Towards a more regulated development of off-trail snowmobiling in Gaspésie

MONTREAL, Jan. 31, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Conférence régionale des élus Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine (CRÉGIM) is associating with the Fédération des clubs de motoneigistes du Québec (FCMQ) to improve the practice of off-trail snowmobiling in the Gaspésie region.

In effect, the committee for the sustainable development of off-trail snowmobiling aims to find solutions that will allow this ever-more popular activity to be better managed.  The main themes: safety and respect for communities and the environment.

According to Gilbert Scantland, Executive Director of the Conférence régionale des élus Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine (CRÉGÎM), "we have noticed a rise in the popularity of this activity in recent years, most noticeably in the Haute-Gaspésie. We believe it is an excellent opportunity to develop winter tourism.  However, we must first ensure the harmonisation of activities in order to avoid problems, such as damaging tree plantations or disrupting wildlife."

The first action of this pilot project will be the distribution of a leaflet indicating restricted areas as well providing a code of behaviour for off-trail outings. This awareness-raising document will be available as of this winter in snowmobile clubs in Gaspésie as well as in businesses that are members of the Association touristique régionale de la Gaspésie (hotels, restaurants, snowmobile rental agencies offering off-trail guiding services, gas stations, etc.)

"It is critical that we find sustainable solutions that will allow the activity to be structured in such a way as to ensure it is practised safely while respecting communities and the environment. The committee has begun to offer concrete solutions that will lead to the sustainable development of the sport in Quebec. We will eventually be able to use the Gaspésie example and extend it to other regions of Quebec that are experiencing the same challenges", believes Philippe Soucy of the FCMQ.

Off-trail snowmobile enthusiasts are welcome in Gaspésie to take in this exceptional territory, while adopting responsible behaviours.

SOURCE Fédération des clubs de motoneigistes du Québec

For further information:

Media relations
Sonia Landry
CRÉGÎM
Tel : 418 368-6171, ext 233
Cell : 418-355-4109
sonia.landry@cregim.net

Source 
Philippe Soucy
FCMQ
Tel. : (418) 318-3379