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Friday, August 4, 2023

Tiaga Electronic Snowmobile to be Delivered on August 8th, 2023 by the Birchleggings Club!











For Immediate Release

Suzannah Ciernia
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Co-Leader; 507-301-8388

Judy Davis
Citizens’ Climate Lobby, VT State Coordinator; 857-209-6494

When: Tuesday, August 8, 2023 10am EST

Where: Central Vermont Motorcycles, 360 West St, Rutland, VT

What: First Electric Snowmobile for Use at Birkebeiner Ski Race


The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) hosts the largest cross-country ski race in North America every February in Wisconsin and will celebrate its 50th anniversary this winter. With top-notch skiers coming from every state and around the globe, the ‘Birkie’ is considered one of the more difficult marathon races in the world. 


On Tuesday, August 8 a team from the Midwest will arrive at Central Vermont Motorcycles in Rutland, Vermont to pick up the first electric snowmobile to be used for filming the iconic race: a Taiga Nomad.  Taiga, a Canadian company, has taken a completely novel engineering approach to pave the way for electric technology. Their vision is to completely transform the powersports sector by introducing groundbreaking electric off-road vehicles, ensuring sustainability without compromising on performance.












One of the drivers arriving to pick up the machine is Paul Thompson, President of the Birchleggings Club, an elite group of skiers who’ve completed at least 20 ‘Birkies’. Thompson organized the fund-raising and purchase of the machine in support of the ABSF’s Birkie Green initiative.


“Like many snow sports industries, the ‘Birkie’ is not immune to the effects of warmer winters and in 2017 had to cancel the event due to lack of snow – the second time in less than 20 years.  Acknowledging its own carbon footprint, ABSF is moving towards being a good environmental steward and in support of their efforts, our Birchleggings Club organized a fund-raiser selling shopping bags made from recycled racer’s bibs,” said Thompson. “In addition to removing those used bibs from the waste stream, we raised enough money to purchase and donate the Taiga Nomad snowmobile in commemoration of ABSF’s 50th anniversary”.


Their efforts got a boost from Olympic cross-country skiing gold medalist, World Champion, and Board Member of Protect Our Winters Jessie Diggins, who trains at Strafford Mountain, Vermont. Diggins offered to lend her support by donating autographed bibs for auction. When asked about her reasons for supporting the ski industry going green, she said,

“In preparing for the first cross-country World Cup to be held in the US in over 20 years, the Taiga Nomad snowmobile can send a message to the ski world that we need to cut our carbon emissions as quickly as possible”. 


In addition to serving as President of the Birchleggings Club, Paul Thompson, is an active member of the environmental advocacy group Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), and has seen the effects of shrinking snowpack and warmer winters on his favorite sport. He believes the shift to an all-electric snowmobile for covering the ‘Birkie’ is a clear signal of growing awareness by the skiing and snowmobile industry of the damage from a warming climate on peoples’ health, winter sports, and the Earth.


 “The urgency of rising temperatures and CO2 levels and the need for a systemic solution are the reasons I work with Citizens’ Climate Lobby. In addition to switching consumers to electric alternatives, we lobby for Federal legislation that will drop CO2 levels quickly, using a market-driven, bi-partisan solution. Last month, over 1,000 CCL members met with our Members of Congress in DC to advocate for action on climate change. We want to do our part so the Birkie and other beloved winter sports can survive the next 50 years and provide the fun and competition we have enjoyed for generations of skiers to come”.

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