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Sledders and ATVers join forces in Ontario

Will strengthen efforts to combat off‐trail riding, trespassing, and seasonal trail usage
20210303 OFSC snowmobile trail warning sign turl
OFSC trail warning.

Two of Ontario's recreational giants will work together to foster the protection, sustainability and growth of motorized recreational trails.

The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) and the Ontario Federation of All Terrain Vehicle Clubs (OFATV) announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the province’s two largest recreational trail organizations.

"The MOU will significantly benefit each Federation, their clubs, volunteers, landowners and trail users, as well as countless trail‐connected communities and tourism businesses across Ontario," says a news release.

“Through these formal cooperative efforts, we will be able to leverage our collective communities to amplify messaging and strengthen our efforts to combat off‐trail riding, trespassing, and seasonal trail usage,” said Ryan Eickmeier, OFSC CEO. “Where shared trails exist, the ability for our respective clubs to work together to build trail and infrastructure is also a definitive win for both organizations”.

"With the incredible rise in popularity of powersports in Ontario, this MOU provides an unprecedented opportunity to contribute to the growth of clubs and experience for trail users as well as the integrity of shared trails” said Shari Black, OFATV Executive Director.

The announcement was welcomed locally.

“We’re excited that this MOU had been signed," North Bay Snowmobile Club Director of Public RelationsShawn Flindall told BayToday. "Our clubs have worked well together in the past, but this MOU will lead to even more consistency and collaboration between our two groups. We really need to get the issues of safety and off-trail riding/trespassing in check. The cooperation of our two organizations working together will create a lot more voice towards those challenges.

"Our OFSC trails use a lot of private landowner property and it’s important to note that this agreement does NOT mean that ATVs will be on that privately owned land in the off-season. We will continue to work with our landowners within the OFSC framework only. ATVs will not be allowed on those privately owned parcels of land.”

The OFSC and OFATV will seek to develop inter‐club alignment and collaboration, and where applicable, explore opportunities to share infrastructure and trail maintenance for more cost-effective and efficient operations.

While leveraging their respective economic and community impacts to increase support from municipal, provincial, and federal government, the federations will proactively partner on government grants and funding opportunities. They will also develop and promote common themes in their respective messaging around safety, seasonal trail usage, trespassing, off‐trail riding, and respecting landowners.

The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is a volunteer-led, not-for-profit association.

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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