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Freedom Rider

Fish and Game Executive Director being shown the door

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Interesting read in Union Leader today.

Fish and Game Board is not giving Executive Director another 4 year term. He will be done in March.

The Board seems to be unhappy with lack of income, licenses being sold, and financial stability of the agency.

Curious if the tv show will be cancelled.

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and no comment on the registration increase,....amazing

 

when will they come to the realization that people are getting tired of paying too much and getting little in return

Edited by BigGuyNH
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On 9/24/2019 at 5:40 PM, BigGuyNH said:

and no comment on the registration increase,....amazing

 

when will they come to the realization that people are getting tired of paying too much and getting little in return

Even though more per registration is going to F&G, the overall sum is less than it was after the last increase.

 

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It was what the last replies were about. Adjustments get made approximately every eight years to balance out the cost of F&G enforcment between the various groups - hunting, fishing, snowmobiles, and OHRV. About four years ago, fishing and hunting saw their costs adjusted. This last cycle was snowmobiles and OHRV. Normal pattern would be to take the revenue derived during the last cycle (roughly 2011), adjust for inflation, and divide by the most recent number of registrations. For the OHRV, this made a negative number... but we never adjust down. For snowmobiles, it was deemed too harsh... so no adjustment was made for inflation... a second ''bump'' out of cycle was proposed with a study committee developed to debate whether snowmobiling would need a subsidy... how much... and where that money may come from.

Most of the first increase was directed to trails. No one is sure of the final outcome of the second...

 

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I tried looking up any bill from Maine that had to do with registration fee increase and I couldn’t find anything. I could find NH’s

Do you guys remember last year when I gave my strong stance that NH has been killing it’s snowmobiling market compared to Maine’s increase?

I suggested if NH raised its reg fee you can kiss our state’s sled industry goodbye. We are about to test out that theory next year and I’m telling you, it’s not going to be pretty. 

Im at 3 sleds and either next year or the following, we’ll have a 4th sled/2nd kid riding. 

So with NH’s high reg fees, crappy speed limits, and anti long track position. 

Only people NHs going to have left to register are the baby boomers because any one younger than that will be in Maine. 

How many boomers are leaving the sport due to either almost on or on a fixed income due to retirement. We see a bunch each year hang it up. 

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They are not going to change their positions on the laws... landowners are already upset.

The increase in fees is due to additional cost of maintenance of the system... so unless the State Legislature agrees to a subsidy, I would expect both to increases to enter the system as planned.

The State Legislature is aware of the financial conditions of the Boomer, and those younger, as they were presented with the 1995 marketing studies done by the manufacturers and released publicly in 1998. Representatives of two manufacturers gave testimony on the subject in 2005(?). 

I'm a member of the Gen X, and only about 7% of us are on savings target to a sustainable retirement. Current number for a household in my area is $1 million; for someone my age it is $700K  *50yr old* to $800K  *55 yr old*.

So it isn't a short term issue. 

 

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15 hours ago, John Mercier said:

They are not going to change their positions on the laws... landowners are already upset.

 

 

 

John I appreciate your first hand knowledge, but that will be the that if so. 

I know you always reference these manufacturer studies, and this study. I think you could probably throw a ton of that info away. 

The world and economy took so many turns over the passed decade that couldn’t have been predicted.

The technology changed so rapidly, no one inNH could have predicted mountain and over longer tracked sleds blowing up. 

What do you this the percentages break down to when you put them in Age Demos. 

I bet it’s a dramatic drop once you get under 50

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I register ever year in NH ($66) , MAINE ($100) and CANADA before 12/9 (about $250) after 12/9 (about $310). I don’t think NH is a bad price. The trails are different styles in all three areas,  and it costs me more to travel to MAINE & CANADA. I think removing the director is more within political lines, money maybe a minor added issue ❄️❄️❄️

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11 hours ago, WideOpenOrNothin said:

John I appreciate your first hand knowledge, but that will be the that if so. 

I know you always reference these manufacturer studies, and this study. I think you could probably throw a ton of that info away. 

The world and economy took so many turns over the passed decade that couldn’t have been predicted.

The technology changed so rapidly, no one inNH could have predicted mountain and over longer tracked sleds blowing up. 

What do you this the percentages break down to when you put them in Age Demos. 

I bet it’s a dramatic drop once you get under 50

The manufacturing studies were to determine the future of snowmobile sales between 2000-2020. 

Not type or brand.

They determined through their recently gained knowledge in the 90s, through self financing allowing access to broader financial data on their customer base, that New England residents were not saving enough for retirement. 

The latest studies on that issue have not shown dramatic improvements... so every generation will have the same retirement failure... getting worse if SS and Medicare should need to be adjusted.

The types simply have to do with access... and that is completely landowner controlled. We can purchase any sled, truck, jeep, SUV, ATV, UTV, trail bike, mountain bike, dog sled, x-country ski package, snowshoe package, or even pogo stick that we want... but if the landowner states that we are not to access their property... or to only access it where they designate, when they designate, and in a manner that they designate, that determines the basis for the laws.

So the studies are looking at very long trend lines in financial stability over several generations... while land usage is really a here and now issue.

  

 

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10 hours ago, Sled Dave said:

I register ever year in NH ($66) , MAINE ($100) and CANADA before 12/9 (about $250) after 12/9 (about $310). I don’t think NH is a bad price. The trails are different styles in all three areas,  and it costs me more to travel to MAINE & CANADA. I think removing the director is more within political lines, money maybe a minor added issue ❄️❄️❄️

This is misleading info though, real fees look like this:

NH resident $96 / non resident $116

Maine: Resident $46 / non resident $100

Only when you pay a $35(minimum) club fee is when you receive a $66 base price for every addition sled if you club membership is a family membership. 

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16 minutes ago, John Mercier said:

The manufacturing studies were to determine the future of snowmobile sales between 2000-2020. 

Not type or brand.

They determined through their recently gained knowledge in the 90s, through self financing allowing access to broader financial data on their customer base, that New England residents were not saving enough for retirement. 

The latest studies on that issue have not shown dramatic improvements... so every generation will have the same retirement failure... getting worse if SS and Medicare should need to be adjusted.

The types simply have to do with access... and that is completely landowner controlled. We can purchase any sled, truck, jeep, SUV, ATV, UTV, trail bike, mountain bike, dog sled, x-country ski package, snowshoe package, or even pogo stick that we want... but if the landowner states that we are not to access their property... or to only access it where they designate, when they designate, and in a manner that they designate, that determines the basis for the laws.

So the studies are looking at very long trend lines in financial stability over several generations... while land usage is really a here and now issue.

  

 

What does this even mean? Please simplify this for me so I can understand how it’s saying why NH is losing riders UNDER THE AGE OF 50 like it’s a contest....

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I explained that the rules are generally developed along the way as various landowners - some private, some public - set a standard that must either be met or the trail/access is closed. Every user group has rules that it must follow that it doesn't like.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, John Mercier said:

I explained that the rules are generally developed along the way as various landowners - some private, some public - set a standard that must either be met or the trail/access is closed. Every user group has rules that it must follow that it doesn't like.

 

 

 

 

Sounds like a wanky way of saying NH doesn’t care that it’s killing it’s snowmobile industry- they aren’t changing for nobody. 

If you don’t like NH’s outdated laws, such as speed limit, well you can just go somewhere else and give them your money. 

Who here doesn’t know at least 1 person who has stopped registering in NH and only in Maine.. bet most of us do- I counted almost 20 that I know. 

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So “Wide Open” you don’t join a club in NH ??? Do you ride your sled in NH ??? And I respect your opinion of the speeding laws but I support it for safety reasons.

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12 hours ago, WideOpenOrNothin said:

Sounds like a wanky way of saying NH doesn’t care that it’s killing it’s snowmobile industry- they aren’t changing for nobody. 

If you don’t like NH’s outdated laws, such as speed limit, well you can just go somewhere else and give them your money. 

Who here doesn’t know at least 1 person who has stopped registering in NH and only in Maine.. bet most of us do- I counted almost 20 that I know. 

Landowners don't care... and they are the final say. 

Some landowners have posted even lower speed limits than what the statutes provide... if the group doesn't obey them... even one or two individuals... they close the property.

 

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You might think riding in Maine is the end all for a lousy few bucks a year difference, but going over there to go fast is not worth the need for extensive chiropractic necessary to re-align your bent "bod" when you do. I have ridden extensively in the North Country and Maine and the quality of grooming totally out weighs the perceived advantage of being able to drive like a nut. There use to be about 50 Fish and Game officers in NH, and even at that, they are never out there at one time, with days off, court appearances, illness. Point being, we have to police ourselves and get use to using our excellent system carefully or it will disappear very quickly. Whatever the number of F&G officers out there at any given time they cannot cover the whole state. To think we have to worry about them being bad asses to keep us all in line is ridiculous.   I was not a total angel out there in the 20 years or so that I road daily while touring people, but I got to pick my spots to "cruise" that were areas that you could see oncoming traffic. The problem people riding fast out there now is meeting people "sideways" on blind corners jeopardizing themselves and  everyone else.

Keep Right-Be Safe

pathfinder

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Thank you pathfinder for your comment. 

I was riding in Maine three years ago and saw it coming. The first sled passed us on the straight way at approx 60 mph. The operator gave a hand signal for 2 more riders coming. As I approached the curve I pulled hard right against the side and here comes one of the sleds. I stopped and the oncoming sled was sliding sideways at approx 60 mph on my side of the trail. He hit me head-on/broadside. For the last 10 years we only ride weekdays In Maine and ride Lakes region NH on weekends

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3 hours ago, pathfinder said:

You might think riding in Maine is the end all for a lousy few bucks a year difference, but going over there to go fast is not worth the need for extensive chiropractic necessary to re-align your bent "bod" when you do. I have ridden extensively in the North Country and Maine and the quality of grooming totally out weighs the perceived advantage of being able to drive like a nut. There use to be about 50 Fish and Game officers in NH, and even at that, they are never out there at one time, with days off, court appearances, illness. Point being, we have to police ourselves and get use to using our excellent system carefully or it will disappear very quickly. Whatever the number of F&G officers out there at any given time they cannot cover the whole state. To think we have to worry about them being bad asses to keep us all in line is ridiculous.   I was not a total angel out there in the 20 years or so that I road daily while touring people, but I got to pick my spots to "cruise" that were areas that you could see oncoming traffic. The problem people riding fast out there now is meeting people "sideways" on blind corners jeopardizing themselves and  everyone else.

Keep Right-Be Safe

pathfinder

I remember in the late 80’s early 90’s when I’d be at a certain Easter seals camp for bonfires every weekend. We’d ride in on sleds from all around, oh the adults would get hammered. The kids would have a great time, eat some, ride the sleds on the pond in front of the beach. 

Maybe, Your knees would smash the carb on the way home 

or you’d roll your sled and break that fancy new hand warmers they came out with. 

You guys, now a days there are so many younger kids riding. Thousands, buy dirt cheap sleds and just want to go ride without being harassed. 

Maine has vast country all over. Some of it can get crazy like Rangeley, but most of it isn’t. Rangeley is just as beat up on the weekends as Pittsburg, but it’s 4 times the business/ night life with endless trails connected. 

 

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4 hours ago, John Mercier said:

Landowners don't care... and they are the final say. 

Some landowners have posted even lower speed limits than what the statutes provide... if the group doesn't obey them... even one or two individuals... they close the property.

 

Now I’m going to say something maybe John won’t agree with, and respond with data. 

 I find it hard to believe that if NH had a talk with their land owners backing the support of a higher speed limit with no consequence to them that they would agree. 

I mean our machines these days can turn on a dime, stop, go and handle like they are kid toys. These are high performance machines, not one of Pathfinder’s Rupp’s that he’s selling to thin the herd. 

Zero human element to any of the arguments I keep hearing. I’m sure all manufacturers let out a stupid of sled prices before 2020 sky rocketing to $15k. I’m sure they anticipated the internet and Facebook yard sale and Craig’s list just offering people endless cheap sleds so they don’t have to buy their insanely expensive ones.

 

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24 minutes ago, WideOpenOrNothin said:

I mean our machines these days can turn on a dime, stop, go and handle like they are kid toys. These are high performance machines, not one of Pathfinder’s Rupp’s that he’s selling to thin the herd. 

Wide Open, I deeply respect your opinion and your position on increased speed limits. You, however, hit the nail on the head with your description of today's sleds "can turn on a dime,stop,go and handle like they are kids toys".  You are correct in your description, but unfortunately they give you a false sense of security and induce you to take it to the next level, until you are over your head depending on a super sled to take care of you. I use to take out rookies to the sport daily and teach them how to ride and have a good time. We would take off at a screamin' 20 mph and come back in at 40, in one piece. It wasn't unusual for some of these rookies to get instantly hooked and show up a couple of weeks later with stuff like an RX1, MXZ, and think they have it all figured out.  Lots of them crashed, some got beat up, some died...

By the way, some of the mid 70's liquid Nitro Rupp's use to hit 94 miles an hour in 660 feet back then, and they were 340's. You had to "ride" them, they didn't mask much with super suspension, super brakes, wide front ends.... You had to use your head...

pathfinder

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1 hour ago, WideOpenOrNothin said:

Now I’m going to say something maybe John won’t agree with, and respond with data. 

 I find it hard to believe that if NH had a talk with their land owners backing the support of a higher speed limit with no consequence to them that they would agree. 

I mean our machines these days can turn on a dime, stop, go and handle like they are kid toys. These are high performance machines, not one of Pathfinder’s Rupp’s that he’s selling to thin the herd. 

Zero human element to any of the arguments I keep hearing. I’m sure all manufacturers let out a stupid of sled prices before 2020 sky rocketing to $15k. I’m sure they anticipated the internet and Facebook yard sale and Craig’s list just offering people endless cheap sleds so they don’t have to buy their insanely expensive ones.

 

So do our automobiles.

But even on I-93 with a divided highway and cutback shoulders for plenty of sightline... the speed is not that much higher.

When you drop to Route 106... you have bi-directional traffic with a designated yellow dividing line and cutback shoulders for plenty of sightline... and have a maximum of 50.

I think what you fail to understand is that State land, has 1.3 million owners... and only about 70,000 registered owners for the motorized groups... a portion of that from out-of-State.

I have sat in the meetings... we have never convinced them to go to a higher speed limit on trails.

Even over roads, with vehicles going much faster than we go... getting them to accept 20 mph was a challenge... and several towns have said no.

You are not going to get landowners that have speed limits even tighter than the statute to all of a sudden agree.

I think the problem is... you don't recognize who the landowners are. You think it is a farmer... not a horde of people that don't even accept the present speed and usage.

 

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Comparing Maine and NH OHRV riding areas is tough to do. OHRVs do best when operating over large areas of low-population, under-developed land that's owned in large blocks by relatively few landowners.That pretty much describes large portions of the western US, but not all that much of the northeastern US. Snowmobiles have another requirement, and that's a  seasonal accumulation of snow that remains on the ground long enough to make snow trails viable. We seem to be a string of lower-snow, warmer temperature winters where it's hard to make and keep a base. 

To compare Maine and NH you have to consider human population densities, land type, available land area and ownership, and geographic location (with higher altitudes and lower latitudes being better). Higher population densities bring competitors for the use of recreational land, and  more infrastructure, like roads, vacation homes,  and shopping centers.

I used the 6 northernmost counties of both Maine and NH for comparison. Together Coos, Grafton, Carroll, Belknap, Sullivan, and Strafford counties have 398,250 people living on 5756 square miles, or about 69 people per square mile. In Maine, Aroostook, Piscataquis, Pennobscot, Somerset, Franklin, and Oxford counties have 384, 157 people living on 22,776 square miles, or about 17 people per square mile. Land ownership is much more divided in the NH counties. Both northern NH and Northern Maine average 80"+ of snow each winter.

Clearly, northern Maine has much more potential for motorized recreation, but long driving times to reach them is an issue.

In a competition for sled riders, NH has the benefit of being closer to population centers and Maine has the advantage of being much larger with lower population densities. I question just how much speed limits or registration fees play into a average tourist's choice of riding area. 

Edited by jhwentworth

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