Guiding Principles

The 5E's is a framework for managing recreation on public land. It ensures that a balanced approach with a variety of elements from each of the 5E's are implemented to ensure the goals of Trails 4 Tomorrow and it’s members.

The 5E's have been borrowed from the 4E's used by the National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) who have successfully used this framework to manage sustainable recreation on public land.

The 5E's:

  • Experience – Master trail planning that incorporates ecological, social, and trail sustainability while providing the experience Albertan's desire.

  • Engineering – Budget and implementation capability to create sustainable trails by decreasing our spatial human footprint, not just re-use unsustainable existing linear disturbances.

  • Education – Ensure users know what to expect, what to do, and their responsibilities on the trails. Education can provide opportunities for users to become trail stewards.

  • Enforcement – Use enforcement to ensure user compliance with the plan and legislations regarding land use.

  • Evaluation – Continuously improve the plan to address any issues that may arise.

  • Economy - Trails 4 Tomorrow also considers the 6th E of Economy. Economy is something that happens once all other 5E's are implemented. Recreation is tourism.

The 5E's at Work

Banff National Park is an iconic example of the 5E’s at work to manage recreation. While there is no motorized trail use in Banff, almost every person enjoying Banff uses motorized transportation in their recreational experience.

Experience: The origins of Banff are with the Banff Springs, and recognition that bathing in the Springs is the type of ‘Experience’ that people are seeking. Over the years, this Experience has expanded to hiking, sight-seeing, wildlife viewing, skiing, shopping, and conferences.

Engineering: Initial Engineering included access via the Railroad, the original Cave and Basin facilities and Banff Springs Hotel. This has expanded to highways, town sites, ski hills, power generation at a man-made hydro electric dam, water and wastewater treatment plants, and recently a divided highway with wildlife overpasses.

Education: Parks Canada stops and educates every visitor to the park, hands out brochures, and has a constant presence in the Park through signage, and Park Rangers to continuously educate visitors on appropriate expectations and responsibilities for using the Park.

Enforcement: When Education ends, Enforcement begins, and those friendly Park Rangers and other Peace Officers are empowered to enforce the rules as appropriate.

Evaluation: Over the years, the priorities, the understanding of conservation, technology, and the Experience expectations of Canadians have all changed. Through Evaluation, the other E’s are reviewed and amended as needed.