We have received several questions about the posted notice that coyote snares have been set in the area surrounding The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. Here is a post that breaks down the legality of the matter and some things to consider.
We understand that this is a concern for some who use the trail. WRWEO feels strongly about stewardship, conservation and minimizing the human impacts in the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area where the trail is located. The trail and the land around the trail is public land that has been designated as a Wilderness Protected Area. This designation is about prohibiting development. While this protected status is in part about conservation, hunting and trapping are still permitted.
The hunting rules and regulations are a provincial area of jurisdiction so you can reach out to NS Environment who enforce the rules in the Wilderness Protected Area and the Dept. of Lands and Forestry who make the rules about hunting and trapping.
To clarify, counter to what the sign states, it is not technically illegal to have your dog off-leash while on the Trail. However, WRWEO highly recommends that we all follow this practice in an effort to reduce the risk of injury to dogs, and users, while also helping to address the ecological impacts that dogs and humans alike have caused in the area surrounding the Trail by going beyond its bounds (off-trail). The Trail is now used by an estimated 35-40,000 people each and every year. This cumulative impact is very concerning to both WRWEO and Nova Scotia Environment. We can all work together to reduce our impacts by following Leave No Trace principles, which includes staying on the trail. WRWEO has prepared guidance for dog owners on how to use the trail safely: https://wrweo.ca/wp/the-bluff-trail/dogs/
You can get more information about hunting and trapping from the government website here: https://novascotia.ca/natr/hunt/
More information about the Bluff Trail and how to use the trail safely is available on our website: https://wrweo.ca/wp/the-bluff-trail/
As you may know, stewarding and maintaining the trail takes lots of resources. Please consider making a donation to WRWEO, becoming a member, or a steward of the trail. When you are on the trail please send us a report of what you saw and let us know of any issues or maintenance that needs to be undertaken, we have an Online Reporting Form on our website – https://wrweo.ca/…/the…/submit-trail-report-online/