Park management

Kootenay National Park

Guiding Documents
Kootenay Park Management Plan 2022

A management plan is a strategic guide for future management of a national park. It is required by legislation, guided by public consultation, approved by the Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and tabled in Parliament. It is the primary public accountability document for each national park.

Previous Park Management Plan:

“State of the Park” assessments communicate the overall condition of key aspects of the park. These assessments are undertaken every ten years to identify key management issues for the next park management plan.

National Historic Site Management Plans 2007

National historic sites commemorate the diversity of human experience and the legacy of thousands of years of human history. They mark the tangible cultural remains of the lives and stories of the people who forged Canada. The family of national historic sites is very large, encompassing more than 900 sites and representing every province and territory. Parks Canada administers more than 150 of these sites including fourteen sites in or near the mountain national parks.

Acts and regulations

Parks Canada’s legislation outlines its obligations and authorities with respect to the protected places under its responsibility. The Agency uses a wide range of tools to protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage to connect Canadians to that heritage.

Public engagement
There are no public engagements underway in Kootenay National Park at this time. Questions about previous engagements can be directed to
Businesses and residents
Contact information

Business services for Kootenay National Park are provided by Parks Canada. To serve you faster, the most commonly requested information is offered below. Still have questions? We look forward to assisting you.

Office hours: Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mountain. 
General inquiries: 403-522-1186
After-hours emergencies: Contact Park Dispatch at 403-762-1470

Business licenses

Any person providing goods or services in a national park, including guides , outfitters and non-profit organizations, must obtain a business license.

“Business” is defined as any trade, industry, employment, occupation, activity or special event carried on in a park or on Parks Canada-administered lands or waters outside of a park, for profit, gain, fund raising or commercial promotion, and includes an undertaking carried on in a park by a charitable organization, or by an organization or individual on a non-profit basis.

Information on the application process for Guided Businesses can be found below . For all other businesses, we ask that you contact your local Parks Canada office to obtain the applicable application form.

Please note that you may also be required to apply for a Basic Business License, depending on the nature of your business

  • Does this apply to me? For the purposes of business licensing, “business” means any trade, industry, employment, occupation, activity or special event carried on in a park for profit, gain, fundraising or commercial promotion. This includes work carried out by charitable organizations or by an organization or individual on a non-profit basis.
  • What are the timelines and fees? Business licences require on average 7-10 business days to process. Business licencing fees vary depending on the type and size of the business. 
  • Why are licenses required? Licenses allow us to regulate activities to ensure they are consistent with Parks Canada’s mission and mandate and what Canadians expect of national parks. They also ensure we can share important information with you about work that may impact your business. 
  • Who should I contact? Contact or 403-522-1186 for more information. 
Guided Business Licenses

Anyone wishing to operate a guided /outfitter activity in a national park in Canada is required to apply to Parks Canada for a business licence. Please note that you may also be required to apply for a Basic Business Licence, depending on the nature of your business.

Guided business licences are generally issued for the following activities:

  • hiking tours
  • road biking tours
  • backpacking tours
  • interpretive walks
  • guided mountaineering
  • guided ski touring
  • guided cross-country ski touring
  • guided horseback tours
  • rafting tours
  • stand-up paddleboard
  • outfitting
  • all wilderness related tours and guided programs
Application process

The following procedure is for new guided/outfitter activity businesses seeking to operate in a national park. It is not applicable if you are seeking a replacement licence. A separate application form is available for this purpose. Please contact your local Parks Canada office for further information on this process.

All employees that will be conducting Guided Trips will be required to obtain a Guide Identification Card (see “Guide Identification Application Form Part IV ”), and carry this card at all times while guiding.

A separate application is available if you are seeking licensing as a new business in any other area other than guided/outfitter activities. We ask that you contact your local Parks Canada office to obtain the application form.

1. Application: How to apply for a license to conduct a guided or outfitter activity in a national park
  • Complete the New Guided/Outfitter Activity Business Licence application form in full.
    Note: Detailed information is necessary for Parks Canada to conduct an accurate evaluation of your application. If sufficient details are not provided, we will be unable to complete a review of your application.
  • Submit the completed application form, including all requirements in the documentation checklist .
Completed applications can be sent to:

Guided Business Liaison, Mountain Parks
Realty and Municipal Services
Jasper National Park of Canada
PO Box 10
Jasper, Alberta T0E 1E0

2. Review: Parks Canada review process of a Guided/Outfitter Activity Business Licence application
  • Receipt of Application: On receipt of your application, Parks Canada will review your submission for completion. Incomplete applications may be returned to you to provide further information or documentation.
    • Summer applications must be submitted prior to September 1. (For the purpose of this application process, summer is defined as April 1 to October 31.)
    • Winter applications must be submitted prior to March 1. (For the purpose of this application process, winter is defined as November 1 to March 31.
  • Review/Evaluation: All applications will be evaluated and a recommendation for approval or denial will be forwarded to the Field Unit Superintendent, who makes the final decision based on this recommendation. Applicants will be contacted in the time frames indicated below. This review period recognizes the need for timely review in order to allow businesses to operate in the season following their application.
    • Park personnel will review summer applications and will contact proponents by December 1.
    • Park personnel will review winter applications and will contact applicants by June 1.
3. Decision: Field Unit Superintendent’s decision
  1. If the guided/outfitter activity business licence is approved: your business licence will be issued and become valid for the summer or winter season following approval. Any/all conditions imposed on the licence will be clearly defined and appended. The term of the licence cannot exceed one year and will expire on March 31 following the date of issuance.
    If, at any time during the term of your licence, the parameters under which you are operating your business change, such as sale or transfer of the business, change in name or location, change to the nature of the business, or additions to the business, you must inform Parks Canada immediately.
  2. If the guided/outfitter activity business licence is denied: you will be advised, in writing, of the reason(s) for the decision in as timely a manner as possible.

You will be notified of the decision in the manner that you have indicated in Part II of the “New Guided/Outfitter Activity Business Licence Application”.

4. Payment: If the application is approved, applicable fees for a Guided/Outfitter Activity Business Licence

Detailed fees list

While payment is not required until a determination is made on your application, payment for each activity will be payable prior to issuance of a guided/outfitter activity business licence.

Application form and other resources

Guided Business Licence Application Form for the Mountain National Parks (April 2023) (PDF, 1.11 MB)

Fillable pdf application form for new guided/outfitter activity businesses wanting to operate in a national park.

Other resources:

For more information on how to apply for a guided business licence in the Mountain National Parks:

Leases and licenses of occupation

Any person who uses land for a business or residence in a national park requires a lease and/or license of occupation. National parks are owned by all Canadians and the land can be neither purchased nor sold.  

  • I have a lease and/or license of occupation. We welcome your questions about replacements, mortgage approvals, subleases and more. Please contact us at
  • I have never had a lease or license of occupation. Kootenay National Park currently has a moratorium on new commercial leases, therefore no new commercial leases can be issued.
Development and building applications

All development and building projects in national parks require approval and may also require an impact assessment. Are you building or digging in a national park? Check with us first. 

  • Do I need development or building approval? Consult this Development FAQ for detailed information and please call the Development Office at 403-522-1266. We can help.
  • What is the difference between development versus building approvals? 
    • Development applications allow for review of the project concept to ensure the development proposal meets the various Acts, Regulations, Policies and Guidelines that Parks Canada is obliged to uphold. 
    • Building applications allow review of a broad range of projects, unlike those issued in a typical municipal setting, and cover the technical requirements for a construction project to ensure it can be completed safely and with minimal impact to the environment, adjacent leaseholders and the visiting public 
  • Why is an impact assessment also required? Parks Canada is mandated to protect natural and cultural resources in national parks. Impact assessments identify concerns and measures to mitigate adverse effects on these resources. Most development and construction projects in national parks impact people or the environment and are required by law to undergo an impact assessment.
  • Who approves my development and building application? Superintendents are responsible for approving development and building applications.
  • What are the timelines and fees? Timelines and fees vary depending on the complexity of the project and the estimated cost of construction. Consult this Development FAQ or contact us directly. 
  • Who should I contact? We welcome your questions. Contact
Staff housing

If you are a Parks Canada employee seeking information about staff housing, please reach out to your supervisor. For existing tenants, please contact our Housing Officer at 403-763-0736 or

Filmmakers and photographers

To film or photograph in the national parks, an application must be submitted to Parks Canada twenty days prior to activities. If approved, a permit will be issued which outlines conditions and supplementary requirements associated with the production. This information will help you prepare an application.

Special events

All special events including festivals, weddings and conferences require a special event permit.

Contact us at

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