CCSO/CCOM NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT STEWARDSHIP POLICY
The Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO/CCOM) is
committed to the conservation of Canada's natural environment and to
preserving organized snowmobile trails and designated riding areas
for future generations to enjoy. To that end, the Council will play
an important role in affecting future decisions concerning its use
While working to ensure that Canada's natural environment will
always remain accessible to Canadian snowmobilers, we must continue
to minimize our impact on the environment while carrying out
activities to protect endangered species and habitats.
Through the development and implementation of the National
Environment Stewardship Program the CCSO/CCOM will allocate both
financial and personnel resources, as available, to ensure
that issues related to the snowmobiling lifestyle, including
environmental, economic and social, are properly identified and
addressed at all levels.
Approved March 2011
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.
CCSO/CCOM Environmental Recognition Award
The new environment award is in memory of the CCSO President Mr. Pat Whiteway from Kelowna, BC. Pat worked very hard on environment projects and felt that snowmobilers should be recognized at the national level for their efforts. The CCSO is very excited to have created this opportunity to recognize environment leadership and celebrate the successful education programs and the many partnership opportunities that are created by volunteer snowmobilers coast to coast to coast in Canada.
- The winner for 2010-2011 Environmental Recognition Award: Alberta Snowmobile Association
The Alberta Snowmobile Association Environment Policy says it all
The ASA is committed to a leadership role in
fostering the environmentally responsible
development and use of Alberta snowmobile trails
by working with the stakeholders through a
sustained program of dedicated funding, research,
public education and innovative special projects.
Every year, the ASA brings its message of
environmentally safe and sounds riding practices
to over 10,000 students, through our SAFE RIDERS!
School safety program. Messages like - Leave
tracks not trash, pack it in pack it out, stay on
the trails, keep your machines exhaust unmodified
to keep decibels down, are just some of the
messages we bring forward. The ASA also presents
a province-wide national snowmobile environment
awareness month radio campaign through Alberta networks every February.
From sharing the environment theme while
training in the school programs to the consistent corporate
messaging, from web sites to the International
Snowmobile Congress in Calgary - the theme is
that snowmobilers care and together they can make a difference.
Congratulations to the Alberta Snowmobile
Association for their education and awareness
programs on why Alberta's Snowmobilers Care About the Environment - Well Done!
- The winner for 2009-2010 Environmental Recognition Award: Quebec Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (FCMQ)
The Quebec Federation of Snowmobile Clubs has taken a proactive approach to addressing
environmental issues specific to their province starting with the design and implementation of a five year action plan presented in September 2008.
Their Vision statement says it all:
- To become a proactive player in its environment in order to create synergies enabling it to face the social issues associated
with the practice of snowmobiling in Quebec so that the snowmobile community may adhere to the principle of sustainable development.
The FCMQ has committed time and resources to the implementation of the action plan as evidenced by:
Congratulations to the Quebec Federation of Snowmobile Clubs for their work and efforts to educate the general public on how Quebec Snowmobilers Care About the Environment - Well done!
- Annual aggressive tree planting program along their trails in partnership with Tree Canada.
- Annual Support of the École de technologie for the green snowmobile research projects each year.
- Including information sessions on the environment at their annual congress.
- Updated their web site with environmental link and information.
- Planned to run a carbon neutral event with the Women's breast Cancer snow run in 2010.
- Had two carbon-free promotional rides in February in support of the National Snowmobiling Environment month celebrations.
- Regular environmental messaging in their magazine.
The 2008 - 2009 Environmental Recognition Award was jointly awarded to The British Columbia Snowmobile Federations (BCSF) and The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC).
- Joint winner for 2008-2009 Environmental Recognition Award: The British Columbia Snowmobile Federations (BCSF)
Over the years the BCSF has worked hard to try and maintain snowmobiling riding areas in British Columbia but one issue that always comes forward is the Caribou issue. Mountain and Northern caribou areas affects half the snowmobile clubs in BC one way or another.
The BCSF is recognized for their Environmental Stewardship Program that consists of the following:
These educational tools will help educate the public and volunteers that Snowmobilers really do care about our Environment!
- A Guide to Environmental Stewardship - This guide contains links to laws or regulations pertaining to snowmobiling, Best Management Practices, Operating Procedures for snowmobiling clubs in Caribou Habitat, Code of Ethics, Memorandum of Understanding regarding
Management of Snowmobiling in Mountain Caribou Habitats, Contacts, etc.
- A Monitoring/Reporting form ( to report animal sightings or observations of animals or riders in restricted areas) The need to report and record for future use is huge because if the herds do not increase or the animals continue to congregate into snowmobile areas, we will at the very least have some data collected.
- A Caribou Training Matrix( complete CD for educating people on caribou habits, Identifying habitat, tracks and more).
- Pamphlets on snowmobiling in Caribou habitat.
- Promoting Greener choices for snowmobilers to make people think about their choices from
individuals to actions by their clubs.
Joint winner for 2008-2009 Environmental Recognition Award: Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs
The OFSC is committed to a leadership role in fostering the environmentally responsible
development and use of Ontario Snowmobile Trails by working with Stakeholders through a sustained program of dedicated funding, research, public education and innovative special projects.
Since 1992, the OFSC has invested $1.5 Million in projects to improve the environment and to assist clubs in minimizing environmental impacts. With $1 dollar from every Ontario trail permit committed to the environment, OFSC snowmobilers work closely with partners and member clubs to educate the public, draw attention to the environment and make capital improvements to trails and water crossings on their vast network of trails of over 34,000 kms.
From planting trees, to working with the media, to creating public service announcements, to
holding public forums, the OFSC, its Board of Governors and its thousands of volunteers fully
understands and are committed to let the world know that Snowmobilers really do care about our Environment!
Clean Snowmobile Challenge - 2013
A record number of teams are expected to participate in the SAE 2012 Snowmobile Challenge, sponsored by the snowmobile manufacturers along
with other supporting businesses, set for March 4th-9th, 2013 at
Michigan Technological University.|
Held at the University's Keweenaw Research Center, the Snowmobile
Challenge is a collegiate design competition of the Society of
Automotive Engineers. Engineering students from participating schools
take a stock snowmobile and reengineer it.
The snowmobiles will compete in a variety of events including
emissions, noise fuel economy/endurance, acceleration, handling,
static display, cold start and design.
The University snowmobiles are expected to be cost-effective and
comfortable for the operator to drive. The intent of the competition
is to design a snowmobile that will primarily be ridden on groomed
snowmobile trails. The use of unreliable, expensive solutions is
strongly discouraged! Modern snowmobiles are engineered to meet the
current standards for noise and emissions. Teams are expected to add
innovative solutions for improving on performance of the base sled
that they start with. Design judges (written and oral) will be
looking for innovations and incorporating that into their scores.
The minimum performance expectations for a trail snowmobile are set
by the rules as a sled that by design will go 100 miles without
refueling and can attain a trail speed of 45 miles per hour on a smooth trail.
This year, teams of students from 21 universities will be trying to reduce friction and improve
efficiency of the entire drive train.
The snowmobile manufacturers are major sponsors of the event.
More information is available from the Society of
Automotive Engineers, the Michigan Tech Clean
Snowmobile Challenge site and the Keweenaw
Research Center www.mtukrc.org.
Snowmobiler Code of Ethics