Over the past 40 years, there are many “Club Volunteer Champions” that have worked behind the scenes with the forestry, oilfield and SRD/AB Parks and Environment to ensure the Club was in compliance and lines of communication were open with our industry partners.
Since the beginning, there were partnerships formed with the Alberta government. Our trails and Eagle River Staging Development Area were originally built and maintained by the Alberta Forest Service. Throughout the past 40 years the Forestry and the Club have worked together to form a partnership and agreement to have the Club acquire, expand and develop the trails and Eagle River Staging Area. Thank you to our contacts throughout the years -Gordon Bisgrove, Cliff Henderson, Mark Ross, Ed Dechant, Cyril Lanctot, Everett Smith, Mike Penner, Dennis York, Brian Wallick, Wilson Nelson, Shereen Threnchard, George Robertson, Mike Parks, Bruce Vanos and David Geddes. We still have a good relationship with Alberta Parks and Environment (SRD) and appreciate their support and guidance.
Our trails are a valuable resource and if industry users are planning on working on or near our trails by roads, pipelines, leases or cutblocks, we ask that they are in compliance with the CNT Restrictions. Our local trail system is held under CNT designation which identifies it on the provincial data as a recognized snowmobile trail. When industrial users on the landscape or are going to cross or work alongside the trail, a consultation process is initiated by the Alberta Parks and Environment. The industrial users are then required to consult with the snowmobile clubs on how their activities can be conducted and minimize any impacts to the trails and provide safety considerations to the snowmobilers. Working with oilfield and other companies creates it’s own set of challenges, but we are certainly open to having discussions and connecting with these companies when our trails are in the area of a new project. The consultation process is completed prior to project start up, and the safety of riders and the public is always the first priority. There are protocols with stakeholders and these expectations are shared with them. Potential points of conflict that cannot be resolved are then tabled with the Alberta Parks and Environment who makes the final decisions that is in the best interest of all stakeholders . |We have made it easy for companies to contact us on the “Trail Impactors” tab, via our website. By notifiying us, they are respecting our trails.
Through the Forestry Industry, we have built great partnerships as well. Our trail system is in the Forest Management Areas of Millar Western, Blue Ridge Lumber (West Fraser), Weyerhauser and Woodlands County. Some of the individuals that we have had great working relationships with have been Dave Martell, Bob Leslie, Dave Carter, Bruce West, Brian Milligan, Brian Davies, Jim Halawell, Thomas Lee, Tyler Pell, Ken Anderson, Bob Mason, Tim McCready, Shane Sadoway and Louise Riopel. We have also worked with Alberta Newsprint on a few projects. Our relationships were built in the 1980’s and we still strive to maintain them. The relationships have had struggles; however, we believe that we are working together well. Just recently we met with Millar Western and Blue Ridge (West Fraser) and the snowmobile Clubs of Fox Creek, Swan Hills and Whitecourt to help build the communication between all groups. Annually, we will plan to meet to have discussions in a sensible and open manner. In addition, thank you to Alex Manweiler who has sat on 2 committees with Millar – first the DFMP (Detailed Forest Management Plan) and then the PAC (Public Advisory Committee) for a total of 16 years and is a representative for the Trailblazers.
Not only have all the Presidents and Vice Presidents worked with these companies, but there are also other Executives that have supported the Club through their knowledge with oilfield, forestry and SRD/Parks and Environment. Over the past 10 years, we developed a position on our Executive that oversees these notices and conversations with companies – thanks to Jeff Brooks and Lennie Bilodeau who are the first point of contact. Other members that have been our Industry Liaisons have been our past Trail Bosses – Cyril Lanctot, George Vanberg, Nick Slootweg, Gordon Quinn, Doug Hay, Mike Pasula, Ken Bobst, Glen Kingdon, Dale Gunderson, Alex Manweiler, Mark Gray, Randy Matthews, Dave Bradley, Chet Brewster, Mitch Sharp, David MacLeod, Don Price and Dave Newbury.
A special thank you to all of our industry contractors that have helped along the way with our trails – G. MacRitchie Forestry Services, Strydhorst Contracting, Wayne Reynders Trucking, Phillip Lewis Contracting, Woodlands County, Clean Harbors Energy Services, Roszko Farm Equipment Limited, Total Oilfield, X-treme Energy Services, Blue Ridge Lumber, Alberta Newsprint Company, Paul Flasha Contracting, Hilltop Mobile Home Park, Millar Western Industries, Bob Burns Trucking, Kana Oilfield Service, Brian and Jason Thomas Contracting, Morgan Construction, Marla Trucking, Mega C Steaming, Jason Foster and Progressive Forestry Contracting.
(If we missed you in this article, our apologies).
Thanks to all of our Industry supporters and volunteers in the Club. Trails don’t just magically appear or clean themselves. You are all appreciated!! We look forward to many more years of partnerships like we have had!