Forest warns snowmobile travelers to exercise extreme caution
RUTLAND, VT (Jan. 25, 2010) Green Mountain National Forest officials are increasing patrols and asking snowmobilers to exercise extreme caution when operating on National Forest, and all lands, in Vermont.
“Given the high amount of fatalities this season, we are concerned and have decided to increase patrols, which are aimed at enforcing rules and regulations, monitoring trail conditions and providing visitor information,” said District Ranger Alex Sienkiewicz. The forest will work closely with the State of Vermont and Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST). The GMNF and VAST cooperate to maintain the 472-miles of snowmobile trails on the Forest that is part of the statewide snowmobile trail system.
“All of the trails on the Forest allow mixed uses, so people are snowshoeing, hiking and cross-country skiing as well as using snowmobiles,” said Sienkiewicz. A reasonable and prudent operation speed is the standard and the The maximum safe speed on state lands is 35 mph and Vermont has a tough Snowmobiling While Intoxicated Law that covers both drugs and alcohol.
The Forest is also warning all snow travelers of the danger of riding, hiking and skiing on frozen water bodies. With seen warmer temperatures the last few days, no ice is safe ice.
All snowmobiles must be legally registered, have liability insurance and riders must purchase a VAST Trails Maintenance Assessment decal. Helmets are also required on VAST system trails.