OFSC Committed To Providing Trails To Ride This Winter Prep Work Underway To Ready Snowmobile Trails For Grooming
Rider Questions Covered In This Release:
(Barrie, ON: September. 24, 2020) - As the voice of organized snowmobiling and the recognized leader for powersports tourism and recreation in this province, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is committed to delivering the best possible trail riding experiences for snowmobilers this winter.
Trails To Ride 2021: The OFSC is accomplishing this mission under its Trails To Ride 2021 initiative. This action plan starts by getting trail preparations and operations underway this fall for the provincial trail system to achieve the OFSC’s top priority of having trails ready to groom as soon as snow conditions allow.
“As usual, some regions will have trails ready to ride earlier than others, depending on their location and weather,” commented new OFSC President Murray Baker. “Our main goal is to have trails in all OFSC districts ready to go as soon as Mother Nature allows.”
In response to the concern of many snowmobilers about not having trails to ride this winter, the OFSC reminds riders that today’s outlook is much different than last spring. According to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, when the virus first struck, experts had only the faintest inkling of what it was or what it would do. So, they ordered blanket restrictions, but have since refined and refocused efforts to those proven as most effective.
Experts are now saying that COVID-19 responses will be more targeted to affected areas and risky behaviours. So the bottom line for snowmobilers is that closing provincial snowmobile trails isn’t on anyone’s hit list this winter.
Flex Trail Option: Having all trails ready to groom this winter also enables an important OFSC back-up strategy that is part of Trails To Ride 2021. In cooperation with public health units throughout the snowbelt, the OFSC is working on having flexible options for trail riding. These regional and local riding alternatives would be implemented if an area had limited restrictions that might temporarily impact its trails or trail services. Through this flex-trail approach, other trails in the 30,000-kilometre OFSC network would remain available to ride regardless.
Pandemic Response Plan: Trails To Ride 2021 also includes strategies to help ensure the health and safety of everyone working on, riding on or depending on OFSC trails.
“We’ve worked closely with several snowbelt public health units to create a pandemic response plan – the most progressive among Canadian trail user groups - to ensure keeping everyone safe on our trails this winter.” said OFSC CEO Landon French. “This initiative starts with ensuring that our districts, clubs and volunteers work smart and safe throughout this fall and winter to keep trails happening.”
Details of protocols to help keep riders and services safe for the coming winter will be released later this fall.
Rider Advantage Confidence Bonus: The OFSC thanks the tens of thousands of snowmobilers who have already bought their trail permits and reminds snowmobilers to do their part by buying a permit early to support fall trail preparations. Early permit buyers benefit from the Rider Advantage Confidence Bonus of $50 at the same time permits are purchased until midnight September 30, 2020, and $25 from October 1 to November 1, 2020.
This one-time bonus will apply to the buyer’s 2022 Permit account should all OFSC snowmobile trails be closed provincially before February 16, 2021 for the remainder of the season as a result of Ontario COVID-19 health guidelines. Riders who do not yet have sled VIN or registration numbers can lock in the early bird permit fee by purchasing a gift card and also get the Rider Advantage Confidence Bonus.
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