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January 24th, 2019
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BCSF Fundraiser for Public Snowmobiling Land Access

The British Columbia Snowmobile Federation (BSCF) has initiated a fundraiser to help the organization advocate on behalf of snowmobilers in the province.

Fundraiser link at end of story

The issue at hand is land access rights for the snowmobiling public. Recently, representatives of snowmobile organizations and the snowmobiling public have increasingly been asked to participate in land access stakeholder meetings, which is fantastic news.

However, the volunteers of individual clubs throughout the province do not often have access to the latest and most in-depth knowledge of government policy and land use issues in the province. Think of it this way: in the same way that a person who is required to go to court is best represented by a lawyer who knows the ins-and-outs of the law, snowmobile clubs and the snowmobiling public are best represented by an organization that has the most in-depth knowledge of land use issues and government policy. In the province of British Columbia, that organization is the BCSF.

In a perfect world, the BCSF would attend every snowmobile land use consultation that takes place in British Columbia. However, the cost of doing so would be tremendous and the BCSF does not have access to limitless funding—far from it. Meanwhile, the BCSF has increasingly been relied upon to represent snowmobilers at these important consultations, placing additional financial demands on the organization.

 

BCSF Fundraiser Queest Caribou Closure Sign

The next 12-24 months are crucial. There are many open government files at the moment pertaining to caribou, new and existing park plans, provincial species at risk, environmental legislation and more. As these go through the process of consultation and move to completion, it is essential that the BCSF be there along the way to represent the voice both of snowmobilers within the province, but also those from out-of-province who come here to recreate and stimulate our local economies.

In the GoFundMe, the BCSF has outlined three priority objectives for additional funding:


Projects in Order of Importance

1.0 Economic Impact Study of the Snowmobiling Industry in BC

A complete Economic Impact study of snowmobiling in British Columbia. This includes club operations, dealerships, commercial operations, communities, and tourism.

This complete report will provide us with one of the key tools to effectively participate in land access consultations.  It will also provide us the value of our sport in jobs, taxes and tourism potential. This will allow decision makers to effectively make decisions with a clear understanding of the implications they will have to local economies. This will assist the BCSF with current upcoming consultations in the Northeast as well as the individual Herd Plan consultations expected in the rest of BC.

2.0 Attendance at Key Consultation Meetings

As consultations role out across the Province it is important that the BCSF has the budget to attend these meetings. As the consultations move down from the government level to herd specific consultations at the community level, the BCSF will need to be there to support the local ridership.

We also see the mentoring of key individuals within the clubs/ridership will be necessary to ensure we can have representation at all meetings.

Travelling costs money both in actual travels costs but also in staff time as we need to hire staff to keep the day to day operations of the BCSF going at the same time.

3.0 Hiring of Professionals

Biology
The BCSF needs to hire consultants and biologists to assist with the review of consultation documents and preparation of responses.  We want to ensure that decisions being considered reflect current science and will contribute to the objectives intended.  We want to use science to enable us to move away from precautionary principle to evidence based decision making.

GIS Mapping
The BCSF needs to be able to hire GIS specialists to compile cumulative data.  We are seeing proposed closures under several different agencies including First Nations Land Settlements, Motor Vehicle Act, Wildlife Act, Fire recovery areas, Proposed Parks, Industry, etc.  But there is not a cumulative map of all these proposed closures and what they mean for our sport.

Legal
We want to have the ability to hire legal advice when needed as it pertains to new regulations and consultation processes.

Lobbyist
The BCSF would like to hire a lobbyist to assist us in educating elected officials and decision makers both Provincially and Federally if budgets allow.


BCSF Fundraiser

For more information, and to donate, please visit the BCSF Land Access for Public Snowmobiling GoFundMe.

 

– MS