RUMFORD – Located near the ITS 82 snowmobile trail, Black Mountain Ski Area was recognized last week for its cooperation with snowmobilers to provide open access to trails.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Maine Snowmobile Association named the Rumford ski hill as Maine’s Corporate Landowner of the Year at Tuesday night’s Landowner Relations Awards Banquet in Augusta.

“We are very honored to have been nominated by the Rumford Polar Bears Snowmobile Club, and we are very pleased that Black Mountain of Maine has been given this recognition,” Roger Arsenault, president of Black Mountain’s operating board, said on Friday.

“It means a lot to us, since this kind of partnership is what we strive to promote,” he added.

Snowmobilers welcome

According to the nomination letter, Ron Russell, president of the Rumford snowmobile club, stated that Black Mountain actively promotes snowmobile visitors and has become a popular destination for many riders.

“We feel that the ski area attracts new snowmobilers to our region and they do a tremendous job promoting family recreation,” Russell said.

“The Rumford Polar Bears Snowmobile Club is very fortunate to have a successful collaboration with another competing recreational organization. With the support from Black Mountain, the Western Maine region is rapidly becoming a diverse area for winter sports.”

Range of amenities

Black Mountain’s grooming staff has regularly maintained the access trail from the ski area to the snowmobile trail. In past years, the staff also groomed several miles of the trail.

“Black Mountain of Maine is a great partner. Food and beverages are available at their lodge, as well as entertainment and other scheduled activities,” he said.

Last winter’s Rock Maple Racing Snowcross and a hill climb – both of which will return this winter – are a few of the activities.

“We really enjoy having the snowmobilers here,” Black Mountain Lodge manager Lisa Arsenault said Friday. “It really adds something to the community nature of the mountain to have local and visiting snowmobilers ride in for lunch, to warm up, or for one of our social events.”

“We have always tried to make snowmobilers feel welcome and look for ways to promote any outdoor winter recreational activity,” Brad Adley, Black Mountain operating board member and Rumford selectman, said on Friday.

“Many of us who are regulars at the mountain are both skiers and snowmobilers and understand the needs of both groups. … Where the snowcross and hill climb events are concerned, we worked with the snowmobile clubs to bring these to the mountain to attract people to the area and help the economy,” Adley said.

Landowner program

Besides Black Mountain, the Carrabassett Valley Sanitary District was named Municipal Landowner of the Year for its generosity toward outdoor recreationists. It was nominated by the Carrabassett Valley Outdoor Association.

Maine’s Landowner Relations Program works to maintain and build on Maine’s heritage of public access to private land for recreation and sport use.

It also strives to ensure that relationships between private landowners and the public consist of respect and good judgment

“More than 90 percent of Maine’s land is privately owned, and the generosity of landowners to allow access to hunters, anglers, snowmobilers and ATV riders, as well as other enthusiasts, is something to be applauded,” IF&W Commissioner Roland Martin stated Wednesday in a news release.

“We remind outdoor recreationalists to always ask first before going onto someone’s land. It’s the right thing to do,” Martin added.

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