Club Update for August 15, 2021 and AGM Announcement

Nopiming Sno-mads Update August 2021

Hello fellow Sno-mads,

We hope that you have been enjoying the summer despite all the challenges we face with the Covid pandemic and the nearby wild fires. We hope that all remain safe and that our cottages survive these uncertain times. The recent rainfall should certainly help keep our cottages and forest safe.

Despite all these challenges, our club continues to work towards making this upcoming snowmobile season enjoyable by making trail improvements and looking at our long term grooming requirements. Prior to the back country travel ban we were able to travel down the Osis and Booster trails with Conservation and Climate to show them some of our trail maintenance challenges. We identified 5 more culvert opportunities to help maintain normal water flow, and several opportunities to use a beaver deceiver (also known as a beaver dam water leveler). In addition, we have been able to add fill material to some low lying areas to help prevent water buildup on the trails. Our objective is to regularly survey as much of our trails as possible to identify potential trail obstacles before they become difficult to manage. This will help us pack and groom trails earlier and faster with the goal of maximizing the snowmobile season. The Sno-mads executive have formulated a long term grooming strategy that aims to optimize trail conditions and make the best use of limited financial resources. Below is a summarized version of that strategy.

Climate change and unpredictable weather has made it difficult to groom much beyond 8 or 9 weeks with large grooming equipment (The BR 180 and BR 160 with 9.5 foot wide drags). It is critical that we use large grooming equipment to provide well groomed trails, but the short season does not justify the capital cost of new (or newer) large equipment purchases. Our existing large groomers are in good shape and we anticipate that they should both last at least another 5 years with proper maintenance.

Beaver ponds, creeks, and the Bird River crossing are significant risks as these are the last to freeze to the required 16 inches of good ice needed to cross with large grooming equipment. The Executive is recommending that we invest in smaller grooming equipment to help pack and groom trails as early as possible until we can get the large groomers onto our trails. We believe smaller equipment will provide our members with well groomed trails in the early part of the season and help setup the trails for the large groomers once ice conditions make it safe to do so. We anticipate that the smaller groomers can cross ice that is 10 inches thick allowing us to provide good groomed trails 2 to 3 weeks earlier than otherwise possible with the large groomers. Based on our research, we recommend purchasing a Kubota RTV-X1100C with cab and building a 6 feet wide drag for early season grooming. Snoman has a groomer classification for a 6 foot wide drag that will allow us to receive funding, which is usually two thirds of what we are reimbursed for the large groomers. While the funding is lower, the expenses are also lower allowing us to generate excess cash for future operations. We are asking the membership for approval to purchase a new Kubota RTV-X1100C with cab for $30,000 (includes taxes and freight), and to purchase the required Camoplast tracks for up to $5,000 for a total investment of up to $35,000. We will also continue to look at gently used Kubota RTV options to reduce our financial exposure, but if used is not an option, we will purchase a new unit. Also, it is important to note that we will maintain minimum operating funds of $35,000 going into the 2021/2022 snowmobile season to ensure we can cover all of our expenses after we purchase the Kubota. We need to hold a membership vote before we can move forward with a capital purchase of this magnitude and will do so at our next Annual General Meeting (AGM). If you are unable to attend the AGM you can send your vote for or against the Kubota RTV1100C with tracks purchase of $35,000 to before September 19th, 2021.

The Executive will hold our Annual General Meeting on Sunday, September 26 at 11:00 AM at the new groomer shed (bring a lawn chair). We also need to hold Executive elections for President, Treasurer, Secretary, ERSA Representative, and Membership Director. The current incumbents for President, Treasurer, ERSA Representative are willing to stand for re-election, but any member in good standing is able to bring their name forward to run for any of these positions. We are also looking to fill the soon to be vacant positions of Secretary, and Membership Director.


Nopiming Sno-mads Executive

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