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Travel Restrictions in National Park Good for Wildlife

The mandatory travel restriction was part of Parks Canada’s Bow Valley Action Plan approved in late 2011.

February 26, 2014

Canmore, AB - The mandatory seasonal travel restriction for the Bow Valley Parkway being
implemented by Parks Canada in Banff National Park this spring is a good move, say conservation

From March 1 to June 25 between 8pm and 8am, travel will not be permitted on a 17-km stretch
of the secondary highway that runs between the town of Banff and the village of Lake Louise.

The closed section stretches between the Trans-Canada Highway/Bow Valley Parkway interchange and the Johnston Canyon campground.

The travel restriction affords sensitive species, like grizzly bears and wolves, much needed habitat security during the spring months to find food and raise their young. The mandatory travel restriction was part of Parks Canada’s Bow Valley Action Plan approved in late 2011.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Southern Alberta Chapter (CPAWS SAB) was one of several stakeholders involved in providing management recommendations for the Parkway. It supports the closure as a positive outcome that is good for both wildlife and visitor experience.

“The Bow Valley Action Plan is a reflection of how ecosystem health in Banff National Park can be
prioritized while enhancing visitor experience and educational opportunities” says Anne-Marie Syslak, Executive Director of CPAWS Southern Alberta Chapter. “The seasonal closure of the Bow Valley Parkway, along with education and signage, is a great way to teach visitors about the importance of this area and what it takes to give park wildlife a safe home.”

Wendy Francis, Program Director for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, agrees. “Millions of visitors come to the Park annually to experience nature, knowing that grizzly bears still roam here. This initiative confirms that wilderness protection is the foundation of management in the Park and the
cornerstone of nature-based tourism.”