Friends of the Eastern Slopes Association

In February 1994, Friends of the Eastern Slopes Association was incorporated as a not-for-profit society.  The group took on as their first project the Bighorn Campground located on the Parks Canada Ya Ha Tinda Ranch.  They negotiated with Parks Canada to take over as the stewards of the campground.  Over the intervening years, through positive, proactive volunteer efforts, Friends of the Eastern Slopes Association:

  • has grown and consistently maintains a membership of over 400 families
  • have an on-going agreement with Parks Canada for the Bighorn Campground area
  • were entrusted by the Alberta Sustainable Resource Development and the Bighorn Backcountry Committee with the stewardship of the Hummingbird, Eagle Creek and Cutoff Forest Recreation areas, and
  • have made a real reduction in the impact on the environment of recreational horse users

Objectives

The Friends of the Eastern Slopes Association has the following objectives:

  • To provide input into the recreational use of the Eastern slopes of Alberta.
  • To encourage, foster and develop among its members a recognition of the importance of recreation and environment within the Eastern slopes of Alberta
  • To encourage and foster recreation and horse use in Alberta.

Ya Ha Tinda Ranch Use

  • Hiking, hunting and horse travel is permitted on the ranch property.
  • Travel is not permitted within the fenced pastures along the east side of the main ranch road. These areas are posted and are shown with RED fence lines on the map . Please do not hike, bike, ride or hunt in these posted areas.
  • The staging and parking area (trailhead) for all users is at the Bighorn Campground. Parking elsewhere is not allowed.
  • The DRIFT FENCES adjacent to the Red Deer River and along the east boundary of the ranch have gates where trails intersect them. Travel through these drift fences is permitted, but PLEASE CLOSE ALL GATES.
  • No camping or campfires are allowed on the ranch property except at the Bighorn Campground.
  • Motorized and/or horse drawn vehicles are not allowed off the main ranch road or beyond the perimeter of the Bighorn Campground.
  • Dogs must be under control on the ranch property.
  • Cutting of trees is prohibited.
  • Grazing of horses is prohibited.
  • Avoid approaching Ya Ha Tinda horses to prevent the transmission of contagious diseases and for your own safety. Do not chase or harass ranch horses in any way.
  • Riders are requested to stay on the main trails as identified on the map at the entrance to the campground.

Hunters

  • Shooting is not permitted within 500 metres of the ranch buildings or in the direction of the ranch buildings.
  • Alberta Wildlife Regulations, Road Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary: this sanctuary encompasses the main ranch road from Eagle Creek to ranch headquarters buildings. Hunting is not allowed and firearms must be cased and unloaded, from the center-line of the road to 400 yards on either side of the road.
  • The Friends of The Eastern Slopes have spent many volunteer hours in maintenance and improvements to the campground. Please assist us in keeping these facilities in good condition.

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