POLITICAL

  • Donegal Wilson posted an article
    The study released today by the BCSF show that this past winter snowmobiling generated 299.2 million see more

    Keremeos, BC (July 2, 2019) – MNP LLP (“MNP”) was engaged by the BC Snowmobile Federation (“BCSF”) to conduct a study to quantify the contributions that snowmobiling makes to the BC economy.  Snowmobiling impacts BC’s economy through the expenditures of snowmobilers, and the operations of snowmobile dealers, snowmobile rental and guiding operators, and snowmobile clubs.   

     

    The study released today by the BCSF show that this past winter snowmobiling generated 299.2 million dollars and contributed 21.8 million dollars in revenue to the various levels of Government.  The study also demonstrated that during the winter months 4,272 jobs are supported by the sport of snowmobiling with the largest benefit being felt in the Thompson Okanagan Region.

     

    BC’s abundant snowfall and diverse, often mountainous terrain also make it an attractive tourist destination for snowmobilers from within BC, Washington State, Alberta, and abroad.   When snowmobilers take their snowmobiles on vacation the economic benefit to BC is 114.4 million in direct spending.  Of course, the majority of this economic benefit was felt in small rural areas, during the winter months, when economic stimulation is needed to keep our BC communities thriving.

     

    To read the Full Report

     

    Snowmobile Clubs in BC are considered to be the largest operator of trails in BC and are currently managing 187 recreation sites on behalf of the Province.  Snowmobile trails in BC are built and maintained by club volunteers and funded through a “user pay” fee structure. BC Snowmobile Clubs are non-profit societies that maintain over 18,000 km of trail and contribute over 16,000 hours of volunteer time annually to maintain our trails.  Snowmobile trails are open for everyone to enjoy and snowmobile clubs are working to create a lasting legacy for future generations. 

     

    The BC Snowmobile Federation is a non-profit society created in 1965 to establish, maintain and protect quality opportunities for organized snowmobiling in BC. The BCSF collectively represents 59 snowmobile clubs and 44,000 riders in the Province of BC.  On the ground, our member clubs are non-profit societies maintained by caring volunteers who promote safety, stewardship, and responsible backcountry snowmobile recreation.

     

  • Donegal Wilson posted an article
    Study data suggests that the activity level of snowmobiling has traditionally been underestimated. see more

     

    Thunder Bay, Ontario, December 11, 2017: The Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO) is pleased to receive initial findings that recreational snowmobiling can assist in the accumulation of the total recommended physical activity time needed to maintain a balanced lifestyle. Study data suggests that the activity level of snowmobiling has traditionally been underestimated. This according to preliminary results from a yet-to-be published University of Guelph study entitled “The Physiological Assessment and Analysis of the Physical Demand of Riding a Snowmobile”.

     

    “This news will come as no surprise to snowmobilers across Canada who ride all winter,” commented CCSO President Dale Hickox. “Snowmobiling gets you outdoors, breathing fresh air and being active with friends & family – and that simply makes you healthier and better able to cope with life’s challenges.”

     

    But the fact is that many North Americans fail to get at least 150 minutes weekly of moderate to vigorous activity as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. This deficiency is compounded in the winter as North Americans burn 15-20% fewer calories in weekly recreational activities. It should be noted that physical inactivity accounts for 15% of the 1.6 million chronic health conditions diagnosed each year. Typically, chronic health conditions consume 67% of all direct health care costs and cost the Canadian economy $190 billion annually in treatment expenses and lost productivity.

     

    This snowmobiling health study indicates that participating in snowmobiling is one good way to achieve the better physical conditioning that keeps people healthier and helps prevent chronic health conditions. Conducted in 2016/17, the study evaluated the physical demand of snowmobiling, considering both cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal demands. It also examined if activity location would play a role in the physical demands. 

     

    Considering early results researchers compared the snowmobiling health study results to the American College of Sports Medicine’s Compendium of Physical Activities. This tool defines activities by their aerobic demands as a metabolic equivalent (MET). A MET is a unit that represents the amount of energy required to maintain human function while sitting or lying awake at rest. Therefore, an activity of 3 METs would be 3 times more demanding than rest.

     

    Moderate intensity activities range between 3-6 METs. Snowmobiling falls into this category, as the average METs for groomed trail riding scored almost 4 METs, while mountain riding came in closer to 7 METs. All in all, this puts snowmobiling in the same physical activity range as other winter activities like chopping wood, snow shovelling, and recreational ice-skating and snowshoeing.

     

    A balanced lifestyle also includes good mental health. According to a major depressive disorder study by researchers at Duke University, physical activity is also effective in beating those winter blues. Together, these findings suggest snowmobiling is good for both body and mind.

     

    The CCSO and its snowmobiling health study funding partners: the International Association of Snowmobile Administrators (IASA),  Arctic Cat Industries, Ski-Doo (BRP),  Off Road Business Association (ORBA),  Royal Distributing Inc., Colorado Snowmobile Association (CSA), Snowmobile North Dakota (SND), Glacier House in Revelstoke BC, Haliburton Forest Wildlife Reserve in Haliburton ON; are committed to winter family recreation and the healthy, active lifestyle benefits associated with recreational snowmobiling.

     

    Contact:

    Dennis Burns

    Executive Director

    Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO)

    (807) 345-5299

    Email: ccso.ccom@tbaytel.net

     

     

     

  • Article
    $100,000 will be given to BC outdoor clubs to improve trail riding conditions & promote rider safety see more

    Information Bulletin - 

     

    Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

    Click here to read: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018

     

  • Article
    Why it’s important to support the British Columbia Snowmobile Federation and its member clubs. see more

    Sno-Riders - The Scoop - By BCSF Director, Trish Drinkle

    Read all about the importance of supporting the BC Snowmobile Federation and it's member clubs.

    Click here to read more!

     

    (Above) Excellent meeting with MLA Tom Shypitka. It is refreshing and inspiring to discuss science based conservation in relationship to caribou.

    - Photo courtesy of Trish Drinkle, pictured in photo along with Tim Hoechsmann, Wesly Graham, MLA Tom Shypitka, Joshua Salzmann and Donegal Wilson.

     

    (Above) BCSF Executive Director, Donegal Wilson and President Richard Cronier meet with MP Todd Doherty (Cariboo - Prince George)

    - Photo courtesy of Richard Cronier 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Donegal Wilson posted an article
    Please take 30 minutes and complete this questionnaire see more

    The Province of BC and Federal Government are working on initiatives to conserve, protect, and recover caribou herds throughout the province. The Peace River Regional District (PPRD) Board is seeking to understand how caribou conservation efforts could affect economic development and tourism/recreation opportunities in the region and has retained Stantec Consulting Ltd. (Stantec) to undertake an economic impact assessment.

    As part of its economic impact assessment, Stantec is conducting phone interviews and/or email questionnaires with interested groups and agencies potentially affected by the proposed conservation efforts to properly understand existing local conditions related to outdoor recreation and tourism. Specifically, Stantec would like to collect information on popular areas for outdoor recreation activities (e.g. snowmobiling, back country skiing, water-based recreation activities), usage patterns, and the importance of recreational tourism to the local economy. 

    If you are interested in completing the email questionnaire, please find it attached along with a map (to assist with response to one of the questions). To indicate usage areas on the map, please use digital sticky notes in Adobe PDF or feel free to print out,  and mark up a hard copy, attaching an image or scan of the marked up map. Please return the completed questionnaire and map by way of email on or before November 26, 2018. The questionnaire should take approximately 30 minutes or less. 

  • Donegal Wilson posted an article
    The BC Snowmobile Federation reviewed the draft Section 11 Agreement and submitted our comments see more

    B.C. and Canada have been developing a bilateral conservation agreement under Section 11 of the Species at Risk Act (referred to as the “Section 11 Agreement”). The  draft Section 11 Agreement contains overarching commitments, measures and strategies for the recovery of Southern Mountain Caribou in B.C.

    The BC Snowmobile Federation (BCSF) reviewed the draft agreement and submitted the attached comments to Government on behalf of BCSF Member Clubs.

    The top five key points from our response were:

    1. Herd Plans– We believe that we need to change our thinking on Caribou Recovery and focus on herds with the highest chance of recovery.  While the BCSF supports the development of individual herd plans and plans to participate in the process, we continue to challenge why the focus of recovery efforts is on herds that are facing extirpation in the near future.  The herd plans and recovery actions should be started for the largest herds first
    2. Baseline Herd Counts-We believe that the baseline data of counts for each herd must be included in the Agreement.  It will therefore hold all parties accountable to the starting point, make goal setting clear, reporting of progress consistent, transparent and measurable for all. 
    3. Incrementally increase Southern Mountain Caribou Habitat over the course of the Agreement.   We are concerned with the continued focus on habitat protection and there is no definition of what the end goal is or what percentage of increase is expected. We believe that habitat protection should be based on science and the individual needs of each herd and the habitat needs assessed through the proposed herd planning.  By making a blanket commitment to incrementally increase habitat it appears to be less about caribou recovery and more about Canada’s Target 1.  
    4. Self Sustaining–We believe that the Principles of this Agreement need to be amended to remove the objective of achieving self-sustaining populations. The definition of a self-sustaining population is one that is able to continue by itself without anyone or anything else becoming involved. We believe that the goal should be a net increase in population or targets that are achievable not a statement such as “self-sustaining” which is not realistic or obtainable. 
    5. Engagement with Indigenous People- This section only refers to engagement and consultation as it pertains to directly affected indigenous people.  It does not include the rest of the British Columbians that live, work and recreate within the Agreement area.  We believe that everyone must be included because it will take more than one segment of the population to facilitate positive change for the species overall and everyone needs take ownership of the recovery measures being proposed.

    To read the full response letter that was submitted please open the attached file.  

  • Donegal Wilson posted an article
    The BCSF reviewed the draft Partnership Agreement and submitted our comments to Government see more

    The B.C. government, the federal government, West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations have been negotiating an Inter-Governmental Partnership Agreement for the Conservation of the Central Group of the Southern Mountain Caribou (“Partnership Agreement”). The draft Partnership Agreement applies to the Central Group of Southern Mountain Caribou in the South Peace.

    The BCSF reviewed the draft agreement and submitted the attached comments to Government on behalf of BCSF Member Clubs.

    The top five key points of our response are:

    1. Term of Agreement should be five years-It is apparent in reading the Agreement that the proposed 30 year term does not match the actions laid out in the Agreement. The terms and schedules to the Agreement are short term or immediate in scope and much of the language is referencing items to be developed, possible projects to be considered, targets to be determined, temporary committees, interim measures and schedules that only apply to implementation of the Agreement of itself.  We think that the Parties need to embrace that this is new ground and instead use this agreement as the stepping stone to the creation of a long-term vision on caribou recovery with broad public support. 
    2. Managing motorized recreation– We are concerned the Agreements includes an action to implement the Central Group Caribou Motor-Vehicle Closure Engagement Plan. Our concern is based on that we have asked for a copy of this plan and have been told that the document has not been finalized nor can it be shared as of closing of this consultation period.  So we do not know what we agreeing to or commenting on.
    3. The Klinse-za Park expansion-  The current Klinse-za Park is listed as “Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) being prohibited in the existing park. ORVs include ATVs, off-road motorcycles, snowmobiles and side-by-sides.” The wording to expand the park without including this key piece of information makes it unclear to us and the public of the Parties intention to make zone B3 a non-motorized area. The expansion of this park effectively removes snowmobiling from two high value snowmobile areas to the community of Chetwynd and will not include the snowmobile sector in reviewing this action or its boundaries. 
    4. Habitat Restoration Projects –They are planning to undertake restoration projects but the list of projects has not been provided.  Habitat Restoration and lineal line removal can seriously impact snowmobile access but does not seem to have any requirement for consultation. By removing access to an area you do effectively close the area without a requirement to consult impacted users. This results in forcing the public onto unsafe access trails or can result in illegal trail building.
    5. Public Consultation-The agreement states that all consultation must be completed within four months of the initialing of this Agreement. We have been told that the Agreement was initialed on March 1, 2019 which makes the end of public engagement to be June 30th. With the public consultation sessions that were held in the Northeast scheduled only ten days after the agreement was released, we question the ability for the public to be properly informed or effectively participate in a consultation process. Also, the four month timeline also does not allow for the Parties to implement any of the feedback from the public or bring back a second draft for review. 

    To read the full response letter that was submitted please open the attached file.