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February  Newsletter

February 13, 2024

Message from the President

I want to thank the membership for respecting the designated trails that our friends at SANS groom this time of year. I also want to encourage our members to ride safely as there are many hazards this time of year such as snow, covered obstacles, hazards, and ice.

Some of the things that could matter in a critical situation: carrying some candy in case of a diabetic situation, fire extinguisher, having a fully charged phone or signaling device, a space blanket, and fire making tools. Other suggestions include wearing an approved helmet, riding with a buddy, and telling someone where and when you are riding. Remember; ice and water conditions change rapidly, especially at this time of year.

Have a safe month riding while enjoying the benefits of club membership. Invite a friend to join and take them out for a run.

Ride Safe.

Kevin Lombard
President, ATVANS

Executive Director Report

January started as a normal but busy month at ATVANS. We held our quarterly board meeting at Debert Hospitality Center with most board members in attendance. Membership has been brisk, with lots of slips from clubs and a good amount of online renewals and new members. We had to bring in some parttime help (Donna) to catchup. Online membership is now outpacing club-based slips.  

Shortly after the full board meeting, I and another staff person contracted Covid. No other board member reported an illness so I assume I must have not caught the virus at the meeting. It was my first time, and I was surprised how quick and virulent it came on and lasted. Although I was isolated and not 100%, I did manage to keep working through most of the illness. 

We held the January draw at the office wearing a mask and social distancing. The winner was Darren Lasaga from Puma ATV club. The draw was smaller than December, however this follows the usual downward trend after the December big draw.  

I also attended the zone 3B zone meeting late in January. It was a well-attended informative meeting, with members from every club in the zone present. Lots of great presentations and discussion. 

Planning is now underway for the 2024 AGM, being held again this year at the Inn on Prince in Truro May 3rd to 5th. Clubs will be notified of important dates and registration information shortly. We are also in the planning stages for the 2024 ATVANS Jamboree. Clubs will be able to submit their interest in hosting this “members only” event to the Jamboree committee.  

I am glad we have January behind us and looking forward to the spring and summer.  

Barry Barnet
Executive Director, ATVANS

2023 Small Grant Fund Reminder

Just another reminder that all money available to clubs for Small Grant funding in 2023 has now been allocated!

Twenty-five Small Grant applications were processed from 23-individual clubs across Nova Scotia, totaling $152,955.

When ATVANS is ready to receive applications for the 2024 year, an email will be sent to the clubs.

Our clubs deserve much credit for their ongoing efforts in maintaining trails throughout the province. Thank-you!

Lottery Update: Close to $4,500 in ticket sales!

Congratulations to Darren LaSaga of Carrolls Corner for winning the Rafflebox January 50/50 draw. Darren took home $2,247.50. His lucky ticket number in support of the Puma ATV Club was D-94532. 

The top club for ticket sales in January was the Safety Minded ATV Association.

The draw has now raised almost $146,506.00 for our clubs across Nova Scotia. 

Our next draw date is set for February 23.

January Meetings

Zone 3B Meeting - Sunday, January 28, Meaghers Grant Community Centre.

Multiple representatives from each club in the zone in attendance.

Quarterly Board Meeting - Saturday & Sunday, January 13-14, Debert Hospitality Centre.

A very productive session with lots of great discussion and leadership to start the year.

Fun in the Snow:

Lake Charlotte ATV Association Winter Rally

Lake Charlotte ATV Association held their annual Winter Rally on a snowy Sat. Feb 3. A good turnout for the event with 191-people registered. Over $9,000 was raised for the club and no injures or accidents were reported.  A great day riding in the snow with friends!

Photos: Facebook - Beth Turple


  • Sheet Harbour Snowmobile and ATV Club - ATV Poker Rally: Feb.24
  • East Richmond ATV Riders Association - Luck of the Draw Bike Run: Feb.24

Its the unofficial kick-off to spring!

The Atlantic Outdoor Sports and RV show is set to descend upon the Halifax Exhibition Centre from March 8-10.

The event attracts more than 15,000 visitors annually, with 2024 being the show’s 40th anniversary.

The exhibition has something for all outdoor enthusiasts including Motorsports/Boats, RV/Camping, Hunting/Fishing, and Forestry.

The family friendly trade show also features a large entertainment area, seminars, and the wild game kitchen.

ATVANS will also be one of the many exhibitors on site and will hold its 2023 ATV lottery draw on Sunday, March 10 at 3:00pm.

The grand prize is a 2023 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i - provided by Adventure Motor Marine & RV.

Admission includes show access for the entire weekend.

For more information check online at sportsandrvshow.com

  Photos: ATVANS Facebook - 2023 Outdoor Show

Board Member Profile: Let's Hear it for Paul Smith!!

Many aspects of ATV’ing appeal to Paul Smith, especially the social interaction. Smith says he enjoys “meeting other people, going to places I might not have been able to access before, spending time with friends, and making new ones.”

The Timberlea resident picked up his first ATV in 2002, joined the Puma ATV Club in 2006, and became a board member in 2014 where he serves as Treasurer.

“I enjoy going to club rallies and traveling and exploring new trails”, says Paul.

He adds that a group of five went across Newfoundland in 2004. “We traveled and saw places that most residents would not see.”

A love of the outdoors carries over into some of Paul’s other hobbies as well. He enjoys spending time at his camp in Upper Musquodoboit as well as sailing (on other people’s boats) and hunting with friends.

  Paul's two happy places - on the    water and at his camp.

When asked why he decided to join the board, Paul says, before he stepped up “there were lot's of people complaining about what was wrong with ATVANS and what should change”, himself included.

“I have seen many changes and improvements since joining the board and we continue to make positive changes and grow membership.”

Paul adds that there’s a saying he likes to use; "The train is coming; you have two choices. Get on board or get the hell out of the way.”

Visiting the Clubs: Digby County ATV Club

The Digby County ATV Club was incorporated as a not for profit club in 1992. 

Club President, Keith Comeau says the area is very historic and scenic with a lot of places mostly accessible by an OHV. A few of the notable sites he mentions are historic New France (Electric City), various Hydro Dams, and an old Monk Monastery (Birchdale). There's also the old rail line from downtown Digby which riders can use to, legally, go directly to Barrington through the Village of Weymouth and also Water Street in Yarmouth.

He says if he were taking someone out for a ride, the first place he would show them would be the Fourth Lake, New France (Electric City) area. 

The club puts on some popular and unique events as well. Keith says they started holding a Cancer Fun Run in the first part of April, and this spring will be their third year of doing this run in partnership with the Digby Cancer Help Fund Association. The Association gives gas cards to people who have to go to cancer treatments. Keith adds that last year they hosted about 90-machines and raised $5000.

  Fourth Lake Dam

  Old Nova Nada monestary       (Birchdale)  

In June they host the Weymouth ATV Appreciation Days in Weymouth; and last year they started an event called “ATV Invasion.” That rally was held on the last day of their local Scallop Days Festival in August. Keith adds it was a big success with 100-machines coming into town in a rain storm to take part.

"I think that an active club is a good club. We want to have a club that makes people want to be part of it, and we do that by trying to get accurate and correct information to the ridership," said Keith.

He also mentions the importance of getting OHVIF small grants for trail maintenance, having well organized runs and rally’s, and special events just for  club members such as Christmas parties, evening bonfires, and get togethers.

Eigg Mountain Trails Assoc. Members Battle Snow and Gusting Winds to Rescue Stranded Snowmobilers

One of the two teens was about 20-minutes from losing his life without treatment: Doctor

Snowfall amounts not seen in twenty years were reported across much of Nova Scotia over the weekend of Feb. 2-4. The area between Antigonish and Arisaig being among the harder hit regions, receiving close to 80 cm of accumulation.

It was in the midst of this punishing storm that members of the Eigg Mountain Trails Association, in Arisaig, received word that a pair of local teenage snowmobilers were stuck in the forest and unable to get out.

Club President, Colin MacInnis recalls when one of his members called him at around 1:00am Sunday morning to relay the news. MacInnis says one of the stranded riders managed to call a friend, who in turn contacted a member of his club.

“From the partial description Bernard MacInnis received before they lost cell service, he had a pretty good idea where they were. He called me and nobody could move because of the weather. It was a sleepless few hours and then some time later another member, Adam Partridge, pulled into my driveway.”

Partridge owns an excavator and was emphatic about doing something to help the stranded and exhausted teens. He acknowledged that nobody could do anything to help the kids because of the weather and condition of the roads, so he wanted to get his excavator and head up the mountain to find them.

“The excavator was half a mile from my place but he couldn’t get a truck or even a snowmobile there because of the snow, so Adam walked through the snow up to his waist to get there”, said MacInnis.

Just before 8:00am five other club members, including MacInnis, David MacDonald, Bernard MacInnis, Kyle MacInnis, and Andrew MacInnis  followed the excavator into the forest and eventually found the snowmobilers.

“One fellow was completely unconscious and finished. The other guy was still in good shape and we tried to keep him warm. They managed to get them in the cab with Adam and headed to Dave MacDonald’s boat shop”, said MacInnis.

Once they arrived at the boat shop, MacInnis says they carried the unconscious teen into a lunchroom area, turned the heat up, and continued to warm him up – but he was still unresponsive.

“Apparently Search and Rescue were called and the Fire Department was called beforehand - but of course nobody was moving. The fire truck was stuck. The ambulance couldn’t get out because the road was blocked. They were waiting for a plow and all we could do is just nurse him the best we could”

Sometime after 10:00am, George DeRabbie and the Four Valleys Volunteer Fire Department arrived, along with paramedics who continued to treat the young man. MacInnis says about an hour later, the snowplow made it to them with the ambulance.

Once he was loaded onto the ambulance paramedics discovered the teen's blood sugar was at critically low levels.

They continued treating him and when his levels began to increase, the teen awoke suddenly and wondered where he was and wanted to go home, however he was transported to hospital for further treatment.

MacInnis received an email from the boy’s mother two days later saying her son had just been released from the hospital, and besides feeling a bit weak and nauseous, he was doing fine.

“According to her, the doctor who treated her son said he had about 20-minutes left without treatment from the paramedics. Otherwise, it would have been a completely different story”, said MacInnis.

The mother went on to say in the letter, “We really do live in one of the most special communities, you are all heroes in our eyes, and just a simple thank you doesn't seem to cut it from our perspective, but thank you from the bottom of our hearts - thank you to all of you.”

The parents were reportedly at a cabin in Wentworth during the search, however they did manage to make it the boathouse Sunday morning as their son was being treated by first responders.

MacInnis emphasizes the importance of being prepared when venturing out onto remote trails in any kind of conditions, especially in the winter.

“You have to have some supplies on board – something to eat – maybe a blanket. If you’re heading out in those conditions you must be prepared. Maybe an axe, or something to make yourself some kind of a shelter.”

Upon reflection, MacInnis concluded by saying he was very grateful and proud of his members who assisted in the rescue. He singled out the contribution from Adam Partridge who walked the excavator close to 8 km before the teens were found.

“I can’t say enough about what Adam did”, he said.

Major  Contributor



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