The BC Snowmobile Federation (BCSF) presented two resolutions to the District of Sicamous (DOS) Council on June 23, 2021, seeking support for inclusion at the 2021 Union of BC Municipalities Convention. British Columbia has proudly earned its spot as one of the leading outdoor destinations in the world, celebrating a diverse landscape that defines both our people and culture. Access to recreation amenities has proven an important value and determinant for choice of employment or residence in BC. Snowmobiling is one such recreational asset and organized snowmobiling in BC provides $299 million dollars to the winter rural economy.
The first resolution presented relates to changes required in the Forest Range Practices Act (FRPA). FRPA has eleven established Values listed within, but recreation remains the only Value that has no associated objective. This results in recreation being omitted from land planning and there is no requirement for industry to communicate, consult, or coordinate their activities with recreation groups. The BCSF Resolution is to establish an objective in FRPA that ensures all recreation groups are included in land planning processes going forward.
The second resolution is specific to snowmobile club operations in B.C. For many communities, especially small rural towns, recreation and outdoor tourism is growing as a leading economic driver. The 70 non-profit snowmobile clubs in B.C. are creating this economic benefit largely on crown land under partnership agreements with Recreation Sites and Trails BC. Our clubs manage these trails on the government's behalf, to ensure the provision of safe, environmentally responsible, and vibrant snowmobile opportunities for the public to get out and enjoy the outdoors. The second BCSF Resolution establishes site-specific snowmobile objectives relating to safety, quality of experience, and timing considerations.
“The District of Sicamous supports these resolutions to help address issues impacting rural communities across B.C. and the disparity within the provincial legislation of the Forest Range Practices Act (FRPA),” said Mayor Terry Rysz, District of Sicamous. “We are asking municipalities across B.C. to support these resolutions at the 2021 UBCM Convention.”
“Snowmobile clubs across the province have worked hard to create great working relationships with industry,” said Peter Doyle, President BC Snowmobile Federation. “With good planning and communication, we have found many companies willing to adjust harvest schedules or operational plans to accommodate our short snowmobile season. With these resolutions, the BCSF is working to establish these great working relationships as the standard for all operations in B.C. The snowmobile sector has four months to generate 299 million dollars and we all need to work together to ensure that our communities receive all the economic benefits available to them from recreation and industry.”
The BC Snowmobile Federation is a non-profit society created in 1965 to establish, maintain and protect quality opportunities for organized snowmobiling in B.C. The BCSF collectively represents 60 snowmobile clubs and 44,000 riders in the Province of B.C. On the ground, our member clubs are non-profit societies maintained by caring volunteers who promote safety, stewardship, and responsible backcountry snowmobile recreation.