New Permits Required For Snowmobile, OHV Use In Montana

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Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) announced in mid-September that changes to the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) registration and snowmobile trail use laws would go into effect on Oct. 1, 2015.

Last spring, the 2015 Montana Legislature passed HB 167 and HB 300. The new legislation updates snowmobile and OHV permits in order to increase funding for trail maintenance and grooming programs across Montana.

HB 167 raises the current Off-Highway Vehicle Nonresident Temporary Use Permit from $5 to $27 per year. Increased revenues will help support OHV trail maintenance, noxious weed abatement, OHV education and enforcement efforts.

“Revenues from the permits will bolster our OHV program funding,” said Erin Proctor, Montana State Parks OHV Program Manger. “This will allow us to better address motorized recreation needs in the state that have been continually put on hold due to lack of resources.”

Similarly, HB 300 enacts a new Snowmobile Trail Pass for Montana residents. All Montana residents operating mechanized equipment on groomed snowmobile trails will need to purchase a Snowmobile Trail Pass. Mechanized equipment includes snowmobiles, fat-tire pedal bikes and converted motorized snow bikes. The new trail pass does not apply to rental snowmobiles or nonresidents.

The Snowmobile Trail Pass is $18 and is valid for three seasons (July 1 through June 30). Revenue generated by the trail pass will go to the Montana State Parks Snowmobile Program and will be used for trail grooming as well as purchase and maintenance of grooming equipment.

“With the cost of trail grooming and equipment maintenance rising every year, it’s become harder to effectively sustain the snowmobile program,” said Montana State Parks Snowmobile Program Manager, Seth McArthur. “The funds from the new trail pass will help to ensure that Montana’s 4,000 miles of trails will continue to be groomed.”

Both laws went into effect on Oct. 1, 2015. The permits may be purchased from local vendors or online at https://app.mt.gov/als/index/index.html
Vendor lists are available under the individual OHV and Snowmobile Program pages at stateparks.mt.gov.

For more information on the OHV Nonresident Temporary Use Permit contact Erin Proctor at (406) 444-7642 or eproctor@mt.gov. Or visit: http://stateparks.mt.gov/recreation/ohvProgram.html

For more information on the Groomed Snowmobile Trail Pass contact Seth McArthur at (406) 444-3753 or smcarthur@mt.gov. Or visit: http://stateparks.mt.gov/recreation/snowmobileProgram.html

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