Our View: Get used to uneasy instances for winter recreation


“Guys,” a Gorham snowmobile club posted somewhat sternly on Facebook last week, “trails are not open.”

A runner jogs past the Public Market House in Monument Square in Portland on Friday morning. Last month, Maine’s largest city fell 5.1 inches of snow — in general, it’s 14.8 inches. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Despite the ongoing lack of snow, some people had traveled on mud instead. Right now across the state, right in the middle Maine’s fastest warming seasonMud abounds and it rains even more.

Snow statistics in and around Portland were particularly strong: In October, Portland had no snow versus an average of 1.1 inches; November fell 0.7 inches compared to the average 2 inches, and last month 5.1 inches of snow fell in Portland — in general, the city has 14.8 inches.

By mid-December, Bangor, which would have normally had about 9 inches of snow, only had 1 inch. Between early October and late December, Caribou had 11.3 inches of snow; usually there are about 17 in the same period.

There is no secret here. Maine has three winter weeks lost in the past 100 years. The impact of these conditions on a variety of popular activities central to our state’s identity—skiing, ice fishing, skating, dog sledding and more—is clear.

Our report on the pronounced lack of snow Last Sunday, there were voices from a multitude of snowmobilers, cross-country ski trail owners and operators, and snowshoe trails, some optimistic, some pessimistic. “Keep thinking positive!” said one. “Mother Nature hasn’t been kind to us here in Maine,” said another.

Above all, those who lamented the snow shortages warned, from the looming seasonal depression with no outdoor activities to avert it, to the fact that not only those businesses directly dependent on snow, but other local businesses that depend on the snow are also struggling Winter tourism dependent would hit affected. A Westbrook farm opening trails in the winter said it would resort to “agricultural interests” to help pay the bills.

As more plans or models are invaded by volatile weather that is increasingly either too moderate or too extreme, a fallback plan is now a must for anyone financially dependent on snow cover or even a traditional Maine winter.

All signs and available data indicate that positive thinking is not enough.

East Coast ski resorts are under pressure; Snow is limited and in some cases The temperatures were too warm for (terrifying energy and water intensive) Snow cannons work effectively, leading to closures during the best weeks.

Across Europe, unusually mild conditions have resulted in widespread closure of ski slopes and slopes in recent weeks. From Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina to France and Germany, Grass is clearly visible on typically covered hills and mountains.

In “popular ski meccas,” people have been content with thin strips of barely surviving artificial snow. By the end of the century a professor of climate science said the Associated Press, “Skiing in the Alps as we know it” is over. “I think it would be good for us to get away from the term ‘winter sports’,” says Austrian ski jumping coach Alexander Stöckl, who has been coaching the Norwegian national team for more than 10 years. said last November. In his ski division, mats are already widely used.

Where is this growing resignation going in Maine?

For the winter leisure economy, which is just one sector facing the negative impacts of climate change, it comes down to a word many of us are tired of hearing: diversification.

No matter how effective our collective efforts to curb global warming are now – and we have no choice but to make them as effective as possible – what was once guaranteed is now a gamble.

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Our take: The ice storm of ’98 showed Mainers what life should be like

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