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Major OVSC Trail Closure Detailed

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Major trail closures have repercussions well beyond the snowmobile community. The article below details how a property changed hands, the new owner promptly announced a major trail closure to the State and the Ossipee Valley Snowmobile Club, and snowmobilers will not only be the big losers in this sad affair:

Long Time Wonalancet Dog Sled Racing To Be Victim Of Trail Closure?

 

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That really stinks. The new owner not just against power sports she is against fun in general.

Edited by Bilbo

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"The landowner, who lives in Connecticut"...........................................

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We're seeing way too much of this. 

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In the southern half of NH, closures of corridor trails are happening, with C-17 (Northwood) and C-15 (Loudon) closed in my area. I wish there were a central data source for corridor and primary trail closures throughout the state. Is there one? Can somebody explain how a trail is selected to be a corridor or primary trail and is there a review process for keeping that designation? How does that stuff work?.

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This is sadly going to be the future, out of state people, with different views, with lots of money able to purchase vast tracks of land, then close them off. These type situations are changing NH lifestyle one parcel of land at a time. My wife and I have owned land in NH for years and always allowed people to use and enjoy it. A few years ago we bought our retirement home. We bought in NH because we loved the ability, to hunt, shoot, snowmobile hike etc. Sadly it seems the ability for these types of activities to continue is dwindling away.

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3 hours ago, jhwentworth said:

In the southern half of NH, closures of corridor trails are happening, with C-17 (Northwood) and C-15 (Loudon) closed in my area. I wish there were a central data source for corridor and primary trail closures throughout the state. Is there one? Can somebody explain how a trail is selected to be a corridor or primary trail and is there a review process for keeping that designation? How does that stuff work?.

I'm not 100% sure. The State corridor designation were longer trails that were developed when I was a teen. The original concept to create a intrastate trail system to mimic the intrastate highway system. When 15 got blocked by  Condodemetraky, we rerouted through other properties to reconnect. We used a section of a connector trail that ran through the Currier property, across some Gilmanton town property, through Clairmont's property, and then back down to Morgan Rd where it reconnected.  When Brown Hill Road got paved, instead of continue using the road were the snowmobiles could no longer go, the ATV club acquired two more landowner permission and cut the new trail from Morgan to where the trail had left the road allowing everyone to circumnavigate the problem area. The ATV club did the same thing when the trail behind Parish Road was discovered to to uneven to allow the groomer to safely pass... and then acquired the permission to the Lewandowski/Cilley property and cut trail leading to the Ambrose property were it currently is. It took a few years to get the section up to specification to use the groomer due to width and heavier bridge requirements that I believe were mostly done by the Bogies. The ATV club didn't know how to work the grant system, so we put in the three early temp bridges and the one heavy duty bridge at Morgan came from a donation. At first we did the drainage work at Ambrose to keep the trail from washing out during the winter with a donation of equipment from MB Tractor, but I see that section is now redirected... so another landowner must have given permission making the trail easier to maintain on that corridor.  

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The wife and I took Friday off after looking at the weekend weather report. We started at Baker river valley's clubhouse and ride all around in both directions. The trails were groomed but the powder loosened up quickly. I had the throttle pinned most of the day because I inadvertently took the "learning" key to the 900 ace which greatly reduces torque and speed to 40mph, 30mph going up hills and if the wind is on my side and down hill, I got it up to 44mph. We did meet a moose right on the trail and go a little nervous when it walked towards us within 20 feet then walked off. Good time though. Saturday,  we took the sled to Paugus bay and did some ice fishing. I caught a 3.32# pickerel,  not bad.

6542.jpeg

Edited by trailblaster

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Great post and pic trailblaster!  Friday was the day to hit it before things went south.  Good call on your part  

Glad my sled doesn't have a learning key.;)

Edited by rossi46

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Funny we helped a guy, his wife, and their very young son get unstuck on Friday on the railbed near Jack O Lantern in Thornton. Same thing they only had the learning key, wifes ski caught the powder on the side of the trail and sucked the sled down off the rail bed.

Edited by snorander

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1 hour ago, trailblaster said:

The wife and I took Friday off after looking at the weekend weather report. We started at Baker river valley's clubhouse and ride all around in both directions. The trails were groomed but the powder loosened up quickly. I had the throttle pinned most of the day because I inadvertently took the "learning" key to the 900 ace which greatly reduces torque and speed to 40mph, 30mph going up hills and if the wind is on my side and down hill, I got it up to 44mph. We did meet a moose right on the trail and go a little nervous when it walked towards us within 20 feet then walked off. Good time though. Saturday,  we took the sled to Paugus bay and did some ice fishing. I caught a 3.32# pickerel,  not bad.

6542.jpeg

You can have the learning key reprogrammed to be a "normal" key if you wanted to. I did.

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From the Laconia Daily Sun. http://www.laconiadailysun.com/newsx/local-news/111693-sled-dogs-yes-snowmobiles-no-on-chocorua-trails

TAMWORTH — Sled dog races will continue to start on Lake Chocorua and mushers will be able to use the same trails they have used in the past, but those trails will be closed to snowmobilers in the near future and removed from the snowmobile trail maps published by the New Hampshire Trails Bureau, according to Alex Moot, president of the Chocorua Lake Conservancy.
He said an article published in The Laconia Daily Sun on Feb. 7 about the possibility that this year’s Tamworth Sled Dog race might mark the end of a 90-year tradition was not fully accurate.
“The property owners referenced in the article have not closed the trails on their property to the annual Tamworth Sled Dog Race, and have never communicated this intention to either the Tamworth Outing Club or New England Sled Dog Association,” said Moot.
He said one of the owners, who wishes to remain anonymous, grew up watching sled dog races every winter and is an enthusiastic supporter of the Tamworth Sled Dog race.
“The property owners are now in direct contact with a TOC representative to reassure him that the Tamworth Sled Dog race can continue to use the trails on their property and to work out any race logistics,” said Moot.
He said that, over the past several years, the property owners have been experiencing increasing problems with snowmobile users on their property straying off the trails, leaving trash behind, peering into the windows of their house, and intruding upon their family’s privacy in various ways.
Moot said the owners are also concerned that the snowmobile trails on their property are being made broadly available online through snowmobile trail maps published by the New Hampshire Trails Bureau, since those maps attract multitudes of snowmobile users from all over New England and far beyond. He said that their names and home address were also listed online in one instance.
He said the owners contacted the Trails Bureau and asked if the snowmobile trails on their property could be removed from online trail maps but remain open for use by residents of Tamworth and surrounding towns.
“Unfortunately, the Trails Bureau told the owners that, if the snowmobile trails were removed from the state’s online maps, the state would need to close the snowmobile trails to all users, including local residents of Tamworth and nearby towns. As a result, the owners felt their only option was to reluctantly ask the New Hampshire Trails Bureau to remove the snowmobile trails on their property from its online trail maps, which apparently has the unfortunate consequence of the trails being closed to all snowmobile users. However, the owners have communicated to the Tamworth Outing Club that they are fine with local snowmobiles using the trails to groom the trails for the annual Tamworth Sled Dog race.”
The outing club has partnered with the New England Sled Dog Club in holding the race  since 1937.
The NESDC was founded in November 1924 at a meeting at the Wonalancet Farm and Inn, owned by Arthur Walden and his wife, Kate. Walden, who developed the Chinook dog breed, was the first president of the club.
This year’s Tamworth race, which was originally scheduled for late January, was postponed to the weekend of Feb. 24-25 due to poor trail conditions.

 

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I hope that the local club decides not to help maintain or groom the trails for the dog sled races in the future.

Edited by snorander

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On 2/11/2018 at 0:40 PM, jhwentworth said:

In the southern half of NH, closures of corridor trails are happening, with C-17 (Northwood) and C-15 (Loudon) closed in my area. I wish there were a central data source for corridor and primary trail closures throughout the state. Is there one? Can somebody explain how a trail is selected to be a corridor or primary trail and is there a review process for keeping that designation? How does that stuff work?.

If only there was a state wide snowmobile organization that worked to protect and create trails throughout the state..... ;)

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10 minutes ago, snorander said:

I hope that the local club decides not to help maintain or groom the trails for the dog sled races in the future.

I was hoping that there might be a few bridges on the land that need to be removed ;)

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Hope they realize that if they let any snowmobile on their property they will need to give each one written permission. Not to mention that by not being in the state trail network they will NOT be on the states liability policy and will have to accept the liability for anyone they let on the property. It sounds like the trail should be rerouted far away from any houses but its up to them to close it or not. I agree that someone should explain that the local club does all the maintaning so no snowmobile trail means no maintaining the dog sled trail. Sounds like they may not completely understand who does what

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Just now, ckf said:

I was hoping that there might be a few bridges on the land that need to be removed ;)

Actually if there are any bridges that were paid for by GIA then the state does have the option to remove them, plus if the state decides to leave them the landowner needs to be made aware that they are responsible and liable for any maintanence

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26 minutes ago, RK-SXViper said:

Hope they realize that if they let any snowmobile on their property they will need to give each one written permission. Not to mention that by not being in the state trail network they will NOT be on the states liability policy and will have to accept the liability for anyone they let on the property. It sounds like the trail should be rerouted far away from any houses but its up to them to close it or not. I agree that someone should explain that the local club does all the maintaning so no snowmobile trail means no maintaining the dog sled trail. Sounds like they may not completely understand who does what

I'm pretty sure everything has been explained to them :good:

24 minutes ago, RK-SXViper said:

Actually if there are any bridges that were paid for by GIA then the state does have the option to remove them, plus if the state decides to leave them the landowner needs to be made aware that they are responsible and liable for any maintanence

I know, that's the reason for my comment.

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The whole thing just sounds off, like there is a piece of the story not being shared.

“Unfortunately, the Trails Bureau told the owners that, if the snowmobile trails were removed from the state’s online maps, the state would need to close the snowmobile trails to all users, including local residents of Tamworth and nearby towns. As a result, the owners felt their only option was to reluctantly ask the New Hampshire Trails Bureau to remove the snowmobile trails on their property from its online trail maps, which apparently has the unfortunate consequence of the trails being closed to all snowmobile users. However, the owners have communicated to the Tamworth Outing Club that they are fine with local snowmobiles using the trails to groom the trails for the annual Tamworth Sled Dog race.”

This part of the article tells me that the owners just don't get it, or they are willing to give written permission to every local that wants to ride there.

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1 hour ago, RK-SXViper said:

This part of the article tells me that the owners just don't get it, or they are willing to give written permission to every local that wants to ride there.

My reading of the news story is that after being told that all members of the general snowmobile public must have access to state trails, or the trail must close as a state trail, the owners elected for closure.They then told the Tamworth Outing Club they would be allowed to use snowmobiles to maintain their  sled dog trail. There's really no connection between BoT and the act of a private landowner giving permission to a group to conduct a dog sled race and use snowmobiles to maintain the trail. I suspect the Tamworth Outing Club, or people working with them , will get the written permissions. And, you're right, the owners will assume all liability for the event unless the outing club provides liability .coverage  As for the written permission requirement, what would prevent a landowner from appointing the outing club as their agent (land manager) to handle the individual permission slips required by state regulations?

These are issues that the state trail system was supposed to address. The statement below does seem quite restrictive and centered on the sled dog race.

"owners have communicated to the Tamworth Outing Club that they are fine with local snowmobiles using the trails to groom the trails for the annual Tamworth Sled Dog race.”

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As a member and past president of the club with trails in question, this presents an interesting dilemma. Grooming the trails with private sleds/drags can be done. There probably is a mechanism to hire a full size groomer if insurance is obtained. But where will the volunteers come from to brush the trails, clear fallen trees and keep up the number of state financed bridges out there? It takes hundreds of hours annually to keep those trails clear and brushed out, never mind funds needed to repair washouts and bridges. The dog sled races are one weekend a year. God bless them if they can find the funds, volunteers and machinery to replace the club’s efforts over the past few decades. Someone is going to find out real quick that reality can be a real pain in the ass!

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This Chocorua Lake closure is happening in a place that most sledders would have considered safer than most.The land in the area is either owned by a non-profit land trust or under some form of conservation easement, or owned by the state or federal government.. Nobody will be building any housing developments, or putting in malls or new roads.Development is restricted so the sale of a property doesn't bring a load of cash and the need to get rid of a trail.

The Chocorua Lake Conservancy spokesman quoted in the news story represents a non-profit land trust that owns 1000 acres around Chocorua Lake and has conservation easements on another 3000 acres. The National Conservancy also owns land on the lake.

This trail wasn't lost because of a house or a strip mall being built on it, it was lost because of bad manners. The landowner stated it was riding off-trail and leaving litter behind that caused the closure. He also raised the issue of high traffic volumes, especially by non-locals, but may not have been so offended if the riders had behaved themselves. More good manners couldn't have hurt.

 

Chocorua.png

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Thanks a lot all you off trail riders who think that its ok to ride on private property! Your selfishness just cost a club there valuable trail. Good job. Lets here you guys rant about how you have a right to ride wherever you want with no repercussions!!  Ridiculous!!!!!:angry:

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On 2/16/2018 at 7:02 PM, Skip said:

As a member and past president of the club with trails in question, this presents an interesting dilemma. Grooming the trails with private sleds/drags can be done. There probably is a mechanism to hire a full size groomer if insurance is obtained. But where will the volunteers come from to brush the trails, clear fallen trees and keep up the number of state financed bridges out there? It takes hundreds of hours annually to keep those trails clear and brushed out, never mind funds needed to repair washouts and bridges. The dog sled races are one weekend a year. God bless them if they can find the funds, volunteers and machinery to replace the club’s efforts over the past few decades. Someone is going to find out real quick that reality can be a real pain in the ass!

That's what I was talking about when I said "they just don't get it". I would work with the BOT to either remove the bridges or have the owners sign off any liability for the future maintanance of the bridges. If one of those bridges fails years from now and someone gets hurt I'd want to make sure the club and the BOT have no liability. Either way its a SAD situation for everyone involved!

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The sled dogs will use the RTP funds. Of the four represented groups on the RTP rating committee, sled dogs have held the non-motorized seat for as long as I can remember. 

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