CCSO - Environment

Dear fellow snowmobilers,

Please allow me to present myself.  My name is Mario Côté, Vice-President of the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations and head of the environment committee.  I have been involved in organized snowmobiling for over 35 years in various capacities, including club president, director, Vice-President and even President of the Quebec federation of snowmobile clubs (FCMQ).

Today, I would like to speak to you about the environment, a subject we all care about dearly and one which, it is obvious, we have a duty to protect.  

Certain environmental extremists would like to see snowmobiling disappear.  However, snowmobiling, like numerous other activities, must be a part of sustainable development. In order to do so, an activity has to, among other things, have a socio-economic character and programs designed to improve its ecological footprint.  

Allow me to explain: the socio-economic aspect is rather obvious, for snowmobiling is a social activity that brings people together and the economic impact of the industry in Canada exceeds $11 billion annually.

All activities have an environmental impact and in order to survive in a sustainable development framework, it is this impact which must be reduced, but how?

Firstly, with new engine technologies such as four-strokes and direct injection two-strokes, the manufacturers have made significant steps forward and I am convinced that this evolution will continue.  

For snowmobile clubs responsible for managing trails, we must ensure that all applicable environmental rules are respected and adhered to in every province.  This applies to wetlands, the construction of bridges and culverts and proximity to residential areas.  Where and when possible, establish trails that are as permanent as possible so as to reduce as much as possible our ecological impact.  

For individual snowmobilers, we must ride only in designated areas, keep our vehicles in good working order as it`s proven that a well maintained snowmobile has a reduced ecological impact.  We must be responsible when trail riding and when the time comes to purchase a new snowmobile, choose one equipped with the latest available technology. 

In finishing, have a great season and please be respectful of the environment!

Mario Cote

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