Canada’s National Mountain parks that sit along the border of Alberta and British Columbia are reviewing and updating plans that will guide park management into 2030.
Until April 30, 2019, Parks Canada is inviting feedback on the scope of the management plan review for Jasper, Kootenay, Banff, Yoho, Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks. This is your opportunity to provide input on the key topics that will be addressed during the management plan review.
Why should Canadian BHA members take the time to provide feedback to Parks Canada?
The mountain parks are large, connected tracts of permanently protected lands that are mandated to be “maintained and made use of so as to leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
Mountain parks are bordered almost exclusively by provincial public lands in Alberta and British Columbia. Wildlife and fish populations pass easily between parks and onto public lands. Management of our National Parks, and the fish and wildlife populations within them, directly impact the fish and wildlife on adjacent provincial public lands.
The Alberta and British Columbia chapters of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers encourage all of their members to take the time to participate in Parks Canada’s public engagement to ensure that the updated management plans are aligned with BHA’s mission and values.
Register to participate in the Let’s Talk Mountain Parks process.
Management plan reviews are specific to each national park. If you can, take the time to complete the survey for each park. If you are short on time the pages for Kootenay, Banff, Yoho, Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks have an Ideas Board where you can quickly share the conservation values you would like to see reflected in the park management plans. Below are some key issues to consider as you comment on the management plan review.
- Parks should continue to implement prescribed burns to increase high-quality habitat for bighorn sheep, elk, and grizzly bears. Decades of fire suppression have substantially changed ecosystems in the National Parks.
- Parks should act as refuges for wildlife, but popular activities such as skiing, biking, and wildlife viewing can have negative impacts on wildlife populations. Sensitive species such as mountain goats and caribou may abandon their ranges due to human activity. Mountain parks should prioritize wilderness and wildlife habitat over the expansion of tourism infrastructure.
- Parks should be a refuge for wild trout. Manage non-native trout populations to prevent hybridization with native fish.
- Prevent the spread of whirling disease and other aquatic parasites by providing cleaning stations at popular angling locations. Increase education outreach about water-borne diseases at park entrance and information centers.
- Infrastructure development should not diminish angling opportunities in mountain parks. Consultation with the angling community should be undertaken for any proposed developments to ensure habitat, aesthetics, and opportunity are maintained.
Visitor Education and Enforcement
- Human-wildlife conflict is an ongoing problem in mountain parks. Continuing education efforts around not approaching wildlife, clean campsites and food attractants is important. Tourists who participate in activities that endanger or habituate wildlife (e.g. “bear jams” on highways) should be fined or have park passes revoked.
Collaboration with Provincial Wildlife Management
- Coordinate with the provinces on habitat management initiatives, including prescribed burns, and on strategies to prevent the spread and transmission of diseases affecting fish and wildlife.
- Collaborate with provincial wildlife managers on caribou range plans to support the recovery of at-risk populations that overlap park and provincial lands.
- National Parks in Alberta and British Columbia represent a large area where wildlife are not hunted. Recent advocacy by some organizations and individuals has recommended the implementation of buffers around parks to reduce harvest risk for wildlife populations that overlap park and provincial lands. Buffers will reduce hunting opportunity on public lands adjacent to National Parks. Both Alberta and British Columbia carefully manage hunting, and increased buffers are not required to maintain healthy wildlife populations.