JoMary Riders Monthly Report – September 2007

It’s noon on the third Sunday in August, the wind is blowing 30 mph and it’s 58 degrees, rather cold for the “dog days”. But it’s a sure sign of things to come!  It would be nice if we had sure signs of other things to come. Our whole trail situation is up in the air right now…it looks as if the state will once again be cutting wood in the Nahmakanta Unit so the Jo Mary road will be plowed again this winter.

And we’re waiting for word from Prentiss & Carlisle as to whether they’re going to A) repair the Cooper Mountain road, currently barely passable as it was damaged by heavy runoff last fall and again this spring, or B) will they “put it to bed”. If they put the road to bed they will have to dig a bunch of deep drainage ditches that will more or less preclude our ability to groom the steep section of that trail. We can still get to ITS 86 by using last year’s club trail, from the V plow past Johnston, Crawford, the Yokes and Big Pleasant ponds. No doubt a great trail but we’ll actually lose trail mileage and our grant will go down as a result.

Remember, if we lose the Cooper Mtn. trail, we’ll also lose the Cooper Brook trail (we don’t groom to dead ends) and that will have a huge negative impact on the amount of groomed terrain in our area. I’m already talking with the foresters at Katahdin Timberlands and the state foresters about actually developing a new trail over Potaywadjo Ridge and creating a connector that would route us over Tumbledown Dick brook and onto a series of logging roads that would ultimately hit 86 about 3/4 of a mile east of the Jo Mary road. Too much work to complete for this coming season but at least it’s a possibility for next season.
To our north and east a big section of trail may be closed by the landowner due to derogatory comments made by a Millinocket town councilor about the way the landowner harvested the land. The councilor has publicly stated that he will not apologize to the landowner and a section of ITS 86 and 83 is in jeopardy of closure. Why this councilor can’t keep his mouth shut is beyond me. And he’s supposedly working for the good of the people of the town of Millinocket. Remind me not to call him if we ever need any “help”.
On the positive side, we ended up with 82 members last year, we received Capital Equipment Grant funds that covered 42 % of the cost of the new equipment that we purchased last winter and we actually have some money in the bank to start the season with!! Replacing three belts on the BR 250 and all six on the BR 400 will be a top priority and a big expense this fall. Not to mention the man hours involved in replacing these belts. We’re going to try to get a crew together to perform the work BEFORE it gets cold, like a September weekend. If interested give me a call. We’re also hoping to add an addition to the existing “groomer garage” to provide enough space to store the 2nd groomer and to actually have enough room to work on the groomers.

Watch your mail for club membership renewals…we hope to get everything out early this year. And for those of you who are reading this letter and are interested in joining the club, you can email us at the address below or call me at 207-723-5045. Snail mail is Jo Mary Riders, P O Box 446, Millinocket, Me 04462.

Thanks for your continuing support!

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