Mushing USA To Hold Organizing Congress

Mushing USA, the national governing body of sled dog sports in the US, will hold its organizing congress in Marquette, Michigan, the weekend of July 14-15, 2007. This exciting event will take place at Marquette Mountain Lodge, and sessions will convene on Saturday morning at 10:00 AM.Mushing USA, formerly known as the United States Sled Dog Sports Federation, traces its roots to 1988. It was reformed in 2001 under its new name and incorporated in the state of Alaska in 2003 as Mushing USA. Non-profit (501 C3) status has been filed for and is pending. The mission of Mushing USA is to promote, support, coordinate, and develop mushing activities in the United States, to promote and encourage the welfare of the sled dog athlete and to foster appreciation for the traditions and history of the sport. As the national governing body of sled dog sports in the United States, Mushing USA is further committed to the ideals and guidelines of the US Olympic Committee. It is the USA representative to the International Federation of Sleddog Sports (IFSS) and is the selection body for sending US teams to compete in IFSS World Championships.The main agenda items will be development and approval of bylaws, the election of officers and board members, appointment of committees and committee chairs, and development of the first year’s goals. This is a pretty hefty menu, but Mike Hutchens, interim MUSA Vice President, is confident that all can be accomplished: We want input from everyone and hope that even if some people cannot attend, they can participate by giving their feedback before the congress convenes. This is a really exciting time for the US to have a national governing body developed from the grass roots levels. I also think it is important that mushers understand that MUSA is not limited in scope to Olympic issues. We are open to addressing issues and concerns of the US mushing public as a whole. MUSA can be an important voice in matters concerning animal rights groups, rules development, officials’ training and certification.The weekend will include a Saturday evening banquet with keynote speaker Lloyd Gilbertson, whose trophies and distance race conquests are legendary. He is the 2006 winner of the prestigious Yellowknife Sled Dog Derby. More recently, Wendy Davis, driving a team from Lloyd’s kennel, swept the competition at the 2007 Wyoming Stage Stop Race.To enable prior input into the 2007 organizing congress, MUSA anticipates having an established agenda. Working papers, which will include all proposals and other information, will be sent out via email or be available on the MUSA website before the congress for anyone interested in participating either in person or via another means. Anyone can give feedback on these proposals or submit proposals themselves.In order to attend in person, one must be a member of Mushing USA or a representative from a club that is a MUSA member. A membership application is online at Mountain Lodge will provide meals at a nominal cost, which will be included in the registration fee, but attendees will be expected to provide their own lodging at other venues in Marquette. Registration materials and the working papers will be available online at .Questions may be emailed to Sally O’Sullivan Bair


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