Hello Members, a message from your president John Raymond, well it’s been a busy start of the year for me and the ATV Maine board of directors. Since I started on January 1st we have had several meetings in person and via zoom. After listening to our members at the last regional meeting we decided to hold 4 classes on how to apply for a Municipal Grant through the Dept. Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, and to date we have had 3 successful classes one in Presque Isle, Brewer, and Lisbon with Augusta to be held this coming weekend so if you want to contact Daryl and sign up for the final class there are still a few seats left. We hope that all that attended will report back to us on completing their first Municipal grant this year. Oh, and thanks go out to the DACF employees that attended each of our classes to assist in the Q & A part of the program, they really liked the hands-on program.
Another new item is we have a new membership card and it’s all done and in the hands of Daryl to get ready to distribute to each of our clubs. The membership card has a tear-off end that once paid for and is in your hand you now have proof of membership to ATV Maine, more information will be coming forward in the next few weeks about how to make it out and how it’s going to make it better for you membership person.
This year we are attending 3 and a possible 4th sportsman show, one in Orono, Presque Isle, and Augusta before our annual banquet on April 15th at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer Maine. We will be running a 50/50 at each show and we are purchasing a Rifle to be drawn at the annual banquet in April. We have purchased a new display for our trade shows, and sportsman shows and for our safety trailer please keep an eye out for it in the coming weeks.
ATV Maine and QuadNB have combined our forces and have signed the first reciprocity agreement between the USA and Canada and will be working with the Maine Legislature and the New Brunswick government to work out the details in the near future to be able to pass freely between our countries.
And again, ATV Maine will be bringing to our Clubs low-cost Liability insurance and Directors & Officers insurance. The price for the Liability insurance is the same as last year $550 for 2 million policy and $475 for the D&O policy. SO please don’t believe all the rumors you have the facts here $550 for Liability and $475 for D&O.
Finally, I am going to post a letter from your Lobbyists Kevin Herrick, our new lobbyist that we hired in January of this year. I can say he is working for all members of ATV Maine and even non-members. We are working on two bills this year and both are very good ideas on how to help our clubs and ATVers by trying to bring in more monies to help the clubs, riders, and landowners. Below is his latest email to me with an update as to what is going on in the legislature so far this year!
Hello from Kevin Herrick. as we approach the end of February, the legislative session is just getting started. With only about 1/3rd of the bills printed this far, committee work has yet to fully begin, but things will pick up quickly following school vacation week. While the legislature has been slow, the work for ATV Maine has been extremely busy. This year, ATV Maine put forward two pieces of legislation:
1) LD 434, An Act to Protect Landowners and Increase Safety on All-terrain Vehicle Trails by Increasing Funding to the Recreational Fund. This legislation, submitted on our behalf by Rep. Rick Mason, would create a non-club member and member registration fee. The bill would keep registration fees the same in Maine for club members and increase the fee by $30 for non-club members.
2) LR 1370, Resolve, to Study the Gasoline Tax Allocations for Recreational Vehicles and Make Recommendations for Changes. This legislation, submitted on our behalf by Rep. Scott Landry, would study the gas tax allocation and reallocate funds proportionately based on the number of registrations of each type of recreational vehicle.
Over the past month, we have met with the Department and many members of the IFW Committee in Augusta. Due to the implementation concerns short-term with LD 434, we have worked with the Department and Rep. Mason to withdraw this legislation and instead form a working group with the Department to design a system similar to NH that could be implemented here in Maine. This approach will increase our likelihood of success and ensure we present an efficient, effective system to the legislature for consideration.
In these negotiations on withdrawing LD 434, we have prioritized LR 1370. We are attempting to support this legislation and ask the legislature to change this bill into an Act, implementing a reallocation based on the 2001 data, which would provide ATVs with nearly $700,000 more. In addition, the federal government is actively in a gas tax review and there is a pending gas tax increase in Maine, which will provide us another opportunity to take the new 2023-24 federal data and apply it to Maine during the gas tax increase conversations here in Maine.
Our negotiations have led us to a solid footing with the Legislature and the Department, and we believe will provide us with great success both short-term and long-term.
Partner, Dirigo Partners
Here is my second letter to keep my membership informed about the happenings going on in ATV Maine, I said that would be one of the changes that I would do to help our organization grow and we will welcome any club back or any new club to join us and the Department of Recreation in working toward a better trail system while keeping an eye on the upcoming issues in ATV/UTV and SXS. UNITED WE TRAIL…..DIVIDED WE FAIL! Keep an eye out for my next letter in March with a big announcement coming!!! Ok, that’s it for this month!