Snowmobilers Care About the Environment
For more than 40 years, snowmobilers have acted as environmental stewards, doing our part to keep nature beautiful. Today, responsible riding is more important than ever, so the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations encourages snowmobilers to continue to:
Stay On The Trail - Wherever possible, reduce your environmental footprint by riding on organized snowmobile trails, which act as defined corridors to move sleds along with minimal impact on nature.
Respect Sensitive Areas - There are lots of other places to ride, so avoid areas marked as environmentally sensitive or protected habitats
Leave Tracks, Not Trash - If you had space to bring it in, then respect nature by carrying litter out with you. This includes sled parts, such as broken belts, oil containers, used spark plugs, food, cans etc.
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.
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.
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.
Protect Wildlife – Keep your distance and leave wildlife alone, allowing them to move away from you at their own pace. Avoid riding in areas reserved for endangered species.
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.
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 Often, these inaccurate impressions are fueled by false or out of date information.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 snow mobiler to be armed with the facts and to spread the truth about snowmobiling 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.
CCSO National Environmental Policy
“The Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations is committed to the conservation of Canada’s natural environment. To that end, the Council will play an important role in affecting future decisions concerning its use and protection.
While ensuring 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 to preserve all of these lands for future generations to enjoy.”
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.