What to do when encountering a bear on the trail

Bear2

Recently, we received an interesting question from Moosomin Regional Park. Trail officials noted that there are bears in the park on occasion and they like hanging around the trails as that’s where it’s the quietest and there’s the largest supply of berries. Because of this, some people are worried to use the trails because they’re concerned about encountering bears.

Encountering a bear is something that is certainly possible while exploring the province’s trail system. So what should you do in the event of an encounter? The Government of Saskatchewan has a document called Living in Bear Country that provides some great information: http://publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/66/89520-English.pdf

Another point not brought up in the document is the use of bells. Upon contacting the STA, Moosomin noted that it had received suggestions to hand out “bear” bells. They were told the noise can cause the bears to leave the area. This question prompted an interesting discussion among the STA board of directors.

The STA would like to stress that there is no evidence to support, in any way, that bells they will deter a bear encounter. Bringing a bell on a hike will only provide a false sense of security. The STA advises that talking in normal voices will normally move the bears away from human contact. If the bears are habituated to humans and do not move away or have had access to garbage, we would suggest you contact the local conservation officers to possibly set up a trap and relocate the bear. If you administrate a trail where there have been beer sightings, you may want to post signs at trail access points and\or trail heads.

Trailhead Canada 2017 summit fast approaching

Logo

Join trail enthusiasts from across the country in Gatineau and Ottawa from Nov. 21-23, for the Trail Head Canada summit, a national celebration of trails, with outdoor events, activity tutorials and educational trail sessions.

Trailhead Canada will bring Canadians who develop, manage and benefit from recreational trails, together. It explores exciting national directions to engage Canadians in the building, using and promoting trails.

At Trailhead Canada, trail experts and leaders will:

  • Develop a National Trails Strategy, for use in framing provincial and national goals;
  •  Share Canada’s trail success stories from the local, regional, provincial and national levels;
  • Explore national best practices in trail building that enable clubs, volunteers, and professionals to build the world’s best trails;
  • Discuss trail trends, new activities, changing demographics, trail health, and the growth in trail tourism;
  • Present a Canadian Youth Expo, to engage youth in becoming the trail leaders of the future;
  • Honour trail traditions and knowledge to develop strong working relationships between all Canadian peoples;
  • Expand Canada’s trail economy, through tourism, investment, and promotion, and
  • Present outdoor interactive education provides public awareness of the activities that Canadians and visitors can do on Canadian trails.

Trailhead Canada consists of three parts: the conference, community events, and trail-sector education. Generously supported by Parks Canada and other national educators in outdoor recreation.

For more information, visit https://trailheadcanada.com.

Proudly supported by Parks Canada.

Parks Canada

 

STA increases funding available through Members Grant Program

IMG_3539

The STA is making it easier to access funds for trail projects in the province. Through the Members Grant Program, grants of up to $1,000 are now available.

These grants can be used for maintenance projects such as updating maps, GPS trails, fixing signs, purchasing maintenance tools, etc.

These grants are only available to current SaskTrails members. Some of the eligibility criteria include length of membership and how long you will be committed to the organization in the future. All applications are reviewed by a volunteer committee.

The deadline to apply is Dec.31, 2017. For more information, visit http://sasktrails.ca/trail-builders/#funding.

 

New STA Trail Ambassador: Fletcher family

IMG_3221 (2) reduced

Kaiden, Brian, Darby-Jayne and Denise Fletcher.

The STA is pleased to welcome the Fletcher family as the newest STA Trail Ambassador.

The Fletchers live in Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park Cottages. Denise and Brian homeschool their children, which allows them a great deal of freedom to explore where they live and beyond. One of their favourite family activities is exploring the trails.

They love trail running, hiking, kayaking, fishing, ice fishing, riding bikes, metal detecting, tenting, shed hunting, boating, photography, golfing, swimming, playing board games, sitting around campfires and visiting with friends.

The family believes that wilderness therapy works is important with the sedentary lifestyle plaguing current/future generations. They feel that it couldn’t be more important to promote and support. Engaging youth in the natural environment is close to their hearts. They have a passion for learning as much as they can about flora and fauna. They also love learning about the rich paleontological, geographical, cultural and social history of Saskatchewan.

STA Trail Ambassadors are trail enthusiasts who represent the STA out on the trails by wearing our gear, promoting their adventures on social media and writing the occasional guest blog to be published on our website. If you would be interested in the possibility of becoming a trail ambassador and winning a free STA t-shirt, send an email to info@sasktrails.ca.