Many festivals and events were canceled this season due to a lack of snow – most notably Cain’s Quest, scheduled for the week of March 13 in Labrador City, Newfoundland, and now rescheduled for March 12, 2011.

Many events in Maine were cancelled as well, but, remember that March can produce sizeable snowstorms, and “April is the cruelest month,” wrote poet T.S. Eliot, so we could be in for weeks more of sledding, especially in northern and western Maine where there is still enough snowpack for riding. Before planning any kind of trip, however, check with local people before venturing out.

The 11th annual Lincoln Sno-Cross Races, originally scheduled for Feb. 20-21, were postponed because of lack of snow and rescheduled for March 13-14. Registration is from 8-10 a.m., with the races getting under way at 11 a.m.

On March 20, snowmobilers from across the region will descend on Greenville for a number of races in pro and amateur classes, along with special races for age groups. For more information on the Maine 100, visit www.maine100.com.

PEAK TOUR IN AUGUSTA

Snowmobile manufacturers are already gearing up for the next season with the 2011 Snowmobile Peak Tour, which makes a stop at the Augusta Civic Center on March 16. The show runs from 4-9 p.m. with free admission On display will be the new models from Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-doo and Yamaha.

EAT AND GREET

Another sign that the season is close to ending is the upcoming MSA annual meeting and banquet on April 10 at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston. Tickets are $35 per person and need to be bought in advance. It is a great way to connect with snowmobilers from across the state and to get updated on issues in the sport. For more information on  the MSA banquet and an itinerary form (click the link for MSA members), or for upcoming snowmobiling events, visit the MSA Web site at: www.mesnow.com.

ROOM FOR GROOMERS

One of the few pieces of legislation this session that affects snowmobiling passed without opposition. The law will make minor changes in the sales tax exemption on snow groomers to include snowmobile clubs registered as T-13 nonprofit corporations with the state of Maine because most clubs don’t have 501 (c) status.

“There were no major pieces of legislation this session so we were able to spend less time in the state house and more time on snowmobiles,” said Bob Meyer, the executive director of the Maine Snowmobile Association.

The budget crisis remains a major concern to snowmobilers and all of us who enjoy Maine’s natural resources. There has been talk about consolidating the state’s natural resource agencies in order to save money.

“Everyone realizes it is going to cost a lot of money to balance the budget, but this isn’t the time to play tricks with the budget. There may be a savings down the road through consolidation but there is no question it could cost a lot of money to implement it,” said Meyers.  “The concept is good, but if you are going to consolidate things, it needs to be done for the right reasons. The right reasons are not to save money because ultimately, whatever they do will cost money. In the future, it could be a way to improve delivery of services.”

Cathy Genthner is a registered Maine Guide and licensed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to guide snowmobile trips. She is the owner of River Bluff Camps in Medford and can be reached at:

[email protected]