Fair trail fee being groomed

Print Article

  • From left, Dave Bonasera, Kootenai County groomer program director; Randy Domit, of the Coeur d'Alene Snowmobile Club; and Dale Adickes, chairman of the Kootenai County Snowmobile Advisory Board, discuss trail maintenance on Feb 2 at the Skitwish warming hut south of the Honeysuckle Campground on the Coeur d'Alene River below Skitwish Peak. The advisory board is discussing ways other trail user groups can pay their fair share for grooming services. (Courtesy photo)

  • 1

    Kootenai County has three groomers that maintain more than 300 miles of trails during the winter. (Courtesy photo)

  • From left, Dave Bonasera, Kootenai County groomer program director; Randy Domit, of the Coeur d'Alene Snowmobile Club; and Dale Adickes, chairman of the Kootenai County Snowmobile Advisory Board, discuss trail maintenance on Feb 2 at the Skitwish warming hut south of the Honeysuckle Campground on the Coeur d'Alene River below Skitwish Peak. The advisory board is discussing ways other trail user groups can pay their fair share for grooming services. (Courtesy photo)

  • 1

    Kootenai County has three groomers that maintain more than 300 miles of trails during the winter. (Courtesy photo)

COEUR d'ALENE — A Kootenai County board is exploring how to blaze a new trail so all backcountry users during the winter pay their fair share for grooming services.

Currently, only snowmobilers are required to pay the fees that include the state's Snowmobile Certificate of Number ($32.50) and the county's groomer sticker ($15).

However, the groomed trails are also used for other recreation such as fat-tire bicycling, skiing and dog sledding. Those users don’t have to pay to use the groomed trails.

"The Kootenai County Snowmobile Advisory Board is discussing how all users of winter-groomed trails pay their fair share for trail use," said Joe Wuest, a board member.

Percentage of use would be among the factors taken into account with the fee structure.

"If you look at skiers and fat-tire bicyclists, they don't use the trails to the extent that snowmobilers do," Wuest said.

Wuest said there has been early buy-in to the idea from user groups.

"Some users such as the fat-tire bicyclists realize our concerns and volunteer to pay by buying the $15 sticker to help fund trail maintenance," he said.

The advisory board has started meeting with other user groups on how best to implement a fee.

"We need to have community buy-in to impose fees," he said.

No firm proposal has surfaced, but when it does, a public hearing will be held before the county commissioners.

Wuest said the advisory board believes fees will become even more important as future use trends evolve.

"We will continue working with the Forest Service, the Coeur d'Alene River Ranger District Trails Working Group and the community to provide ways for all user groups to enjoy their wintertime experience in the national forest," he said. "We are also in discussions with the Forest Service about adding groomed trails in the future. "

There are more than 300 miles of groomed trails in Kootenai County during the winter.

With the $15 groomer sticker, 15 percent of the funds go toward the county for selling it, 40 percent to the sheriff's office for enforcement and 45 percent for grooming services.

Funds from the $32.50 certificate are divvied up between search and rescue, avalanche centers, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, the county and the vendors.

Wuest said groomers cost around $300,000. Kootenai County has three. Plowing roads and recreation area parking lots such as near Fernan Saddle and Fourth of July Pass is also done.

Wuest said combining the current fees snowmobilers pay into one and increasing it $1.50 to $49 is also being discussed by the Idaho State Snowmobile Association he serves on. That step would require legislative approval. The last fee increase was 2007.

"If the county gets the same amount of funds and can still maintain the programs, why have two fees?" said Wuest, referring to the logic behind combining the fees into one.

The county's snowmobile advisory board's next meeting is April 1 at 7 a.m. at Elmer's Restaurant in Coeur d'Alene.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Extending the honor roll

May 26, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d'ALENE — Benjamin Givens has answered the call to develop a more accurate account of the fallen veterans to recognize on Memorial Day. The Lakeland High senior and member of Boy Scout Troop 9...

Comments

Read More

CDA leaders ready for busy Memorial Day weekend

May 26, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Coeur d’Alene’s business leaders, city officials and event organizers have made the final preparations for Memorial Day weekend, the first big tourist event of the summer. “Any time there’s a holida...

Comments

Read More

Woman arrested after police chase

May 26, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press A Coeur d'Alene woman was taken into custody after a police chase through Coeur d'Alene that ended in Washington on Friday evening. Coeur d'Alene Police reported that just past 7:30 p.m., officers w...

Comments

Read More

Rockford Building converted to studios

May 26, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press A 67-year-old downtown building that housed several businesses over the years has been completely remodeled and is now home to 10 working studios known as the Rockford Building. It was built at 504 ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X