President's Message

Member Clubs and Snowmobilers:

December 2014

The colder weather is now here and there has been snow in some areas of the province.  Remember that you need to use extreme caution near water ways, lakes and sloughs.  Although we have had some cold temperatures, ice thickness in most areas is insufficient to hold the weight of a person on a sled.  The best approach is to play it safe and stay off the ice.

Most clubs are ready to roll once we get sufficient snow to allow for grooming, and some clubs in the north have started packing trails with sleds. I was out for a short ride but we definitely need more snow before we can get serious about hitting the trails.  I guess we just have to be patient.    

This season, 10 clubs will have trail improvement projects under the NTC program and an additional 29 clubs will be assisted in reflective trail signage under the NTC program.  In total Snoman will receive $183,040 through the NTC program all of which will go to trail improvements.    

Prior to trail signing, we are encouraging club members to take the online Trail Signing Course which is offered at no charge on the Snoman website.  The course provides information on the correct method of signing a trail and by taking the course it will help ensure that all trails are consistently signed, which will further enhance rider safety.   

This season Snoman is pleased to be able to offer a Snowmobile Safety Course. This is an online course aimed to help the young or novice rider.  The course covers all aspects of snowmobile safety and includes a special section covering Manitoba laws and regulations.  If you are just starting to snowmobile or have a son or daughter starting to snowmobile, this course is a must.   

Snoman, in an effort to educate children with snowmobiling and snowmobile safety, has launched a children’s story book called “A Day on the Trails”- Brrrt Shivers Learns Safe Sledding.  The book was written by Big Daddy Tazz and is about a family’s day on the trail.  The book can be purchased from the Snoman office or McNally Robinson.

Our 4th Annual Snowmobile Congress, held in October, was a great success with over 70% of the clubs represented and over 200 people in attendance at the awards banquet.  The workshops were very well attended and received.  Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship, who was in attendance, announced that the Government of Manitoba would be providing $75,000 to help with the matching funds required for the NTC program.    

As we start the season, I would ask that snowmobilers be patient with clubs, it may seem that there is enough snow to groom trails but the clubs are the ones that will determine when it’s time to start grooming.  Low snow conditions are very hard on equipment which is very expensive to repair.  It is simply better to wait until there is sufficient snow to adequately groom and sign the trails. This makes for a better trail system and is safer for everyone.  Please remember clubs are always looking for members and help, get involved and help make a difference - JOIN A CLUB!

Clubs receive funding to groom and maintain the trails through the sale of snopasses, therefore it is important that all those that use the trails purchase a snopass.  It takes money to improve and maintain the trails throughout the season. Do you and your friends have snopasses?

Have a great season and hope to see you on the trail.

Alan Butler