b'VAST NewsMEET THE SOUTHERN VERMONT SNOWMOBILE TASK FORCEBy Stacey Bleile Volunteers with the Woodford SnoBusters are fortunate to interact with local law enforcement officers while they participate in our Special People Ride, attend the snowmobile safety courses, and perform safety checks on the trails and at snowmobile events. I know riders are grateful for safety enforcement on the trails, so I thought it was in order to let you know who is performing this great service on our snowmobile trails.The Southern Vermont Snowmobile Task Force is comprised of officers from the police departments inIce Rescue Training, where they areIf you have ridden the VAST trails in Bennington, Dover, Wilmington andrequired to participate in on/through- Bennington, Rutland and Windham Winhall, The Vermont State Police,the-ice practical sessions. Brrr! counties, you may have come across and Vermont Fish and Wildlife. Thereofficers of SVSTF. The objective were 20 active officers this season.The task force was formed in 2000of the Task Force is to ensure that These officers must complete anwhen state funding in the amountsnowmobiles are operated in a safe additional 55 hours of training toof $35,000 was budgeted for theand legal manner. This is accomplished qualify for the task force. According toenforcement of snowmobile safety. Theby patrols, regulation enforcement, Bennington Police Department Chiefbudget is still only $35,000 and is hard- safety checkpoints and accident Paul Doucette, officers also completewon to keep funded each year. response. In a stop by SVSTF officers, they will confirm your credentials including registration, insurance and Trail Maintenance Assessment (TMA) pass, as well as check to see if your snowmobile is properly equipped. Woodford and other Southern Vermont trails are easily accessible to nearby states and, therefore, invite a high volume of snowmobile traffic. The amount of accidents and incidence of drinking while snowmobiling has decreased considerably since the Task Force was formed. The Woodford SnoBusters want to share their appreciation for the terrific job the Southern Vermont Snowmobile Task Force does!TWO-DAY TRAILSIDE LODGING PRIZE DRAWING WINNERSNow that all VASTs Early Bird TMAsDavid Francher, WoodfordRobert Walsh, Andover Snow Riders: have been entered into our database,SnoBusters: Derby Four Seasons, 4412Lake Seymour Lodge, 28 Valley Rd, we were able to draw the winnersUS-5, Newport, VT; derbyfourseasons. Morgan, VT; lakeseymourlodge.com; of some two-night trailside lodgingcom; 800-339-1775. 802-895-2563.prizes.Carolyn Sirois, Bayley Hazen RoadDavid Larson, Drift Dusters: Maple The following people will be able toSnowmobile Club: Liberty HillLeaf Inn, 5890 VT Rte 12, Barnard, VT; redeem their prizes next snowmobileFarm, 511 Liberty Hill, Rochester, VT;mapleleafinn.com; 802-234-5342. season and ride right onto the trailslibertyhillfarm.com; 802-767-3926.from their hotel/inn! 8 | Snowmobile VERMONT'