Upper Peninsula conservation officers ready for busy snowmobiling weekend

Contact: Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon (Newberry), 906-293-5131 or Sgt. Marc Pomroy (Baraga), 906-353-6651
Agency: Natural Resources

Jan. 31, 2020

radarMichigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers are preparing for another full weekend of snowmobiling in the Upper Peninsula and remind everyone to “Ride Right.”

The International 500 (I-500) Snowmobile Race in Sault Ste. Marie – an annual event that brings thousands of snowmobile enthusiasts to the east side of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – takes place Saturday, Feb. 1.

“Snow base across the upper half of the U.P. is still good,” said Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon, the DNR’s acting district law supervisor for the eastern Upper Peninsula. “We expect to see a lot of traffic in the Sault Ste. Marie area and want to encourage everyone to have a great time and enjoy the race weekend responsibly.”

Conservation officers patrol on and off snowmobile trails to ensure people are riding sober, riding on the right side of the trail, operating at a safe speed and staying under the 88-decibel sound limit.

“Landowners and residents near the trail system continue to experience issues with loud snowmobiles,” said Sgt. Marc Pomroy, area law supervisor for Gogebic, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. “Conservation officers will continue to conduct group patrols to test for modified exhaust systems that exceed Michigan’s sound limit.”

Connecting with snowmobilers is an important part of conservation officers’ daily winter duties. On Saturday, Jan. 18, during the recent Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend – traditionally one of the busiest snowmobiling weekends of the year – conservation officers spoke with:

  • More than 780 snowmobilers in Alger, Chippewa, Luce and Schoolcraft counties, assisted by Michigan State Police and sheriff’s deputies from Alger, Luce and Schoolcraft counties.
  • Over 500 snowmobilers in Gogebic County, assisted by troopers from the Michigan State police post in Wakefield.

For the latest information on snowmobiling – including trail closures, trail maps and more – visit Michigan.gov/Snowmobiling.

An accompanying photo is available below for download. Caption information follows.

Radar: A conservation officer uses a radar device to measure the speed of snowmobilers on a trail.