Sitting by the fire speaking with fellow riders can really give you a deeper understanding of who we truly are as a user group. Thousands of riders come from out of province and out of country each year, to experience the incredible snowmobiling, snowbiking and sled-skiing we have in British Columbia. Snowmobiling injects a staggering amount of prosperity to our province every year, to the tune of 299 million dollars, so why are our clubs struggling for memberships and funding to perform basic club operations?
It’s tough out there for our snowmobile clubs, especially when some of their trails have multiple entrance points which are separate from the main staging areas where fees are collected. These multiple access points put pressure on groomed trails and leave the costs to operate the trails on the users that are supporting. This gate avoidance equates to a huge loss in revenue for the clubs, raise rates for people that are paying, and sets a very bad example for other riders who may decide to save a few bucks the next time they head out riding. But by trying to save a few bucks you are:
- Harming the club and the BCSF that is fighting to preserve your access to snowmobile areas
- Limiting the clubs ability to create new or improved trails and snowmobile infrastructure for you to enjoy
- Burning out volunteers that are trying to keep it all going with not enough resources
- Limiting funding available for grooming and operations.
If you truly value the snowmobiling in British Columbia you wouldn’t hesitate to buy a membership and/or trail pass every time you ride.
We recently heard from one of our clubs that their groomer is temporarily out of service, not due to mechanical issues, but because they do not have enough funds to put fuel in the groomer. That is the reality when people consciously choose to not support their local club.
While some may think it’s no big deal, the fact remains that your membership and trail pass are absolutely vital for your riding areas existence. Snowmobile Clubs have many expenses to operate each season such as:
- Funding, repairing and maintaining a groomer
- Insurance both liability and structural insurance for warm up shelters cabins and equipment
- Trail preparation and maintenance
- Administrative costs for club operations
- Event funding
- Travel costs associated with meetings and lobbying
It is important to note that many of these costs occur every year no matter how much snow we get!
We want to thank all of our hard-working volunteers and club members for supporting the sport. There is hope on the horizon, for we are now seeing very high-profile riders urging everyone to buy their memberships and trail passes. To purchase a membership in a BCSF Member Club you can visit www.bcsf.org/clubs .
Your support through membership and day passes truly does matter.