Canmore's Three Sisters Corridor
Canmore is at the forefront when it comes to understanding and determining how to protect the ability of animals to move through a landscape with a high degree of human presence.
When the original developers of the Three Sisters Mountain Village project applied to the provincial regulator for approval to develop resorts, golf courses and subdivisions along the south side of the valley, permission was granted only on the condition that wildlife corridors be delineated and left "in as undeveloped a state as possible."
That was back in 1992. Since then we've learned a lot about the science of a functional wildlife corridors, and their current development plan does not align with accepted practice.
Click on the video below to listen to Y2Y's Karsten Heuer discuss the finer points of wildlife corridors, especially with respect to the proposed Three Sisters development.
The Science of Wildlife Corridors
To work properly, a wildlife corridor must be wide enough, provide adequate vegetative cover, not be too steep, and be far enough from human development and activities for the most wary wild animal to use it.
Corridor design also depends on the distance between the patches of secure habitat it connects (in this case, Wind Valley in Kananaskis Country at one end and the Banff Park boundary at the other).
In the Bow Valley, the best science available suggests that wildlife corridors need to be a minimum of 600 meters wide and on slopes of less than a 25 degree incline, which is equivalent to a green run on a ski slope. By giving animals the room they need to navigate around the town, we can help to keep each other safe.