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2013 January Kittitas Grooming Council Minutes

Note: Kevin Merrell was elected as the new WSSA Dist 5N Chair by acclimation.

Kittitas Grooming Council


January 14, 2013

Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm by Kevin Merrell, Grooming Council Chair.


Kevin called for a moment of silence in honor of Larry Westcott. Then Dan Austin and Dan Johnson shared how wonderful Larry’s Memorial was.


Kevin asked that those in attendance introduce themselves. Kay requested that you Initial the attendance sheet and/or make corrections. If New, add your name and info on sheets at the back.


Kevin asked that anyone who had an idea for a Guest Speaker to contact him.


Groomer Operators Report:


A concern was expressed that at Exit 63, Cabin Creek Ski Trails has been torn up by rebel snowmobilers. If you know who was involved, please call Tim Foss at the Ranger Station. 509-852-1069.


It was suggested that you use Facebook for Grooming Reports. Currently posted on The Last Resort, Sky Riders and Snomads. Grooming reports also posted thru I-90 Google Group. Please report down trees!


U.S. Forest Service Grooming: John Simon and Tim Foss, USFS Recreation

There has been a lot of activity on the I-90 Corridor. Reported a lot of trees down up to 32” diameter.


R&R Grooming: Ron Lind, Groomer Operator

Groomed steadily thru Holidays (Christmas – New Year’s). A lot of road issues: trees down, gate issue on the John Wayne Trail, and resolved issue on one road. Groomed 72 hours during the 2 weeks. Cold weather has allowed the grooming to hold up. Road 41 had large trees down. Potelco and NASA have been ruining the groomed trail by running their own cats up to work on the Microwave.


Boulder Creek Grooming: Tim Penelerich, Groomer Operator

Started on Dec 14th and had the trails cleaned up by the Holidays. 125 hours/575 miles groomed.


Land/Tec Grooming: Nick Whitman, Groomer Operator

Started late but had the trails ready by the Holidays. Scheduling in consideration of the cut in funding. More trees down than usual. More every week. Having trouble with UTVs digging deep tracks in the grooming.



New Business:

Reports from: Saturday, Jan 5th Sno-Park Blast…handing out the 101 flyers:


Salmon LaSac – Wayne and Florence Mohler

Arrived at the Sno-Park around 9:15am. Saw about 13 rigs…all legal riders. The snowmobilers were from TriCities, Moses Lake, Wenatchee and Snoqualmie. No locals.

Crystal Springs – Jim and Sandy Sternod and Ron Lind

The Sternods and Ron gave out about 42 packets. Started about 7:30am to 9:30am. Had the WSSA Banner and lights on. About ½ were WSSA members, most sleds were registered, that were visible. Clean and restocked the Bulletin Board.


Kachess – Ty and Tina Locke

Had a WSSA Banner, handed out about 16 packets. One rude driver. One sled not registered. Most had Sno-Park Permits. Trouble keeping the Fire Lane open.


Cooper-French Cabin along the road – Tim Penelerich

Tim handed out info at The Last Resort and at the Gas Station. Will hand out more at the Fun Run on Feb 2nd.

Over 30% not registered. Sheriff will not write tickets anymore on unregistered. (Wayne Mohler has since researched and has this to report: I checked the history file on law enforcement funding from the snowmobile account and it shows the last year that Kittitas Co received $$$ from the snowmobile account was in 2005.  A portion of the money went to WDFW 2006 and 2007 with remainder to State Parks.  Now all goes to Parks with total amount dedicated to law enforcement having been reduced over past 5 + year.  Most, if not all, the Parks efforts are at Lake Easton and Crystal Springs and possibly some on JWPT.  Thanks Wayne)


Gold Creek and Price Creek Westbound – Cascade Drift Skippers

Lee and Shirley Koger reported that they handed out about 20 flyers. 1 sled not registered.


Easton Reload – Snomads

It was reported that there were 4 rigs. A point of interest: the Easton Reload was packed last weekend.


USFS 3350 Road – Dan Austin

He handed out 13 flyers. All sleds were registered. He reported more snowmobile traffic on the 3350 Road this year.

Elk Heights – Howard Briggs

He reported that there were only two rigs, both registered. He left to go help on the Taneum Road.


Blewett Pass – Bill and Lana Burwell

Showed up early and handed out about 13 of the 101 Flyers. Checked sleds, most registered.


Manastash Rd – Jerry

There were 6 rigs and flyers were left on the windows.


Taneum Road – Bob Seeley, Howard Briggs

There were 2 rigs early in the morning, both registered. Later in the morning there were 4 rigs, all registered.


Woods & Steele Road – Nick Whitman and Kevin Merrell

Rode out on the Woods and Steele Road for the day. Handed out 101 flyers to 42 riders. 15 unregistered. USFS need to do emphasis patrols on certain roads.


29 Pines – Teanaway Trail Twisters – Scott Goninan

Flyers were handed out to 2 rigs.


New Business:


Need Volunteers to help with this year’s Hogloppit Race – Tim Foss. Tim asked for anyone wanting to sign up see him after the meeting was over. The date is February 23, 2013. Call him at 509-852-1069.


Update on 2013 Clean Snowmobile Challenge – Kay Lloyd.

Kay will be attending as a Judge at the Clean Snowmobile Challenge from March 3-10, 2013. See attachment to these minutes. Check out the website:



Winter meetings: Grooming Council meets 2nd Monday each month @ USFS Mtg Rm. @ 7pm. Please bring a guest with you to the Feb. 11th Grooming Council Meeting.



Action Items from Dec. Meeting:


  1. Blewett Pass Sno-Park expansion update – Tim Foss

The process is moving along. Decision Notice supposed to be signed by Jan 31st.  Design Program is ready and work should be done this Summer.

      Tim expressed concern about the break-ins that have occurred at the Groomer Shed at the Pass.


  1. Taneum and Manastash update – Tim Foss

No new updates.


  1. Update on 3 issues progressing in Olympia – Florence Mohler

See attached: WSSA Position Paper.

Other business issues:


            1. Plowing of Blewett Pass Parking lot – Pam McConkey, WA State Parks

            Pam talked to DOT and they are now plowing it out.


            2. Elk Heights Sno-Park - email received – Pam McConkey

            Pam handled the situation thru emails.


3. Tim Foss thanked the Volunteers for all they have done. He introduced Lauren DuRocher who is in Developed Recreation.


4. Wayne Mohler reported on the WSSA Matching of Grooming Funds. Currently it will be between $17,000 to $18,000. There had been $25,000 set aside. Checks will be sent to WA State Parks.


 Reminders of upcoming events:

Easton Saloon will be having Snow Fun Days on January 19 beginning at Noon

The 19th Annual Snowmobile Golf Challenge happens out of Easton on January 26th

All Trails Day to Olympia: January 29th – Big Tent Organizations, Jan 28th (Wayne)

            WSSA Rendezvous in Yakima: February 15-18, 2013 – remember to fill out your Registration.

            Fun Run Feb 2, 2013 UKC Rotary out of the Last Resort

            SMAC Meeting on Feb 2nd in Wenatchee

WSSA Meeting – Sat. March 9th in Trout Lake, WA at the USFS Office. (info on WSSA website)



Respectfully submitted,

Kay Lloyd, Secretary


Listed below: WSSA Position Paper, Clean Snowmobile Challenge Universities, ACSA Calendar Payouts
WSSA Position Paper:

The Washington State Snowmobile Association is pursuing and supporting the following legislation changes in order to up-right the Washington State Parks, Winter Recreation Program for Snowmobilers. We have a dire need to collect additional funds from our user group (registered snowmobiles) in order to make well and further maintain our current grooming program, snow removal and restroom maintenance. This program is supported by designated funds and not “Tax Dollars”.   The increase needed is driven by the cost of living, the cost of fuel for groomers, the cost of replacing old groomers, the cost of snow removal in the snow parks, the cost of supplies for the restrooms at the snow parks and the reduction of snowmobiles being registered annually. The last increase of funds was in 2001. After studying and discussing the WSSA / Washington State Parks joint survey from registered snowmobilers taken in January 2012 we have determined and voted that this was the best course of action:

  • Gas Tax Cap Removed:   To continue legislation to have the cap on the state gas tax removed from the current 23 cents to allow the full 37.5 cents to go towards the snowmobile program. 


  • WSSA would like to propose changing 46.10.400 and 46.17.350 RCW License fees by vehicle type to reflect an increase in snowmobile registration fees.  WSSA proposes that the current snowmobile registration fee be increased by $10 from $30 to $40 beginning in 2013 and increased an additional $10 to $50 effective in 2014.

  •  79A.05.230 RCW changed to read as follows: The fee for the issuance of special winter recreational area parking permits shall be determined by the commission after consultation with the winter recreation advisory committee. If the person making application therefor is also the owner of a snowmobile registered pursuant to chapter 46.10 RCW, there shall be no a fee for the issuance of an annual permit which shall be determined by the commission after consultation with the snowmobile advisory committee. All special winter recreational area parking permits shall commence and expire on the dates established by the commission.


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