Snowmobiling in Manitoba : present use and planning problems

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Ramsay, Andrew Douglas Kirk
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...This thesis examines snowmobiles and their use in Southern Manitoba and makes some recommendations for the limiting of use to certain designated areas in southern and central Manitoba. These designated areas could become provincially-run parks. In the past, provincial parks have tended to ban all forms of all-terrain vehicles from their confines, the rationale being that these vehicles were not truly recreational. Potton (1972, p.1.) stated that "although some of the activities carried on by various off-road vehicles can perhaps be questioned because of conflicts and environmental impact" their value as outdoor recreation vehicles must be recognized. The snowmobile is by far the most important off-road vehicle in Manitoba in terms of volume of use (Potton, 1972, p.3) and consequently research should be oriented particularly towards this vehicle... Conflict between users and non-users of snowmobiles has increased rapidly since the early 1960's. Snowmobiles have been accused of causing environmental degradation without any real data being presented to support this accusation. Some snowmobilers have vehemently reacted against this stating that any action to reduce their participation in this new recreation activity is a denial of "their rights to use and enjoy recreation resources" (Potton, 1972, p. 3). It is important to plan for snowmobiling in a rational and logical manner. The various objectives of the Manitoba Parks Branch must satisfy the needs of the Parks' users at the same time as maintaining environmental quality.