8 ways to recreate responsibly near wildlife - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

8 ways to recreate responsibly near wildlife

Photo: Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service

Maybe we’re biased, but we think that the Yellowstone to Yukon region has some of the most incredible places to explore.

Our team loves to get out in the many wild places that Canada and the United States has to offer. When we ski, hike, bike, canoe and climb, these activities inspire our appreciation for and drive us to protect the landscape the most. Do you feel the same?

It’s important to remember that most of these fun activities occur in and around the places that wildlife call home — sometimes, without even knowing it.

Here are eight ways you can continue to explore and recreate responsibly, no matter where you are or what you’re doing:

  1. Heading out on a road trip? Don’t exceed posted speed limits and ideally, avoid driving at dusk or dawn when wildlife is most active.
  2. Getting ready to conquer a hike? Bring your friends and family! It’s best to hike in groups of four or more and most importantly, use that outside voice and make lots of noise.
  3. Want to go on a pup-venture? We don’t blame you. Keep your dog on a leash, especially in areas where wildlife such as bears and cougars frequent. This will keep you and your furry friend as well as wildlife safer.
  4. Found a new trail that you want to try? Check for closures, bear warnings and other advisories before heading out. These can usually be found on your local parks website.
  5. See an animal on the side of the highway? It’s best to give the animal space and slow down but not to stop, unless it’s right in front of your vehicle, of course.
  6. Finally found a place to go camping for the weekend? Make sure you don’t leave out attractants such as food, a dirty barbecue or even personal hygiene products. Depending where you’re camping, you can store them in your vehicle, on a bear-pole (see above) or in a designated bear-proof food storage locker. 
  7. Want to try your skills at mountain biking? Bike in groups, be aware of your surroundings, make lots of noise and slow down in areas with more vegetation or near loud water sources.
  8. Heading out in bear country? Make sure to pack your bear spray, know how to use it, and make sure it’s accessible (i.e., don’t store it in your bag).