Snowmobile clubs in northern B.C. are concerned about the small percentage of sledders joining their clubs and how this could threaten their backcountry access.
In a recent story published in Lakes District News, according to the Prince George Snowmobile Club, although 5000 sleds have been registered in the Prince George area, the club has approximately 170 members – that’s roughly three per cent of the sledders in the region.
Dennis Firomski, president of the Burns Lake Snowmobile Club, says this is not just a Prince George problem.
“The Burns Lake Snowmobile Club has 36 members – a very small percentage compared to sleds in this town and area,” said Firomski. “Riding areas close by are being affected, and if you are not a member, you have no voice.”
Although the Burns Lake and Prince George are experiencing problems, Houston Snowmobile Club is satisfied with their membership and believes their voice is being heard.
Les Auston, lifetime club member at the Houston club, says that is simply not the case.
“A snowmobile club, or an organized club of any kind, speaks for that form of recreation,” said Auston.
“Numbers go up and down, just like with any club,” he said. “We’ve been as high as 120 over the years… but it doesn’t change the core of the club and how they represent the area.”
The Houston Snowmobile Club maintains trails and cabins in the Houston region and takes part in discussions with government around stewardship policy and motorized and non-motorized access.
Though membership averages about 40 people, Austin says he believes they are respected and heard.
Houston club president Dylan De La Mare confirmed the same.
“It would always be nice to see more people become members,” he said, but “as far as the Houston Snowmobile Club, we’re not concerned so much about membership.”
To join the Houston Snowmobile Club you can stop by Northstar Performance in Houston or call 250-845-3255.