Progress Report on Implementation of the Recommendations of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks

Banff National Park Campground Closed on Account of Bears

On August 25, five grizzly bears were frequenting the Two Jack Campground and Day Use area in Banff National Park. The bears had moved into the area in response to its rich berry crop. Following a staff and media blitz to inform residents and visitors of the potential for bear encounters in the area, the Park Superintendent decided to close the campground and some day-use areas for the balance of the season.

This was a significant decision since the area includes 461 campsites, five busy day-use areas and numerous trail heads. In the past, the response might have been to manage the bears. This has changed to managing the human activity, thereby reducing the potential for encounters and affording the bears an opportunity to feed on the berry crop and gain the energy necessary for the long winter. After monitoring showed that the bears had left, the area was reopened several weeks later.

"New management plans for Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay and Waterton Lakes National Parks, as well as community plans for each of the park communities, will be approved in the near future." (Action Plan)

Progress to Date

  • The management plans for Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay and Waterton Lakes have been approved by the Minister and tabled in Parliament.
  • Park community plans have been finalized for Waterton, Waskesiu and Wasagaming (approved plans are already in place for Banff and Field).
  • The planning processes for the Lake Louise and Jasper community plans are continuing.

Next Steps

  • Complete the Lake Louise and Jasper plans.
  • Table the community plans in Parliament and seek the incorporation of key elements into Schedule 4 of the Canada National Parks Act (land description of the community; description of commercial zones; and maximum commercial floor area).

"The report of the Panel on Outlying Commercial Accommodations in the mountain national parks will be released in the near future and will be reviewed in the context of the Ecological Integrity Panel Report." (Action Plan)

Progress to Date

  • The report was released April 5, 2000.
  • Parks Canada is preparing guidelines for outlying commercial accommodations and hostels which will set a limit for each facility and increase the responsibility for each site manager with respect to stewardship.
  • In the case of the three-valley confluence area in Jasper National Park, an ecological restoration plan is being developed to ensure that ecological issues are addressed.

Next Steps

  • The Parks Canada guidelines respecting outlying commercial accommodations and hostels will be finalized.

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