A new president in place. Grooming has begun! Will we be losing the Telkwa Range?
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Smithers Snowmobile Association

December 2015 Newsletter

New President

The SSA has been without a president ever since Ron stepped down late last season. Since then the remaining members of the Board of Directors have been collectively making decisions on our behalf. It has been difficult finding a new president since nobody was putting their name forward. We would like to remind people that the decisions made by the SSA are made by the Board of Directors as a whole, not just the president. And the decisions are made based on the input received by the members attending the meetings.

Having said that, Kyle Kurulak has stepped up to fill our vacant President position. Kyle has been a long time member of the SSA and is currently on the Board of Directors as the Treasurer. Kyle works as a technician for Babine Truck and has extensive knowledge and experience with our groomers. As President, Kyle will be chairing the monthly meetings as well as organizing what needs to be done and by whom. The Board of Directors thank Kyle for taking on this position and are excited for the direction the SSA is headed.
 

Shelter Report

The Old Mic shelter needs a broom! Anyone who knows they will be headed up in that direction please bring one with you. We also need some rat traps up there (and maybe some cheese or peanut butter). If you have an old broom or traps at your house please bring them up, it's okay if we end up having more up there than we need.

The Harold Price shelter is currently out of firewood. There is just under a couple cords that have been set aside which will be brought up, this should be happening soon. If anyone is going up that way, please bring a couple of logs with you. 10 people each take up two logs, it all helps.

If anyone is in a shelter and sees something that needs attention, please don't hesitate to correct it. If it's something a little more difficult then please email us so that we are aware of it.

Grooming Report

The Yellow groomer has arrived at the Mic and has already been in action! We would like to thank Cayuga (Gary Hill) for bringing out the groomer and the volunteers that used it on the trail. We would also like to thank Brandt Tractor for the volunteer time that they put into that unit.

The Blue groomer is currently at Hy-Tech Drilling for some blade work. We hope to get this one out there as soon as possible.

The Red groomer (our newest one) has been paid for. We are now looking at the best way to get it to Smithers. We are very excited for its arrival!

There will be logging on the Blunt road this winter. They are working up the back and have the road plowed out to 26km. A parking lot has been plowed out up the 22km road for us. We would like everyone to show extreme caution when driving up this ACTIVE logging road. They usually haul logs during the week but they also do sometimes during the weekend so please drive slowly and try to drive behind someone with a radio.
 

Fee Collecting

The SSA will have fee collectors patrolling active snowmobile trails again this year. We would like to remind everyone that the commectors are out there on our behalf, to help raise money for the SSA. Please treat them with respect and help them out if you find them in a diificult situation with a fee evader. Be proud to show others that you are a member and that you are contributing to them having a warm, safe shelter to use, maintained trails to use and areas with motorized access.

Raffle

The raffle is nearing its completion. The draw will be held on January 1st with the winner announced on the 2nd. Approximately 60% of tickets have been sold thanks to Casey and Ted. This is our biggest revenue generator so if you haven't yet, please purchase a ticket from any one of the powersports companies in town or from Casey and Ted at either the liquor store or Canadian Tire. Just think of what a great Christmas gift it will make if a loved one wins.

Non-Motorized Area

Starr Basin and other areas in the Telkwa range have been considered for years as under a voluntary closure towards motorized vehicles. There is a caribou herd up there of about 14 animals. A long time ago there used to be a strong herd of caribou in that region but consistently declined at no fault of snowmobilers. The provincial and federal govenment relocated a large number of caribou, including pregnant ones, to that region in a hope to resurect the herd. Although they did increase in numbers in the immediate aftermath, they have once again declined drastically. And it's in the SSAs position that snowmobilers have not had any significant impact on the caribou numbers but believe it's the result of a loss of habitat and a lack of predator control (one was killed by the scientists last year when they chased it with a helicopter and shot a net at it while it was running at full tilt). However there is a large contigent of people inside and outside the government who would love to see this massive area shut down to snowmobilers and other motorized use in it's entirety. They have been very successful in pushing their interests ahead of the interests of the whole and the SSA believes that they will soon be successful. We have been battling this uphill battle for many years and we really hope this isn't the end.

What we ask of sledders is 1) please stop and turn around when you see a caribou. We don't want to give others any ammunition of why they should blame sledders, and 2) please get everyone to purchase a membership so that we can accurately show the governments how many of us will be affected as we lose areas to ride. 300 members has more influence than 100!

The SSA and the Houston Snowmobile Club have been fighting this battle for many years on behalf of all sledders and will continue to do so in the future.

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