Steve said it well from our FB page:

Urgent call for all interested snowmobilers to attend the MLSTA annual Saturday May 7th 10am Glen Orchard

After more than 10 dedicated years of dedicated service, our executive directors are retiring. We cant thank them enough for all their service, but this leaves a huge gap in leadership for our club. Please see the message below from our club president Rene, and if you care at all about keeping a trail network in Bala and Port Carling please think about becoming a member of our club.


Rene’ Leenaars

Hello everyone, just a reminder that our AGM is coming up on May 7, 10:00 am at the Glen Orchard Community Center. This year will bring about major changes in club and district operations. From this point forward all clubs in all the snowmobile districts will operate as a cohesive unit. For our district, (District 7) the change will not be too severe since 9 of the 11 clubs already operate as a unit. The 2 “stand alone” clubs will now join with the MSR and we will all operate as District 7. Club operations are also undergoing a slight overhaul as well. Currently all clubs are incorporated entities and therefore must operate with a full board of directors. This has proven to be a real difficulty over the past few seasons. There is now going to be an option available to clubs to become “unincorporated” and operate as was done many years ago with no board of directors. There would essentially only need to be a President to oversee club operations and sit on the District board to represent the club. This, however does not mean that the club would not still be responsible for the same  things it always was. It simply allows clubs that are not able to put together a board of directors to still be a club in “good standing” with the OFSC and be eligible for insurance coverage and eligible for trail and equipment grants. The down side is that the District 7 administration would be responsible to oversee all funds the club currently has as well as any monies collected from fundraising and donations. The District administration staff would oversee all the financial aspects of a club to be sure the resources are properly recorded and disbursed. The club is still the one who directs what and where the money is spent on.

With our AGM coming up and the difficulty we have had getting active directors in the past I feel this is something we may want to discuss. This year all our executive directors will be retiring. Most have been with the club 10 years or more and some many more than that. We are all starting to feel “burned out” and with the workload and age it is becoming more difficult  to stay interested in snowmobiling. This will leave a large void in our club. There have been a few of our volunteers that have agreed to undertake some responsibilities that are substantial but there are still many jobs that need to be looked after. Steve Elliot has agreed to look after organizing the removal and installation of the bridges in Port Carling which is a big load off my shoulders. However, we still have numerous jobs to be looked after. One such responsibility is Landowner Relations. This one consists of getting in touch with new landowners, requesting permission to install or keep an existing trail on private property, identifying the lot location and trail location on said property and making sure the LUP’s are signed and registered with the District and dealing with correspondence from existing landowners, keeping record of specific requests that certain landowners have and making sure we are complying with them. Some Landowners who request copies of our insurance certificate are sent them. Basically anything dealing with landowners in general. Another position is as trails coordinator. The responsibility of this position is to plan trail upgrades and any repairs or re-routes that may be necessary. Also involved is long range planning for new bridges and old ones that  need to be installed. Part of the job is to apply for funding from various sources of government. Currently I am working with the Township of Muskoka Lakes to apply for funding to install a new floating bridge crossing in Bala so we no longer have to travel along Hwy. 169 over the falls. This could be in place for our next season. All the engineering is now completed to the proposed CP rail crossing bridge in Bala as well. This is a long term plan as preliminary estimates put the cost at close to half a million dollars and will depend on being able to keep our club running as a going concern. Funding for this project would be through the OFSC as a continuation of the original Oka Road Trail.

I am hopeful that Bob Hogg will continue to look after our website and work with Steve and everyone else that contributes to our Facebook page. This had pretty good response over the past couple of seasons. The grooming operations were at best “difficult” this past season with all the mild weather and trail closures. I must thank Rainer Hacker, our lead operator for all the time put in to open trails as well as train 1 new operator. Our second new operator will be trained next season and a brush up session for Trevor Quinton, who has been operating the Centaur the past couple of years, to get used to running our Husky and become a full time operator as well. I plan to stay on and help with  grooming operations over the next few years.

So as you can see there are many jobs that need to be done. Many helping out will make all these  jobs go easier and faster  and not as daunting as they sound.  I ask everyone to PLEASE come out to the AGM and be involved in the planning of our club for the future. If you don’t get involved NOW there will be nothing left to get involved with!


See you all on Saturday, May 7, 10:00am at Glen Orchard Community Center

Rene’ Leenaars


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