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Warden Service urges snowmobilers to ride responsibly

The Maine Warden Service and the Maine Snowmobile Association are reminding snowmobilers to operate their snowmobiles safely and responsibly this winter. The most common contributing factors associated with snowmobile incidents in Maine are operating too fast for conditions, driving beyond the effectiveness of headlights, driving beyond operator abilities, and operating on unfamiliar bodies of water. Also, they encourage operators to be especially aware of thin ice, trip preparation, and landowner relations.

Thin Ice: Be mindful of early season and mild weather hazards, specifically thin ice and open water, especially when operating on unfamiliar rivers, ponds, or lakes. Be sure to respect warning signs, especially near hydropower facilities.

Trip Preparation: Search and rescue operations, which can involve significant resources and be hazardous to conduct, can often be avoided by using good sense. When possible, carry a mobile phone and dial 911 in an emergency. Also, leave a trip plan, and if you deviate from it significantly, notify a family member.

Landowner Relations: Most of Maine’s 14,000 miles of groomed trails are available through the generosity and goodwill of private landowners. To help ensure continuing access to private lands, stay on designated trails and refrain from using modified exhaust systems.

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