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February 19th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 7
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Crow Snow Riders address funding cuts
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
After being denied half of their annual Municipal Recreation Grant (MRT) the Crow Snow Riders Snowmobiling Association is appealing to council for help.

“We’ll be sending a letter to administration requesting to help us out on that other $4,000 we didn’t get,” said Crow Snow Riders President Doug Cox in a presentation to council on Feb. 11.

The club usually receives an $8,000 MRT grant to cover costs associated with their snow groomer, which they use to maintain about 200 kilometers of trails north and south of Highway 3. In Dec. 2013, they were told the grant would be halved and that this was the last year they would receive it.

“What we were expecting was $8,000,” said Cox, “We’re hoping to get $4,000 but still haven’t seen it.”

Cox says the club spends an average of $24,000 a year for fuel, maintenance and labour on the groomer and the truck that carries it. The equipment is bought through grants and fundraising events and then given to, and insured by, the municipality. Cox says the groomers are replaced every 4 to 5 years because of the damage they sustain pulling heavy equipment through the mountains, their last one cost about $135,000. He says their current groomer will last about one more year.

But Cox and Vice President Vern Pederson told council the benefits the Snow Riders are bringing to the community outweigh the price.


The Crow Snow Riders are a member of the Alberta Snowmobile Association. They were formed in 1991, boast 160 members and consistently win awards. Last year they won Best Family Riding in Alberta, Overall Favourite Snowmobiling in Alberta and Favourite Snowmobiling in Western Canada.

Cox says the club has hosted film crews, radio personalities, Alberta tourism officials and magazine writers from as far away as France.

“We feel we’re bringing people into the area by giving them recreation,” said Cox, “Staying here, using the hotels, buying gas, buying food.”

Cox presented a 2009 economic impact report done by Alberta Parks and Recreation that shows snowmobiling brings $388 million into the province every year.

Pederson says there are 140,000 sleds in Alberta and that the Crow Snow Riders are doing all they can to attract them to the Pass.

“We have a jewel here, a lot of people don’t know that,” Vice President of the Crow Snow Riders, told council. “You want to bring people to this community? Turn this place into a destination. We’re already doing it.”

Without the extra $4,000 the Crow Snow Riders will run a deficit this year.
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February 19th ~ Vol. 84 No. 7
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