Miss­ing mark­ers on White Wolf trail a safety con­cern

Oth­er­wise club off to a good start in 2019

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Front Page - BY MIKE POWER

It was just be­fore New Years when mem­bers of the White Wolf Snow­mo­bile Club went out to place mark­ers on lit­tle Wabush Lake and other ar­eas of the clubs trail. Club pres­i­dent El­don Wheaton told The Aurora, “The next day we went out to con­tinue the work, the mark­ers were miss­ing.”

Wheaton says the mark­ers were be­ing used as a test.

“They are for safety,” he ex­plained. “If no­body is out and it gets stormy or if there is wind and it’s drift­ing, the mark­ers will help them to stay on the trail.”

The mark­ers are also used Some­one took some of the mark­ers the White Wolf Snow­mo­bile Club were us­ing to mark the trail. as a guide for club staff if they have to go out in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions and re­spond to an emer­gency, or deal with a prob­lem on the trail.

Wheaton says the mark­ers were de­signed so they couldn’t blow down, and he says they were def­i­nitely taken. He says the mark­ers are unique and asks if any­one sees them to let the club know.

Mem­ber­ship/ Trail groom­ing

Mean­while, Wheaton is pleased with cur­rent mem­ber­ship num­bers. Ear­lier this year there was con­cern that a lot of peo­ple were us­ing the trail with­out buy­ing passes, but that has turned around.

“We had meet­ings with RNC, Forestry, Fish­eries and MHA (Gra­ham) Letto — all were on board and there were plans to do weekly pa­trols,” he said. “I’m happy to say that right now our mem­ber­ship is above the 1,300 mem­ber mark, last year we didn’t get to 1,300.”

The club did an au­dit last year and they dis­cov­ered it costs about $400 per kilo­me­tre of trail, to keep it in good con­di­tion for the sea­son. The club has about 500 kms of trail, so the cost of keep­ing the trail open is ob­vi­ous.

Wheaton says last year the club al­most had to fin­ish groom­ing early be­cause they were run­ning out of money.

He notes that hav­ing the trails in good con­di­tion is in a way a money saver for snow­mo­bile op­er­a­tors. He says one mem­ber told him when the trails weren’t groomed he was go­ing through five or six belts a year (at about $125 each). Now he says a belt can last him up to three years. Hav­ing the trails in good con­di­tion also re­duces the amount of main­te­nance a lot of op­er­a­tors have to do.

Right now all the trails are open and groomed. Wheaton en­cour­ages ev­ery­one to en­joy the trails safely.

He says Sun­day fam­ily bar­be­cues are start­ing. There is a $5 fee for coals, and that gets you a baked potato as well.

And Wheaton en­cour­ages mem­bers to show up at their an­nual meet­ing. That takes place Mon­day, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m.

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