ljgomes

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  1. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from PolarisCobra in Trail signage issues   
    I like your idea about green trimmed signs.  I had been asking for green trail information signs for over 10 years and they finally provided those a couple of years ago.  I never thought about adding green to some of the other sign types but it makes sense.  Maybe we could get some green plastic an inch bigger than the current signs and use it as a backer so it shows green trim around the Junction Ahead, Stop Ahead and Stop signs.
  2. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from PolarisCobra in Trail signage issues   
    I like your idea about green trimmed signs.  I had been asking for green trail information signs for over 10 years and they finally provided those a couple of years ago.  I never thought about adding green to some of the other sign types but it makes sense.  Maybe we could get some green plastic an inch bigger than the current signs and use it as a backer so it shows green trim around the Junction Ahead, Stop Ahead and Stop signs.
  3. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from jhwentworth in How to keep snowmobiling alive in NH   
    Unfortunately you wasting your time talking with NHSA.  They are not concerned at all with any trail issues.  Their action this year in taking $12 of each club membership fee as a "transaction fee" is nothing less than extortion and only helping to sink clubs financially.
    You need to start with the NH BOT and the clubs themselves.  The NHBOT staff are the ones that negotiate the land use contracts with the large landowners and the clubs have the trail agreements with the smaller landowners.
    Having been a snowmobile trail master for 7 years and now an ATV trail master for 5 years, I can tell you that one of the major concerns of ALL landowners (large and small) is off trail riding. 
    On all of the new trails that I have built or rebuilt since 2007, I have included physical barriers on all side trails to make sure people stay on the main trail.  When these barriers are removed or breached, we will go in and fix them on a priority basis.  If someone cuts a new side trail to get around a barrier, we will block that.  If problems continue, we get Fish and Game involved or use game cameras to find out who is causing the damage.
    This is part of the commitment that must be made to get new trails opened.  I don't know any landowner that says "go ahead and put the trail in anywhere that you want".  Some landowners will specify exactly where they want the trail.  Others will ask for our recommended route.  But in the end, we agree on the trail location and provide the landowner with a detailed map that shows exactly where the trail is going along with the location of all bridges, culverts, gates and rock barriers.  In addition to our club, the landowner gets keys to all gates.
    I do not forsee any easy way to open up off trail riding.  In addition to the sensitive environmental areas that need to be protected, lets talk about the practical aspects. 
    Just look at the tree damage from the wet snows that occurred this year.  Even if you were able to get landowner permission to run on an ungroomed trail through their land, who is going to maintain it?  I can tell you that cutting trees that bent over and frozen to the ground is not only dangerous but extremely hard work.
    On a groomed trail, the club normally uses the club groomer to help push these trees aside once they have been cut up, but that won't be allowed on ungroomed trails.  Having begged for help in clearing our groomed trails over the past 12 years, I doubt very much you will get any of these riders to show up and spend a day hauling a chain saw through 2' deep snow to clear downed trees so they can ride a few miles of fresh powder.  Its not much fun doing this work even when I have the groomer.  At the end of the day, you are totally wet and exhausted.
    How about washouts?  On our main trails we spent thousands of dollars putting in bridges, culverts and ditches to control water.  What do you think those unmaintained trails look like right now after the deluge of rain that we just got?  I am sure there are dozens of 2' deep washouts all over the place.
    Right now the only legal off-trail riding that I know of is in Jericho Mt. State Park.  All of the ungroomed ATV trails make great places to hone your off-trail skills.  But even there, you may find downed trees or washouts blocking your way so be prepared to cut your way through or turn around.
     
  4. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from jhwentworth in How to keep snowmobiling alive in NH   
    Unfortunately you wasting your time talking with NHSA.  They are not concerned at all with any trail issues.  Their action this year in taking $12 of each club membership fee as a "transaction fee" is nothing less than extortion and only helping to sink clubs financially.
    You need to start with the NH BOT and the clubs themselves.  The NHBOT staff are the ones that negotiate the land use contracts with the large landowners and the clubs have the trail agreements with the smaller landowners.
    Having been a snowmobile trail master for 7 years and now an ATV trail master for 5 years, I can tell you that one of the major concerns of ALL landowners (large and small) is off trail riding. 
    On all of the new trails that I have built or rebuilt since 2007, I have included physical barriers on all side trails to make sure people stay on the main trail.  When these barriers are removed or breached, we will go in and fix them on a priority basis.  If someone cuts a new side trail to get around a barrier, we will block that.  If problems continue, we get Fish and Game involved or use game cameras to find out who is causing the damage.
    This is part of the commitment that must be made to get new trails opened.  I don't know any landowner that says "go ahead and put the trail in anywhere that you want".  Some landowners will specify exactly where they want the trail.  Others will ask for our recommended route.  But in the end, we agree on the trail location and provide the landowner with a detailed map that shows exactly where the trail is going along with the location of all bridges, culverts, gates and rock barriers.  In addition to our club, the landowner gets keys to all gates.
    I do not forsee any easy way to open up off trail riding.  In addition to the sensitive environmental areas that need to be protected, lets talk about the practical aspects. 
    Just look at the tree damage from the wet snows that occurred this year.  Even if you were able to get landowner permission to run on an ungroomed trail through their land, who is going to maintain it?  I can tell you that cutting trees that bent over and frozen to the ground is not only dangerous but extremely hard work.
    On a groomed trail, the club normally uses the club groomer to help push these trees aside once they have been cut up, but that won't be allowed on ungroomed trails.  Having begged for help in clearing our groomed trails over the past 12 years, I doubt very much you will get any of these riders to show up and spend a day hauling a chain saw through 2' deep snow to clear downed trees so they can ride a few miles of fresh powder.  Its not much fun doing this work even when I have the groomer.  At the end of the day, you are totally wet and exhausted.
    How about washouts?  On our main trails we spent thousands of dollars putting in bridges, culverts and ditches to control water.  What do you think those unmaintained trails look like right now after the deluge of rain that we just got?  I am sure there are dozens of 2' deep washouts all over the place.
    Right now the only legal off-trail riding that I know of is in Jericho Mt. State Park.  All of the ungroomed ATV trails make great places to hone your off-trail skills.  But even there, you may find downed trees or washouts blocking your way so be prepared to cut your way through or turn around.
     
  5. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from jhwentworth in How to keep snowmobiling alive in NH   
    Unfortunately you wasting your time talking with NHSA.  They are not concerned at all with any trail issues.  Their action this year in taking $12 of each club membership fee as a "transaction fee" is nothing less than extortion and only helping to sink clubs financially.
    You need to start with the NH BOT and the clubs themselves.  The NHBOT staff are the ones that negotiate the land use contracts with the large landowners and the clubs have the trail agreements with the smaller landowners.
    Having been a snowmobile trail master for 7 years and now an ATV trail master for 5 years, I can tell you that one of the major concerns of ALL landowners (large and small) is off trail riding. 
    On all of the new trails that I have built or rebuilt since 2007, I have included physical barriers on all side trails to make sure people stay on the main trail.  When these barriers are removed or breached, we will go in and fix them on a priority basis.  If someone cuts a new side trail to get around a barrier, we will block that.  If problems continue, we get Fish and Game involved or use game cameras to find out who is causing the damage.
    This is part of the commitment that must be made to get new trails opened.  I don't know any landowner that says "go ahead and put the trail in anywhere that you want".  Some landowners will specify exactly where they want the trail.  Others will ask for our recommended route.  But in the end, we agree on the trail location and provide the landowner with a detailed map that shows exactly where the trail is going along with the location of all bridges, culverts, gates and rock barriers.  In addition to our club, the landowner gets keys to all gates.
    I do not forsee any easy way to open up off trail riding.  In addition to the sensitive environmental areas that need to be protected, lets talk about the practical aspects. 
    Just look at the tree damage from the wet snows that occurred this year.  Even if you were able to get landowner permission to run on an ungroomed trail through their land, who is going to maintain it?  I can tell you that cutting trees that bent over and frozen to the ground is not only dangerous but extremely hard work.
    On a groomed trail, the club normally uses the club groomer to help push these trees aside once they have been cut up, but that won't be allowed on ungroomed trails.  Having begged for help in clearing our groomed trails over the past 12 years, I doubt very much you will get any of these riders to show up and spend a day hauling a chain saw through 2' deep snow to clear downed trees so they can ride a few miles of fresh powder.  Its not much fun doing this work even when I have the groomer.  At the end of the day, you are totally wet and exhausted.
    How about washouts?  On our main trails we spent thousands of dollars putting in bridges, culverts and ditches to control water.  What do you think those unmaintained trails look like right now after the deluge of rain that we just got?  I am sure there are dozens of 2' deep washouts all over the place.
    Right now the only legal off-trail riding that I know of is in Jericho Mt. State Park.  All of the ungroomed ATV trails make great places to hone your off-trail skills.  But even there, you may find downed trees or washouts blocking your way so be prepared to cut your way through or turn around.
     
  6. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from metaluc in Fish & Game Hearing 4/4/18 Question of Restraint of Trade and Creating a Monopoly?   
    NHOHVA has no problem at all.  We changed the bylaws last year.  When a rider joins a club, they can also join NHOHVA for free by checking a box on the registration form and NHOHVA gives the voucher numbers to the clubs for free.
    The club controls what their membership fee is and contributes $10 to NHOHVA for each member that joins their club.  As the total number of members goes up, the amount per member goes down.  Each year, the clubs vote on the NHOHVA budget.  Once the budget is approved, the budget amount is divided by the total number of members to determine the amount per member.  The more members, the lower the amount per member.
    Its a very simple system and prevents the runaway spending that is happening at NHSA.  Also because each club has one vote, they have much more of a say in what goes on.
     
  7. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from Nor'easter in NHSA bylaws changes   
    I agree completely.  Having been on the board of NHSA and NHOHVA, I have to say the NHOHVA is much more caring about the needs of the clubs.  After what happened with the Attorney General investigation, I would have thought they would change their ways.  Instead they are trying to get around the AG rulings.  Its amazing to me  but proves the old adage:  "It's all about the money".
  8. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from metaluc in NHSA bylaws changes   
    I doubt you will get any straight answers from NHSA.  Their entire goal is to preserve their $10/member income stream from the clubs.  The reason they are redoing their bylaws is because they are trying to get around the fact that the AG said that NHSA could not force club members to join their organization.  Now they are trying to charge a $10 "transaction fee" for the clubs to get a voucher number from them.  NHOHVA provides these voucher numbers to the ATV clubs for free.  I don't think this idea will pass the smell test regardless of how they structure their bylaws and rules of business.  Its time for a new organization to rise up and be committed to working FOR the clubs instead of against them or there are not going to be any clubs left to run the trail system.
  9. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from Nor'easter in NHSA bylaws changes   
    I agree completely.  Having been on the board of NHSA and NHOHVA, I have to say the NHOHVA is much more caring about the needs of the clubs.  After what happened with the Attorney General investigation, I would have thought they would change their ways.  Instead they are trying to get around the AG rulings.  Its amazing to me  but proves the old adage:  "It's all about the money".
  10. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from metaluc in NHSA bylaws changes   
    I doubt you will get any straight answers from NHSA.  Their entire goal is to preserve their $10/member income stream from the clubs.  The reason they are redoing their bylaws is because they are trying to get around the fact that the AG said that NHSA could not force club members to join their organization.  Now they are trying to charge a $10 "transaction fee" for the clubs to get a voucher number from them.  NHOHVA provides these voucher numbers to the ATV clubs for free.  I don't think this idea will pass the smell test regardless of how they structure their bylaws and rules of business.  Its time for a new organization to rise up and be committed to working FOR the clubs instead of against them or there are not going to be any clubs left to run the trail system.
  11. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from metaluc in Sno-Traveler story   
    NHSA is living in the past.   Snowmobile ownership has peaked and is slowly declining.  Clubs have had to tighten their belts and its time for NHSA to do the same.  They need to think about downsizing in a big way so more money stays with the clubs and is not spent by them.  NHOHVA is a good model to follow.  They are operating with a virtual office and quarterly meetings are held at schools or public buildings in various locations around the state.  All communications are done via the Internet.  The current system of county directors should be scrapped and replaced with direct input from the clubs.  They can outsource the grass drags, get rid of the SnoTraveler, dump the office, have staff members work out of their homes and the entire operation can be run on less than $100k per year using the profit from the Grass Drags.  No money at all from the clubs.
  12. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from metaluc in Sno-Traveler story   
    NHSA is living in the past.   Snowmobile ownership has peaked and is slowly declining.  Clubs have had to tighten their belts and its time for NHSA to do the same.  They need to think about downsizing in a big way so more money stays with the clubs and is not spent by them.  NHOHVA is a good model to follow.  They are operating with a virtual office and quarterly meetings are held at schools or public buildings in various locations around the state.  All communications are done via the Internet.  The current system of county directors should be scrapped and replaced with direct input from the clubs.  They can outsource the grass drags, get rid of the SnoTraveler, dump the office, have staff members work out of their homes and the entire operation can be run on less than $100k per year using the profit from the Grass Drags.  No money at all from the clubs.
  13. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from metaluc in Sno-Traveler story   
    NHSA is living in the past.   Snowmobile ownership has peaked and is slowly declining.  Clubs have had to tighten their belts and its time for NHSA to do the same.  They need to think about downsizing in a big way so more money stays with the clubs and is not spent by them.  NHOHVA is a good model to follow.  They are operating with a virtual office and quarterly meetings are held at schools or public buildings in various locations around the state.  All communications are done via the Internet.  The current system of county directors should be scrapped and replaced with direct input from the clubs.  They can outsource the grass drags, get rid of the SnoTraveler, dump the office, have staff members work out of their homes and the entire operation can be run on less than $100k per year using the profit from the Grass Drags.  No money at all from the clubs.
  14. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from metaluc in Sno-Traveler story   
    NHSA is living in the past.   Snowmobile ownership has peaked and is slowly declining.  Clubs have had to tighten their belts and its time for NHSA to do the same.  They need to think about downsizing in a big way so more money stays with the clubs and is not spent by them.  NHOHVA is a good model to follow.  They are operating with a virtual office and quarterly meetings are held at schools or public buildings in various locations around the state.  All communications are done via the Internet.  The current system of county directors should be scrapped and replaced with direct input from the clubs.  They can outsource the grass drags, get rid of the SnoTraveler, dump the office, have staff members work out of their homes and the entire operation can be run on less than $100k per year using the profit from the Grass Drags.  No money at all from the clubs.
  15. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from metaluc in Sno-Traveler story   
    NHSA is living in the past.   Snowmobile ownership has peaked and is slowly declining.  Clubs have had to tighten their belts and its time for NHSA to do the same.  They need to think about downsizing in a big way so more money stays with the clubs and is not spent by them.  NHOHVA is a good model to follow.  They are operating with a virtual office and quarterly meetings are held at schools or public buildings in various locations around the state.  All communications are done via the Internet.  The current system of county directors should be scrapped and replaced with direct input from the clubs.  They can outsource the grass drags, get rid of the SnoTraveler, dump the office, have staff members work out of their homes and the entire operation can be run on less than $100k per year using the profit from the Grass Drags.  No money at all from the clubs.
  16. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from metaluc in Sno-Traveler story   
    NHSA is living in the past.   Snowmobile ownership has peaked and is slowly declining.  Clubs have had to tighten their belts and its time for NHSA to do the same.  They need to think about downsizing in a big way so more money stays with the clubs and is not spent by them.  NHOHVA is a good model to follow.  They are operating with a virtual office and quarterly meetings are held at schools or public buildings in various locations around the state.  All communications are done via the Internet.  The current system of county directors should be scrapped and replaced with direct input from the clubs.  They can outsource the grass drags, get rid of the SnoTraveler, dump the office, have staff members work out of their homes and the entire operation can be run on less than $100k per year using the profit from the Grass Drags.  No money at all from the clubs.
  17. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from metaluc in Sno-Traveler story   
    NHSA is living in the past.   Snowmobile ownership has peaked and is slowly declining.  Clubs have had to tighten their belts and its time for NHSA to do the same.  They need to think about downsizing in a big way so more money stays with the clubs and is not spent by them.  NHOHVA is a good model to follow.  They are operating with a virtual office and quarterly meetings are held at schools or public buildings in various locations around the state.  All communications are done via the Internet.  The current system of county directors should be scrapped and replaced with direct input from the clubs.  They can outsource the grass drags, get rid of the SnoTraveler, dump the office, have staff members work out of their homes and the entire operation can be run on less than $100k per year using the profit from the Grass Drags.  No money at all from the clubs.
  18. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from metaluc in Sno-Traveler story   
    NHSA is living in the past.   Snowmobile ownership has peaked and is slowly declining.  Clubs have had to tighten their belts and its time for NHSA to do the same.  They need to think about downsizing in a big way so more money stays with the clubs and is not spent by them.  NHOHVA is a good model to follow.  They are operating with a virtual office and quarterly meetings are held at schools or public buildings in various locations around the state.  All communications are done via the Internet.  The current system of county directors should be scrapped and replaced with direct input from the clubs.  They can outsource the grass drags, get rid of the SnoTraveler, dump the office, have staff members work out of their homes and the entire operation can be run on less than $100k per year using the profit from the Grass Drags.  No money at all from the clubs.
  19. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from metaluc in Sno-Traveler story   
    NHSA is living in the past.   Snowmobile ownership has peaked and is slowly declining.  Clubs have had to tighten their belts and its time for NHSA to do the same.  They need to think about downsizing in a big way so more money stays with the clubs and is not spent by them.  NHOHVA is a good model to follow.  They are operating with a virtual office and quarterly meetings are held at schools or public buildings in various locations around the state.  All communications are done via the Internet.  The current system of county directors should be scrapped and replaced with direct input from the clubs.  They can outsource the grass drags, get rid of the SnoTraveler, dump the office, have staff members work out of their homes and the entire operation can be run on less than $100k per year using the profit from the Grass Drags.  No money at all from the clubs.
  20. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from Bilbo in Trail Report   
    Did a 55 mile ride through the trails in Nash Stream Forest and the Stratford Bog area.  Conditions were really nice and we ran into one of the Groveton Groomers out by Stratford Bog.  Only problem is that the snow is very soft and it was already getting beat up with just a few yahoos following the groomer.   But at least we have it and we are going to get out early on Saturday to enjoy it before it gets really torn up.
  21. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from Bilbo in Trail Report   
    Snow totals: Twin 5", Whitefield 2", Lancaster 0", Groveton 0", Stark 4", Berlin 4", Gorham 2",  Jefferson 3".
    Groomers were out and trails were great in Stark, Gorham, Berlin and Jefferson.  Only beat up trail: About 5 miles of Cor 11 south of PT118.  Looks like the groomer did not get to it when it was soft so moguls and stutter bumps are now frozen in place.  Other than that 5 mile section, the other 70 miles we did today was perfect. Kudos to the clubs in this area for a job well done.  Looks like they had the groomers out late last night and early this morning since the snow only finished yesterday afternoon.
  22. Sad
    ljgomes got a reaction from RK-SXViper in Coming soon   
    Thanks for the acknowledgement skip, but it already appears that NHSA is breaking the law again.  If you check the Online Membership User Agreement it says:
    The Club gives permission for NHSA to retain $10 per club membership transaction from the monies received on behalf of club from Online Membership Sales.   This is in direct violation of item 24 in the Assurance of Discontinuance.   Again its all about NHSA extracting money from the clubs instead of helping the clubs to survive.  I just don't get their thought process.
  23. Sad
    ljgomes got a reaction from RK-SXViper in Coming soon   
    Thanks for the acknowledgement skip, but it already appears that NHSA is breaking the law again.  If you check the Online Membership User Agreement it says:
    The Club gives permission for NHSA to retain $10 per club membership transaction from the monies received on behalf of club from Online Membership Sales.   This is in direct violation of item 24 in the Assurance of Discontinuance.   Again its all about NHSA extracting money from the clubs instead of helping the clubs to survive.  I just don't get their thought process.
  24. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from Saluda in Coming soon   
    In June of 2015 I made a presentation to the board about these issues.  I told them they could not force clubs to have the same membership fee (price fixing) and also told them they could not force individual club members to join NHSA (it had to be a choice).  They took a vote at that meeting to move ahead regardless of the fact that they would be breaking the law.  At that point, I gave up trying to change anyone's mind in NHSA but I was successful in working with NHOHVA to make sure they redid their bylaws so they would not be breaking any laws. 
    I have not been a member of NHSA since 2016 and will not join in the future unless things change.  I believe they are only interested in their own self-preservation and not at all interested in helping the clubs to survive.  I think the entire organization needs to be downsized and their budget cut.  I also think the system of county representation should be scrapped and each club should have a voice in what NHSA is working on.  This would necessitate getting rid of monthly meetings at NHSA headquarters and holding quarterly meetings in a larger location.  It should be a back-to-basics agenda with the sole focus of working on things that help the clubs. 
  25. Like
    ljgomes got a reaction from Saluda in Coming soon   
    In June of 2015 I made a presentation to the board about these issues.  I told them they could not force clubs to have the same membership fee (price fixing) and also told them they could not force individual club members to join NHSA (it had to be a choice).  They took a vote at that meeting to move ahead regardless of the fact that they would be breaking the law.  At that point, I gave up trying to change anyone's mind in NHSA but I was successful in working with NHOHVA to make sure they redid their bylaws so they would not be breaking any laws. 
    I have not been a member of NHSA since 2016 and will not join in the future unless things change.  I believe they are only interested in their own self-preservation and not at all interested in helping the clubs to survive.  I think the entire organization needs to be downsized and their budget cut.  I also think the system of county representation should be scrapped and each club should have a voice in what NHSA is working on.  This would necessitate getting rid of monthly meetings at NHSA headquarters and holding quarterly meetings in a larger location.  It should be a back-to-basics agenda with the sole focus of working on things that help the clubs.