March 22 – 28 Proclaimed OFSC Landowner Appreciation Week 2021
(Barrie, ON: March 18, 2021) – The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) has declared the week of March 22 – 28 as OFSC Landowner Appreciation Week 2021. Across the province, landowners are the unsung contributors to organized snowmobiling who donate the use of a portion of their private property for snowmobile trails each winter. Their land not only provides OFSC snowmobilers with safe and legal places to ride, but also connects thousands of sections of disparate trails into an integrated, seamless trail network. In addition, private land provides connections to hundreds of rural winter communities for their recreational, social and economic well-being in our traditionally most dormant season.
Without our more than 18,000 generous landowners, trail riders could not enjoy recreational snowmobiling as we know and enjoy it today. So it’s entirely appropriate that we celebrate OFSC Landowner Appreciation Week 2021 as the opportunity for snowmobile clubs, club volunteers, snowmobilers and snowbelt communities to offer every landowner our heartfelt gratitude for the use of their property during this unprecedented and uncertain winter.
Save Our Trails: In preparation for OFSC Landowner Appreciation Week 2021, we recently launched several key provincial anti-trespass initiatives. One is an ongoing Save Our Trails call to action. It targets making off-trail trespass as socially unacceptable within the snowmobile community as drinking and driving, driving without a seatbelt, or smoking in the workplace are in our society today. Save Our Trails asks individual snowmobilers to support our landowners by spreading the word about responsible behaviour on private property to family and friends, on their social media, and by embracing the behaviour we advocate in the OFSC’s “Friends Don’t Ride With Friends Who Trespass” message.
OFSC Trail Rider Code of Conduct: A second recently introduced initiative is the new OFSC Trail Rider Code of Conduct, the first of its kind developed in North America. The Trail Rider Code of Conduct emphasizes that land use permission is a privilege not a right. It’s a privilege that must be respected and defended by every trail rider adopting the ten responsible behaviours for riding on private property outlined in the Code.
Landowner Radio PSA: In its third key initiative for OFSC Landowner Appreciation Week 2021, we have worked with Skywords Media to develop a radio Public Service Announcement (PSA) to recognize and thank landowners province-wide. The PSA recalls that landowners providing land use for snowmobile trails is a rural tradition that goes back more than 50 years, and extends heartfelt appreciation to each private property owner for making winter safer and more enjoyable.
To coincide with OFSC Landowner Appreciation Week 2021, the PSA is being broadcast on more than 70 participating radio stations until the end of March, and the OFSC is also promoting it through an extensive social media campaign.
OFSC Landowner Appreciation Week 2021 marks the wind-down of the 2020-21 snowmobiling season. But stay tuned, because it’s also the precursor to an ambitious Stay On The Trail/Anti-Trespass Campaign to support our landowners already being planned by the OFSC for launch next fall.
The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is a volunteer led, not for profit association that provides the voice for organized snowmobiling in Ontario. OFSC snowmobile trails managed by 200 community based, member clubs generate up to $3.3 billion in economic activity in the province each year.