History

The Vermont Mushers Association was established to:

  1. Unite all those engaging in dog-powered sports in the State of Vermont for the purpose of maintaining and promoting statewide trail privileges,
  2. Disseminate information,
  3. Promote the safe and responsible use of trails,
  4. Speak for and represent the Vermont Mushers Association to other organizations. As an organization we strive to represent the interests of mushers statewide and we appreciate any feedback you can give us on how we are doing and what else we should be doing. Your annual membership helps us in at least two ways. First each membership increases our membership numbers. As a state-wide organization, the more members we have, the louder is our voice. Second, we use the funds generated to increase more awareness of our organization. Two examples of this are our web site and the safety pamphlet we have produced. 


Here are some of the accomplishments of the VTMA Board of Directors since our beginning in 2004:

  • Writing and producing a pamphlet on Trail Safety & Etiquette Guidelines for Mushers.
  • Alerting the membership about statewide meetings of other organizations related to recreation and multi-use trail issues.
  • Providing written and oral testimony on behalf of Vermont mushers to the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), the Green Mountain National Forest Service Plan for recreation and trail usage in the National Forest for the next 10 to 15 years, and State plans for ATV regulations. 
  • Meeting with (then) Congressman Bernie Sanders regarding the general economic benefits of mushers to the state and specifically issues regarding multi-use on the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.
  • Increasing the visibility of mushing in the state by joining the Vt. Trails and Greenways Council, participating in VASTs Make-A-Wish fundraiser in Lyndonville in 2006, participating in Dogs Across America, and attending other public relations events.
  • Following numerous bills in the legislature with specific potential impacts on Vermont mushers, alerting VTMA membership, and providing written and oral testimony to legislators and committees on the bills.
  • Gaining membership on the management committee of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. 
  • Opening a dialog with VAST that has accomplished two significant changes in their policies towards mushers on trails: the ability of landowners to grant mushing permission on VASTs landowner permission forms; and a warning notice on VAST trails map stating “Caution. Sled dogs may be on trails. Please use caution when approaching or passing.” 
  • Producing a map of trails in the Moose­a­la­moo area and their suitability for mushing. 
  • Receiving a grant from the State to produce a brochure to educate other trail users how mushing works and the safety aspects of sharing trails.

The largest contribution you can make to help our state-wide advocacy is to join VTMA and to get other mushers to join.