April 2020 CORE Newsletter

Executive News

CORE AGM May 2020

April 22nd, an email was sent out to all CORE members updating you on the COVID-19 situation and How the Executive proposes to hold the May 2020 AGM.

Per the rules of Society, CORE is required to have 4 members fill the following positions of an Executive – Chair, Secretary, Treasure, Membership. We have nominations for Chair, Secretary and Membership Coordinator. CORE still needs a member to volunteer for the treasurer position. The treasure position requires reasonable computer skills. It does not matter if you are fairly new to the club, there are experienced members on the Executive and new ideas would be more than welcomed. For further information about this position, please contact Mike(chair person) per email sent out. The deadline is April 29, 2020.

We still need nominations for other executive positions, but more information regarding all of the executive positions and the AGM will be sent to you in the near future. But right now our main priority is to make sure we have the 4 vital positions.

CORE Presentation Survey

A presentation survey has been emailed out to all CORE members asking for your preference for monthly meetings and presentation. CORE executive would appreciate your feedback as soon as possible. Thank you

Effective Immediately all CORE

Events and Monthly Meetings are

Cancelled until Further Notice

Please be advised, Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CORE executive has cancelled all CORE events and monthly meetings until further notice. Other outdoor clubs have taken the same initiative as CORE. And Scarboro Hall will also be closed until further noticed. For any further information regarding the CORE event and meetings being cancelled, please email the executive at mailbox@corehike.org.

For more information about COVID-19 virus, go to Alberta Health Services webpage.

Renewal of CORE Membership for 2020/2021 membership year is Put on Hold till After AGM (May 2020)

CORE’s 2020/2021 membership renewal is put on hold due to the COVID-19 virus. The 2020/2021 membership will be available once the club recommences activities post COVID-19. CORE will advise members when 2020/2021 membership is open.

Coordinator’s Meeting for 2020 Summer Event Planning Meeting

This meeting has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus, until further notice.

Car Pooling Contribution Rate Revised Effective January 22, 2020

CORE executive revised the car pooling $contribution rate as of January 22, 2020. The new contribution rate is one set rate of, $0.25 cents per km.   CORE executive will re-visit if vehicle expenses go up.

CORE’s Car Pooling guideline, is to contribute per kilometer multiplied by two times the distance, from the meetup place to the trailhead, multiply by .25 cents then divide by the number of people in the vehicle. For more information on car pooling and locations go to CORE Carpooling guideline.

When car pooling, if the road has been very dusty, slushy or muddy, you should help your driver out by giving an extra loonie ($1.00) or toonie ($2.00) for a vehicle wash. Your driver will appreciate this gesture.

Valley Ridge Community Parking Lot

CORE uses the Valley Ridge Community parking lot for car pooling. CORE has been asked by the community association, when we leave our vehicles at this parking lot, to park near the east end of the lot. By the entrance to the parking lot. This is to increase safety for the “in and out” skaters accessing their gate near the west end of the lot.  The two outdoor arena’s, above this community parking lot, creates heavy vehicle and foot traffic.

CORE Photo Album

All CORE members participating in CORE activities are welcome and encouraged to post photos taken on your outings in the CORE website Photo Albums. There are Photo Management instructions on the CORE Guides web page. If you have any trouble uploading your photos, please ask the event coordinator or other experienced CORE member. Some guidelines when posting photos :

  • Post just the highlights of the event
  • No parking lot photos. We should not identify members vehicles
  • Do not post unflattering pictures of other members
  • If you mention a person’s name, use only the person’s first name

Contacting your Executive

CORE has a couple of different purpose-oriented email addresses through which you can contact various executive members. If  you have a general question’s about the club, for instance upcoming presenters planned, event, etc, please email us at mailbox@corehike.org. If it is a question about membership or joining the club, please direct your query to membership@corehike.org.

Remember that our CORE Executive members are volunteers who also have day jobs and a life outside of CORE, so please be patient if it takes a few days to respond to your queries.



Highlights of Prior Hikes to March 1, 2020

Here are a few highlights from the CORE calendar for prior hikes to March 1, 2020.   WE WILL BE BACK, YOU JUST WAIT!!!!  Please visit the CORE photo albums for more pictures from recent activities.


2019 Yamnuska Circuit












2019 Having Fun at Healy Pass












2019 West Wind Pass











2019 Fullerton Loop











2016 Bow Valley Provincial Park










News and Notes

Alberta Hiking Association (AHA) Survey

The Alberta Hiking Association represents more than one million Albertans who walk and/or hike in Alberta. Many of the membership belong to hiking clubs and meet up groups who organize hiking, snowshoeing, and cross country ski activities. The AHA advocates on behalf of Alberta hikers and acts as an intermediate for information concerns and ideas around issues that relate to hiking trails, trail construction, maintenance and accessibility. The AHA works to give you a voice as a stakeholder at meetings with industry and government. AHA website has a list of hiking clubs that are members of the organization.  CORE is a member of AHA.

The AHA would like to know more about what Alberta hikers and snowshoers want, to better fulfill their mandate to advocate for the interest of hikers. They would like hikers and/or snowshoers to complete a short survey. The link to the survey is on the AHA website.

CPAW’S Defends Alberta Parks, Town Hall Meeting#2

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) has been pushing to have Alberta Parks reverse their March 2020 decision for removal of 164 park sites and the closure of 20 park sites. They have been reaching out to individuals, groups and businesses who may be personally affected by these changes or whose organization, business will feel the impact of these changes.

CPAWS will be holding a virtual town hall on April 27, Monday, starting at 7 pm. You will need to register thru Eventbrite. Or email: volunteernab@cpaws.org. You can join CPAWS via Zoom to hear from Albertan’s affected by these cuts. The Town Hall will feature presentations by representatives from the perspective of conservationists, recreationist, and other impacted communities. Presentations will be followed with an opportunity to hear from participants.

If you can not make the town hall meeting, you can email CPAWS with your questions. email address: volunteernab@cpaws.org   Or you can send a letter to your MLA or Alberta’s MLA  for Park’s. Or send a prewritten letter by CPAWS to Jason Nixon – Minister of Environment and Parks Alberta, by clicking on the link.

More Wildlife is seen by Park Rangers

Due to the shutdown of the National and Provincial parks, no visitors or traffic are allowed in the parks. More Wildlife has been seen by the park rangers. They have spotted an elk herd of 40 to 50, grazing and traveling down the Bow Valley River near Banff.  As well, more bear sights.





Parks Canada closes National Parks, Historic Sites to Vehicle Traffic due to COVID-19

Effective March 24, 2020 until further notice, all national parks and historic sites are off limits to all vehicle traffic, unless you live there. This includes all parking lots and any parking on the highway or roadway through the national parks. You can travel on Highway #1, but you cannot stop anywhere along this highway in the parks. RCMP and Canada Parks wardens will be patrolling, and if they see a vehicle pulled over, they can give you a ticket or impound your vehicle. And all day use facilities and campsites remain closed.

Alberta Government is closing Provincial Parks to the Public due to COVID-19 pandemic

Alberta Parks are closed no vehicle/public traffic is prohibited from using Alberta Park facilities until further notice. This includes toilets, picnic areas and park warm-up shelters. No traffic into the parks is allowed.  You can still book campsites online. Alberta Parks will continue to assess the impact to the pandemic to the camping season and refund online reservations and waive cancelation fees, as necessary. Anyone wishing to cancel their current reservations for arrivals up to April30, 2020, will be provided a full refund or the opportunity to change their reservation depending on availability, with no penalty. Contact Alberta Parks online or at 1-877-537-2757.

Both Alberta Parks and Parks Canada has asked the public for their cooperation to choose outdoor activities that are low risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. As any emergency assistance during this time period puts additional strain on the health care system, put public safety staff at risk, including exposure to COVID-19, which then can impact resources to support search and rescue.

Avalanche Canada shuts down its forecasting service due to COVID-19 Outbreak

Avalanche Canada stated a lack of data due to the COVID-19 outbreak has prompted the warning service to shut down its website effective immediately (March 24, 2020).

Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park:

Friends of Fish Creek Park is offering different events regarding the park’s history, wildlife, archaeology and other events in the park this spring/summer/fall.

Visit Friends of Fish Creek Park event calendar for daily and weekly events.

Friends of Kananaskis Park Event Series:

For more information go to Friends of Kananaskis Park event calendar.

Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area, New Parking Fee Effective January 1, 2020

Starting January 1, 2020, visitors will be required to pay a fee of $10.00 per vehicle seven days per week, from 4 am to 11 pm. Their parking lot will be regularly patrolled by volunteers and staff and is monitored 24/7 by security cameras. ASCC is implementing a parking pass system.  Annual pass will be $120.00 for the calendar year.

For more information go to ASCC.

 Avalanche Season

Avalanche conditions are high in many parks. Before you go out into the mountains, verify the avalanche conditions in the area of the event. Go to  Parks Canada Avalanche page or  the direct link to Alberta Parks – Kananaskis.

Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bears are spotted in Banff and Chester Lake areas. Be Bear Aware, Carry Your Bear Spray!!!




Trailhead Parking Security

It has been reported that car break-ins and theft has been happening at trail-head parking lots. Be sure to lock up your belongings and ensure nothing is visible when you leave your vehicle to mitigate the visibility of tempting items for thieves.

Trail Closures and Trail Report Link

Alberta Parks and Banff National Park are urging people to be bear aware. There have been multiple sightings of bears, and other wildlife in the parks. Depending on which park you are in, contact either Alberta Parks (403-591-7755) or Parks Canada Banff office (403-762-1470) if you come in close vicinity of a bear, cougar, elk or wolf.


Members Corner

The Members Corner section of the CORE Newsletter is meant to allow CORE Members to connect with other members of like interest, or to seek or sell outdoor equipment. Please submit any request to mailbox@corehike.org and include your contact info for interested parties to contact you. No photo’s of items will be posted on CORE newsletter. Also, please keep your words to a minimum (50 words or less).  Please note that the CORE Newsletter is in the public domain, and that by submitting a request, you give permission to CORE to publish your contact information thus provided. CORE will not act as intermediary in any resulting transactions. All members who submit any request have relinquished CORE from any and all liabilities, claims, suits, and causes of action, and property (including loss of use or damage) on the part of the CORE club (individually or collectively).

{member’s AD and contact info to be posted here}


Adventure Stories


Quote by Gary Snyder

For all CORE members, this spot is for you. If you have a little story to tell about something you’ve seen on a CORE outing, or some article or book you may have read that you would like to share, please send it along and we’ll publish it in the next newsletter. Keep it to a couple paragraphs, and stick to topics related to the outdoors or the environment.  mailbox@corehike.org









 Hither and Yon

A Clarks Nutcracker

Banff’s Bird populations Stable to Increasing During Climate Change

While climate change is affecting the range and survival of many wildlife species, scientists wanted to know what impact it was having with birds in Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Jasper and Waterton Lakes National Park. They wanted to survey how the parks bird populations were changing over time and how climate change affected the bird population stated Jesse Whittington, a wildlife ecologist with Banff National Parks.

With 30 pounds of recording gear, including high-tech microphones, staff and researchers hiked up trails at 3.30 in the morning so, they can record data at dawn. Surveys were done in June and early July. In June, male birds are singing to attract mates. The study was recently published in the journal, Ecosphere, included 10 years of data collected in the five national parks.

There was 34,665 detections of 77 bird species collected.

The research indicates bird populations in the mountain parks are doing much better than eastern North America and Europe. Increases were for short and long distance migratory birds, but rates decreased slightly for winter residents. 91% of the birds are stable or increasing. Further breakdown shows 53% of birds were increasing and 38% were stable and 9% were decreasing.  Birds stable or on the rise: dark-eyed juncos, yellow-rumped warblers, and white crowned sparrows. Birds on a slight decline: red breasted nuthatch and black capped chickadee. This study was done from 2007 to 2016.

Biggest jump in bird population was in 2015 to 2016  which were both years with warmer and drier springs! Whittington stated “they found that at least half of the birds in their study cued into spring temperature and precipitation, so their ranges expanded during warmer springs and drier springs. Which is due to places like Banff where there is snow most of the year. It is a relatively cold, formidable place, a lot of bird species are at the edge of their range, therefore, their range has expanded during these warmer, drier springs, because they have more habitat available to them.

In respond to climate change, some mountainous bird populations may maintain their climatic niche by shifting their range up slope as long as they are not constrained by rock, ice and loss of habitat near the top of the mountain. While most birds have a climate niche related to temperature and precipitation, some birds may shift where they live in response to changes in temperature or advance the timing of breeding and nesting. Research has indicated the response of some birds to climate change may depend on their life history – whether they are specialists or generalists or whether they are migratory or resident birds. With climate change that may involve shifting their range northward or upward in elevation, or maybe they do not have to move at all if they are in their niche.

Great Horned Owl

Whittington stated the study showed, with mountain ecosystems are highly vulnerable to climate change, the study shows, increasing temperatures in Banff National Park will probably increase the habitat quality for many species but not all species, some will decline.

The Bow Valley Naturalists, Reg Bunyan (BVN vice president) states declining songbird populations world wide are mainly the result of habitat loss and insecticides. Song birds are migratory birds are directly impacted by the land management practices outside of the national parks. While it is positive news that 91% of the bird populations in the mountain parks are relatively stable, it is important to remember that mountain parks have harsh ecosystems. As a result we have relatively little bird species diversity and the results do not reflect what is happening to bird populations North America wide. The survey also, does not show why the 9% of mountain park species that are declining, some of which have experienced huge population losses. Buyan also states the survey is a broad overview. It does not show what is happening with bird species here, does not delve into how temperature affects survival rates, habitat selection, recruitment of mates and how many young they have, or how much of what we are seeing is natural fluctuations in their populations.

A report stated, this is an estimate, that 2.9 billion birds have disappeared from Canada and the United States since 1970 amounting to about a 29% decline. Greatest losses were found in species such as blackbirds, sparrows, finches and warbles.

Whittington stated birds in protected areas, where the some of the research in North America has occurred, may be more resilient to climate change, species in protected areas have had lower extinction rates and higher colonization rates compared to unprotected areas. He stated results in Banff are similar to bird studies in National Parks in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest of the United States.  And other studies have found birds and other wildlife species are generally more resilient to climate change in protected areas. Whittington stated this points to the importance of protected areas!

Editor’s viewpoint: There are many interesting points and questions regarding the stability of bird population during climate change. One is every region has different bird types and habitation. Second is, how are the birds acclimatizing themselves?. Moving to higher elevations, to keep their normal patterns, or staying put and establishing new patterns? Third, are these birds migratory or winter birds? Will winter birds start to migrate more north? Over the next 10 to 15 years of climate warming, will these bird populations remain stable and will their habitation/territory be the same or different?


        Take Care, Be Safe And Have Fun!!!!