Help Protect the Places We Love
Our goal is to inspire people to play outside and help them experience their adventure so that they discover the culture, people and natural beauty of the region.
We believe that getting more people to play outside, enjoy nature and create connections with the places we love is a good thing. If we are successful, it will mean more people exploring those places and this brings along various challenges. Finding the right balance is not always easy.
On our side, it means doing what we can to minimize the negative impacts our tours can have while making sure that they generate greater economic benefits for our local community and enhance its well-being.
It also means providing information so that visitors can recreate responsibly. This is a big part of the reason why we started this site in the first place.
When we look at sustainability we aim to do the best we can within our resources. Some of the things we strive for include:
- incorporating sustainability into everything we do, including tour development;
- sourcing regional food and products whenever possible;
- reducing our waste by using reusable supplies whenever feasible; and
- working with businesses and partners that share our vision for responsible tourism.
How You Can Help
Too often we let small things get in the way of doing the best we can. All our actions have an impact, regardless of whether you consider yourself a tourist, a visitor, a hiker, a snowshoer, a climber or just somebody enjoying a day in the region.
The Leave No Trace principles are a good starting point on how we can reduce our impact while enjoying the outdoors. These are not rigid rules, but rather guidelines we can use to help us in making decisions while we play outdoors.
1) Plan Ahead and Prepare
Proper planning helps create a better experience while minimizing the impact on the land. A few things to keep in mind:
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you will visit;
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies; and
- Schedule your activities to avoid times of high use and overcrowding.
In the event of an emergency, human needs always take precedence over the impact on the environment. Proper planning can reduce the likelihood of an emergency.
2) Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Use durable surfaces, including established trails, rock, gravel, or dry grasses whenever possible.
If the trail has switchbacks, avoid creating or following shortcuts.
Never alter a site to suit your needs, choose a better location if needed.
In heavily used areas:
- Walk in a single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Focus activities in areas where vegetation is absent.
In areas with few signs of human use:
- Disperse the group to prevent the creation of trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are beginning to show.
3) Dispose of Waste Properly
Pack it in, pack it out. This applies to garbage, food, toilet paper and hygiene products.
Use toilets whenever they are available.
Avoid polluting water. When using soap for hygienic needs, use biodegradable soap and do so 70 metres from water bodies.
4) Leave What you Find
Preserve the past, observe, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them. Do not build structures, rock cairns, or use flagging or marking paint.
5) Minimize Campfire Impacts
Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans or mound fires. Keep fires small, put out campfires completely.
Do not try to burn leftover food or other garbage that would have to be removed later.
6) Respect Wildlife
Know the proper procedures to follow if you encounter wildlife. This will create a better experience and will minimize your impact.
Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
Never feed animals. Protect wildlife and your food by storing food and garbage securely.
Avoid wildlife during sensitive times, such as when mating, nesting, raising young, or during winter.
7) Be Considerate of Others
Respect others and protect the quality of their experience. Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
Be courteous, yield to other users on the trail. Take breaks away from trails and other visitors.
More information on the Leave no Trace principles can be found at leavenotrace.ca.
Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies.
Call 310-FIRE (3473) to report wildfires in forested areas.
Call the toll-free Report a Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800 or online at alberta.ca/report-poacher.aspx to report suspected poaching, emergencies involving wildlife or any serious public land abuse, including:
- driving a vehicle in the bed or shore of a natural water body;
- driving up and down a stream;
- not using a nearby established crossing, bridge or ford to cross a natural water body;
- creating tire ruts;
- creating new vehicle trails in an area that already has existing trails;
- taking a vehicle off-trail in a sensitive high alpine area;
- blocking existing trails;
- clearing a new trail to access another area;
- clearing trees and other plants to create a camping spot;
- building or inhabiting an unauthorized structure on public lands;
- leaving large amounts of litter;
- abandoning vehicles; or
- entering closed areas.
Other reports and non-emergency wildlife encounters can be made by contacting the Rocky Mountain House Fish and Wildlife Office at 403 845-8250.
Issues at Alberta Parks locations can be reported by contacting the provincial contact centre at 1-877-537-2757 or the Rocky Mountain House office at 403 845-8349.