- Brockway, Bruce E.
University of Maine Graduate School
This thesis involved a study of the socio-economic characteristics of snowmobile owners in central and southern Maine and the opinions of Maine residents in general towards selected snowmobile use issues. Data was collected from two questionnaires which were mailed in the spring of 1972.
A sample of 1201 snowmobile owners representing 5.5 percent of the known population in the study area was mailed a comprehensive questionnaire dealing with socio-economic characteristics, user habits, and selected use requirements. Using one follow up mailing 53 percent of the owners responded. No nonresponse bias was found when place of residence, sex, and planning region of residence were compared for all owners in the sample. The socio-economic characteristics of Maine snowmobile owners resembled those of snowmobile owners in other areas of the northeast. Snowmobile owners were found to have more education, a higher family income, and were less likely to reside in an urban area than the general population of the state of Maine. The extent of the use and the distance traveled was found to be greater for organized snowmobile club members than for non-club members. There also appeared to be some evidence that snowmobile activity was considered by most owners to be a family and group sport. A random sample of 880 Maine residents received a short questionnaire which contained selected questions dealing with environmental, regulation, and control issues. Approximately 544 residents or 62% of the population replied. fewer residents than expected in the 18-20 year old group responded to the survey, which may have indicated some degree of apathy towards the snowmobile use questions. As expected snowmobile participants and non participants differed widely in their opinions, although the differences of opinion were less distinct for some snowmobile regulation questions. Snowmobile club members were more prone to oppose regulation than were less organized non members.