The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) Trail Patrol Program commenced in 1983 at the inception of the user-pay system. Trail Patrol members volunteer their time and use of their personal equipment to be snowmobile ambassadors. Trail Patrol Members are clearly identifiable by their Trail Patrol vest and each member also carries with them their Trail Patrol identification issued by the OFSC. These two items make up the Trail Patrol ‘uniform’. Many members also wear an optional Trail Patrol jacket and hat.
The BEAST Trail Patrol is comprised of a dozen members who patrol during the week, weekends and evenings. Patrols generally consist of two Trail Patrol members but often include 4-8 members. During the 2012/13 season, BEAST Trail Patrol Members logged over 180 hours and found very few compliance issues. We have members stationed all over the BEAST Trail system including: Stittsville, Richmond, Almonte, Barrhaven, Carleton Place and Munster Hamlet.
The primary function of Trail Patrol is public awareness and safety. Trail Patrol member’s duties are centered around activity on OFSC Prescribed Trails and may be summarized into four broad categories:
- Landowner Agent. As the agent for the landowner, a Trail Patrol member has the authority to lay a notice of Trespass to Property charge under the Trespass to Property Act.
- Safety Promotion. Members promote safe riding by reminding snowmobilers of safe riding practices.
- Risk Management. Trail Patrol members activity identify and report unsafe or unusual conditions, remove branches, and report safety issues to the club.
- On Trail Support. Trail Patrol members provide on trail support in the form of maps, safety equipment, directions, help and updated information on trail conditions.
Members of the BEAST Trail Patrol will be out again this season checking for permits and helping snowmobilers. Our goal is to ensure the trials are safe and everyone is compliant / aware of the various laws.
Remember, ‘buy a permit where you ride’ and ride safe!
Questions may be directed to George Laight, Trail Patrol Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org