Opinion
March 1st, 2019
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Land Use Proposals Threaten Snowmobile Access in the BC Sea to Sky

We sledders are a passionate bunch, and our sport is filled with lots of high energy people. When most people think the weather is terrible, we venture outside into the backcountry to get our fix of deep pow!

One mistake I think we make as a user group is that we often use our passion to argue among ourselves rather than join forces to fight the many other groups that would rather see us stay at home. Yes, I am talking membership, in the form of belonging to clubs and registering our sleds. I know this is changing, but not as fast as the areas we ride are coming under threat!

Right now there are a couple of public snowmobile areas in the Sea to Sky Corridor that are threatened by other user groups. It’s time we stand together!

Here’s what’s going on.


Snowmobile Areas Threatened in BC Sea to Sky Corridor

Sproatt Mountain Riding Watershed Closure

The Sproatt riding area is in danger of a government mandated weather-dependent closure, but it has remained open due to a huge effort by a few individuals—Graham Roberge, Ryan Thorley, Tyler Kraushar, Ryan Nadeau, Adam Phipps and others. The Save Sproatt Facebook page is something that every backcountry and mountain rider should visit and “Like” to show support!

 

Snowmobile Access Sea to Sky

We need to band together to continue to have access to the riding areas we enjoy in the Sea to Sky Corridor and elsewhere.

 

To help with voluntary compliance of the watershed closure area at Sproatt, a line of bamboo poles was put in place this winter by the riding community to help define the physical boundary. This is on top of a massive awareness and self-policing campaign. Daily reports have been a huge help in confirming compliance.
In one exception, there were a couple of riders who did ride into the closure. Those riders were reported by other sledders and identified. The offending riders have since offered up an apology and made a donation to the cause, which shows that the snowmobile user group can be relied upon to self-police.

Let’s keep this awesomeness going! So please, ride at Sproatt and report it with vids and photos—this goes a long way to show that we deserve our place in the backcountry!

 

Brohm Ridge Resort Proposal

Another issue that is coming to the forefront is the proposed G.A.S. (Garibaldi at Squamish) development of Brohm Ridge and the Black Tusk Snowmobile Club area.

The G.A.S. developer is trying hard to win the community over by proposing a ski and mountain bike resort development. However, a resort there would turn an awesome public recreation area for snowmobiling, sled-skiing/riding, hiking, moto, trials, snowshoeing—you name it—into a private resort. The approval of this project would mean the public would lose the use of a huge beginner-to-advanced riding area in the corridor!
Now, I am not against development. However, this contentious issue continues to threaten the access and use of these public lands. And unfortunately the developer—the Aquilini Family—has deep pockets.

 

Snowmobile Access Sea to Sky

 

The developers are selling the idea of this resort to people who have never recreated in this area. If Brohm Ridge was an established mountain bike area, there is no way the local community would let this development proposal fly.

It is time we ban together as snowmobilers from the whole province and say NO.

Snowmobile Access Sea to Sky-4
Kyle Touhey
Whether we sled, ski, snowboard or snowshoe—we need to fight to retain our freedom to access these public areas.

Please visit the Black Tusk Snowmobile Club website and click on the Save Brohm link for more info. Riders can also weigh in on the discussion on the Black Tusk Snowmobile Club Facebook page! Let’s keep this area open for our kids!

In the meantime, the season is just half over and typically the biggest dumps can happen in March. So let’s hope for more snow and keep riding, pushing and having FUN!!

 

– Dave

Ski-Doo Factory Ambassador, Dave Norona, lives in Squamish, BC and loves his backyard treasures on sleds, skis and pow surfers!