As a physician at the regional trauma center, I see patients who are caught in avalanches. Having an accurate forecast and education will improve public safety, particularly among snowmobilers, who are passing backcountry skiers as the highest number of avalanche victims. Greg Juhl - 3/10/16

I rely on the Sierra Avalanche forecast and snow pack observations on a daily basis though out the winter to help me understand and make good decisions about safe back country travel in the Lake Tahoe region. This group provides an invaluable resource to individuals and a multitude of agencies that work and play in the mountains. Troy Corliss - 3/10/16

Nice to get an information feed on avalanche danger in real time as I prepare to go into the backcountry of mostly Nevada County/Bear Valley District An email or text the morning of my trip may have significant life saving implications and I'm hoping SAC gains this ability via this grant opportunity. Bret Frey - 3/10/16

I support avalanche forecasting and Winter OHV avalanche education. Avalanche forecasting and education is an important public safety service. Please support SAC's request for grant. Taylor Samuels - 3/10/16

The Sierra Avalanche Center is an indispensable resource for those of us on snow machines. Whenever I have accessed the backcountry - on a snow machine or on foot I read their avy forecast. My life depends on it! Please help them expand this program! John Swanson - 3/9/16

Brandon and his colleagues at the Sierra avalanche center have quickly become an essential part of every day's planning of all of our snowmobile rides. Every rider in our group goes onto the Sierra avalanche center's site to check current conditions for the area before we get together for a ride. I really appreciate all of the hard work that goes into every daily report, because I've personally witnessed them out in the back county checking conditions and digging test columns all through the area. When you realize the depth and devotion that these people have in doing their forecasts, you really take the time to read them and discuss them with other riders a back county enthusiasts. The amount of energy and dedication that the Sierra avalanche center forecasters have is truly impressive. Brandon and the Sierra avalanche center have also provided several in class and on the hill training days, some of which I've attended with others in my group of riders. Their knowledge and ability to convey it to the classes was exceptional. The Sierra avalanche center has become a mandatory part of planning every ride in the Sierra's, and it is helping a lot of people stay safe while recreating. Kyle Johns - 3/9/16

Hello, The Sierra Avalanche Center provides an essential service that saves lives every day. I and my community of backcountry users depend heavily on the service and infrastructure they freely provide. Importantly, the information they provide helps to push safer decision-making and awareness of risks that otherwise would be widely ignored, resulting in more avalanche deaths as backcountry use grows more popular. This program should be funded with highest priority. Yours, Mike Kiparsky - 3/10/16

The Sierra Avalanche Center serves a major winter recreational area, the Lake Tahoe basin. I use their services both as a backcountry ski patroller and a recreational user. The information they provide on their website is clear, well-organized, comprehensive, and extremely useful, and their forecasts are sensible and spot-on. They participated in an Avalanche 1 training class organized by my ski patrol. Based on these facts, I can testify on their overall organization and effectiveness. Among all forms of winter recreation, snowmobiling presents the greatest risk of avalanche danger, due to the larger distances traveled. The statistics bear out this point. Consequently, snowmobilers are the ones who could benefit the most from education, safety and training programs. In summary, this grant would give an effective organization the means to address a significant need, and in doing so, would give them an opportunity to improve public safety. Melissa Cline - 3/10/16

I have reviewed the Sierra Avalanche Center Grant. The services they provide to the motorized Over the Snow Vehicle user are invauable and cannot be found anywhere else in the State of California. In the application they pointed out correctly on the ratio of deaths due to avalanches nationally, with the services they provide California can be below that national average. The educational opportunities they suggest are not offered any where else, and the willingness to come to the user is going well beyond expectations. Currently they is always a waiting list to get into any of the classes offered by the Center. The daily avalanche advisories are viewed by thousands of people daily, and more than that during winter storm periods. These advisories are heavily relied on by the public, law enforcement agencies and search and rescue organizations. The Sierra Avalanche Center is in a unique public/private partnership with the US Forest Service. This has been very successful and has set the standard of how to do business. Other Centers have sent representatives to Board meetings in attempts to gain ideas from the Sierra Avalanche Center. This Grant must be awarded in full as written. Bob Moore - 3/10/16

I'd like to express my support for the Sierra Avalbache Center as I believe it to be an invaluable and educational resource to the community that is actively enjoying the beauty our country land has to offer. Without SAC, up-to-date back country knowledge would not be as accessible, thus, our public would be at higher risk and asking more of the emergency response system, which is happy to serve at a high cost. Knowledge is power. Let's breed and maintain a higher awareness together so we may enjoy our lives and these lands at our greatest potential. Thank you, Ian Cruess - 3/10/16

The SAC provide a valuable essential service in the region. Their forecasting saves lives and reduces the need for expensive search and rescue. This specific user group needs a good understanding of the risks and how to avoid them. This program will be a good way to further that effort. Dave Barrier - 3/11/16

Please consider awarding this grant to the Sierra Avalanche Center. Backcountry skiing and riding are very popular activities despite the known and obvious risk associated with travel in avalanche terrain. The products and messaging that the SAC provides are integral to safety and enjoyment of the winter mountain environment. Any support that this grant can offer will help immensely. Thank you Daryl Teittinen - 3/11/16

I recently took the Avalanche Awareness Safety class with the El Dorado Nordic Ski Patrol. The 2-day class provided me with greatly needed academic and practical training to know and understand avalanche danger, including using the Sierra Avalanche Center for continued education and daily advisories. I feel fortunate to have received this training from knowledgeable and dedicated professionals. I use Sierra Avalanche as a reliable and educational resource for avalanche advisories before deciding to head out into the back country. As a snow shoer, I have the training to avoid triggering an avalanche to prevent myself and others from danger. Please support the Sierra Avalanche Center with the grant to continue providing the outstanding training, education, and advisories they provide. Alex Ramos - 3/12/16

This program would be highly valuable to the snowmobile community in the Sierra's. Promoting safe back country travel is very important. Dan Dixon - 3/12/16

The Snowmobile Avalanche Advisory, Education, Training and Safety Program proposed by the Sierra Avalanche Center could save the lives of snowmobilers riding in backcountry terrain around the greater Lake Tahoe area. In the Western US, snowmobilers make up a small percentage of winter backcountry users yet account for roughly 50% of the avalanche fatalities. Oddly, popular avalanche safety programs fail to target this user group. The options for snowmobilers are to either 1) learn to ski, and then learn avalanche safety from a ski-based class (not very effective as the mode of travel and resulting terrain selection is entirely different), or 2) to remain uneducated. This proposal could bring much needed educational opportunities to snowmobile riders in California, and could literally save lives. Travis Feist - 3/12/16

I just completed the 2 day Avy training class conducted by the Sierra Avalanche Center. . I've been snowmobiling since 1981 and thought I knew quite a bit about avalanche awareness. This class was a real eye opener, as it really got into the specifics of snow conditions, weather/avy forecasts, location and retrieval of avy victims, and so much more. I would certainly like to see an expansion of this program in the future by providing additional grants so that more people would have the opportunity to participate in such a worthwhile program.. Outstanding class conducted by two excellent instructors - Duncan and Brandon. Don Zuliani - 3/12/16

Great training, need more of them. Robert Smith - 3/12/16

The SAC is a key part of keeping skiers safe in the Tahoe Area and I highly recommend their application and requests. Dirk Schoonmaker - 3/12/16

The Sierra Avalanche Center (SAC) provides an incredibly valuable service that enhances public safety. I, my friends, and the backcountry community at large (skiers, snowshoers, snowmobiles) rely very heavily on their daily reports on snow stability and avalanche conditions, before making our recreation choices. Enhanced funding will allow the SAC to expand their reporting coverage, for example building a better method to gather user data from the field, and become an even more useful tool for recreationalists. The SAC provides a life saving service to our community, so please consider granting them funds to enhance their offering. Kind regards, Conrad Snover - 3/13/16

I am strongly in favor of supporting avalanche education in the Tahoe Basin. I also think OHV avalanche education is really important, especially for those motorized users who have not had the avy education emphasis. Jonathan Laine - 3/13/16

Friday March 11, I attended a free snowmobile avalanche awareness class provided by the Sierra Avalanche Center. The SAC daily avalanche advisory is an integral part of the of all winter backcountry activities. The information delivered during the program was important and concise. Snowmachine users are an underserved group in our region and they comprise almost 50% of avalanche fatalities. Funding additional snowmobile avalanche classes through the CSP OHV grant will only create a safer snowmobile community. Holly Yocum - 3/13/16

As a Tahoe backcountry skier, the Sierra Avalanche Center's daily avalanche forecast is my most valuable tool for understanding snowpack and avalanche conditions. I use it to determine A. whether or not I should even be out in the backcountry on any given day and B. what type of terrain is safe to travel on that day and what to expect from the avalanche conditions. Since I am not necessarily a highly trained snow science expert, aside from some intermediate snow safety knowledge, the avalanche forecast is really all that I can depend on for professional observation and interpretation of the current snow stability in the backcountry. Like backcountry skiers, the snowmobiling demographic is full of participants, so further extending their professional training and support into the snowmobiling community is an incredibly important step to ensuring that snowmobilers have access to the avalanche safety information and resources they need to recreate as safe as possible. Backcountry accidents are almost always avoidable, but it takes proper training and having professional resources available in order for backcountry travelers to make smart and safe decisions. The Sierra Avalanche Center's role in the backcountry decision making framework is irreplaceable, and it's full support by this grant should be seriously considered. Nick Knecht - 3/13/16

I am a regular back country skier. I feel that the land should be available for use by people with all snow sports activities, motorized or not. Areas for nonmotorized use is preferred when I am skiing, however, restrictions should be limited. The Snowmobile Avalanche Advisory, Education, Training and Safety Program will benefit all winter sports enthusiasts and make a safer environment for all those out in the winter wilderness. I feel that this effort has strong benefits and ask that youfund this program as requested. Thanks. Dan Muff - 3/14/16

These guys are an amazing resource and my wife and I check their forecasts regularly -- especially valuable before a trip into the backcountry. Alex - 3/14/16

OHV Parks, My name is Brent Ferrera and I am writing in support of funding the Sierra Avalanche Center as requested. We in the Tahoe/Northern Sierra areas are being greatly impacted by off highway/backcountry users of the mountains and a program such as Sierra Avalanche provides can help to keep all backcountry mountain users safer in their travels and recreation. Additionally, safer backcountry users will require less in the way of backcountry rescue and search services which is a win-win for other agencies as well. Thank you, Brent Ferrera – 3/15/16

I have relied on the Sierra Avalanche Center to keep me safe week after week, year after year. With the growing popularity of backcountry snowsports, the need for comprehensive avalanche safety education has never been greater. Avalanches are the number one risk to the safety of backcountry sports enthusiasts, and increased awareness and education is the only foolproof measure that can reduce accidents and injury. Michael Charley – 3/15/16

I have followed closely Sierra Avalanche Center for 10 years and feel confident expressing my full support for their abilities. I'm hopeful they will be able to continue their excellent work, helping to save more lives, for many years to come. They continue to improve their "coverage" of those lives (skiers to snowmobilers). Their education of our large community snow community here has been invaluable. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Kimberly Woods – 3/16/16

As an active participant in outdoor recreation, I support the SAC grant application, and commend the agency for their ability to effectively offer consistent and accessible resources for backcountry safety and education. The information provided and fostered by the SAC provides critical safety information not only for OHV users, but for mountaineers, skiers, and a myriad of public land users. The clarity, usefulness, and reliability of the information fills a significant gap in information available through other sources (e.g. government, mountain guides, etc.) As stewards of backcountry safety, SAC is well-deserving of the grant, and inclusion in developing safety education programs in partnership with the State. Steven Maxey – 3/16/16

As an avid outdoorsman, this is my single most-used tool. The SAC saves many lives, including mine, with current reporting. I need to know the snow conditions before I am on the snow and it is too late. They also undoubtably prevent numerous rescue operations with this service. Please support the SAC in proportion to the exceptional amount of cost savings, saved lives, and service they provide. John Lilly – 3/17/16

This program that the Sierra Avalanche Center has been providing is the best opportunity for snowmobilers to gain vital knowledge about riding, avalanches, and safety. Until now there has not been the option for snowmobilers to take an avalanche safety course, this is because in order to take a course a person would have to strap on skis or a snowboard or snowshoes, which most snowmobilers do not partake in. Now that this program is possible, every course has been full, and every participant has come away with very important knowledge that will keep them alive. They also learn riding and backcountry skills from professional riders and avalanche workers. I urge you to please continue this as it is the way we can keep snowmobilers in the Sierra safe, and using the forest properly. Thank you. Duncan Lee – 3/17/16

These guys provide a great service and should be considered for any and all grants. Respectfully Ryan Schopen – 3/17/16

To:OHMVR Division I have been an active snowmobile rider in the central Sierra mountains for over 35 years. We used to ride around in meadows and gentle rolling terrain trying not to get stuck in the fresh snow. Riding up into avalanche terrain was tough, usually not possible in deep snow. This has changed dramatically. Modern snow machines are capable of quickly propelling riders through deep snow , up and into steep complex avalanche terrain. We now can easily access potentially dangerous terrain. Unfortunately many riders are unaware of the hazards they are exposing themselves to. Avalanche awareness and training can go a long way towards mitigating these dangers. Snowmobile riders as a group are interested and eager to learn about the mountain snow pack and how to travel safely over it. Demand for relevant information and formal training is increasing each year. This is where the Sierra Avalanche Center plays an important role. They are the leading edge of avalanche safety awareness in the central Sierra mountains. The Know Before You Go program is a great introduction to avalanche safety. For many riders this is their first exposure to information about avalanches. Their daily avalanche advisory is posted on the internet and through other sources providing us with actionable information that can make our ride planing easier and our day much safer. Knowing what the hazards are and where to look for them is critical to staying out of harms way. Information Kiosks at the trail heads and staging areas, some I have seen have rescue beacon testing devices available to check the status of your beacon prior to heading out for the day. These are some of the things that the Sierra Avalanche Center has been doing to increase the awareness , knowledge and safety level of the snowmobile riders in the central Sierra. Their Grant request for funding of the snowmobile avalanche advisory, education,training and safety program is, in my opinion, a worthy request for Green Sticker funds. Providing a service to the over the snow OHV user that can literally save lives, I urge that the Sierra Avalanche Centers modest proposal be approved. Regards, Steve Davis – 3/17/16

The Sierrra Avalanche Center has an established history of providing first-rate instruction and safety information for all back-country travellers, including those who use State Parks. Their services almost certainly save lives every year, all for an exceptionally modest cost. This application would yield one of the best reurns on invested grant dollar of any program. I encourage you to support and approve this application. David Purves – 3/20/16

Avalanche forecasting and awareness are critical to the safety of OSV users and others travelling in the back-country. I urge you to approve this grant to help the Sierra Avalanche Center spread awareness and knowledge. SAC does a great job and with this grant will have a direct impact on the safety of the growing number of OSV users. Regards, Eric Wold – 3/21/16

I am writing in support of the Sierra Avalanche Center's grant application. The SAC provides forecasts for snow conditions and avalanche potential that are invaluable to snowmobilers and other winter backcountry users. Most serious backcountry users consult these forecasts to assess the risks of heading out to the backcounty on any given day and to help them decide on safer backcountry options since the forecasts predict risks for different exposures, elevations, times of day, etc. Just last week I saw the aftermath of a snowmobile-triggered avalanche on Relay Peak. While from what I understand no one was seriously injured, this event suggests that more outreach to snowmobilers would be greatly useful. With the growing popularity of backcounty snow sports, the SAC's forecasts are a critical planning tool that have undoubtedly saved lives by providing information not available elsewhere to backcountry users. I urge you to support the SAC's grant request for a Snowmobile Avalanche Advisory, Education, Training and Safety Program. Kirk Keil – 3/21/16

I rely on SAC as my first line of defense in mitigating mortal risk every time I enter the backcountry by snowmobile or by foot. The organization provides an invaluable service to the community through both their daily advisories as well as their education programs. I find that the majority of snowmobile riders I enter the backcountry with do not have any formal avalanche education, a much higher percentage than with human-powered enthusiasts. This in addition to the inherent higher risk provided by heavy, fast moving machines make snowmobilers an at-risk demographic. The education that SAC provides this community is literally a life-saving service. Ryan Bock – 3/21/16

The SAC is a very valuable resource to the burgeoning northern Sierra outdoor recreation communities, providing professional and in depth daily avalanche condition reports and forecasts, as well as acting as a clearing house for local field observations in the region's vast public lands, while serving as a regional link in a network of similar Avalanche Centers in the inter-mountain west. They are worthy of generous and ongoing support. thank you. Mark Kircher – 3/21/16

I read the Sierra Avalanche Center advisories everyday. They are the only source for this valuable life saving information. The folks that go into the back country to prepare these advisories are risking their lives for the safety of many. Please grant them the funds to continue this amazing public service. Jessica Austin – 3/22/16

As a member of El Dorado County Search and Rescue I rely on Sierra Avalanche Center's daily avalanche report to assist in preparing for training and missions. With this year's increased snow fall we have seen an increase in snowmobile usage in the back country. SAC's Snowmobile Avalanche Advisory, Education, Training and Safety Program will improve the safety of OHV users in our region and hopefully reduce the number of snowmobile related incidents in our region. James Burns - 3/22/16

The Sierra Avalanche Center is an invaluable tool for winter enthusiasts travelling in the back country in and around the lake tahoe area. The services they provide save lives on a regular basis and are critical to the people who have come to rely on the daily reporting of snow conditions. Additionally, as back country travel continues to gain popularity the educational services provide by SAC only increase in need and value. The quality of information and training provided by SAC is second to none and maintaining this high level offering is an extremely worthwhile service to Californians. As a winter enthusiast and CA resident I ask that you please prioritize the approval of the SAC grant request. Gregory Ruthenberg – 3/23/16

I strongly endorse the funding of the Sierra Avalanche Center Snowmobile Avalanche Advisory, Education, Training and Safety Program. This program has the potential to save lives and reduce the burden on search and rescue agencies through avalanche advisory, education and training of the OHV community. Gregory L. Smith – 3/25/16

Please help fund this critical public service. It protects the safety of people who venture out in the winter months. A very worthwhile Agency to fund. Also to promote more legal trailhead access to many of our public lands in the winter months. Debbie Thomas – 3/26/16

I support SAC's application for funding for avalanche forecasting and education. Scott Weavil – 3/25/16

I support providing grants for the Sierra Avalanche Center. This is an important public service, run by government or other well funded agencies in many other countries. It is important for the US to be able to provide the same level of service in avalanche forecasting than for example Switzerland. Providing avalanche forecast does prevent potentially fatal accidents with otherwise high costs in search and rescue as well as medical. It is therefore money well spend. Christian Butzlaff – 3/28/16

I look at SACs advisory every time I plan on going out into the backcountry in the winter. They have constant observations posted on social media and are easy to access. I think this grant would help to improve their forecasting and their website which would make everyone safer. I also have seen them work in the field and they are vital to the winter recreation in the Sierra. I know their advisories have kept myself and my friends safe on numerous backcountry excursions and they help keep others safe as well who aren't aware of the advisories by keeping others out of those areas. Galen Carrico – 3/29/16

I support avalanche safety, education, and reporting. Please fund this grant to save lives in the front and backcountry. Ginger Jui – 3/31/16

I do not currently use the backcountry however I will use it in the future and I think that the Sierra Avalanche Center provides a very valuable resource to Californians like me that are researching and preparing to use the backcountry and others that are currently using the backcountry. It will also provide a very valuable resource in keeping Californians safe and educated which in turn will reduce the amount possible fatal accidents and putting rescuers in dangerous positions in the backcountry. With or without the grant being approved the SAC will continue to service the people of California but, with State Parks help it will be able to reach a wider audience with more paper resources, education of personnel, and indoor/outdoor instruction. Eric West – 4/1/16

I would like to express my support for the Sierra Avalanche program. As an avid skier I use the information provided daily by the center for making informed choices about backcountry skiing throughout the season. The information provided by the Sierra Avalanche center provides valuable safety information to the public, and I believe it should be supported with this grant. Kim Kinney – 4/2/16

To whom it may concern, I fully support the funding of this grant proposal. The risks associated with avalanches are most acute for snowmobile users (as outlined in the proposal) given their rapid access to expansive terrain, as well as their ability to apply high forces to the snow pack, when compared with other backcountry users. Frankly, their ability to cause trouble in the backcountry is highest out of any group of users. This proposal will raise awareness and deliver training where it is needed most, and where it will have the greatest impact using methods that have been successful in the past. With activity-specific avalanche training courses already in existence for other user groups, it's logical and necessary for the snowmobile community to be supported and trained in a similar fashion. As a backcountry skier, I hope this effort is funded and expanded in the years to come for my safety and for the safety of all backcounty sport enthusiasts. Thank you for your consideration, James Meredith – 4/2/16

I feel that snowmobiles are separate from OHV and should not have this funding. Chris Gallop – 4/2/16

This is an amazing organization that informs hundreds if not thousands of people about the state of the backcountry in the grater tahoe area. It is a fine system that for many years has helped me and just about everybody else I know, make educated decisions pertaining to backcountry travel in an unbiased way. It has created a community of users and travelers alike, whom discuss results pertaining to the morning, week or daily observations and forecasts. Backcountry travel is a precious thing, but it is also treacherous. SAC minimizes the treachery, and promotes the facts with first hand experince, and in doing so provides the traveler with a educated set of data that he or she can integrate into their decision making process. SAC rules! Sean Burke – 4/3/16

Sierra Avalanche center has provided me with life saving information for my five years of backcountry skiing. With their valuable information, safe travel routes are easy to determine, as well as when it's safer to stay home. In over 50 days of backcountry skiing, I have never been in an avalanche using the Sierra Avalanche centers forecast. Without this organizations help, the number of backcountry disasters would surely increase. Please provide them funding to assure more tears to come of safe backcountry travel. Warmly, Richard Kinnett – 4/3/16