DEER LAKE — Pending government approval, the price of snowmobile trail passes will stay the same for the 2012-13 season.
Newfoundland and Labrador Snowmobile Federation chairperson Gloria Knowlton said the request has been sent after the federation underwent a 45-day financial audit, which began in June, and they are now playing the waiting game.
“We’re actually ahead of the game this year, the stickers are ahead (of schedule) but the approvals are within the normal timeframe,” said Knowlton. “Government is working with us on key issues.”
One of those issues is trail enforcement. The federation has applied to have the fine amounts increased, and is also in discussion to have more spot checks on the trails this year.
Knowlton said the federation’s enforcement committee consists of members, representatives from the RCMP and the RNC, Natural Resources and the Parks department all working on legislation to get the legalities sorted out.
The federation also hopes to work out its various infrastructure issues. They’ll be providing the province with what Knowlton said will be a three- to five-year outlook on issues like bridge replacement or trail maintenance.
“We’d want to find out how we can work with other departments to help us deal with those challenges better,” she said. “There’s a lot of work, but if we can have a plan on some major issues hopefully we’ll get ahead.”
Wilf Curlew, president of Deer Lake’s Junction Trailblazers snowmobile club, agreed with Knowlton that trail pass sales and enforcement are the key issues.
“Government made it mandatory to have these trail passes, but then they won’t enforce it,” he said. “People are riding on these trails with no stickers because they won’t get caught, it’s like people who drive without insurance when they know they won’t be caught, it’s the same thing.”
Curlew added that the addition of the new hotel in Deer Lake means the town now has enough facilities to possibly host the Western Rendezvous, a yearly gathering of snowmobile riders. The Trailblazers, he said will put a proposal together to host the event this year.