Responsible Recreation: Pathways, Practices and Possibilities

  • Start Date: May 09, 2023
  • End Date: May 10, 2023
  • Time: Schedule TBD - expect full days
  • City: Revelstoke BC
  • Venue: Revelstoke Community Centre & Online
  • Call for proposals open until Feb 3, 2023

Image credits in the order they appear: H Ross, Wet Planet, R Darvill, A Chance, P Garbutt, CMH

Conference description

Recreation and adventure tourism opportunities and activities are expanding globally, with the Columbia Mountains region being no exception. From hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, dirt biking, cross-country skiing, to motorized and non-motorized watercraft use, all activities can have an impact on wildlife and ecosystems. However, empirical measures of impacts are often difficult to obtain, with unknown thresholds that ultimately affect the viability of wildlife populations and ecosystems. This limits policy development and impact management. Furthermore, the cumulative effect of multiple overlapping recreational and industrial activities on the landscape are seldom considered or addressed.

This two-day conference is timely as an increasing number of people are pursuing outdoor activities, and there is growing recognition of the limited information, tools, and resources for managing and monitoring the impacts of these pressures on wildlife and habitat. It will be an excellent opportunity for scientists, managers, business operators, students, and the interested public to network and learn about current thinking on increasing outdoor recreation activities and the effect on wildlife and ecosystems. The event will address key questions regarding effects of current and future development and showcase best practices of established commercial and community managed recreation and adventure tourism tenures. The conference will include speakers, posters, and various opportunities for dialogue on aspects of baseline monitoring, measuring disturbance, accessing cumulative impacts, understanding best practices, success stories, and field trip opportunities. It will be a conference to learn about, and immerse oneself in, the emerging field of recreation ecology.

This event will be a hybrid-event welcoming participation both in-person and online. We will accommodate online participation for all oral presentations. Most afternoon workshops, dialogues, and poster sessions will be for in-person attendees.

Invited speakers

  • Nikki Heim, Ktunaxa Nation Council. Simulating current and future Impacts on ʔa·kxamis qapi qapsin (All Living Things): the role of recreation
  • Jeremy Ayotte, Phyla Biological Consulting & Shuswap Trail Alliance. Backcountry recreation management planning for wildlife: What tools do we have, where can we improve?
  • Ross Cloutier, Helicat Canada. HeliCat Canada’s Vision 2040 and the Wildlife and Environmental Research Fund
  • Kim Heinemeyer, Director of Conservation Science, Round River Conservation Studies. Wolverine responses to backcountry winter recreation differ based on behavioral state and recreation exposure
  • Michael Proctor, Trans-border Grizzly Bear Project, Kootenay Connect, & the IUCN Species Survival Commission (Bear specialist group). Roads, recreation, and grizzlies (and other wildlife!)
  • Aaron Reid, BC Ministry of Lands Water and Resource Stewardship. The Roaming Closure – using GPS collared caribou to manage snowmobiling across the Central Selkirk mountain caribou herd
  • Annie Loosen, University of Northern British Columbia and the Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative. Recreation ecology in a multi-use, large landscape: implications and applications for monitoring
  • Amanda Weber-Roy, BC Parks. Efforts to balance species habitat needs with recreational pressures in BC Parks in the Kootenays
  • Robin Naidoo, Wildlife Conservation at WWF-US and University of British Columbia. Estimating causal impacts of human recreation on grizzly bear detections in South Chilcotin Mountains

Who should attend this conference?

CMI conferences attract people from a variety of disciplines and professions. This conference will inform scientists, ecologists, business and environmental managers, government decision-makers, and community members (i.e., ATV clubs, climbing associations, mountain biking groups, snowmobile associations, rod and gun clubs, etc.). Additionally, this conference will be of use to post-secondary students studying and monitoring ecological effects, higher level management, or best operational practices. The conference is an opportunity to learn and discuss best practices within the recreation and adventure tourism sectors.


We welcome presentations, posters, workshops, and field trips that address the following themes:

  • Current research and gaps in recreation ecology, an internationally evolving research field addressing the high demand for nature-based tourism and recreation, and its environmental impacts
  • Best practices for limiting impacts to wildlife and ecosystems
  • Assessments and perspectives on existing and potential management policies
  • Challenges and opportunities in recreation and adventure tourism management
  • Indigenous perspectives and experiences on caring for the land
  • Success stories highlighting responsible recreation and adventure tourism
  • Recreation ecology considerations in the context of climate change
  • Other emerging research or discussions on the topic of recreation and ecosystems

Presenters are asked to refer their presentation back to the question:

What are the lessons learned that can inform our collective work to reduce impacts to wildlife and ecosystems?


Proposals are currently being accepted until February 3, 2023 for the following:

  • Presentations: 5min speed talks, 15min traditional talks. Additional time may be requested
  • Posters
  • Workshops
  • Field trips for the Revelstoke area

If you would like to submit a proposal, please send title, abstract (max 300 words), a short bio, and full contact information to the Columbia Mountains Institute by February 3, 2023. See the submission guidelines prior to submission.

*Please specify whether you plan to attend this event in-person or online.

Please note that all presenters are required to provide a text summary of what they have presented for inclusion in the conference proceedings. A proceedings document will be publicly available on the CMI website.



Registration for this event is not yet open. To be notified when registration opens, please sign up for our events announcements here.

All presenters will need to register in addition to general attendees.


Our event partners & sponsors

Columbia Mountains Institute is pleased to work with these agencies in hosting this event:

Selkirk College, BC Parks, Golden + Area A Trail Alliance, Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, Shuswap Trail Alliance, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative & Outdoor Recreation Council of BC


Event sponsors and commercial exhibitors are encouraged to contact CMI after reviewing the information found here.



Image credits in the order they appear: Marc-Andre Beaucher, Steve Shannon, Sea Cat Creative, H Ross, Great Canadian Tours


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  • Fax 250-837-9311
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Mailing Address

  • P.O. Box 2568
  • Revelstoke, British Columbia V0E 2S0
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