Explore additional content for the fall 2021 issue of the Nature Conservancy of Canada Magazine

Coast to coast

Mutual benefits

Whether you’re exploring one of NCC’s properties, discovering one of our country’s national or provincial parks or strolling through a local park, keep in mind the following principles (page 4):

Plan ahead and prepare

  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’re visiting.
  • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies.
  • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
  • Visit in small groups. Split larger parties into groups of four to six.
  • Repackage food to minimize waste.
  • Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.

Travel and camp on durable surfaces

  • Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
  • Protect riverbank areas by camping at least 70 metres from lakes and streams.
  • Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
  • In popular areas:
    • Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
    • Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
    • Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
  • In pristine areas:
    • Minimize the area used to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
    • Avoid using places that are becoming disturbed.

Dispose of waste properly

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
  • Deposit solid human waste in holes dug 15 to 20 centimetres deep and at least 70 metres from water, camp and trails. Fill and cover the hole when finished.
  • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
  • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 70 metres away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
  • Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.

Leave what you find

  • Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you found them.
  • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species by cleaning your boots and gear after each hike.
  • Do not build structures, furniture or trenches.

Minimize campfire impacts

  • Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
  • Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans or mound fires.
  • Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
  • Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.

Respect wildlife

  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
  • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviours and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
  • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
  • Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.

Be considerate of others

  • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
  • Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
  • Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
  • Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.

Boots on the trail

Bunchberry Meadows

Take a bird’s-eye view of the land at NCC’s Bunchberry Meadows property in Alberta. You won’t be disappointed. (page 6)

For more information on this property, visit

Activity Corner

Monarch butterfly

In fall, monarch butterflies found throughout southern Canada begin their amazing migration journey to wintering grounds in Mexico and California. Watch the video to learn about their journey and view the map to see if there are monarchs in your area. (page 7)

Feature story

Restoring balance

View additional photos of our Kootenay River Ranch property profiled in our feature story. Photos by Colin Way. (page 8)

Project updates

Our work across the country

Rescuing a fragile friend in Quebec; Making Nature Investable summit; AI research to aid conservation; field of dreams (page 14)

Species profile

Ferruginous hawk

Treat your ears to the call of this large raptor that can reach speeds of 160 kilometres per hour when diving for prey. (page 12)

Close encounters

A spider surprise

There are two species of black widow spider in Canada: western black widow, which is found in parts of BC through to Manitoba (mostly restricted to areas close to the southern Canada-U.S. border), and northern black widow, which is found in southern and eastern Ontario. (page 18)