Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 8012 | Snowmobile VERMONT By Dave Rouleau Within the 127 volunteer clubs that make up the VAST trail network, creativity is usually a necessity as we try to utilize the limited funds available to build and maintain trails. Keeping an eye on reducing costs and minimizing expenses helps the overall operations budget of the organization. Although we have a well-established trail network, clubs find themselves faced with the need to reroute existing corridors each season. At times, this is initiated by the club when trying to find a safer more desirable route. Goals may be to reduce road crossings, bypass blind or hilly terrain, improve a grooming pattern, access a local business or eliminate areas where sun and wind deteriorate our trails. Changes in land use or development often trigger the need to look into alternate routes as well. Reroutes, by far, are one of the most expensive things a club could be faced with. These expend a lot of time and money to pull together. Costs add up quickly if you need to construct a bridge or install culverts as part of the project. Should you require the use of heavy equipment and an operator to run it, it’s good to have a connection in the club that loves our sport as much as we do. Any donated time, bartered services or discounted rates help tremendously. Quite often, tribal knowledge is the best tool a club could have when looking into finding a reroute. Knowing or working with people that are familiar with the lay of the land can save a lot of time and effort. Being able to take advantage of unused or seasonal roads, logging roads, rights- of-way, former trails and open fields can help reduce the overall cost of the project and the amount of work that needs to be done. Taking advantage of the above areas usually will minimize the amount of clearing that needs to be done to establish a new trail. It may also be beneficial to step back from the main focus area to see what other options might be viable. Abandoning the existing trail further away from the area being addressed can possibly open new opportunities. Although you might feel you are adding more miles of work, the type of work might end up being less effort and cost if you can avoid things like cutting trees, constructing bridges and installing culverts.  Clubs can be seen finding creative ways to save themselves operating expenses too. Volunteer clubs have little means of income and rely heavily on fundraisers or trail sponsorships to meet their operating cost. Most monies that we see land in our accounts are “pass through” money in the form of TMA sales or construction and equipment grants. Dues from your TMA purchase go directly to the club and county, but the bulk of the TMA is applied toward the VAST trails and grooming budget. TMA monies then come back to the local clubs in various forms such as grooming contracts or infrastructure support via construction grants.  When my club was faced with storage issues, we opted to purchase a conex shipping container and were able to work with a landowner to keep it on their property at no charge. This allowed us a secure, dry, neutral and central location to keep our club belongings at. This was a much- welcomed solution allowing many club members to free up space in their garages, under their decks and around their own property. Having things in one place has assisted with insurance, security, inventory awareness and provides a work bee gathering place. Trail set up and take down is much easier too, as you know where to get and return materials. Local municipalities can be a great asset to your club too. Many have materials on hand that serve them no purpose and they are happy to donate or sell at a favorable price for your club to use. Decommissioned culverts, although no use to your town, can still enjoy an extended life helping a club address brooks and streams that cause havoc for us in the early season. Some clubs have used these to fabricate a roller attachment that helps us during the early season trail set up and when The local municipality can’t use these old culverts anymore, but your club can! CREATIVE SAVINGS YOUR CLUB CAN SAVE MONEY! $$ $