AUGUSTA — The Senate unanimously approved a bill from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, to support Maine’s outdoor recreation economy in an initial vote on Tuesday. LD 446, “An Act To Appropriate Funds to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry To Maintain Snowmobile Trails” provides a one-time appropriation of $300,000 to the Snowmobile Trail Fund for the purpose of providing grants to snowmobile groups for trail maintenance and other projects.
“Where I’m from, snowmobiling is more than just a beloved pastime, it’s a way to get around and keep our local economy going during the long winter months. This past winter was no different as we experienced record-breaking snowfall in the County,” said President Jackson. “However, our snowmobile trails are in need of some upgrades and basic maintenance. This bill represents a small investment in Maine’s recreational economy that will also benefit local restaurants and businesses in rural Maine.”
The Snowmobile Trail Fund is administered by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and provides funding for basic maintenance of snowmobile trails, including grants to local snowmobile clubs.
Snowmobile trails are largely maintained by volunteers from the 289 Snowmobile Association clubs in Maine and are based on the efforts of small groups of people in communities across our state. The Maine Snowmobile Association estimates that snowmobiling is responsible for roughly $350 million in business annually and 2,300 jobs statewide. This bill will provide a significant boost to the rural Maine economy in the slower winter months.
LD 446 will now go to the House for additional votes before returning to the Senate for enactment.