The Maine Snowmobile Association and the University of Maine School of Economics have developed a web-based survey to solicit information on trail issues.

Professor Stephen Reiling, who has worked previously on snowmobile economic-impact studies, sent out an invitation and instructions to participate in the survey to club trailmasters and presidents and project directors.

“The Snowmobile Trail Fund Advisory Council has been looking at funding and the direction of the grants program,” said Bob Meyers, the executive director of the association. “The clubs are stretched with increasing fuel prices and things like that. This is a good way to get a read on what the clubs are thinking and what they would like to see.”

The results of this survey — due later this spring — will be used by the Snowmobile Trail Fund Advisory Council and administrators to help determine the future direction of club, municipal and capital equipment grants.

Roughly 320 clubs and grant project directors are expected to respond to the survey.

“Quite a few clubs are meeting to discuss the survey before they complete it online,” said Meyers. “Only one member of a club can respond on behalf of all club members.”

The survey contains questions on the conditions of Maine trails, registration costs, maintenance expenses for ITS trails, trail expansion, grants, capital equipment funds and other trail-related issues.

The survey cost $7,500 and is funded in part by snowmobile registrations. The idea for the study came up during discussions by the Snowmobile Trail Fund Advisory Council.

BREAKFAST BOOSTS TRAIL FUNDS

More than 500 people are expected to attend the annual Maine Maple Sunday Pancake Breakfast from 6:30 to 10 a.m. March 27 at the Garret Schenck School on Taylor Drive in Anson.

The breakfast, hosted by the Anson-North Anson Snowmobile Club, is the group’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

The club maintains 70 miles of local and ITS trails, and raised over $1,500 last year for trail maintenance.

“It is a ritual that we’ve had every year for several years and it is a great gathering spot,” said Ken Ingalls, a club member and president of the Maine Snowmobile Association. “Everyone knows where the breakfast is because it is tough to find a place to park.”

There is limited access to the school by snowmobile trail. The breakfast is homemade and consists of pancakes, bacon, sausage, two kinds of baked beans and home fries.

Preparations for the meal begin the day before in the homes of club members, who cook 60 pounds of bacon, 50 pounds of sausage, 150 pounds of potatoes and eight pounds of soldier and navy beans. Pancakes are made the morning of the breakfast and are topped with maple syrup from Luce’s Farm in North Anson.

“We get in to the school by 5 a.m. and start cooking. We never use fake syrup — we use the real thing — maple syrup, and put it in the beans as well,” said Ingalls. “People really look forward to this breakfast every year.”

Cost for the breakfast is $6 for adults and $3 for children.

Cathy Genthner is a registered Maine Guide licensed to guide snowmobile trips. She owns River Bluff Camps in Medford, located off ITS-83. She can be reached at:

[email protected]