DENVER – The Colorado State Parks Board has awarded $314,000 in capital grants to assist snowmobile clubs in Colorado with the purchase of five trail grooming snowcats and to acquire a 20 foot enclosed trailer that will be used as a portable classroom to promote safe and responsible riding, avalanche awareness and back country education.
These grants are funded by the Colorado State Parks’ Snowmobile Program through the sale of snowmobile registrations and permits and from grants provided by Colorado’s federal Recreational Trails Program funding.
The Colorado State Trails Committee, composed of nine volunteer members appointed by the State Parks Board, reviewed seven projects that sought $368,000 in grant funding for total project costs of $661,710. The Colorado State Trails Committee includes a representative from each of the seven congressional districts, one at-large member each from the off-highway vehicle and snowmobile community and one member from the GOCO board.
One member of the State Trails Committee is appointed to represent snowmobile interests and to chair the Snowmobile Grant Selection Subcommittee. The subcommittee is comprised of nine Colorado Snowmobile Association District Representatives, who are elected to their position by snowmobile clubs in their geographic district.
Colorado State Parks works in conjunction with Colorado Snowmobile Association (CSA) and the 27 grooming clubs, plus the Vail Pass Task Force, to groom, sign and maintain over 2,700 miles of winter recreation trails. Winter trails are used by a diverse group of enthusiasts that include cross-country skiers, snowmobilers, dog sledders, hybrid skiers and snowshoers.
Colorado State Parks has funded over $2 million in snowmobile equipment grants since 2002. The program’s goal is to maintain a modern fleet of groomers, which currently consists of 37 snowcats. Newer groomers cost less to operate, minimize sound and air pollution and are overall more efficient. Clubs that apply for a grant must prove need, urgency, benefit, partnerships, and leverage. Clubs need to be financially able to significantly contribute to the purchase and maintenance of their equipment.
Coloradans’ registered 29,568 snowmobiles in 2010-2011 at a cost of $30.25 each. Grooming operations are funded from this revenue, which over the last ten years totals more than $2 million dollars.
Colorado State Parks get everyone outdoors! Attracting more than 12 million visitors per year, Colorado’s 42 State Parks are a vital cornerstone of Colorado’s economy and quality of life. Colorado State Parks encompass 224,447 land and water acres, offering some of the best outdoor recreation destinations in the state. Colorado State Parks is a leader in providing opportunities for outdoor recreation, protecting the state’s favorite landscapes, teaching generations about nature and partnering with communities. Colorado State Parks also manage more than 4,300 campsites, and 63 cabins and yurts. For more information on Colorado State Parks or to purchase an annual pass online, visit www.parks.state.co.us.