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By: Robert Janis

ATV/BC

ATV/BC Keeps British Columbia Governments Aware of ATV Issues

According to Jeff Mohr, first vice president of ATV/BC, the most urgent issues of concern to the British Columbia ATV community is access to public lands and recognition that motorized sports has an incredible potential to attract tourism to the province. The ATV/BC is an organization that is actively involved with various levels of government and the province of British Columbia to resolve these issues. It is also seeking ways to register trails and open up exceptional areas of British Columbia to motorized sports recreation.

The organization was founded on August 25, 2000 in Green Lake, British Columbia. Fifty people representing three clubs met and talked about a provincial organization. “The people present decided to vote to form a provincial association, chose the name ATV/BC and elected a small committee,” explained Beverly Felske, former president of the group and current member of the board of directors. “When we tried to register with the government under the Societies Act, we were told that we couldn’t use ATV/BC as the legal name because of the ATV act. So Quad Riders ATV Association was chosen as the name by the board of directors and then accepted by the Societies Act. We are allowed to use ATV/BC as our name except on legal documents.” The three clubs involved in the formation of the group were Quad Squad South Caribou, Prince George ATV Club, and Revelstoke ATV Club.

“The mission of the organization is to preserve our right to ride as a recreation group,” explained Gordon Galloway, former treasurer and current board member.

Local Clubs Are Foundation of Group

The association is built upon the foundation of local clubs. “Normally, you join a local club that belongs to the ATV/BC; and when you pay your annual dues and club fees you become a member of the ATV/BC. It’s sort of like a chain of command,” said Dennis Webb, director of communications for ATV/BC. “ATV/BC is member oriented. Each individual member and each member club has a vote at association meetings.”

Members assist ATV/BC by making suggestions and show their concerns in other manners such as participating in clean-up days during which trails are maintained, added Jeff Mohr, first vice president of the ATV/BC.

Since local clubs are an essential part of the organization, ATV/BC encourages the formation of local clubs. “We will meet with people and provide assistance in doing what is necessary to start and register a club as a Society. Information is available on our website,” added Mohr. “We will also meet with local clubs in response to local issues and provide information and guidance about people to talk with on specific issues and help with trail registration.”

The organization lobbies BC governments by interacting with members of the governments through their Land Issues Coordinator, participate in the Off Road Commission (ORC) and trail strategy Committee and through meetings with government ministers and other bureaucrats. It has one paid lobbyist, Terry Wardrop, members of local clubs, and the board of directors of the ATV/BC also lobby on issues in their respective areas.

The organization also works with a variety of other groups including the national ATV Association in Canada, the All Terrain Quad Council of Canada (AQCC), the Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV), the British Columbia Snowmobile Federation (BCSF), Association of British Columbia Snowmobile Clubs (ABCSC), and the British Columbia Off-Road Motor Vehicles Association (BCORMVA).

According to Mohr, the focus of the group is on recreation and promoting safety. “We are actively involved in promoting safety throughout Canada through the Canada Safety Council courses, and we participate in environmentally friendly activity including clean-up days,” said Mohr. The group will also teach the American Safety Institute curriculum.

Currently, ATV/BC has 2,700 members. Benefits for members include cheap insurance, access to environmental and safety information, a bi-annual magazine, and access to an organization that can lobby government on behalf of members.

The group also has a website (www.atvbc.ca) which provides a means of communications between members. According to Webb, members can write an article and submit it to the website or the group’s newsletter for posting. Webb and members of the club’s board of directors review the article; and if approved, it is posted on the site or published in the newsletter and in the Riders West Magazine. The site also includes a members’ forum where numerous topics of interest to the ATV community are discussed.


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