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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our club has been told that the Maskwa Club from Pine Falls will not be grooming trails this season. Three of the adjacent clubs have already been in talks to try and pick up most parts of this trail system. I would hate to see this happen to other clubs in the area. Moral of the story: Support your local club, or the club who's area you ride in the most!
 

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Originally posted by Polaris_Dave@Oct 8 2005, 02:28 AM
Our club has been told that the Maskwa Club from Pine Falls will not be grooming trails this season. Three of the adjacent clubs have already been in talks to try and pick up most parts of this trail system. I would hate to see this happen to other clubs in the area. Moral of the story: Support your local club, or the club who's area you ride in the most!
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A sad post, unforunately I can see more coming just like it. Like Polaris_Dave says support your local club, help with the work and fund raising in anyway big or small that you can. :div20:

:flag_canada:
:flag_usa:
 

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What??!! I love those trails!

I think I'm going to give Marcel Roi a call, he does a lot of grooming around there. He's from Pine Falls, anyone else know him? He also built, or helped build, the new half-way shack b/w Pine Falls and Grand Beach. My Dad used to go out at night with the Maskwa guys, clearing trails at night, way back when they had the old one-ski machine with the groomer behind.

Can this also meant there's not going to be a Maskwa Derby this year?
 

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:banana: I just talked to Marcel, he said they have the groomer in for servicing, but they're getting it back in 2 weeks. He said he'll be out grooming for sure, and the only way he won't be able to is if they groomer breaks down majorly.
 

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Originally posted by Delgaty@Oct 8 2005, 05:08 PM
:banana: I just talked to Marcel, he said they have the groomer in for servicing, but they're getting it back in 2 weeks.  He said he'll be out grooming for sure, and the only way he won't be able to is if they groomer breaks down majorly.
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Great news thanks for posting that! :beerchug:
 

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Is there anyway to see which clubs are in more demand for money?

I ride in about 3 different club areas and would like to put my snopass to which ever one needs the money the most.
 

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If the pine falls club was responsible for the trail south of town halfway to lac du bonnet, then I'm not surprised they are closing up shop! I know for a fact that cottage owners that live in victoria beach would have used the trail more but it was way too ride up from the city on that trial all year.

Perhaps the clubs need to merge to support the lower populated clubs untill a more balanced funding system were implemented?

ezwoodman
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In today's Clipper, the Eastman Snopals have written an article pleading for more volunteers to come out. The problem isn't money in their case, it is the lack of volunteers. Snopals is a relatively new club, comprised of three older clubs, Pinawa Snowdusters, Agassiz Ridge Riders and the Lac du Bonnet Power Toboggan Club (hence PALs). Later, I believe a group from Whitemouth/Elma joined in also.

These original three clubs decided to join together and it worked very well until these past few years when there seemed to be some disconnect between volunteers from the original three clubs. The majority of work was left to a skeleton crew. This is one of the downfalls of merging to form one larger club. Each individual club loses it's identity and people tend to fall by the wayside with the attitude that "oh, there's lots of members now... someone else will pick up the work".

They have 2 Massey tractors that are basically paid off, but have very few people to brush trails, put up signs, deal with landowner issues, sit on the Snoman board as directors, go to monthly region meetings, distribute Snopasses to vendors all winter, etc...

Most clubs do need to continue to receive the current level of funding they are getting, so if everyone bought their Snopass from another club (say a massive sway based on a newspaper article or web posting), some clubs would definitely suffer. Ideally, riders should support the clubs they ride on the most, and also the clubs that require the funds. There needs to be a mix of that to keep the whole system sustained.

Lack of volunteers is every club's problem. If there is one club I could think of that is lower on funds, it would be Maskwa (Pine Falls). Equipment problems last year totally drained them. If they are operating this winter, they will not be able to make it through another breakdown (from what we understand). I know someone did reply that they would be grooming, but there has been talk of giving up some trails to other clubs.

Like I said above, support your local club! If your local club is doing well, encourage them to help out their neighbouring club! Maybe your club is fully capable of taking on some more trail from a club that is having difficulty???

I encourage everyone to get involved, just a little. It would help immensely.

Here's a link to the article:
http://www.clipper.mb.ca/headlines.htm#snowmobilers

Dave
 

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Read your post PD and "I feel your pain" when it comes to volunteers.

I've done some volunteering for the last couple of years here in Kenora and I guess I speak as a "concerned" volunteer. I'm retired and consequently to the uninitiated, retirement means that you are sitting around looking for things to do, such as volunteering perhaps. Boy, that isn't so!

Being a volunteer is a time consuming, expensive and thankless job, which I'm very sure you are aware of. The "willing" horses are usually ridden to death. I asked a question on this HCS site a while ago about defraying the costs of volunteer' expense's because of the almost 70 percent increase in fuel, etc.. I was given some excellent suggestions. One of them was that some club(s) gave the volunteers a credit of one dollar for every hour volunteered towards the purchase of a trail pass. I don't know if they had a limit as to the incentive but I thought that was a good way to help and encourage volunteer participation. I spoke about it to others and was re-buffed. A personal thank you or pat on the back? A simple gesture that should be placed on the "protected species list". Doesn't happen.

One thing that I found out after working for a large corporation as a supervisor for some 30 years was that, even though the employee was being paid a salary, that a simple personal acknowlegement or a spoken word got you more than a 5 percent increase in wages.

I for one will do what I can (physically) and what I can afford once again this year as a volunteer. I, like you, do not want to see snowmobile trails deteriorate and the activity eventually disappear.

Perhaps a "think tank" on what we could do to encourage volunteers to come back. HCS is a good venue for soliciting ideas and suggestions.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's a pleasure to read your posts Toban, thanks for the input.
For everyone reading, my intent was not to bring doom and gloom to your web-surfing experience... just to inform you all of the latest.
Some clubs are doing well and holding their own. We are currently in the process of purchasing a newer groomer for the upcoming season! I'll let everyone know when it happens...
 

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Hey Dave..

I might be interested in joining a club to help out trail rideing here in Manitoba.. I might even have a few buddies I ride with on board as well.. Can you get me some information on what it will take to become a member?

Thanx... Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Originally posted by jonnyscat@Oct 13 2005, 10:27 PM
Hey Dave..

  I might be interested in joining a club to help out trail rideing here in Manitoba..  I might even have a few buddies I ride with on board as well..  Can you get me some information on what it will take to become a member?

  Thanx... Jon
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I'll talk to ya tomorrow... :div20:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Delgaty's report was correct. The Pine Falls guys will be up and running again. I don't know if they will be grooming their entire system, that remains to be seen. This was the offical word coming out of Snoman yesterday.
Also, it sounds like the SnoPALs had a great turnout at their meeting! Hopefully they'll have no shortage of volunteers this winter.
Thanks for doin' the diggin' Delgaty... :div20:
Everything's shaping up, I'll be out doing some brushing tomorrow around the Mars Sand Hills.
Dave
 

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Snowmobile group fights for survival

Hotels, restaurants and gas stations could all suffer this winter if a Westman snowmobile group is forced to fold.

Prairie Mountain Snowdrifters secretary-treasurer Perry Snedden said the club may be doomed if it doesn’t boost support by its Nov. 1 meeting.

“We may be folding very shortly thereafter,” Snedden said. “We won’t be running the groomed trails this season if we don’t get any help.”

There are two factors that spell out the club’s demise, Snedden said.

First, general apathy has drained the club’s membership from 100 in 1998 to less than a dozen now. It’s the members who groom and maintain 200 kilometres of trails and raise money through fundraisers.

Second, riders are using the trails without buying the $75-$100 Snowmobilers of Manitoba Snopass. About 61 per cent of the cost flows back to the club to help upkeep trails.

Snedden said RCMP, Manitoba Conservation and the provincial government aren’t enforcing the passes, even though riding without one carries a hefty $230 fine.

As a result, there isn’t much cash to run the trail groomer. Snedden said the groomer sucked up as much as $15,000 in gas last winter, but the club only sold 40 passes. Eight club members are left to try and make up the difference through fundraising. They raised $25,000 last year.

Either more people volunteer or buy passes, or the club risks failure, hurting businesses along its trail system.

The trail route loops from Neepawa to Minnedosa, Erickson, Sandy Lake and Onanole and into the Hammerston Sand Hills. Valleyview Sno-riders, a club that operates more than 200 km of trails in Brandon area, is at no risk of dying with a constant membership of about 50, said a board member.

“What we want to do is keep it that way,” Albert Wyborn said.

However, he acknowledged riders who don’t pay for passes are a problem.

“They’re just riding for free and not supporting the pass system,” Wyborn said, explaining that police are too busy or ill-equipped for enforcement. “If you don’t buy the Snopass and use the trails, the chances are the funding will not be there to maintain those trails in the future.”

What’s more, if the Snowdrifter club dies, it will kill the possibility of linking the clubs’ two trail systems.

“The more trails linked together, the more tourism we’re going to bring to Brandon,” Wyborn said.


Link
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Originally posted by Ronder@Oct 22 2005, 06:10 AM
Snowmobile group fights for survival

Hotels, restaurants and gas stations could all suffer this winter if a Westman snowmobile group is forced to fold.

Prairie Mountain Snowdrifters secretary-treasurer Perry Snedden said the club may be doomed if it doesn’t boost support by its Nov. 1 meeting.

“We may be folding very shortly thereafter,” Snedden said. “We won’t be running the groomed trails this season if we don’t get any help.”

There are two factors that spell out the club’s demise, Snedden said.

First, general apathy has drained the club’s membership from 100 in 1998 to less than a dozen now. It’s the members who groom and maintain 200 kilometres of trails and raise money through fundraisers.

Second, riders are using the trails without buying the $75-$100 Snowmobilers of Manitoba Snopass. About 61 per cent of the cost flows back to the club to help upkeep trails.

Snedden said RCMP, Manitoba Conservation and the provincial government aren’t enforcing the passes, even though riding without one carries a hefty $230 fine.

As a result, there isn’t much cash to run the trail groomer. Snedden said the groomer sucked up as much as $15,000 in gas last winter, but the club only sold 40 passes. Eight club members are left to try and make up the difference through fundraising. They raised $25,000 last year.

Either more people volunteer or buy passes, or the club risks failure, hurting businesses along its trail system.

The trail route loops from Neepawa to Minnedosa, Erickson, Sandy Lake and Onanole and into the Hammerston Sand Hills. Valleyview Sno-riders, a club that operates more than 200 km of trails in Brandon area, is at no risk of dying with a constant membership of about 50, said a board member.

“What we want to do is keep it that way,” Albert Wyborn said.

However, he acknowledged riders who don’t pay for passes are a problem.

“They’re just riding for free and not supporting the pass system,” Wyborn said, explaining that police are too busy or ill-equipped for enforcement. “If you don’t buy the Snopass and use the trails, the chances are the funding will not be there to maintain those trails in the future.”

What’s more, if the Snowdrifter club dies, it will kill the possibility of linking the clubs’ two trail systems.

“The more trails linked together, the more tourism we’re going to bring to Brandon,” Wyborn said.
  Link
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Any of the locals know more about this? Funny that RCMP aren't enforcing the pass. They sure are in Eastern MB.
 

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Snowmobiling clubs on the brink of collapse
Last Updated Oct 26 2005 08:41 AM CDT
CBC News

The sledding season hasn't even begun, but already snowmobile clubs in rural Manitoba say they're on the verge of folding – and if that happens, they warn, snowmobile safety in the province will be compromised.

Snowmobile clubs clear snow and brush to create more than 11,000 kilometres of safe trails around the province. But volunteers with the snowmobile clubs in Neepawa, Lac du Bonnet and Pine Falls say they're fed up with apathetic riders who use the trails, but don't help with the work by volunteering or paying for a pass.

Jim Selby says he's ready to quit running the Eastman Snopals in Lac du Bonnet. Membership in Selby's group has dwindled to a dozen volunteers. To make matters worse, he says the majority of snowmobile riders who use the groomed trails in the area refuse to buy the required annual permits, called "snopasses."
"It's frustrating to see people that have a $10,000 or $12,000 snowmobile, $1,000 worth of clothing and helmets and all of this, and won't buy a $70 snopass," he says.

Safety compromised if clubs fold

The Prairie Mountain Snowdrifters will decide next week if they'll surrender responsibility for the trails in the Neepawa area. Even though interest in snowmobiling has exploded in the area, the group is short on money and volunteers.

"People are going to be going into areas that they don't know," club spokesman Perry Sneddon predicts if his club folds. "There's going to be more accidents, more serious accidents."

If his club closes down, Sneddon says other snowmobile clubs in western Manitoba will also be affected because the trail systems are linked across the province.

Further north in Pine Falls, the Maskwa Snowmobile Club is also teetering on extinction. Kevin Alarie says the club is almost broke because most riders don't buy snopasses. If his club folds, he says, tourism in the area will suffer – and so will snowmobile safety.

"The landowners [will be] at risk, and the rider at risk, and the Crown at risk, because if we fold up our club and we're not grooming trails and people are still riding on them, then it's going to be someone else's responsibility, not ours."

Snopass rules should be enforced

Alarie believes part of the problem is that no one enforces the mandatory pass rules. RCMP don't have time to nab violators, he says, so the snowmobile clubs' umbrella group, Snoman, should be clamping down on riders. Snoman is supposed to impose a $180 fine on riders who don't display a snopass sticker when riding on the clubs' trails.

"Snoman's got to delegate someone or set up a stakeout type of thing on a Saturday afternoon, and be out there doing check stops," he said. "I mean, Saturday, it's nothing to see 200, 300, 400 snowmobiles go through town here, and it's nothing to see a group of 20 snowmobiles, five without snopasses, registration, licence plates or anything."

But Duncan Stokes, executive director of Snoman, says there's little anyone but police can do to enforce the laws.

"We have had that discussion with those in the law enforcement industry," he said. "Basically what the recommendation has been, is that you could spend a lot of time and money issuing tickets for snopass violations, but they probably would not withstand a court challenge," he says. :Wow1:

Stokes says the number of snopasses issued each year continues to grow – almost 12,000 annual passes were sold in 2003-04. But he admits thousands of snowmobilers don't bother getting a permit to use the trails.

Stokes says Snoman is trying to help clubs attract new volunteers and funding.
 
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