BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho - A slow start to the snow season could leave some riders hesitant to purchase their registration right away. Registering sleds is the law, but if that's not enough incentive, dues benefit snowmobilers.
The registration money goes toward grooming trails and maintaining parking lots.
"It pays for just general trail maintenance throughout the season. It goes also into education for avalanche awareness and snowmobile operations classes," said Blair Geiger, off-highway vehicle trainer for the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation east region.
Idaho Parks and Recreation collects the fees and then disperses funds to individual counties. Snowmobilers can choose which county gets their money. Annual funding is based on registrations from the previous year, so when money runs out, grooming stops.
"A heavy, heavy snow season can really impact it, and also the cost of gasoline," said June Willsey, Bonneville County Parks and Recreation.
Some snowmobilers still choose not to register.
"It's hard to say how many we don't get registered, we used to think that we were getting about half of them, maybe, but I think it's more than that now," said Mike Robinson, trail specialist for Idaho Parks and Recreation.
The annual cost to register a personal sled is $32.50. A rental is $62.50, but is generally taken care of by the rental companies. If the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office catches riders without valid registration, the ticket is more than double the cost of registration at $81.50.
Snowmobile stickers don't cross state lines. Riders registered in Wyoming, Montana, or Utah still need an Idaho sticker to ride Idaho mountains.