There’s lots of snow out there enticing snowmobilers to go for a BRAAP, but riders need to be staying on the trail system in the province or asking for property owner permission before venturing onto a field.
Snowfalls in September and October brought harvests around the province to an abrupt halt, leaving many fields with swathed crops lying in the fields.
“Because of poor conditions this year, there are still unharvested crops in fields in many parts of the province,” says Neil Blue, provincial crop market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “It’s important that quad and snowmobile operators stay clear of these.”
He says that riding across unharvested fields is not a good idea for at least two reasons.
“Doing so can damage the crop that may yet be harvested. Also, an unharvested crop can pose a significant barrier to quads and snowmobiles and trying cross such a crop can result in damage to both machine and rider.”
He adds that it is important to always ask permission before entering upon or riding across lands under producer control, whether owned or rented.
“Not only is it a significant safety issue, it’s also a question of respect. You should always ask permission or else stick to riding on designated snowmobile or quad trails.”
Chris Brooks, executive director of Alberta Snowmobile Association said he has not received any complaints thus far this season from any landowners and said his organization takes active measures to ensure its members are compliant with regulations and with landowners’ wishes.
“We agree wholeheartedly with staying off the fields and our members typically use the trail system,” said Brooks. “We want to work hard for the greater good of agriculture and our trail system.”
The Alberta Snowmobile Association works with FCC in developing signs that warn snowmobilers to not enter a field.
“We have a great trail network to use and we encourage snowmobilers to use them. People, not just our members should always ask for permission before going onto a field. It’s about respecting property.”