BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
TRAP LINES ARE NOT TRAILS
PLEASE STAY OFF TRAP LINES WHEN SNOWMOBILING
REMEMBER IF YOU DON'T KNOW THEN DON'T GO!
A MESSAGE FROM THE SASKATCHEWAN SNOWMOBILE ASSOCIATION
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT THE SSA
NOTICE TO SNOWMOBILERS
The Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association (SSA) and the Saskatchewan Trappers Association are working together to inform the public to be aware of traps, snares and trap lines. The SSA advises snowmobilers not to tamper, remove or damage traps or snares. The SSA would like snowmobilers to keep off trap lines altogether. PLEASE USE THE SNOWMOBILE TRAILS.
UNDER THE WILDLIFE ACT NO. 198124(2):
NO PERSON SHALL:
a) touch or interfere with any legally placed traps or snares, unless he or she is authorized by the owner;
The Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association advises that the Saskatchewan Trappers Association has brought this matter to the attention of Sask. Environment and they will be monitoring and watching for individuals tampering with trap lines. Individuals that are tampering with traps, snares and trap lines are giving all snowmobilers a bad name.
PLEASE HELP US TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT SNOWMOBILING AND THE ENVIRONMENT!
Non-snowmobilers have many misconceptions about snowmobiling and the environment. Often, these inaccurate impressions are fueled by false or out of date information. To counteract these ideas, it is important for each snowmobiler to be armed with the facts and to spread the truth about snowmobiing at every opportunity. Here are a few facts that you should know…….
LIMITED SPACE, LIMITED USAGE
While snowmobiling may appear to be very prolific, the total surface area actually occupied by snowmobile trails in Canada is only about 240 square miles, approximately equal to the size of one medium urban center. So snowmobile trails, where the majority of riding occurs, occupy only a tiny amount of Canada’s total land mass, and are used three months a year or less. Cross country and mountain riding also make up a very small portion of all kilometres snowmobiled in Canada each winter, and again, only access a fraction of our back country regions.
SNOWMOBILERS ARE COMPARATIVELY INSIGNIFICANT
To put things into perspective, a recent study from the University of Minnesota indicated the consumption of snowmobile fuel in the U.S. was about 41.5 million gallons annually. In comparison the consumption for all road vehicles annually, excluding snowmobiles, was about 147 billion gallons, about 3,534 times more than snowmobiles! So snowmobiles accounted for only .032% of the total U.S. motor fuel consumed annually. The equivalent Canadian percentage, representing about 90% fewer people, is miniscule in comparison.
ACTUAL SNOWMOBILE EMISSIONS ARE MUCH LOWER
New testing procedures for snowmobile engine emissions recently approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency support a much reduced impact of snowmobiling. Using new results from the procedures, the EPA decreased snowmobile emissions estimates by as much as 335% from previously published numbers. Meanwhile, all snowmobile manufacturers will make a further 30% reduction in hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions by 2006.
SO WHAT ABOUT SOUND LEVELS?
Technological advances have reduced sound levels by 94% over the past 30 years. Today it would take 256 current sleds revving together at full throttle to equal the sound output from one of those early machines. In fact, a current sled puts out comparable sound to an average pick up truck. Sound reduction will continue to improve even more as more 4-stroke snowmobiles are introduced and manufacturers introduce other new sound abatement technologies.
A feature article from Saskatchewan Environment Writer; Art Jones
Date: February 26, 2004
An Act Of Cruelty
For many people a snowmobile ride is one of the joys of winter. The sound of the machine, the beauty of the snow-covered land, lakes and rivers and the crisp cold air all add to the thrill of the ride. Sometimes there is even the extra bonus of seeing some wildlife.
But what some do when they see that wildlife is against the law. They like to use their snowmobiles to chase and even kill the animals, especially coyotes.
“People should take a minute to think about what they’re doing before they run down an animal,” says Environment’s Lucyshyn. “In Saskatchewan , animals in the wild spend most of their time simply trying to survive the winter. So when someone goes after them with a snowmobile they don’t have a chance. Not only do they get terribly frightened, the snow is usually too deep for them to run very far without becoming exhausted, while a snowmobile never gets tired. Conservation officers have even found deer that have been chased for so long they simply died of exhaustion. Chasing and killing any animal like this is not a sport, it is an act of the most extreme cruelty.”
Someone convicted of pursuing animals with snowmobiles or any vehicle can face significant fines. The maximum penalty under the Wildlife Act is $100,000. A court case from this past autumn saw a trio of men from British Columbia lose both their hunting and driving privileges after they were convicted of using their vehicle to chase deer.
People also need permission to snowmobile on private land. Many producers have crops such as alfalfa or winter wheat that can be easily damaged by snowmobiles. People who do not get permission to go on someone’s land are technically trespassing and can be asked to leave.
All animals, even coyotes, have a role to play in the environment. Although coyotes occasionally bother stock their main food is small animals such as mice and rabbits. Autopsies on animals run over by snowmobiles have shown nothing more in their stomachs than the remains of small animals.
“Like most wild animals coyotes are opportunists,” says Saskatchewan Environment conservation officer, Doug Lucyshyn. “Sometimes a free meal is easiest for them so they’ll wander into farmyards, particularly at calving time. They will sometimes take a newborn calf or feed on a dead one. If there are any dead animals farmers should haul them far enough away from the calving area or bury them so the coyotes won’t be drawn in.”
There are many ways to prevent the loss of livestock to predators and producers should contact their local conservation officer if they are having problems.
In recent years predator numbers have increased and it’s legal for Saskatchewan residents to hunt and trap coyotes and foxes outside of the Fur Conservation Blocks, year round, without a license. However, anyone wishing to sell the pelts has to buy a fur license. People must remember that they still need permission from the landowner or occupant to hunt or trap on their property.
“Chasing animals is simply not worth the effort and it is also dangerous,” says Lucyshyn. “People have been badly hurt while using snowmobiles to chase wildlife. When you are going at a high rate of speed it is easy to hit a rock, fence or other obstruction. Your life isn’t worth the pelt of a coyote or fox.”
“There are a lot of wide open spaces in Saskatchewan ,” says Environment’s Lucyshyn. “However, there are many people in the country that may see this type of activity and we are asking people who see someone being cruel like this to call the local conservation officer. He or she will act as quickly as possible.”
People can also call the toll-free “Turn-In-Poachers” line at 1-800-667-7561.
For more information contact;
(306) 536-8452 (cell)
(Permission is given to reprint or broadcast all or parts of this article. Previous “Environment Newsline” articles are available at www.se.gov.sk.ca/media/)