Snoman and Why Snowmobilers Need It!
December 30, 2019
Before you sled on Manitoba trails, you need to understand the importance of Snoman (Snowmobilers of Manitoba) Inc. and its member clubs. The 53 Manitoba clubs, made up of thousands of volunteers, sign, maintain and groom the trail system as well as taking care of the upkeep of almost 200 warm up shelters located on the provincial trail system.
The Manitoba trail system is extensive and is the third largest provincial snowmobile trail system in Canada with over 12,000 kilometers of trail. With a snowmobile season that can last well into April, it's no surprise that Manitoba is known for its extensive trail system. The Manitoba trail system extends from east and west from the Ontario border to the Saskatchewan border and north and south from the US border to Gillam.
Snoman Inc. is the provincial organization and, by agreement with Government of Manitoba, is responsible for the management, control and maintenance of the designated snowmobile trail system in Manitoba. Snoman Inc. was incorporated in November 1975, and consists of five member regions and 53 member clubs. Each of the five Regions represent a geographic area of the province and its membership consists of the snowmobile clubs within the Region’s geographical area. Each region elects two voting representatives to sit on the Snoman board of directors which is responsible for decision-making as it relates to the operation and policies affecting the trail system. Each Region has multiple clubs which anyone can join. The clubs within the region are responsible to elect the Regional board of directors and the two Regional representatives that sit as directors on the Snoman Board.
Clubs are the strength of the Snoman organization. Clubs are responsible for the trail signing, trail maintenance and grooming of the provincial trail system. Clubs are made of volunteers and do considerable fundraising to supplement its income. Clubs are required to purchase and maintain their own grooming equipment and, in return, clubs are paid a per kilometer rate for the grooming they carry out during the course of the season. The grooming rate is determined each year and is dependent on Snopass sales. In most years, funds received by clubs from Snoman for grooming do not cover all of the costs, thus the need for clubs to fundraise. Clubs always need volunteers and this is an ideal opportunity for interested individuals to get involved and be a part of the decision making process for the betterment of snowmobiling.
Regional Directors that sit on the Snoman Board act as the link between the board, the Region and the clubs by reporting back to their regions and their clubs. Each Region has two votes on the Board thus there is parity within the regions. The club breakdown for each region is as
follows: Central (5 clubs), Eastern (16 clubs), Western (17 clubs), Interlake (10 clubs), and Northern (5 clubs).
Snoman initiatives and activities include:
- Snoman is a member of the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations and the International Snowmobile Council. This membership allows us to be a part of and participate in the latest snowmobile innovations;
- Promotes snowmobile safety by working with MPI. Developed and offers an online snowmobile operators safety course;
- Being the snowmobilers provincial voice to provincial and federal governments for funding and legislation changes for improvements for snowmobilers in Manitoba;
- Annual Snowmobile Congress in November;
- The Sled without Borders© - free ride weekend;
- Annual Making Tracks ride for politicians so they can experience first-hand the importance of our trail system;
- Bulk purchasing of trail regulatory signs which allows clubs to receive a discount on signage and lower shipping fees;
- Member benefits program which one can find under the benefits tab on the website;
- Promotion of snowmobiling and member clubs;
- Youth program consisting of a scholarship program of $2,000 and a youth club entitled Snoman Snow Scooters which has regular meetings and goes on a snowmobile ride each year;
- Excellence awards in the areas of outstanding dealership, organized snowmobile-related company, snowmobile club, snowmobile family, snowmobiler, groomer operator, support by a non-snowmobile related business, and youth contribution towards the continued development of family snowmobiling. These awards provide an opportunity to recognize volunteer efforts and supporting businesses. All Snoman awards go to the national level for consideration for the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations’ Excellence awards;
- Trail signing and numerous safety courses that club members can access by logging onto their club access on the website at no charge; and
- A corporate rider partnership program which raises funds to cover kiosk installation as well as safety messages via various media outlets throughout the province.
So when you are asked why we need Snoman, the reasons are long reaching and extensive. Be a part of your local club and make a difference for the betterment of snowmobiling in Manitoba. By joining a club you have the opportunity to be instrumental in planning and promoting the trail system as well as participating in club activities. Remember that riding the Snoman trail system is the safest option for riders. It enhances the safety of persons, snowmobilers and property, thereby improving travel between regions. It helps to reduce your
risk of trespassing on private property as our clubs have agreements in place with landowners for the trail system. Remember to play it safe and stay on the designated trail. Enjoy the trails and ride safe!