“The story of CLAS begins with two guys talking over coffee at the end of a long day of searching for places to hunt. A day of burning gas, angering landowners and wasting time,” says Mark Wojszel, Co-Founder and VP Business and Development, CLAS. “The obvious solution was to create a virtual space where landowners and those seeking access could more easily and efficiently connect.”
As a landowner himself, Mark also understands the concerns on the other side of the fence for landowners. He along with his CLAS business partner and Cofounder Mike Gertstenbuhler envisioned a system that would let owners ‘laydown the rules’ without the hindrance or demand of face to-face contact. The system would support the landowner through an app that approves and invites guests, as well as notifications of who is on their property, why and for how long. Most importantly, at the end of the day, users would agree upon conditions for access and respected and safe use of the land.
The CLAS app is free and recreation users pay an annual fee to search and access any of the lands available in the system. The landowner manages scheduling and approvals at the time of the request and approved users can scan in and out of the property, notifying the landowner of their presence and receiving up-to-date rules.
“With landowners facing greater liability and a growing demand and pressure to allow access to land, especially during hunting season, CLAS enables non-intrusive dialogue between landowners and users, while simultaneously providing landowners with a tool to manage their land easily and effectively,” says Mark.
Today, over 6,000 landowners and leaseholders, along with several key organizations including the Alberta Conservation Association, the Western Stock Growers’ Association and the Alberta Grazing Leaseholders Association, support CLAS and encourage their members and other landowners to join.
To learn more about CLAS visit canadianlandaccess.com
This article was first published in the May 2021 edition of ABP Magazine, under ‘Canadian Land Access System’ on page 68. Stay tuned to ABP Daily to see more content from the magazine.