P.E.I. Snowmobile Association hoping for more snow in 2020
'We would love to see snow come and last for eight to 10 weeks'
It's difficult to maintain numbers in a snowmobile association when there is a lack of snow. That's why the president of the P.E.I. Snowmobile Association is hoping for more than flurries this season.
Membership in the association has been declining over the last few years due to a lack of freshly fallen powder, says association president Dale Hickox.
"As far as snow goes on Prince Edward Island since the high mark of 2015 the snow has been pretty limited, especially in the eastern and central area of the province," he said. "Because of that our membership has dropped a little bit."
Ideally the association is hoping for steady snowfall this year from now until the end of March, Hickox said.
"We would love to see snow come and last for eight to 10 weeks. Not really the kind of snow we had in 2015. We don't really need 18 feet of it," he said.
Since 2015, membership purchases have dropped about eight per cent, Hickox said.
Hickox said there are still members who "believe in the organization," and even if the snow doesn't fall, the group still has things it needs to pay for.
"We still have the costs, for equipment costs and payments and stuff like that," he said.
Hickox said there are overhead costs like trail maintenance and insurance that need to be paid no matter how many centimetres are in the forecast.
Right now, Hickox said final numbers for membership are hard to judge, but he is optimistic the group will be close to last year's numbers.
"Last year we had close to 2,500 members," Hickox said.
With a membership, snowmobilers can use the groomed trails that volunteers maintain, he said.
"It's against the law to be riding on the trail system of the P.E.I. Snowmobile Association without a permit," he said.
There are about 900 kilometres of trail across the province, including the Confederation Trail, all groomed by the association, Hickox said.
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With files from Angela Walker