Snowmobile Alliance of Western StatesCutting through deceptions & misperceptions to protect YOUR RIGHT to ride!

Frequently Asked Questions

Would you like to continue to ride in your favorite spot?
SAWS thinks you would.

Would you like to be able to have your children enjoy these same special places by snowmobile?
SAWS thinks you would.

Why did we start SAWS?
The future of snowmobiling is under constant attack by the extreme preservationists who would like nothing more than to see our sport relinquished to the history books of yesterday. Through their misinformation and outright lies, they will stop at nothing to achieve their self-serving goal.

Does SAWS charge a membership fee?
No! Our goal is numbers, so that we can represent enough snowmobilers to have an impact on future land use decisions. We leverage email and our web site to support our mission. That is all we do! SAWS does not spend any of our members donated funds mailing our information to our members by US mail, which would be quite expensive to do, considering that we currently have over 2200 members. We will gladly accept donations to offset our costs. SAWS is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your donation may be tax deductible - contact your tax advisor.

Where does my donation to SAWS go?
SAWS receives less than $5,000 a year in donations, based on a 3-year-average. We use donated funds to cover our costs; consisting of two teleconferences per year, web site fees, educational and promotional items, and occasionally we will request that a SAWS Rep attend a land use related function out of their local area or state of residence (a cost typically covered by the attending SAWS representative).

SAWS donates the majority of our funds to legal actions helping to protect snowmobile access, as SAWS has no legal team on retainer. We send donations to existing legal funds of snowmobile pro-access organizations. Donations from SAWS FY 2006 – 2012 went to the following activities:

  • 2006
    • $1500 total to ISSA and BRC to help fight the caribou related snowmobile closure in north Idaho.
  • 2007
    • $500 total to Treasure State Alliance and the Idaho Recreation Council for media events regarding snowmobile access.
  • 2009
    • $400 to Citizens for Balanced Use for wilderness community education campaign.
  • 2010
    • $7000 total to several different organizations that support snowmobile access. $3500 to assist Citizens for Balanced Use (CBU) with legal fees on two fronts; $1500 went to their effort opposing snowmobile restrictions in the Hyalite Porcupine Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area in Gallatin National Forest and $2000 went towards litigation opposing the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest Plan Revision Record of Decision. SAWS donated $1500 to the Washington State Snowmobile Association Legal Action Fund to help with costs associated with their Canadian Lynx lawsuit. SAWS also donated $1500 to the Idaho Recreation Council to help with costs relating to the Boulder White Clouds Media Campaign.
  • 2012

Without donations from our members, SAWS would be unable to send donations to important snowmobile access issues. All excess donated funds to SAWS from our members in any given year are temporarily banked in reserve, to be applied towards the next legal issue or cost that SAWS determines as important to help protect snowmobile access.

Do any SAWS officers get paid?
SAWS is an all-volunteer organization. There are no paid positions. All of us that volunteer for SAWS also work full time paid jobs to support our families. SAWS volunteers not only spend numerous hours attempting to keep our riding areas open by adhering to our vision statement, but we also enjoy spending time with our families and are extremely passionate about snowmobiling, just as our members are. Therefore, SAWS officers can not be at all snowmobile related events across the country. SAWS relies on our members to attend events near them and represent SAWS in a positive manner. After all, SAWS can only be a major influence and make a difference in keeping our riding areas open through the positive actions of our members.

Do you know that we already have over 109.5 million acres of Wilderness in the United States as of today? ...and there are plans to increase this substantially?
SAWS is concerned and does not support ANY new wilderness proposal.

Why should you join SAWS?
You have a choice. We can bury our collective heads in the snow, and pretend this problem is not occurring, or we can band together and fight for our right to snowmobile.

Don't wait for someone else to take care of this for you! GET INVOLVED to help stop this madness and to push back on the increase of wilderness areas that are off limits to snowmobiling.

Help us fight for continued access to our public lands, not only for us, but also for those that will follow.

What can I do to help?
There are several ways you can help support our efforts:

  • Make a donation
    • SAWS is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization - there are no paid positions.
    • We work very hard to keep our costs minimal yet there are always operational expenses involved.
    • Financial generosity is always appreciated - DONATE HERE!
  • Become a SAWS member
    • We do not charge a fee to join - membership is FREE!
    • There are no regular meetings to attend that would incur unnecessary expenses.
    • Stay informed, be aware of changes taking place in YOUR favorite riding areas - SIGN UP HERE!
  • Become a SAWS National Forest Watchdog
    • We currently need more volunteer help to keep an eye on forests in your area.
    • As a SAWS National Forest Watchdog, your job will be to help keep us informed on any negative snowmobile access issues that may come forward and need our attention.
    • By having you, your club, or your organization be on the watch for changes in your favorite places to ride, we hope to increase our ability to respond more effectively - LEARN MORE HERE!

For more information about SAWS, please read our Mission, Vision and Principles statements...