Aubertine Named New York State Snowmobile Association’s 2010 Legislator of the Year

State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine has been named 2010 Legislator of the Year by the New York State Snowmobile Association. The Senator will receive the award April 17 at the annual NYSSA Forum and Annual Meeting in Liverpool.

“Senator Aubertine has demonstrated time and again that he understands the importance of snowmobiling to the upstate New York economy,” said David Perkins, NYSSA Executive Director. Perkins added that Sen. Aubertine demonstrated important leadership during the ongoing New York State budget process. “The Senator’s leadership has been invaluable. His role in protecting the snowmobile trail fund has ensured that the trail fees collected as part of snowmobile registration will be used to help keep the trails safe.”

The Senator led the charge to restore a $1 million sweep in the 2008-09 budget and has been at the forefront of efforts to prevent similar sweep in current proposals and oppose a change in language that would allocate dedicated snowmobile trail maintenance funds to projects currently not eligible for this funding. The Senator worked to ensure that the budget resolution passed on March 22 rejects these actions, which were included in the Governor’s proposed budget.

“Snowmobiling is part of our way of life in upstate New York way of life and the sport depends on registration fees to fund safe trails and bring in much-needed tourism revenue,” Sen. Aubertine said. “It’s important the snowmobile registration fund is used for its intended purpose and not as a means to close budget gaps. I am happy to support the thousands of volunteers that give of themselves year after year to make it possible to ride throughout this state, and I am honored to have been chosen for this award.”

As an avid sportsman and farmer, Sen. Aubertine has been a member of the Thousand Islands Snowmobile Club and part of his land in Cape Vincent is used as part of the club’s trail system each winter. He has been a vocal advocate for snowmobilers and all sportsmen, emphasizing not only the quality of life issues for residents, but also the importance of these industries to the local economy.

“Senator Aubertine gets it,” said Mike Fischer, NYSSA President, adding “he understands the needs of upstate New Yorkers and has consistently demonstrated his commitment to responsible representation and steadfast leadership.” Fischer expressed his gratitude for the Senator’s persistence in protecting the snowmobile trail fund on behalf of NYSSA.

NYSSA is the voice of the more than 150,000 snowmobilers in New York State and the 239 local snowmobile clubs that contribute to a $1 billion dollar economic impact to the state. NYSSA seeks to preserve and improve snowmobiling in New York State by working toward improving trails, facilities and services for participants, and defending snowmobilers against discriminatory legislation. NYSSA works to protect landowners, review and watchdog the New York State Trail Fund and is constantly seeking additional Trail funding programs.

NYSSA continually works to improve communications in every aspect of snowmobiling, as it coordinates and provides leadership for New York State Snowmobile Clubs and Organizations in developing and implementing policies, strategies and action plans which foster the growth of safe snowmobiling.