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

Press Release
The Prince Edwad Island Snowmobile Association
and Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations & the Snowmobile Responsibly Campaign Reminds Riders to Keep Nature Beautiful

February is National Snowmobiling Environment Month

(Charlottetown, PEI – January 31, 2013) Through the new Snowmobile Responsibly campaign introduced by the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO), the Prince Edward Island Snowmobile Association encourages everyone to take personal responsibility for his or her decisions and actions on the snow this winter. Every day, riders make many important, snowmobile-related decisions that can impact their personal well being, that of others and of the natural setting in which they ride. Snowmobile Responsibly should be based on obeying applicable laws and rules, using good common sense, riding with care and control, and making smart choices to keep nature beautiful. Here are a few tips to help riders Snowmobile Responsibly continue to demonstrate that snowmobilers love the environment too:
Respect Sensitive Areas - There are lots of other places to ride, so avoid areas marked as environmentally sensitive or protected.
Stay On The Trail
- Wherever possible, reduce your environmental impact by riding and staying on organized trails.
Leave Tracks, Not Trash
- If you had space to bring it in, then respect nature by carrying it out with you.
Protect Wildlife - Animals are more vulnerable in winter, so keep your distance and leave them alone.
Embrace New Technologies - Mother Nature appreciates new advanced technology snowmobiles that run even more efficiently and effectively, use less fuel and oil, and operate with virtually no smoke or smell.
Maintain Your Sled
- A well-tuned snowmobile is more environmentally friendly and reliable.
Leave It Stock - Refrain from using after market pipes that increase noise and annoy others.
Spread the Word – Snowmobiling is a good news story because snowmobiles have improved continuously thanks to oil injection, sound reduction measures, variable height exhaust valves, direct injection, on-board computers, and new 2-stroke and 4-stroke engine technologies that comply with new EPA requirements.
Keeping nature beautiful during each and every ride depends primarily on the personal decisions and actions of each rider, so choose to Snowmobile Responsibly this winter.

February is National Environment Month
Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations Celebrates Reduced Emissions During National Snowmobiling Environment Month

The Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO) celebrates significantly lower sled emissions during February, National Snowmobiling Environment Month, as Canadian snowmobilers ride Best Available Technology sleds. Powered by cleaner-burning, advanced 4-stroke and next generation 2-stroke engines, today's snowmobiles help keep nature beautiful by operating more efficiently, effectively and quietly than ever before, while virtually eliminating smoke and smell. Moreover, increased fuel efficiency means that less fuel is being burned, which also results in lower emissions.

Earlier this decade, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set new standards for lower emissions from many internal combustion engines, including those that power snowmobiles. The new standards were phased in gradually, in 2006, 2010 and 2012. EPA standards for snowmobiles are traditionally mirrored in Canada by Transport Canada.

Snowmobile manufacturers have ramped up the development and introduction of new snowmobile engines that meet or exceed EPA requirements for 2012. In fact, Best Available Technology snowmobile engines produce at least 90% fewer hydrocarbons and 70% lower carbon monoxide. More reductions will inevitably follow as engines become even cleaner and as more Best Available Technology snowmobiles replace older ones on the snow. Overall, snowmobiles account for only a small fraction of all the motor fuel burned annually in Canada.

National Snowmobiling Environment Month is also a celebration of the many stewardship accomplishments of the CCSO
and its member organizations. These ongoing initiatives include seeding, tree planting, protecting sensitive habitats and species, erosion control, installing bridges and culverts to protect rivers and streams, working with government and environment groups, and ongoing education and outreach efforts within the snowmobiling community.

In addition to embracing Best Available Technology snowmobiles, the CCSO is using National Snowmobiling Environment Month to remind riders to leave tracks, not trash; to maintain sleds at peak operating efficiency; to avoid noisy after market pipes; and to ride on trails and within officially designated trails.

With a mission statement of being "Dedicated to providing leadership and support of safe, organized and environmentally responsible snowmobiling in Canada", the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations is the national
body serving as the umbrella group for this country's snowmobiling associations and federations.

Snowmobilers Care About the Environment

For more then forty years snowmobilers have acted as environmental stewards, doing our part to keep nature beautiful. CCSO/CCOM encourages snowmobilers to:

    • Stay on the Trail - Whenever possible, reduce your environmental footprint by riding on organized snowmobile trails, which act as defined corridors to move sleds with minimal impact on nature.

    • Embrace New Technologies - Today's clean and advanced technology snowmobiles run even more efficiently, effectively and much quieter too. They also benefit Mother Nature by significantly reducing emissions and virtually eliminate smoke and smell.

    • Leave Tracks, Not Trash - If you had the space to bring it in, then respect nature by carrying litter out with you. This includes sleds parts, such as broken belts, oil containers or used spark plugs.

    • Spread the Word - Snowmobiling and the environment is a good news story. Snowmobilers are proud of their stewardship contributions and the CCSO encourages every rider to spread the word about our progress in keeping nature beautiful.

    • Protect Wildlife - Animals are more vulnerable in winter, so keep your distance and leave them alone, allowing them to move away from you at their own pace. Avoid riding in areas reserved for endangered species.

    • Maintain Your Sled - A well-tuned snowmobile is more environmentally friendly, efficient and reliable, so be sure your sled is in tip top shape before each ride.

    • Keep It Quiet - Refrain from replacing the manufacturer's certified and approved muffler with noisy after market pipes that may disturb wildlife, increase emissions and annoy others.

    • Respect Sensitive Areas - There are lots of other places to ride, so avoid areas marked as environmentally sensitive or protected habitats.

The Truth about snowmobiling - Facts vs. Myths

The CCSO/CCOM provides the following facts as counterpoints to the many myths and misconceptions about snowmobiling and the environment:

  • - Snowmobiling occurs in defined locations such as organized trails and designated riding areas.

  • - The total surface footprint of snowmobile trails in Canada equals approximately 240 square miles, about the size of a medium size town.

  • - Because snowmobiling occurs in this comparatively small footprint, interaction between snowmobilers and wildlife remains minimal.

  • - Snowmobiling occurs when a blanket of snow protects the ground, thereby minimizing its impact on plants and earth.

  • - After the snow melts, nature flourishes again, including where snowmobiles have travelled.

  • - Snowmobile trails help wildlife conserve energy by providing packed surfaces for easier foraging and movement during harsh winters.

  • - Today's snowmobiles are built 94% quieter than early sleds and when left in stock condition produce a minimal sound

    level as certified by professional engineers.

  • - Overall, snowmobiles account for a small fraction of all the motor fuel burned annually in Canada.

  • - Today's snowmobiles use significantly less fuel and oil, and run much more efficiently than older sleds.

  • - Today's snowmobile engines produce 98% fewer hydrocarbons than older sleds.


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