Climate change vs. snowmobiling - guess who wins?
Posted by David Brooks | Wednesday, May 7, 2014
I've been writing about how climate change will alter New Hampshire for well over a decade, so I didn't jump on the recent IPCC report detailing current and upcoming effects. But lots of other news outlets did, which is good - and here's a "localizer" that I like: The Berlin Daily Sun bemoaned the way erratic winter weather is going to hurt snowmobiling - a huge winter industry in Coos County.
The changing winter conditions make it hard for the private snowmobile clubs, which maintain most of the 7,200 miles of trails in New Hampshire and 14,000 miles in Maine. To buy equipment and maintain trails, the clubs depend on money that comes to them from registration fees collected by state agencies. "All these changes to the winter landscape are expected to occur with greater variability, meaning it will become harder to predict conditions from one snowmobiling season to the next. For public land managers trying to plan and budget for the future, or snowmobilers considering investing in a new $15,000 sled, this represents a perfect storm of uncertainty."