Leave No Trace” Ethics have been adapted for use by horse riders at Redfern-Keily Provincial Park. These guidelines will help you plan your visit so that you can minimize your impact upon the environment and keep Redfern-Keily Provincial Park accessible to riders in years to come.
Plan Ahead and Prepare:
Reduce the impact by limiting your equipment and by taking only the minimum number of animals necessary. Take only experienced and fit horses. Practice backcountry packing and travel techniques with your horses at home before heading out.
Ensure group members have compatible expectations. Plan your route carefully. Familiarize yourselves with the regulations, potential hazards, and climate of the area. Plan meals accurately, and repackage into reusable containers to reduce weight and potential garbage. Pack out what you pack in.
Concentrate Use in Resistant Areas:
The heaviest impact will tend to be around camp, so it is best to choose a campsite that can “take it”. When selecting a backcountry campsite, please choose one that appears established, to avoid proliferation of new impacts. Camp well away from water sources. Avoid places where impact is just beginning. Hard sand or gravel surfaces are the best.
Use lightweight camping equipment - fewer packhorses will be needed and there will be less impact on the ground.
You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink, so take the water to the horse instead using a canvas bucket. Wetlands and creek edges are very important wildlife areas and quite susceptible to trampling, so keep horses away except when fording.
If you encounter muddy areas, please go straight through them. Riding around the edges just increases the extent of the mud bog. Off trail travel should be done along well established game trails or along established routes.
During rest breaks, please stop off the trail on a durable surface. Horses may be tied to sturdy trees for short periods; please wrap lead rope twice around the trunk to avoid girdling the tree. Tend to the horses often, as a distraught horse can quickly damage tree roots by pawing or trampling the ground. Tie and hobble restless stock to prevent pawing.
Pack It In, Pack It Out
Pack out all your own litter, and if you see litter left by others, consider bringing that out, too. Reduce the amount of garbage you generate by pre-planning and repackaging meals into daily rations. Only paper may be burned in your campfire. Don’t burn laminated foil or plastics, they leave a residue and can attract bears. (For information on bear safety in provincial parks, click here.)
Properly Dispose of What You Can’t Pack Out
Besides being disgusting, raw human feces can carry a number of dangerous pathogens, Giardia, the cause of Beaver Fever, (link to Beaver Fever Page) being only one. Proper disposal is very important. Never use streams or lakes as sewers! Use outhouses where they are provided. Otherwise dig a cat-hole latrine for your group to use. Locate it at least 100m (300ft) from water and well away from camp. It should be a trench 15 cm (6”) deep - no deeper because the topsoil is where waste is most quickly decomposed. Sprinkle soil over after each use, and when leaving camp, replace remaining soil and naturalize it with organic debris.
It is important to prevent contamination of water supplies from food scraps or soap. Wash yourself and your dishes and clothes at least 100m from water sources. Avoid using even biodegradable soap as it leaves unnatural residues. Strain out food particles from dishwater and pack them out with the garbage. Dig a sump hole down to mineral soil and pour grey water into it. Fill in and conceal the hole on leaving camp.
Gut piles and hides should be left well away from campsites and trails, as they will attract scavengers such as ravens, coyotes and bears.
- Human Waste
Use Fire Responsibly
For cooking, portable stoves are far better than the traditional campfire - more efficient, quicker, safer and controllable. They are recommended as the best “Leave No Trace” solution. However, there’s nothing like the crackle of a welcoming evening campfire. Ordinarily, campfires are permitted in established fire rings. In backcountry areas, collect dead and down wood only. Never burn waste other than paper. Extinguish the fire completely before you leave camp. You should be able to put your hand in the ashes and feel no warmth.
Leave What You Find
Let others experience the same sense of discovery you had upon finding interesting objects like shed antlers, colourful rocks, wildflowers, old buildings, etc. Leave things where you found them. It is illegal to remove or disturb such things.
Also, avoid damage to live trees and plants. Don’t cut them for any reason. Bring along lightweight camp furniture like sleeping pads, and tents with aluminum poles. You'll be much more comfortable, and you won’t need to cut poles or boughs. Even nail holes in trees can introduce disease.
Be Considerate of Others
Be cautious when you encounter other visitors. They may be unfamiliar with horses and the appropriate behaviour around them - and your stock might become nervous.
Dogs must be under strict control at all times, and on a leash where it’s posted. If your dog tends to harass wildlife or livestock, leave it at home!
An abundance of wildlife live in our Provincial Parks. Use binoculars and telephoto lenses to get a good view. If you are close enough that the animals show signs of distress, you are too close.
Enjoy the sense of serenity and wilderness. Do keep noise levels to a minimum.