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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2003

SNOWMOBILE TRAIL GRANTS AWARDED

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Snowmobile trail grants totaling $149,900 are being awarded to three local governments and six private organizations to improve and maintain public snowmobile trails in Illinois, Department of Natural Resources Director Joel Brunsvold announced today.

"These grants, funded by snowmobilers themselves, will provide better trail access for riders and improve safety on these trails," Director Brunsvold said. "Among other projects, the money will allow equipment to be purchased to restore and better maintain the trails and additional signs to be installed to better mark the trails."

There are more than 48,500 registered snowmobiles in Illinois. Snowmobile trail grants are funded with revenues generated by fees paid by snowmobile owners to register their sleds.

Snowmobile trails in northern and central Illinois will benefit from the projects, including trails located in Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Kane, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Shelby, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties.

The grant program is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Applications may be obtained for the next round of grants by contacting the IDNR Division of Grant Administration, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL, 62702-1271, or by calling 217/782-7481, TDD 217/782-9175, SBC Relay 800/526-0844. Applications are accepted March 1 - May 1.

A list of this year's grants with project information follows.

FY 2004 SNOWMOBILE TRAIL GRANTS

GRANTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

Dixon Park District (Lee and Ogle counties), $10,900 to acquire a 0.86 acre parcel of land in Woosung for parking and access to the Joe Stengel Trail, a multi-use trail that allows snowmobiling during the winter. (Local contact: Debra Carey, 815/284-3306).

McHenry County Sheriff's Department, $9,500 to purchase a snowmobile and a trailer in order to better patrol the more than 200 miles of public snowmobile trails in the county. (Local contact: Richard Weinhandl, 815/334-4707).

City of Shelbyville (Shelby County), $18,800 to assist with the re-establishment and improvements to an existing four-mile, multi-use trail. The trail was originally created as a year-round trail, including snowmobiling, during the 1970s but has since become overgrown and mostly unusable. The finished trail will be 10 ft. wide with a limestone surface with 2 ft. shoulders. (Local contact: Jerry Yockey, 217/774-4001).


GRANTS TO SNOWMOBILE CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS

Illinois Association of Snowmobile Clubs (all northern Illinois counties), $37,500 to assist with funding the annual liability insurance that is required on all public snowmobile trails maintained by private snowmobile clubs in Illinois. (Local contact: Mark Hazzard, 815/795-2021).

Illinois Association of Snowmobile Clubs (all northern Illinois counties), $30,000 for the operation, maintenance, storage and insurance costs associated with operating 22 snowmobile trail groomers that are used to pull groomer drags that maintain approximately 1,000 miles of public snowmobile trails throughout northern Illinois. (Local contact: Mark Hazzard, 815/795-2021).

McHenry County Snowmobile Association (McHenry County), $11,800 to purchase a snowmobile trail drag to assist in grooming approximately 250 miles of public snowmobile trails. (Local contact: Richard Arseneau, 815/675-1234).

Northeastern Illinois Association of Snowmobile Clubs (Lake County), $3,300 to purchase snowmobile trail signs, stakes, and posts in order to better mark public snowmobile trails and to help prevent snowmobilers from trespassing across adjacent residential property. (Local contact: Allan VanLanduyt, 847/244-0959).

Northwest Illinois Snowmobile Alliance (Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll and Whiteside counties), $8,700 to purchase snowmobile trail signs, posts, lumber, and associated hardware to improve existing trails and to develop new trails. The lumber and hardware is necessary for trail bridges and fence hoppers. The N.I.S.A. maintains more than 800 miles of public snowmobile trails in the four-county area. (Local contact: Doug Brandt, 815/232-1842).

Region 5 of the Illinois Association of Snowmobile Clubs (Kane, DeKalb, Boone and McHenry counties), $6,000 to purchase snowmobile trail signs to better mark existing public snowmobile trails that have been impacted by theft and vandalism and to establish new trails as older trails are lost due to population growth. Region 5 is responsible for approximately 250 miles of snowmobile trails. (Local contact: Steve Keast, 815/544-0143).

Tri-County Snowmobile Alliance (Lee, Ogle and Winnebago counties), $13,400 to purchase snowmobile trail signs and posts to improve their 700 mile public snowmobile trail system and to purchase lumber and miscellaneous hardware for snowmobile trail bridge repairs. (Local contact: Steve Hefel, 815/284-5423).

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