Snowmobilers asked to avoid riding in areas with low snow |

Snowmobilers asked to avoid riding in areas with low snow

Rutted soil and vegetation damage from operating a snowmobile on inadequate snow coverage is visible near the Mount Rose Highway.
U.S. Forest Service |

With snowpack in the Lake Tahoe Basin at low levels, the U.S. Forest Service is asking snowmobilers to shift their activities to locations with adequate snow coverage within permitted snowmobile areas.

Snowmobile operators should avoid bare dirt and patchy snow and should not ride across streams or over small trees or brush, according to a press release from the Forest Service. Operating snowmobiles on too little snow creates ruts in the soil and crushes vegetation.

“We are asking snowmobilers for voluntary cooperation in moving their activities to suitable locations,” said acting Forest Supervisor Jeff Marsolais, in the release. “Riding snowmobiles on too little snow not only causes resource damage, but can damage the machine as well.”

Tahoe Sierra Snowmobiling Club President Greg McKay urged snowmobilers to comply with the Forest Service’s request in the release.

“Our club endorses responsible snowmobiling by trying to minimize resource damage in low snow depth conditions,” McKay said. “Please do your best to minimize your effect on vegetation, soil and waterways during these conditions.”

Causing natural resource damage can result in a citation punishable by a fine of $5,000 or more and/or six months in jail.

Information on areas where snowmobiles are allowed is available in the online snowmobile guide at, at the Forest Supervisor’s Office at 35 College Drive in South Lake Tahoe or by calling 530-543-2694.

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