In collaboration with Alberta Parks and the Town of Canmore, the Biosphere Institute is developing a new program to promote coexistence between wildlife and recreational trail users in the Bow Valley.
The Bow Valley is one of the world’s largest hubs for outdoor recreation. Many local residents move to the area for its diverse outdoor opportunities. Outdoor recreation also draws millions of visitors annually from Calgary, Edmonton, and across the globe.
Outdoor activities help connect people to nature, often strengthening our interest in protecting natural ecosystems that we love. However, recent studies suggest that outdoor recreation is adversely impacting wildlife in the Bow Valley. The Biosphere Institute’s goal is to turn a situation of potential conflict — between wildlife and trail users — into an opportunity for improved coexistence.
To accomplish this, we seek to help land managers and trail users find the most effective ways to communicate with each other. As a first step, we hope to better understand trail users’ knowledge about and perspectives on recreation and wildlife management. We would like to use this information to develop new communication strategies to encourage best practices for recreation in wildlife habitat, such as staying on trail or keeping your dog on a leash.