Then the new NH House will take up the budget, and other than some fudging on the numbers, we should see that they have a lot of new ideas for where the limited State revenues should go. I suspect that F&G and NHSA will enter the registration proposal either into the budget discussion, or slightly there after. Since the F&G continuing dream of getting portion of the Meals & Rental isn't likely to see daylight with revenues going to other areas... we may be in for more than we asked for. Normally, I would think that heavy lobbying of the Governor would be the political valve to shutdown some of the fervor, but after the ''womp''ing that he took on the last veto... that may not be in the cards as he ponders his political future. Of course we have the ''unknowns''... Will FERC find in a declaratory judgement in support of NERA? That could raise the value of motorized trail recreation, and possibly forestall some of the damage... no guarantee of course... but at least a point that could be made against an increase. Will the NHSC find in favor of the NP? Since I don't believe the project is currently financial viable, but I haven't kept up with how far ahead - or even if they are ahead - the competition is, that will most likely just be a financial exit for NP investors... that also could make motorized trail recreation a higher value. And it is anyone's guess at what will happen at the federal level, I suspect that we may do well... all 50 States gain some benefit through expansion of NRTP granting.
  17. How high could sled registration go?

    I wonder if they will just be shifting the cost structure?
  18. How high could sled registration go?

    The situation prior to the change was that most registered, but never bothered to join a club. So club member would register, pay more to join a club, and then be responsible for getting all the work done - and there is a lot more work than the work parties with all the paperwork and legal requirements.
  19. How high could sled registration go?

    There is a State committee... actually I think it may be the second one... exploring the options to fund F&G.
  20. How high could sled registration go?

    A flat line budget would still mean an increase due to the current lower number of sled registrations than was previously used. It would also mean a drop in purchasing power due to inflation. Taking those two items into consideration would mean about a 25% increase for the lower registration numbers, and then about a 28% increase for inflationary adjustments. That is how the State of NH budgets.
  21. How high could sled registration go?

    The extra $10 that goes to the Association would be available for the clubs to use under GIA. Resident to non-resident is usually provided by the F&G, age of machine would take some time in the database...
  22. How high could sled registration go?

    Most likely the answer would be no. Grants are not automatically paid out. Grants are a reimbursement. As FR pointed out, lack of snow means no grooming hours and no grant money accessed. It does roll over in the specific BoT account, but the club can have a very tough financial time because the costs exist regardless of the lack of revenue. The federal change to the RTP, at what is already a trying time, is putting another element in the mix.
  23. Actually, I was there. We didn't try to ''dump'' Marine Patrol on the F&G. Governor Lynch had made a legislative suggestion to get rid of the department and move the various responsibilities to other departments. The Department of Safety would be responsible for enforcement. DES would take much of the other functions with the biologist over. DRED would take over the land management. Since F&G handled ''off-highway'' enforcement at the time (and did not have authority over enforcement on-highway), the only other group handling ''off-highway'' enforcement was DOS-Marine Patrol. I, and others, mentioned to the Governor and legislators that if the department was not dissolved... a realignment may be smarter to move Marine Patrol to F&G. F&G has always wanted the funding from Marine Patrol - an example is canoes and kayaks that other than public landing access would have little to nothing to do with F&G; and thus requiring them to register should be money granted more to funding Marine Patrol, and not F&G. The story also suggest that ''rescues'' are only paid for through the $100,000, or so, of HikeSafe cards... when in reality the greatest funding source for the SAR fund is a $1 charge on boat, snowmobile, and OHRV registrations... even to this day. Federal funding to them is toward hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife conservation... so I think the Legislature is still on the same line of discussion as it was in 2008. Back then, a legislator had emtered a bill to use Rooms & Meals taxes to fund F&G that got shot down, so he wanted another $20 added to each OHRV and snowmobile registration for funding to F&G. Major Acerno came to me with an idea. Each of the registrations had 100 gallons of gasoline taxation allocated to them... the ''unreturned'' funds were being split 50/50 between the BoT and DoT. Major Acerno suggested that the F&G would oppose the $20 increase, helping us with the oversight committees, in return for NHOHVA support of changing that to 50/50 between BoT and F&G. I made the agreement for NHOHVA; since DoT provided nothing to OHRVs at the time.
  24. Balsams News - Can't be good

    Maybe you'll get your chance.
  25. What did you do with your portion of the $10 million

    I know what Dave was proposing. I did not respond to Dave, I responded to John. Dave's proposal was not seeking a legislative action... it was only a plea registrants to take an option that already exists. The loss of clubs, and loss of miles, is not always the same. i have a lot more experience in that area than most. Belknap ATV - in an area that John would know about - closed its club and merged with NDATV. The reason was not a lack of funding... the club was heavily funded with plenty of GIA/RTP access. The problem was that of the 24 months that officers served... all the officers except myself missed more than 12 monthly meetings. Without enough officers at a monthly meeting, no quorum... so no business could be conducted and no management decisions made. After the merger with NDVATV, several came forward asking if we could keep the Belknap ATV trails open... I explained that we could... but it would require someone to step forward and be a Trail Master reporting to the Trail Administrator for that happen. Several stepped forward, but almost instantly resigned. It takes quite a bit of human effort to keep even an established trail viable. NDVATV had a large trail closure. But it also had exceptional funding and access to grants. The landowner did not want to enter a lease, and did not wish to sell, so having access to funding for such did not help. The landowner being unhappy with undesired activities not related to OHRVs occurring on their land and no F&G support on the issue. So even though the ''loss'' of trails in the OHRV community is not weather-related (that is an issue that they will not have to deal with).... I stand on my assessment of trail loss, the historical number of miles of trails, and the focus that the legislative committees will have. But if you don't agree... then read past posts on trail closures. GIA doesn't stop riders from going where they shouldn't or doing what they shouldn't. The issues that are being presented are internal to the snowmobile community... their clubs and the NHSA.