What is NNTA?
All of the snowmobile clubs in Ontario have formed a federation know as the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (“the OFSC”). There are 16 active Districts in the OFSC. District 11 includes the area from Mattawa, to Temagami, to French River, to Port Loring, to Burkes Falls. District 11 includes the following ten clubs – Almaguin District, Argile Riders, Bonfield, French River, Near North Snow Drifters, North Bay, Mattawa, Nippissing/Veuve River, South Shore/Restoule and West Nippissing.
The Near North Trail Association (the “NNTA”) is an association of the ten clubs in District 11. Each of the ten clubs elects or appoints two delegates as members of the District 11 Board of Directors which also serves as NNTA Board of Directors. The Boards meet on the second Wednesday of every month except July of each year. The Boards elect a President, Vice President and a Secretary/Treasurer who form the Executive Committee, as well as a Governor who sits on the OFSC Board and an Operations Coordinator for the District.
District 11 has one full time employee located in the office in North Bay. The Executive Committee seeks volunteers to sit on the Finance, Groomer Fleet, Marketing and Trails Committees and assists with the appointment of Chairs for each Committee. The Finance and Groomer Fleet Committees have representation from all ten clubs. Committee meetings occur as required with Finance and Trails usually meeting at least every time the Boards meet. District 11 raises about $340,000 from its share of the sale of Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (the “MTO”) trail permits where the permit buyers have designated a club in District 11 as their home club.
A vast majority of that permit-related revenue comes from sales on the OFSC online website. A very small portion of that permit-related revenue comes from permit sales completed by the clubs. District 11 spends about $740,000 to operate its trails, equipment and office. Of that amount, about $400,000 is received from the OFSC in the form of equalization payments based on standard rates for grooming hours, kilometers of trails and administration less the District’s share of the sale of MTO permits.
District 11, the NNTA and your local Club need your help to keep organized snowmobiling in Ontario sustainable. Start by volunteering at your local Club. There is a lot that needs to be done. A little help from all permit buyers will ensure it all gets done and trails stay open. Just buying a permit will not likely ensure sustainability. Just sitting on the sidelines and criticizing the efforts of the Club volunteers, the Club Executive, and the District and NNTA Boards and Committees is a good way to ruin it all for everyone. Critics seldom do any of the work and often do not know the facts.
Remember it’s a ride not a race. MTO trail permits are required. Speeding and riding OFSC trails without a permit, without proper protective gear, or impaired or distracted, are all offenses enforceable by both local and provincial police. Don’t ride with anyone without a permit. They are robbing the rest us by not contributing to the cost of organized snowmobiling.
District 11 - Groomer Fleet Management Committee
December 7th, 2015 the Groomer Fleet Management Committee met to review the fleet and certain opportunities presented by the OFSC.
The District 11 fleet is made up of 28 units with an average age of 12 years and average usage of 3,675 hours. There are 16 units that are over 10 years old. Of those 16 units 9 of them are well in excess of 5,000 hours of usage. Ten years of age and 5,000 hours of usage have been identified in a provincial grooming study performed by an independent consultant, as the estimated useful life of a grooming unit before it loses its trade in value and becomes exceedingly expensive to repair and operate. Last year on average each of our units groomed for 264 hours. Four of the oldest units on average groomed 70 hours each – a total of 280 hours.
The Committee has decided to remove the above-noted four units from the fleet and the OFSC has offered to give District 11 a new groomer and drag of its choosing to put on the snow this coming January. In addition, the Committee has identified an additional unit to be retired and will replace it with a new unit to put on the snow this coming January. This second new unit will be paid for with funds from the NNTA reserves from prior years. The identification of the units to be retired, the location of the two new units and the related relocations of other District units has been determined by the Committee and has the unanimous support of all Committee members representing all Clubs in the District. None of the existing trails will be affected and a new district wide grooming plan for the 25 units is being developed.
After the end of this season, the Committee hopes to identify and retire another 3 of the remaining 12 units that are over ten years old as the OFSC has offered to give the District another new groomer and drag if the District fleet can be reduced to 22 units prior to next season. The Committee will be coming to the Clubs to ask for input to create grooming efficiencies, identify trail redundancies and develop a district wide grooming plan for a 22 unit fleet for the 2016 – 2017.
The District 11 Groomer Fleet Management Committee has many other exciting opportunities to consider and efficiencies to develop if the “MORE on the Snow” five-year plan introduced at OFSC AGM 2015 goes ahead with full implementation in the 2016 – 2017 season.
The Committee will be forming sub-committees to work on several of its 2015-2016 agenda items. Please contact the Groomer Fleet Management Committee member from your Club if you wish to help with this very important element of the sustainable future of organized snowmobiling.
Think back to when you bought your snowmobile. You envisioned excitement, adventures and good times. The machine would provide a reason to look forward to winter with anticipation, to be outdoors and physically active. It would be the key to experience new places, meet different people and explore what nature has to offer.
You envisioned white crystal snow under clear blue sky and smooth, twisting trails. Perhaps you smiled at the thought of carving a turn, at speed, on a stretch of frozen lake. Would there be glimpses of moose or deer, perhaps a wolf or lynx… or would the woods be still and quiet, the air clear and crisp?
You envisioned the laughter and stories shared with friends over lunch. Not from familiar cardboard containers of the fast food chains, but at a unique place, where wet boots and helmets and suits are a normal part of life.
What you envisioned was the Near North… it’s what snowmobiling is all about.
The volunteers of the Near North Trail Association understand and share your vision. We’ve been there! Come and ride with us, re-live the excitement as you explore our 2800 kms of world class trails.
Share the history of the villages, farms and trails of fabled French River Country. View our spectacular bridges over the French and Pickerel Rivers; you can almost hear the songs of the Voyageurs as they paddled along these fur trade routes centuries ago. Lose yourself among the northern pines and lakes in the wilderness made famous by the writings of Grey Owl, with place names like Temagami, Temiscaming and Mattawa. Watch for deer as you enjoy the thriving communities, rolling hills and hardwood forests on our southern borders or travel the vast expanse of Lake Nipissing from the modern facilities of the City of North Bay.
Share the adventures of the RAN (Ride Around Nipissing) or RAP (Round Algonquin Park) tours with friends and family.
When winter settles in, think Near North… we’ll be getting the trails ready!